Mom of the Year

Adrienne Ives refused to ignore her daughter's lawlessness.

Just as Prime Minister David Cameron was promising to “restore a sense of morality and responsibility” following the recent riots in England, Adrienne Ives made a courageous phone call that proved that good parents – the tough love type – still exist across the pond.

Mrs. Ives and her husband were watching news reports of the violence when an image of their 16 year-old daughter, Chelsea, hurling a brick at a police car, flashed before them.  Adrienne Ives immediately picked up the phone and turned her in to the authorities.  “I have no regrets,” said the British mom, “I love my daughter but she was brought up to know right from wrong.”

Chelsea has a lot to lose.  In addition to being an athlete she is a youth “ambassador” for the 2012 Olympics.

We live in an age of epidemic parental enabling and excuse making.  Badly behaved children are labeled “A.D.D.” and promptly medicated.  Busy parents prefer to “bond” with their neglected children by teaming up with them against the offending teacher or coach rather than do the hard work of teaching consequences and personal responsibility.  Who wants to be the heavy when it’s so much easier to be your kids’ BFF?

In the case of England’s riots, the wanton theft of designer sneakers and plasma TVs are blamed on everything from racism, capitalism, and government cutbacks that haven’t even taken effect.  Nonetheless, the violent riots have peeled back the curtain and forced Brits to come to grips with the state of parenting and families in England. Family breakdown is the worst in Europe.  Of UK families receiving government housing, three quarters are fatherless.  Few would argue that in liberal, Godless, multi-cultural England, parenting isn’t permissive or that the popular culture isn’t depressingly tawdry.

Yet in the midst of this decay, Adrienne Ives stands as a beacon of hope: a mom willing to fight to save her daughter from a declining, morally bankrupt culture.  Sadly, too few of the young rioters will get the second chance Chelsea’s parents have lovingly given her.  As Prime Minister Cameron put it, “In too many cases, the parents of these children – if they are still around – don’t care where their children are or who they are with, let alone what they are doing,”

Not Chelsea.  Because her parents refuse to make excuses for her behavior, she will be forced to take responsibility for her actions (in addition to jail time, her position as teen Ambassador presumably hangs in the balance) and, hopefully, straighten out her life.

We can only hope that Adrienne Ives’ example will remind parents all over the world that there is no substitute for good parenting.  Entire nations depend on it.



  • Joe

    Actions have consequences. Bummer. Throwing a brick at cops deserves what it gets. Just because the girl is someone’s child… I guess all these people who hide their child if they raped someone too?

  • Michael F

    Most of the comments on here are about what you as parents should do in this situation. Has it occurred to any of you that calling the police is the response many of us (teenagers) want? True, if you ask one that question, they’ll say no, but that is what they have been taught to say. What we want is not a relief of as many restrictions as we can get, we want clear, solid restrictions, with easily predictable consequences. When a parent says that something is against the law, and then when we do it, they don’t turn us in to the law, it is terribly confusing. They gave us the consequences for doing it, we did it, and the didn’t give us the consequences. This leads to a lack of trust in other things our parents tell us (eventually including even the validity of the Church). and yet through all that, we still emulate our parents, so we know how to be parents. So when that situation comes up with our kids, we will act in the same manner. Imagine running around with no shoes on. Is not that the dream of every kid, to not have to worry about shoes? and yet do the parents not have a reason for telling them to put shoes on? this girl was running around without shoes, and stepped on a thorn. Her parents, instead of ignoring the situation, took the thorn out and made it hurt worse. But if they had ignored it and left it there, it would have dug deeper and festered. That is a teen’s view of this article. Thank you.

    • Francis

      I don’t think that this response was really written by a teenager, but even so, the parents must consider the consequences of this action. When my children were younger, I think I probably would have agreed 100% with Duffy’s post. But, having had some dealings with the local police, I know that turning your kid in to the police can have unforeseen consequences. Even a member of the sheriff’s department gave us the choice of whether or not to have our son arrested when our son was clearly using drugs. He recommended we think long and hard about it because of what it would do to our relationship and also because of the long-term consequences for our son. We did not press charges, but we did take action with our son to remediate the situation. Happily, that worked well. If the situation continued in spite of our first action, then, ultimately, the police may have had to be involved. In my experience, calling the police should not be the first choice.

      • Michael F

        Francis: I am a teenager, but I will make no attempt to prove it to you, so believe it, or not, as you will. As for unforeseen consequences, it depends on the manner in which the child was brought up. If they were brought up with the expectation of having the police called for something like that, than such consequences would be minimal. The next question that comes to mind (my mind, at least) is whether they should be brought up with that expectation. I believe the answer is yes, because we must render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

        • Francis

          MichaelF: “the consequences would be minimal”? How do you know what the consequences would be? That is the point – once the police are involved, there are a host of other consequences that are not so easy to predict and the risks are quite high. “Render unto Caeser” makes no sense in this context. My children do not belong to Caeser or any other political entity.

