If Parent Shaming Had Been Around 2000 Years Ago


This entire tatyiahath
New Yorker piece
 is so great: “HISTORY’S WORST PARENTS FACE THE WRATH OF THE COMMENTS SECTION,” by Eileen Curtright. It’s shocking to think how much history took place before Internet shaming. How did those rotten parents ever learn?

Here’s Curtright’s take on one parenting fail you may have read about:

In response to “Twelve-Year-Old Lost on Vacation Found Preaching in Temple of Jerusalem”

veganmama: First of all, how do you lose your kid on vacation? I don’t care if he’s not a toddler, you watch your child every second. It’s called good parenting. I made my son hold my hand in crowds until he turned eighteen. He didn’t like it, but so what? This world is full of creeps and predators and anything can happenin an instant. And how do you not teach your kid that nobody wants to hear his opinions on holy texts? When my son tried to elucidate the holy book to me, I was like, “Can it, mister!” What were the parents doing exactly, that made them too busy to supervise their child? Celebrating a holiday with their relatives? Disgusting! When you become a parent, keeping your child safe is priority No. 1! Everything else takes a back seat. You don’t get to whoop it up with your buds while your unsupervised twelve-year-old child wanders off to the Temple of Jerusalem! Would not be surprised to see these people in the news again in a few years for something much worse.

Feel free to slam any other historical parent (even fictional ones!) in the comments section. – L


Where were his parents?!?

Where were His parents?!?


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34 Responses to If Parent Shaming Had Been Around 2000 Years Ago

  1. Virginia August 17, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    Cain’s parents obviously never taught that boy anything! Family is family no matter what and if they had taught him right he wouldn’t have killed his brother. And don’t sacrifices requires sharp objects of some sort? A good parent would NEVER allow his/her child (even adult ones) to handle sharp objects.

  2. Gary August 17, 2016 at 11:38 am #


    ‘splains everything.

  3. MichaelF August 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    @Gary, you do realize the comments are a joke I hope.

    I did like the complaints on Joan of Arc…those were well done.

  4. Gary August 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm #


    One can never tell anymore.

  5. Christopher Byrne August 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    For all you musical comedy fans, there’s a whole song about this in “Bells Are Ringing” (1956) “Is it a Crime?” The idea, is that if Romeo and Juliet had had answering services, things might have turned out a little bit different in Verona.

  6. BL August 17, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Listen, @frankhardy, I know you’re a big-time detective and all that, but letting your teenage boys go off and hunt criminals shows you’re a bad father. It’s hard enough protecting children from the criminals hunting them down. But you let yours go after *them*? Unbelievable!

    Not to mention letting them drive a “roadster” without seat belts or an air bag.

  7. Desmond McGowan August 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    And if only Adam and Eve had paid more attention. Cain might never have killed his brother.

  8. elizabeth August 17, 2016 at 12:53 pm #


  9. Christopher Byrne August 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    George Donner, put down those Oreos. And leave that trail mix. You know your sister Eliza has a nut allergy. I’m afraid that hardtack may have gluten in it, so you want to leave that, too. It’s only a short walk over the mountain, you’re not going to get hungry…

  10. ChicagoDad August 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    In response to: “Local 9 year-old enlists in 22nd Michigan Infantry Regiment to fight Conderates”

    Mommyof16: Sorry, but not sorry. I don’t care if this is a defining moment in our country’s history, the front lines of the civil war is no place for a child. How would his mom feel if he gets shot, sick or, heaven forbid, captured? Do you know what kinds of sick monsters run the POW camps in the South? Anything could happen!

    People say it’s “Brave” or “Heroic” what this boy is doing, but I say, no way, José! He should be at home plowing his family’s wheat fields like any other normal 9 yo boy! Instead of living to the ripe old age of 35, having 10 kids and maybe a lease on a little wheat field of his own, something horrible is going to happen to him.

    I say, if you cant keep your kid from enlisting in the infantry, if you had thought your country was going to be torn apart, ravaged with war, with brother fighting brother, then I say you should have never had kids in the first place! I should know, I have 16 kids and I didn’t let a single one of them leave the farm to go fight in some silly war.

  11. James Pollock August 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    If we’re open to fictional bad parenting, Atticus Finch nearly had BOTH of his children murdered, if not for the intercession of Boo Radley, letting them walk home from school unaccompanied.

