Riley Speaks

"all i have is a voice" ~ w.h. auden


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Motherhood – Societies pressure to become a mother

Let’s talk about motherhood! I know – me, not a mother, speaking about motherhood. What am I thinking?! Hear me out. I want to talk about motherhood and why women feel a societal pressure to become mothers.

Ever since we are little we are told we are to grow up and become mothers. Heck, most of girls toys are targeted to being a mother. From a young age we are programmed to believe it is our destiny to become a mother and to have children. But it’s a lie. I would say that very few people are truly meant for motherhood. Just because you have maternal instincts if doesn’t necessarily mean you should be a mother. You have to have passion and drive and be committed to this child – that tiny human – that you bring into this world and depends on you. You cannot half ass it. Motherhood is not a “maybe” or a “why not” situation. It’s all or nothing. You owe it to that child.

I’ve always been really good with kids. Ever since I was little, children gravitated to me and I to them. I think it’s because I’m still a five year old at heart. I have very good maternal instincts I think, and being good with children one could assume I am going to become a mother. The truth is I most likely won’t. I’m still very 50/50, up in the air about it and I refuse to bring a child into my life when I am not fully committed to raising them and being their parent. Just because I’m good with kids and very maternal it does not mean I’m going to be a mother – not unless I’m all in.

If you are not fully committed to being a mother then how else are you going to survive when your two year old is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store and 80 people are staring? How are you going to survive the tears when they can’t communicate what’s wrong? These are rhetorical questions because I know exactly how you will react. You see it on the TV – child abuse and neglect. These are mothers that believed they had to bring children into this world even though they weren’t committed entirely to the idea. Children are frustrating, they are hair pulling worthy, but they ultimately don’t mean to be. They are still learning. As a mother you have to know this and have patience and when you aren’t all in, crying and screaming and frustration are hard to survive.

But what are the true effects of semi-commitment? Surely they’re just minor…well they aren’t. It can lead to mental illness in children that can carry on to adolescent and adulthood. A half-assed parent can create attachment issues and inability to form proper relationships. It can create a loneliness of being unwanted, of not feeling like they are their mothers whole heart. It is not fair for you to bring a child into this world and leave them with these fears and feelings. Half-assing motherhood can create a whole different life path for children – a path that can have devastating effects.

At the end of the day it’s very simple. Don’t have kids unless you are a hundred percent sure you want them. Unless you know that you will give everything to them. Even on the days where you might not want to. Don’t do it just because that’s what you think you’re supposed to do. It’s not fair on the children you will bring into this world to have a mother only half invested. These children come into this world and they never asked to be brought here – you did that. You have to follow through and be totally willing to raise that child. That’s the commitment you made when you became a mother – that you would love this child 100% without fail – even when they say you smell and tell you that you cut their food wrong. It’s all or nothing.


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Metiria Turei Situation – Careful NZ, your discrimination against poor people is showing

Other than a nuclear war threat to the US and the escalation made by Trumpet-man, the worst thing to happen today was the resignation made by Metiria Turei. I understand her reasoning behind handing it in, but I resent the reasoning for why she had to even do such a thing.

When she came out with the truth, I honestly thought “finally! Someone is finally saying the flaws with the beneficiary system!” It seems the majority of New Zealand didn’t feel the same way. They wanted her resignation from the day she spoke, but she knew she had to fight – it wasn’t her life anymore but it was still thousands upon thousands of New Zealanders lives. It’s not just the beneficiary system either – the way New Zealand citizens view poor people, single mothers, and disabled people is inhumane. They are treated like a plague we don’t want to catch, but who’s own fault it is that they caught it themselves.

As a member of the New Zealand community, I want my tax paying money to be spent appropriately. I don’t want it to contribute to spending millions on police forces that are refusing to allow those on antidepressants work, or millions on a stall in a foreign show in hopes to attract international produce buyers. I want my tax dollars to pay for the mothers scared they won’t be able to put food on the table each night, I want my tax dollars to ensure that these people on a benefit are treated like humans – not like the underground of society; the uncle we don’t mention at family gatherings. As members of NZ, it is our job to keep each other above water. We aren’t meant to watch rich end on dry land, and poor tread water for too long they drown – but we do.

