Nursing Voices

Monday, May 07, 2007

Delinquent Kids, Stupid Parents, and My Jerry Springer Weekend

Do you remember that old saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child?” You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? There are nights when I just want to scream, “Hey, Mommy and Daddy, get a clue. There isn’t anything wrong with your child, it’s just that your kid is a demon seed, and that you’re too stupid for words.” I’m sorry if I not sounding compassionate, but after this weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that some people shouldn’t have children.

The phone was ringing at the desk as I was admitting a new patient to the unit. We don’t have a unit secretary on evening shift, so I excused myself so I could answer the phone. The first thing I heard when I put the phone to my ear was screaming and crashing furniture, and then I heard a woman pleading with someone not to hurt her.

Me: Hello? Hello!

Woman (crying): Is there a doctor there? My daughter, (former patient’s name), is out of control. She lives with me and I’m afraid for my life.

Me: No doctor here. You need to call 911.

Woman: Please, put down the knife! No, no…. The phone goes dead.



With my new patient standing at the nurses station with his mouth hanging open, I once again excused myself while I went into a private office to call the police. I called 911, and I identified myself as a psychiatric nurse. I told the police dispatcher about the phone call, and I asked him to send an officer out to the mother’s house to make sure that she was all right. The police brought the patient to the ER, and I found out later that the patient had destroyed the inside of her mother’s house because mom wouldn’t let our former patient drive the family car. Guess where she went after she was released from the hospital. That’s right, mama took her devil child back into her home because she didn’t have anywhere else to go. Silly me, I guess I’m just old fashioned, but I always thought that people who destroyed private property and threatened to kill others usually were sent to jail. Oh my, what was I thinking? I guess I’m just being a drama queen.



About three hours later, I received another phone call at the nurses station from a parent who was dissatisfied with the care her child was receiving on our unit. The problem? We have tile floors on our unit. She admonished me for the hospital’s stupidity. I asked the outraged parent what she had against tile floors, and she said that her darling had just threatened to beat his head against our “bad” floor tile if she didn’t immediately come to the hospital to take him home. I suggested that her son was merely trying to manipulate her, and that he was safe on our unit. She started screaming at me that her “angel” wasn’t a bad boy, just misunderstood, and that he would NEVER try to manipulate her. Ok, whatever, Stupid Mother. What do I know anyway? One day she'll be telling a judge that her child is an angel and that he is misunderstood as he is being sentenced to jail.

There is an upside to having dumb parents raising evil brats. I’ll never be out of a job, and Jerry Springer will never run out of dysfunctional families for his show. Thank God for job security.

20 Comments:

Blogger Forgotten Blue Line said...

Yea, you should of encouraged the child to continue beating his head on the tile. Maybe, just maybe some sense will be knocked in.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Angry Nurse said...

I'll quote Tommy Lee Jones in the movie men in black by way of response:

"A person is smart; people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals"

Your story is just providing more proof of his statement...

Personally I start off assuming people are stupid until they prove they're smart enough to rate being considered a person so to speak....

2:43 PM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

I have recently read that studies are showing that parents are coddling their chidlren to much...that they are not allowing the to experience the consequences of their actions...and now here you are posting about that very topic....once again great post...I am never disappointed when I drop in for a visit....cheers

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading you for awhile--is it alright if I put you on my blogroll?

miranda5.wordpress.com

5:51 PM  
Blogger poody said...

lol Sorry but with that last caller I would have said well come on and get him then he will standing out front waiting for you!My momma always said you better act like you got some sense and act like you know something in other words don't be a dumb ass

5:53 PM  
Blogger tangent 90 degrees said...

I feel your pain. Your post reminds me of a few 'extra special' parent/teacher conferences I've held over the years.

Oy vey. Where's my xanax?

7:07 PM  
Blogger hannah said...

Oh yeah. I spent quite a few years on adol/child psych wards with kids who were apparently ABSOLUTE BRATS until they got onto the unit.

Bad parenting, yeah. I think a lot of it is learned behavior. Parents probably ignore the kid until he does something annoying, and then they overreact. Thus the kid learns how to get attention the wrong way.

Did you read charitydoc's post on the abused kid he got through the ED? :/

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the problem is coddling most of the time. It's only paying real attention to the kids when they are behaving outrageously. Kids will get their parents attention, one way or the other.

On a different note, I wanted to be sure that you saw this,

http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/2007/05/dear_nurses.html#comments

Kathleen

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad link, sorry about that.

http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/

7:49 PM  
Blogger Doc's Girl said...

*shaking head*

Unreal...but true that there will always be a constant flow of nutty patients and job security. :) That's probably why I think working in the medical field is such a safe bet! :)

9:20 PM  
Blogger alphabet soup said...

Ah, Mother Jones they're the same everywhere, it's always about them,they're in denial, blaming some one else and scared. And you Mother Jones, they have no idea how lucky they are to have you where you are.
Like a glass of wine?
Ms Soup

11:19 PM  
Blogger AzRN said...

repeat with me, "actions have consequences...."

job security will continue until parents realize that discipline is necessary and parenting is a responsibility.

11:33 PM  
Blogger 911DOC said...

ditto. poor kids, no discipline, no structure, all desires met immediately. BUT I WANT AN OOMPA LOOMPA NOW!!!!!! wonka's educated eggdicator is needed.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Not Nurse Ratched said...

I'm sitting here totally laughing: "perhaps your child is trying to manipulate you...." "NO WAY! Not MY child!" haw haw haw haw!

8:04 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It truly is unbelievable how much parents nowadays cannot control their children. It makes those that don't have children(like myself) never want to have one of those demons come out of me. What I always hear from my teenage friends that all they want it for some direction, and for their parents to tell them what to do sometimes because life is hard and they don't like to have to make every single decision by themselves all the time. I wish that parents would start being parents and not try to be best friends, it just spoils the child.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Ten out of Ten said...

It always makes me a little sad when I see these beautiful innocent children with incompetent parents and I know that they have no chance. Life is unfair that way.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

Nowadays, those in the picture would be considered as normal teenagers.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Those are the same parents who will ignore the gang tattoos, clothes, and maybe drugs and weapons in their room, and say "my child is not a gang member. Just misunderstood."

7:27 PM  
Blogger Lynn Price said...

Ah, and this was why I left teaching. Try telling little pain-in-the-ass's mommy why her darling is failing math while she's busy screeching at you. Ugh. I let my fictional characters take all the heat now. Great post!

7:52 PM  
Blogger Forty_Two said...

I propose that parenting be a regulated profession.

Who's with me?!!

Angry mob storms the embassy....

10:19 AM  

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