  12. elizabeth August 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    To Mr. Drew, Nancy’s father, why would you let your daughter solve mysteries? She is unqualified, and too young, not to mention she nearly got herself killed a few times. And how about that college friend? What, is he immature or something? He clearly likes her. Maybe you should forbid them from seeing each other. I mean, come on. What kind of father are you? (Lol)

  13. EricS August 17, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    That Tiberius is a terrible parent. Letting little Caligula run amok and do whatever he wants. And teaching him bad habits. I’m telling you, if he doesn’t teach that kid some respect and manners, he’s going to be a terror when he’s older.

  14. Forrest August 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    Veganmama’s holier than thou attitude is what’s disgusting.

  15. Ron Skurat August 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    Can you believe Jochebed leaving Moses in the Nile in a basket of rushes? Why not just leave him in a dumpster like all the other bad moms? They need to be held ACCOUNTABLE I say.

  16. Backroads August 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    To that Grandfather Alden of the Boxcar Children books… if you find your unsupervised grandchildren living in an abandoned boxcar children, you certainly don’t let them go live on an island of their own all summer with minimal supervision, let alone every other adventure they went on. You’re no better than their dead parents.

  17. Donald Christensen August 17, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

    If you’re not a strong swimmer and struggling to get air, you can always lift yourself up by pushing something else down. Grab whatever is within reach. Climb on a piece of driftwood if it helps you to breath.

    By the same token;
    If you’re insecure and need to feel better, you can always lift yourself by pushing someone else down. The internet is great for this. Cyberbullying is so convenient. You can always find someone to push down in order to lift yourself up. Few will see that you’re as transparent as a sandwich bag and so what if they do? You’re hiding behind an alias!

  18. Peter August 17, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    Veganmama’s holier than thou attitude is what’s disgusting.

    It took me a moment to get this…

    Well done!

  19. Emily August 17, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Re: The Cat in the Hat
    What kind of mother leaves her children with a fish for a babysitter? Doesn’t she know that an unbalanced Cat can walk right in and take over the house, assisted by a couple of destructive Things? For that matter, why isn’t the door locked? Parents are so gullible and trusting!

    Re: Moses
    Not enough to turn him loose on the river — I bet his sister, Miriam, who was supposed to be watching him, hadn’t taken the appropriate classes in water safety, first aid, and CPR, either.

    Re: George Washington
    Who cares if he cut down the cherry tree? His father should be declared an unfit parent for giving his little boy a hatchet! Someone call the police!

  20. Warren August 17, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    James T Kirk

    His parents went into battle with the Romulans while his mom was giving birth to him. All sorts of parenting no-no’s there.

  21. J.T. Wenting August 18, 2016 at 12:04 am #

    “And if only Adam and Eve had paid more attention.”

    If only they’d not had sex before marriage…

  22. Anon Y. Mouse August 18, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    The Happy Hollisters, Encylopedia Brown, The Mad Scientists Club, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew,
    Harriet the Spy… the list goes on and on.

    It’s a wonder any kids made it to adulthood at all, with all those poor role models. Obviously their
    parents should have kept them home and indoors, instead of permitting them to roam their
    neighborhoods having “adventures.”

    Isn’t that one of the major themes, if not *the* major theme of “young adult” (and note that
    terminology) literature — children, often not even through puberty, taking on adult tasks and
    coming to grip with adult concerns, as part of the natural process of maturing and becoming
    adults themselves?

    What kind of stories would we expect children who are subjected to “helicopter parenting” to
    be reading? Tales of watching television and playing with computer tablets?

  23. sexhysteria August 18, 2016 at 2:44 am #


  24. Peter August 18, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    What were you thinking when you went off and left Madeline with only your dog as the babysitter? I’m sure Carl is a good dog but what would he have done if there was a problem?

    And then you went and did it another fourteen times! You should be in prison!

  25. Larry Coffin August 18, 2016 at 6:46 am #

    In 1955, at age 6, we rode horses all over town (pop. approx 15,000), rode bikes everywhere, had stitches too numerous to even remember them all, cracked hip, sprained ankles, cracked ribs, a bike wreck which left me 95% walking scab, couple of mild concussions; in other words, allowed to experience LIFE!! As a result, I learned, with my my parents guidance to learn to take appropriate risks. I had to learn this by being ALLOWED to take risks. Of course, my parents monitored my whereabouts, to some extent, just enough to get the overall picture. I did some really dumb stuff, as all kids used to do, but through it, I learned how to handle the ups and downs, and the pitfalls of life. Confucius stated, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall”. I was allowed to fall, and consequently, with the help of my parents and the good Lord, I learned how to pick myself up and keep on keeping on. I learned to be independent, unlike todays children who are only learning dependency because of all these parents who hover over their children making sure that they get not even so much as a scratch on their knees. I really feel sorry for todays children who will never be able to experience the fulness of life because of the fear of everything that is instilled in them by their parents and modern society. And they say we are progressing as a race. That’s not progress. It the beginning of the end of a once-strong society.