The media focused on the wrong thing and now beneficiaries that are struggling have no light shed on their situation via news media. There was a whole hashtag on twitter “IAmMetiria” and “#IStandWithMetiria” and yet did you see a news report on the thousands of New Zealanders telling their stories of being on the benefit and struggling to get by, or being treated like nothing but an annoyance? Did they bring in other beneficiaries to say “you know what, the system IS flawed and it DOES need fixing”? No. They just played with fire to create a reality show fit for TV and computer screens.

The main point of the story wasn’t that a young mother lied many years back, but that she had to – that a system was so flawed that to survive she had to rig the system. What would you have rather happened? Her and her daughter die from starvation or from health issues? Then you would be complaining that she should’ve tried harder to get more money…at some point you have to stop fighting it and realise that our perfect country isn’t so perfect. That we may treat our people like kings and queens- as long as they’re rich and look the part.

What about Todd Barclay and Bill English? Why did that only last three days in the media? That was far worse than anything Metiria did. Bill English even claimed more than $900 per week (twice what is eligible for an MP), and now owes $32,000…and that was for a house. Metiria owed $7800, for trying to put food on her table for her kid…New Zealand has the wrong priorities and I am so mad that we are willing to let a rich man slide for something done while in parliament for nothing but a luxury, but punish someone who couldn’t get by and couldn’t survive before entering parliament. It is a sad day for my faith in New Zealand today. I have never felt more alone and in this fight on my own than now.

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“We All Sleep Under the Same Stars” – Life in a hateful world

It seems like every week there’s a new instance of violence being used to get to their end goal. This used to be the sort of thing I would hear about happening in the United States – a country far bigger and much more populated than tiny old New Zealand. Now it’s everywhere. People are angry. It was brimming at the surface for a while, but with the United States electing Haters ‘R’ Us’s front man Donald Trombone, the rest of the world has slowly undone and become a much more violent place. It’s like the election of Trombone saw the acceptance for hate. People went “oh well if a sexual assaulter, racist, fascist, bigot can rise to power then that must be okay for me to do!” And since then people have taken every opportunity to be cruel and unkind in a effort to get their way.

It makes me so mad. It’s so simple, yet some people act like world peace is the most complicated thing in the world. Billionaire’s with enough money to feed nations in famine refuse to do so and sit on their wealth as a throne. It goes to waste – if it were food it would be the vegetables I swore I was going to eat but never did and eventually they rotted. Billions. A couple of million would make no dent in their riches, but would feed a nation out of hunger. But because they are greedy and believe they earned it all they refuse. Did they earn it all? Maybe. But only because members of the world brought into their product, or gimmick, or whatever it was. You rep what you sow – you cannot get without giving in return. It’s that simple. People want to be rich to flaunt off their wealth – most teenagers I know what to be rich to afford a house, and then tip underpaid waiters and workers 100$ bills. They want to give because they know how it is to get. It drives me mad and that’s the reason this has taken so long to write because each time I start I get worked up into a state of pure frustration. It. Is. That. Simple. Don’t be greedy, be kind, and help out your neighbour. If there was no greed, there would be no fight for power, there would be no cruel methods of gaining ears to listen.

I was watching a documentary on the Sandy Hook Masacre shooting, and one of the things mentioned in there was from the Indianapolis NRA National Convention in April of 2014. I believe it was Wayne LaPierre speaking to the crowds and he said “When you are out there on your own, the surest way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” This opinion was met with cheers and applause – after all it is a pro-gun convention. But the reality is that if there wasn’t a gun for the ‘bad guy’ to have, the ‘good guy’ wouldn’t need one either. If everyone was able to co-exist and not fight for power, for hatred, and for greed then no one would need protection. He shot down that school because no one listened. Because rich billionaires and humans decided they didn’t have to be kind. But it is our job upon entering this earth that we are kind. It’s the signed contract we have each been given just to gain our first breath. Then as we get older, we think that we deserve the world. We think we are owed things because we hold a privilege. We think because  we went to an Ivy League College we deserve the best jobs, that because we are white we are held above black people and when we are not we demand retribution. When a woman dismisses our advances we kill her because we were taught that we were entitled to a woman no matter how she felt. It warms my heart to see parents today teaching their children about privilege and how you are not owed anything. I hope I get to see the future where these kids are on the path to world peace and living among another.

