Friday, December 18, 2009

Drunk 4-Year-Old Steals Christmas Presents

The headline sounds like a bad joke, but it is actually a real and terribly sad news story. You can get the details here.

Hayden, the four-year-old whose parents are getting divorced and whose father is in jail, apparently runs away often looking for his father. The mom said, "He runs away trying to find his father. He wants to get in trouble so he can go to jail because that's where his daddy is."

That is heartbreaking on so many levels. It gives a real world example of the "intergenerational cycle" of crime (parent goes to jail, child more likely to go to jail). It shows how the "father wound" can run deep and embed itself very early in a child's life. It is also especially heartbreaking that the boy is trying to re-create a happy Christmas in his home by taking other people's presents -- he knows if his daddy was home, then he would be having the same fun time as his neighbors whose daddies are still home.

It is depressing to think how this child may act out when he is a teenager.

Just another sad reminder of why father absence is so destructive to families and communities.

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