Opening Lines: Parentcare

Minutes from Knesset Children's Committee.

Netanya Murder 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Netanya Murder 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Children, children please! Settle down. Quiet.
We’re all very upset, tired and hungry, but we have a lot to get through today and we need to begin. So please sit down and be quiet.
OK, as chairchild of this committee I will first read out a statement and then read out the agenda and then everyone can have his and her say, then we’ll make up some new laws and everything will be okay and then we can all go outside and play.
First, the statement: Like children everywhere in this country, we are shocked to our core by the recent behavior of some of our parents. It is quite clear to us, despite our small ages and littleness, that there is very little correct playing together by the organizations of the government that are supposed to look after our parents so that they don’t become crazy in the head and kill us. All children are children at risk and this committee must make laws that will help our parents and the government play nice with each other, for our sakes. These laws must take into account our parents’ right to their mental privacy so that not everyone in the world knows what scary monsters are running around in their heads, but that privacy must not come at the expense of our safety. This committee calls on all the different people in the government with all the information about some of our crazy parents to share that information with each other, right now.
Now, on to the agenda: How to stop parents from killing their children; how to stop parents from using their children as immigration human shields; how to stop the government from using children as excuses to boot their parents out of the country; and how to stop parents from one ethnic group from teaching their kids to hate children from another ethnic group.
First off, let’s hear from the child who wants to grow up to be a politician.
The child who wants to be a politician: Thank you, Miss Chairchild. I want to propose a law that would make it harder to release a really messed-up-in-the-head parent from a hospital. I mean, if the really messed-upin- the-head parent is already in a psychiatric hospital and the doctors want to release him/her, then someone must ask the children if that’s okay, like if they’re okay with mommy or daddy, who are really sick in the head, coming home. I know we all want to see our mommies and daddies at home and happy and everything, but maybe the psychiatrists can ask us how we feel about it.
And if we’re scared about it then the parent mustn’t come home yet. Or maybe the parent can come home with a doctor or someone who can sit in the corner and watch, like our grandparents have. And also, maybe the doctors or the police or someone can come and spend some time in the house with us when that mommy and daddy, who are really sick in the head, come back home.
The psychiatrists should be there when we see the crazyin- the-head parent, just to see if everything’s okay.
Chairchild: I think the psychiatrists should stay in the hospitals and the nice people from the social services office should come by the house and be there when the parent comes home. But they could also be really busy because there are so many of us kids who need them.
Let’s ask the children who want to be psychiatrists and social workers when they grow up: How easy it is to release a parent who is really sick in the head from psychiatric detention? Maybe when they get out the doctors who let him go should tell someone, like the police or the social services? The child who wants to grow up to be a social worker: Well, we don’t hear so much from the psychiatrists and when we do it’s not really enough information and it comes really late, when we’re already tired or doing other things. When they tell us that a crazy-in-the-head parent is better now, because they’ve been eating three meals a day like good parents and taking their pills after they eat, we believe them, and then we allow them to see their children. But they don’t tell us what could happen to those parents once they’re out of the hospital and not taking the pills anymore because they’re not allowed to tell us more than what they’re allowed to tell us. I think they just don’t know what a parent could do once they release them from hospital.
The child who wants to grow up to be a judge: It’s called a nondisclosure boundary and it’s important for our democracy, otherwise we’ll all know how crazy everyone here is. And it’s also dangerous to interfere in family dynamics because that would also endanger our democracy.
The child who wants to grow up to be a politician: Jeez, those are big words. So let’s change that law. Let’s make it that the psychiatrists have to tell the social workers to watch out for parents who are really sick in the head, and the social workers have to tell the police, and the police have to watch our houses all the time. It’s not so nice for the police, and they’re busy running after bad guys also, but our parents need someone to watch over them while they’re watching over us.
THE CHILD WHO wants to grow up to be a psychiatrist: Miss Chairchild, the child who wants to be a social worker and the child who wants to be a politician are clearly crazy in the head. They can’t put the blame on us; we’re innocent professionals, we’re professional innocents. What I propose is a really tough law that says that when we release a parent from psychiatric care because he or she is a little bit better in the head, the social services need to keep a close eye on that parent. We don’t have the time to follow every a little-bit-better-in-the-head parent back home. In any case, we are doctors, and we can’t give parents an “almost stable” stamp, or a “temporarily stable” stamp, or an “okay for now but watch this person closely” stamp. That wouldn’t be nice, and by law, no social worker would allow that parent to visit his or her children, that means us, and that wouldn’t be nice for anyone.
The child who wants to grow up to be a social worker: So let’s change the law. We can’t do this alone. We can’t take responsibility for our really complicated parents, with all of the monsters in their heads. It’s not enough that the hospital tells us that the person is “stable”; that “right now” he’s not psychotic, and he can meet us, his children, and leave it at that. That’s not good enough.
Chairchild: I’m hearing blame from both sides. The social workers are blaming the psychiatrists; the psychiatrists are saying that the social workers are clearly insane and that the lawmakers, the police, and the judges are all living in a fantasy-land and need urgent medication.
The child who wants to grow up to be a psychiatrist: Miss Chairchild, you’re sounding a little crazy in the head, maybe you should calm down. Take a chill pill. In any case, what we’re talking about are parents who are crazy in the head and you can tell that because they try kill themselves, sometimes before they kill us, and sometimes after they kill us. So we need to go after parents who want to kill themselves, because they’re the ones that might end up killing us.
The child who wants to grow up to be a policeman: There is no legal way to arrest parents who just threaten to kill themselves, or actually try to kill themselves, so maybe we should change that law too. Like, let’s make it illegal to kill yourself, period. And if you try, we’ll put you in jail, and if you succeed in killing yourself, the judges will throw the book at you and you’ll never come out of jail.
Chairchild: How do we figure out how dangerous a parent is to themselves and their children? Is there a way that the social workers could add their input into the psychiatrists’ evaluation of a parent’s level of dangerous craziness?
The child who wants to grow up to be a psychiatrist: Well, there’s no way to tell really unless we keep them in hospital for a very, very long time. And that could actually make them worse. And the social welfare people have no idea how to spot crazy-in-the-head parents.
The child who wants to grow up to be a social worker: I’m looking at one now! You’re crazy in the head for letting crazy-in-the-head parents out of hospital!
Chairchild: Okay stop it, you’re behaving badly. Both of you. So maybe children should visit their sick-in-thehead parents only in the hospitals or in police stations? Child who wants to grow up to be a policeman: I don’t like hospitals.
Child who wants to grow up to be a doctor: I don’t like police stations.
Chairchild: Okay, look we’re all tired and this is getting nowhere, and we haven’t even discussed the other issues on the agenda. Let’s take a break for a few months and come back to this with renewed strength. Hopefully no more children will die until then.