In the last 2-3 weeks, tragedy has struck the Colorado Springs area. With a murder suicide in a quiet nieghborhood in Fountain and the most recent shootings in Castle Rock. The quiet care free lives of children are in turmoil. Children under five are the victims of the violent crimes. Department of Human services and the Child protection services of El Paso County certainly have their hands full investigating all of these crimes. The question that remains in the minds of Colorado Springs residents is Why? As the demands of parenting young children in tough times as these rise so do tempers and stress. Some may state that there needs to be more parenting classes and more support for those families in crisis, while others blame the ecomony. Perhaps the solution is in the question. The ecomony is bad and studies have shown that the stresses of lower socio-economic classes will affect the way parents act toward their children, however, it is not the only factor. Looking deeper into the generational patterns of parents could give a clue to why parents seem to “snap”. There are as many reasons as there are people. As more and more soliders come from war torn areas of the world and experience more battlefield trauma themselves is it any wonder that crimes against children are on the rise, however, most of these cases do not include anyone from a miltary background.
Working mothers and fathers try to balance work, parenting, and time for themselves. When the balance is upset, then something has to give, unfortunately that is when children get hurt (or worse). Psycho-educational groups, groups on building healthy relationships, and parenting classes do help but, when do these parents have the time or energy? Imagine the single mother that is trying to make a better life for herself and her child. She works two part-time jobs just to make ends meet. She goes to school full time, so she can pursue her passion to help others. She is active in her local church and tries to hold it together. She drives her child to his/her activities and appointments and barely has time for herself. She attends a monthly support group for single moms, but she finds that she is at the end of her rope. She is tired. She is stressed. In her body she feels it, and she has neglected herself and feels herself slipping into depression. She knows it, for she has felt this way before, but with no support system, what can she do? This then becomes furtile ground for abuse and neglect.
Weather related tragedies have now overshadowed the trauma of parents and children becoming victims in places that should be safe. Yet, these crimes that have been committed are just as sad and can be prevented.