  26. KAtie G August 18, 2016 at 7:07 am #

    FWIW, Mr. Drew’s first name is Carson

  27. shdd August 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    My daughter thought that Hannah Gruen (the Drews housekeeper) should accompany Nancy Drew on her adventures. She was worried that Nancy did not have a cell phone to call for emergencies. My daughter has had questions but never an emergency in three years of cell phone use.

  28. dan August 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    This Alcmene is a appaling mother….
    how could she let her son go anywhere near a lion let alone a practically immortal one with fur impenetrable to arrows…. yet she let him fight it with his bare hands! I mean talk about dange… not to mention cruelty to animals!

    and if that wasnt bad enough she then let him go off and fight a Hydra! I mean what sane parent would even let their son near a normal snake, let along one with 9 heads!

    not to mention the slave labor of making him clean the entire Augean stables in a single day!

    then you add theft to the charges…. a Bull , four man eating horses, a queens girlde and some apples from some poor nymphs.

    and what was the father Zeus even thinking? or was he too busy throwing dangerous electroshock weapons around?

  29. Papilio August 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    “what was the father Zeus even thinking? or was he too busy throwing dangerous electroshock weapons around?”

    Probably busy F-ing something with a heartbeat.

  30. SKL August 18, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Moses being floated down the river in a basket with only his juvenile sister to watch him from a distance.

    David being allowed to go to the front lines to bring his brothers food.

    John Quincy Adams set loose in Europe (with a job even) at the tender age of 12.

    Whatever drove Ben Franklin to run off and seek his fortune at 17.

    Any kid who had a regular paying job under the age of 16.

    Laura Ingalls Wilder – pretty much all her waking moments (and those of her contemporaries).

  31. Beth August 19, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    @shdd, reminds me of what I think is the #1 reason parents give for their early elementary kids to have a cell phone: “What if there’s an emergency at school?”

    I’m pretty sure millions of parents, teachers, and school administrators in the many pre-cell phone eras figured out a way to handle emergencies at school just fine. They can probably still handle them, so …. not a good rationale for your 6-year-old “needing” a cell phone.

  32. Anne Charming August 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    Oh and Jacob’s mom shouldn’t have tricked her husband into granting the elder-blessing to Jacob.

    Minor Note: It doesn’t matter whether or not parents are helicopter parents or not in stories. Molly Weasly from Harry Potter was VERY helicopter in the beginning of the last book (since she prevented the Trio from planning about the Quest to find the Horcruxes) by making them do housework, etc. Ironically, all the Trio “kids” were legally of age at the time-Hermione more so than the other two (Hermione’s birthday is Sept 1979 so she would have been I think almost 18-since she was almost twelve when they first meet on the Hogwarts Express), Harry’s is July of 1980 and Ron’s is March 1980.). But that still didn’t stop their quest now did it?

    Also I think Snape more or less is an example of a helicopter parent even if he technically isn’t a parent

  33. Anne Charming August 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Dear Lenore

    I been reading your blog (and I started a month ago over on 2008 page) and I just finished what you have of August. You should a look at the Motherrisk cases which is technically a case of “Medical Kidnapping”. A ton of parents lost their young children to Social services because a program called Motherrisk at Sick Kids Hosptial in Toronto didn’t do the “Gold Standard” of testing when testing I think it was hair from the mothers so they have accused a bunch of mothers of being druggers when the “Test” came back positive.

    There’s another version of I think Medical Kidnapping but I can’t remember the doctor’s name which is important. There was a so-called child’s doctor for years in I think Ontario-who looked at dead children and then say that (incident) happened because of X reason parent did this basically accused (parent) of abuse leading many to end up in jail. It was revealed I think two at least years ago that the said doctor had I think NO experience with children. I’m SO sorry I can’t remember the name of the “doctor”.

    Ps. Toronto Star has articles about both but you would need to know the doctor’s name for the latter one.

  34. Papilio August 23, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    @Anne: I’m surprised you don’t mention Dobby?