Here’s a tip: if you want to prove you’re not a bad mother, duct tape your children to chairs. Or at least that’s the dubious logic that led to one of the more unique cases of child abuse we’ve seen.
‘Mommie Dearest’ with duct tape restraint
A mother and her boyfriend wanted their kids to watch the movie “Mommie Dearest” to show the kids that she wasn’t in fact, the worlds meanest mom. But apparently, the kids weren’t to keen on the idea, and wouldn’t sit still to watch the movie. So Mary Lucas, 28, and her boyfriend Glenn Oliver, 30, came up with an idea: duct tape the two boys, ages 4 and 6, to their chairs so they would be forced to watch the movie.
They boyfriend Glenn was just sentenced to 3 years in prison for the incident. The mother also faces charges for her roll in what happened. And once again, I’m left shaking my head wondering about the silliness of it all. It’s an example of how parenting problems can quickly escalate when parents are frustrated and lacking in the skills they need to handle the situation. She’s not the meanest mom in the world, but I think we can all agree that a few parenting classes wouldn’t hurt.
The penalty for duct taping children
What I find ironic about this story is that every time I’ve taped children together or bound them to furniture, they loved it. They thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Just to clarify: it was masking tape, and we were using it as a play prop at the time, not for discipline purposes. Tape is one of those things that, like a big cardboard box, teases the imagination. (Just make sure kids never do this on their own, since they may not recognize the suffocation risk.) So although unpleasant for these kids and wholly inappropriate as a discipline method, lets not over-react.
Given the unique nature of this incident, the state seems to be making an example of these parents, which I find just as troubling as the original incident. I’ve seen instances where people have given children brain damage and received the same amount of jail time. While I don’t know the background of these parents or the relationship this mother has with her kids, even marginal parents are loved by their children, and the states response strikes me as despicable. Couldn’t the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent prosecuting and incarcerating these two while traumatically ripping the family apart be better spent on programs to help parents like this.