Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What's Up With That? #12: Parents without a clue

This afternoon it was quiet in the office, so I switched on the TV for a little background noise. The set happened to be set to the station airing the Jane Pauley show, wherein Jane was doing a program about teenagers and steroids.

Here was the comment of the father of a teenaged son who died as a result of steroid use, describing his and his wife's reaction when their other son told them his brother was using 'roids:
"We were concerned...but I can't say we panicked about it."
Excuse me?

Your son tells you that his brother is ingesting illegal, biologically destructive drugs, and you aren't panicked about it? That's akin to someone finding an armed nuclear warhead in his backyard, and saying, "We're concerned...but I can't say we're panicked about it." What would it take for you to panic, mister? Al-Qaeda operatives in your living room, molesting your family at riflepoint?

As the father of a teenaged daughter, let me tell this you with certainty: If I even had reason to suspect that my child was using harmful and illegal substances, or engaging in any other activity that put her life and health at genuine peril, panic would set in so fast, the air would electrify around my body. Professional athletes can do what they will — they're adults, and if they sow the wind, they'll reap the whirlwind and be responsible for so doing. But my child is my child, and when it comes to her well-being, I panic.

I can't understand the mindset of a parent who wouldn't feel the same.


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