Lessons in Parenting

“Judgment of Solomon” by Raphael (c. 1510), Apostolic Palace, Rome (PD-Art, Old-100)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

  • Cynthia Randolph deliberately shut her toddlers, aged 16 months and 24 months, in a hot car to “teach them a lesson” for not leaving the car when she wanted [1]. Believing the toddlers could get themselves out, Randolph went into the house, smoked some marijuana, and slept for 2-3 hours.  The temperature outside that Texas day reached 96 degrees.  The toddlers did not survive.  Randolph is being held on $200,000 bond.
  • Aramazd Andressian killed his 5 y.o. son “Piqui” after a trip to Disneyland [2]. Andressian and the boy’s mother had been in the midst of a highly contested divorce.  Andressian alternately threatened to take the boy to Cuba, Iran, or Armenia.  The child’s body was found after a two-month search involving rescue personnel, volunteers, and cadaver dogs.  Andressian has since pleaded guilty.

The majority of child victims who die at the hands of their parents are under five years of age [3].  More than a third are under the age of one.  Men murder six out of ten of these children, most often by beating or shooting them.

To “Teach Them a Lesson”

Some 700 children have died in hot cars in the last 20 years [4].  Over half the time, these children were forgotten by their caregivers.  About 17% of the time, children were intentionally left in the car by an adult, as was the case with the Randolph toddlers.

One might be tempted to blame Cynthia Randolph’s stupidity for her children’s deaths (raising the possibility of an affirmative defense of diminished capacity).  But Randolph was capable of devising several stories, in an effort to exculpate herself, before disclosing the facts.  The deaths have been ruled homicides [5].

It would seem that Cynthia Randolph is the one who would have benefited from lessons.


Aramazd Andressian went a step further.  He killed his son from sheer self-centeredness. The vast majority of “family annihilators”, i.e. those who kill their immediate family, are men [6].  These men come from all backgrounds.  Most show no outward signs that violence is imminent.

It may be that Andressian did not distinguish between his son and himself.  Perhaps he could not envision a future for the boy without him.  This is selfishness in the guise of altruism.  Or perhaps Andressian simply wanted to inflict maximum pain on his wife.

Murdering his children is a twisted way for a man to exercise power.  Murder is, also, a way of obtaining revenge against his wife or ex-wife.  In half such cases, a family annihilator will kill her, along with the children.  In some cases, in-laws and other relatives are, also, targeted.

Additional reasons parents kill their children include:  drugs/alcohol, long-term abuse, financial pressures, family “honor”, or a psychotic break [7].

Tragically, the incidence of parents murdering their children is on the rise.

The Judgment of Solomon

There is a Bible story about two women who came before King Solomon, arguing over a child.  The women, who lived in the same house, had given birth within days of each other.  However, one woman carelessly smothered her infant by rolling onto him in her sleep.  Both now claimed the living child.

Solomon listened to the women, then called for a sword to be brought, so that the living child might be divided in half.

Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, ‘Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.’  But the other said, ‘He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!’  Then the king said, ‘Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him.  She is his mother’ ” (1 Kings 3: 26-27).

This is how we determine parentage:  By the degree of self-sacrifice a parent is willing to undergo for a child.  DNA notwithstanding, those who treat their children as property cannot be called “parents” in any true sense.

That ought to be the first lesson in parenting.

[1]  Washington Post, “2 toddlers die after mom left them in hot car to teach ‘a lesson’, police say”  by Amy Wang, 6/24/17, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/24/texas-mom-arrested-after-leaving-2-toddlers-in-hot-car-to-teach-them-a-lesson-police-say/.

[2]  Los Angeles Times, “After killing his son, a South Pasadena man enjoyed Vegas shows and skydiving.  Now he is heading to prison for life” by Nicole Santa Cruz, 8/23/17, http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-andressian-sentencing-murder-20170823-story.html.

[3]  USA Today, “Parents who do the unthinkable – kill their children” by Marisol Bello and Meghan Hoyers, 9/11/14, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/10/parents-kill-children-fbi-data/15280259/.

[4]  San Jose State University, Dept. of Meteorology and Climate Science, “Heat Stroke Deaths of Children Left in Vehicles” by Jan Null, 8/18/17, http://noheatstroke.org/.

[5]  ABC 13/Eyewitness News, “Deaths of 2 Texas toddlers left in hot car ruled homicides”, 8/7/17, http://abc13.com/deaths-of-texas-toddlers-left-in-hot-car-ruled-homicides/2280877/.

[6]  UK Daily Mail, “Why ever more fathers are killing their children:  Top criminologist reveals her research into this sickening trend” by Elizabeth Yardley, 5/21/13,  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328784/Why-fathers-killing-children-Top-criminologist-reveals-research-sickening-trend.html.