          • Michael F

            This may be the second reply to your comment (an object hit my keyboard, and I am not sure if it hit backspace or enter). If so, the first one will be incomplete, please disregard it. So I will start back at the beginning. Francis: I will agree with you that my post was rather vague (I was in a hurry at the time), so I will clarify. when I said “the consequences would be minimal”, I was referring to the relationship between the parent and the child. The child will probably not agree with the parent initially, but after they cool down and think about it, they will understand the decision (providing, of course, that they have been brought up in such a manner, as I mentioned in the previous post). The consequences between the child and the police, however, are indeed a different story. That is where my reference to Caesar becomes relevant. Rioting in such a fashion as she participated in is against the law (I would presume, but I am not an English citizen, and cannot claim to know their laws and exceptions), and the Church and Scripture both teach that we should obey the laws of our government, inasmuch as they do not conflict with the Law of Christ (and I do not see that as the case here). The proper action the law requires is to notify the police, and the police will take the situation from there (remember they, too, are bound by the law).

          • Francis

            Michael F: If you are as you say, a teenager, then I attribute your attitude to your youth and naivete. That’s fine. Suffice it to say, I would not turn my kids in to the police, especially if it were the first offense and a complete anomaly, which this seems to be. Perhaps I am not as trusting because I have seen more of the world than you. Based upon my experiences of life, I completely disagree with the mother in this situation, and I also completely disagree with Campos-Duffy. Good day.

          • Jacqueline

            How pompous! Michael clearly makes a well-reasoned, poignant and powerful argument and you condascend him simply because you disagree. It’s not an “attitude” it’s an argument. And an excellent one that you can’t answer. So you decide to be insufferably arrogant and out-rank him with your age. By your own anecdotes, you ae in no position to give anyone parenting advice. You seem to want to vindicate your past, poor choices as a parent rather than consider the alternative.

          • Francis

            Jacqueline: Are you a parent? If so, have you ever dealt with emotional or mental illness in your children? Have you ever had a negative experience with law enforcement? Do you really think they are agents of God? Good grief, Our Lady of Sorrows wept at the foot of the cross – I wonder what the crowd thought of her parenting skills to have raised a convicted felon? Reading brief sentences on a blog does not qualify you to be the judge of my parenting skills, thank you very much. Now who is being “condascending” (sic) here?

          • Jacqueline

            I am tempted to answer your personal questions of me just to stick it to ya, but I won’t entertain your attempts at distraction from the case Michael is making. You are trying to use your personal (personal) experiences as universal truth. They are not. You are being condescending in trying to start a pissing contest rather than actually debate. You are trying to use age to out-rank people, the number of children you have, and emotional/mental illness to bolster your position instead of making actual arguments. And then, you pick on people’s spelling. You are not the type I indulge in debating because you don’t actually debate. You attack the person giving a contrary opinion. And yes, I attacked you because you had it coming. Your response to Michael was so asinine with that pat on the head and “I’ve seen more of the world than you. Good day.” You dished it out, dude. You’d think you’d know better with all that life experience.

          • Francis

            Jacqueline: Nope, I’m not trying to claim that my own personal (personal) experience is universal truth. I have learned from it, however, and because of that I would avoid the “knee-jerk” reaction that has led the author to praise Mrs. Ives. In addition, I have not attacked Michael F, but simply pointed out that our difference in attitudes is likely because of our difference in ages and life experiences. I never once tried to pat him on the head – that would be ridiculous. I don’t even know him. As for who is dishing out, I would have to say that you might want to look in the mirror, dear, because you are the one who is taking everything her so personally (personally)and becoming quite emotional. Frankly, this is a matter of opinion. I have stated mine, and you have stated yours. Good day.

          • Jacqueline

            You called me “dear”- Nope, not condascending at all! Thank you for futher validating my otherwise obvious point. I’ll just let that one stand on its own. It’s TOO GOOD.

  • Lady Lawyer

    Amen. We need more Queen Blanche’s today: “I love you my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin.”

    • Francis

      Ladylawyer: One who commits a mortal sin can repent and seek forgiveness.

      • Michael F

        Francis: Yet one who dies in grace has no more need for forgiveness, and is far better off than the rest of us. As St. Paul says, “to live is Christ, but to die is gain”.

  • Francis

    Unfortunately, once the police are involved the situation is out of the control of the parents. It’s a terrible thing to do to that girl. Address the situation, of course, but that does not mean that parents call the police on their kid. Police, unfortunately, are not immune to corruption. Once the daughter is in custody, then what? Will she be held in jail? What will happen to her there? I can’t imagine calling the police on my kid and throwing her to the dogs like that.



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