In this expert's opinion, leaving an inflated balloon in the yard is no different than keeping a loaded unlocked gun in the house. Totally irresponsible parenting!
Dr. Michelle Golland: I remember the Heene family from "Wife Swap." I admit, it is one of the trashy reality shows I TiVo and watch when I can't sleep. And watching the Heene family's story was one of the times that I became concerned about the children on the show. Richard Heene seems to have trouble controlling his anger and frustration. They are now making the rounds of the talk shows with their bewildered and exhausted children. I was disturbed by what I saw on the "Today" show: when the little boy jumped off camera to vomit, the mother didn't get up to help him. These parents are clearly unaware of some of the basic needs of their children.
Whether or not the balloon incident is a hoax, the parents appear to be neglectful and are not concerned about potential physical harm to their children. As parents, it is illegal to put our children in harm's way purposefully and with knowledge of the potential for danger. The fact that these parents bring their three young children along when they go storm chasing is simply dangerous and should be investigated by the proper authorities. These parents obviously are not concerned about the physical safety of their kids and need to learn some serious parenting skills.
In a home that has little discipline where "extreme" science experiments are concerned, it seems the potential for harm is great. I mean, if Richard Heene constructs a balloon that is big enough to lift a child, and he sees them playing in it, what measure should be taken to stop them? Deflating the balloon? Not allowing the children to play outside without an adult? Simple, healthy, appropriate boundaries would have stopped this incident.
The parents are fortunate the child wasn't in the balloon and didn't die because they could have been charged with negligent homicide. I see this as no different than keeping a loaded unlocked gun in the house where children could get their hands on it. Totally irresponsible parenting!
|Dr. Michelle Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults, teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Michelle Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox news. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two wonderfully exhausting children.|