[7]  Forensic Outreach, “Deadly Dads:  Some of the Shocking Reasons Fathers Kill Their Own Children”, http://forensicoutreach.com/library/deadly-dads-some-of-the-shocking-reasons-fathers-kill-their-own-children/.




Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Violence Against Women

30 responses to “Lessons in Parenting

  1. I’m so sorry, Anna. Those are such awful tragedies and very sad.

    I don’t think we can really teach these parents anything, most of these people can’t even take care of themselves, They are just so dysfunctional, mentally unwell,and yes, selfish. One of the best things parents can do for kids is to get healthy ourselves, to deal with our own issues, to learn how to be whole before we ever have kids.

  2. As a mother, I have unconditional love for both of my children. In fact, my love for them helps me to have some understanding of how much God loves me.

    But, in situations like these, there has to be something “off” going on in the mental/emotional state of a person who could act so cruel and hateful.

    • A profound observation, i.e. that the love we have for our children teaches us something about God’s own love for us. Our natural response, in situations such as this, is to draw back in horror. We struggle for an explanation. Some people do, however, choose evil. Not every abusive parent is mentally impaired. That makes abuse all the more tragic. ❤

  3. Thanks for sharing this information just as I have been praying for some that are potentially in danger. There are many “homicidal” abusers out there who could be triggered to hurt their own children and especially their ex-spouses. I pray Psalm 91 over them all for God’s Hand of protection to over them. God bless you, Anna!!

  4. Pingback: Lessons in Parenting — ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse | The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel

  5. These are some alarming statistics!

  6. I really didn’t know what to say here Anna, not because there is nothing to say, but because this is all so overwhelming, and I have experienced first hand some of this type of behaviour from a parent – fortunately for me, I am not one of those statistics. As you say above, “we struggle against powers and principalities …”, and I think that this must surely be a factor which influences the behaviour of people who carry out these evil acts against small defenceless children. I don’t believe for one moment that they are all mentally ill, although some can be.

    Some parents have not been parented lovingly when they were children, so it is understandable why they in turn become bad parents, but this is still no excuse.

    Thank you for caring enough and being sufficiently aware of and engaged in matters concerning the lives of our children. It is important to highlight and share these stories because we need to open our eyes to the evil that is going on around us and do something about it. There are those who will read the horrific stories above and draw back in horror, but then move on. But you with your sense of justice and your innate compassion have the courage to write about it in the hope that things will change for the better – you are a true humanitarian.

  7. Thank you so much dear Anna for sharing these statistics
    Have a very nice week

  8. Sobering post,to say the least Anna. A very timely one for me for a couple of reasons. One, here in SW Florida a man is on trial for killing his wife and all of their children. Reportedly he wants to plead guilty in order to avoid trial so that his family will be spared the details and having to see the pictures of the horror he committed.

    Familicide is on the rise here in Florida,with several instances in the past two or three years. What that means other than evil is on the rise,is anyone’s guess.

    Secondly, I was about to publish my own post about personal accountability with a focus on Hot Car deaths. If i’m counting correctly, that is two or possibly three times now that you have beat me to the punch, or publish button. I’d like to say that great minds think alike, but since I don’t possess one of those, that dispels that notion!

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Like you, I am deeply saddened that evil like this is on the rise. The victims of ISIS were savaged. But they were put to death by strangers.

      As for great minds, I am always delighted to find the Spirit has moved us both in the same direction. Have a blessed week!

  9. incarceratedshadows

    Absolutely horrendous Anna.
    Some, so called human beings,
    just begger belief.

  10. Again, what are these people thinking? Shut the kids in a car that becomes an oven and the guy smoking his joints….
    After reading all these tragedies I’ll tell you a funny story, at least now is funny,

    My father is not one to go to the supermarket and buy whatever my mother tells him she needs to cook and all those things. If you take him out of his world, wich is is work, it overwhelms him. So if you ask him to buy 3 things he will come with only two.

    Anyways as a young kid he took me to the supermarket with him, my mother told him so. So he bought half of what she needed and when he came home my mother looks at him and ask him if he had forgotten something, he said he got all the food she asked for (as always), then she pointed out that where in the hell was the kid, me, he forgot me in the supermarket. I’m laughing right now thinking about that story. I don’t have any mental scars from it just in case you wondered. So the guy comes back to the house with half the food and no kid, what a guy.

  11. I learned a new thing from your comment about the example of the story involving King Solomon. Parentage is determined by the degree of self-sacrifice that a parent is willing to undergo for a child. DNA is just a tag.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.