As humans we are naturally greedy, we want to have it all. But to survive on this planet we cannot afford to be greedy and full of hatred. We have to be kind and caring. We have to take it back to the books that we preach from day in and day out – we use these books to proclaim our anti-gay marriage stance, to proclaim why muslims are terrorists; but what about the fundamentals of these books? Above all else, I believe no matter what God you believe in, the most crucial statement these Gods want us to note is that of love. Each God was about love. Love to it’s followers, and love to it’s sinners too. Embrace those that have wronged you and lead them to love. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The words may change as the religions do, but the meaning is there. Treat others how you want to be treated.


I am so sorry this is a jumbled mess, as I said earlier I get so mad and angry that people can be so cruel and so unbelievably stupid. It’s so simple and they make it so complicated. Also don’t 


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Smacking, Not Our Future

In 2009 the New Zealand government enforced the Anti-Smacking Law. Around 30 countries in the world have banned physical punishment towards children in any setting, inclusive of the family home. The ban is not used to criminalise behaviour such as a parent smacking a child, but used to educate and raise awareness on the parenting “tactic”.

The reason smacking is such a bad form of punishment or discipline is that it doesn’t work, kids aren’t given a reason to why their behaviour is bad and so the parent has to continue escalating the smacking. This is why smacking is so dangerous. Parents need to understand that good discipline that works will never be quick. It takes time for a child’s brain to fully understand the issue and takes about three tries of good discipline for a child to learn that the behaviour is not good. Parents don’t always have that kind of patience and understanding and that’s why we have smacking. Hitting when angry, or frustrated, shows children that as long as they are angry enough, and big enough, they too can hit says Grace Malonai. When you smack a child, you teach them that violence is okay. You dismiss this as “not that bad” of a hit, but that’s the same excuse abusers use when their spouse or child winds up with bruises and broken bones. “Oh it wasn’t that hard!”, “It wasn’t that bad!” It is that bad. The idea that you WANT to hit your child is beyond me. The idea that you do hit your child is unfathomable.

Children who are smacked tend to take to violence and anger as a natural reaction. They rarely remain calm in situations and they are what is known as ‘hot blooded’. Other than physical injuries, multiple studies have shown that punishment such as smacking and other means of causing pain can lead to increase of aggression, antisocial behaviours, and mental health problems for children. All of which continue into adulthood. Children who are smacked are more likely to use hitting as a way to solve their conflicts with their friends and siblings – according to a study published in “Child Abuse and Neglect” 2011. A study found that children smacked by their mothers had fewer cognitive skills (Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention) in comparison to other children not smacked. Research suggests this may be due to the fact that those smacked don’t learn to properly control their own behaviour. Another study done in 2013 shows that children smacked by their fathers were more likely to have problems with vocabulary and language. This same study found that children who are smacked are more likely to act defiantly in their behaviour. Malonai also notes that smacking a child can be damaging to the relationship shared between the parent and the child. Spanking can, instead of teaching good behaviour, teach a child to fear the parent. This can reduce the trust and sense of safety for the child. The negative effects are not always seen right away. Smacking changes the way a brain thinks and feels and therefore the effects are usually seen in adolescence and early adulthood.

Parents say that sometimes the behaviour is so bad that the only way to teach a child what is ‘right and wrong’. But Grace Maloni tells us this isn’t true. “In general, punishment has a very low effectiveness rate”. If we are wanting to correct ill behaviours in our children, smacking is clearly not effective, and the argument void.

When you smack a child, you aren’t telling them why the activity is bad, you aren’t telling them what they did wrong. And they will do it again. When they finally don’t do it again, it isn’t because they understand “oh if I am mean to my brother it will make him upset”, they simply stop because “if I’m mean to my brother my mum will hit me”. They begin to fear their parents, fear making decisions. Graham-Bermann says that physical punishment will only work for a moment, and only because they fear being hit.

The most effective form of discipline is to explain why it’s bad. Tell them the effects it has on them, and those around them. Teach them that it matters how others feel, how they will feel once the deed is done. eg. if they hurt their sibling, they might feel bad after too. A huge factor of parenting is remembering that these are children. They don’t know right from wrong and we need to teach it to them. They aren’t always understanding of their actions.

If you have a child that’s aged four and under, the best means to stop a situation is to explain it, tell them the effects, but keep in mind that they are most likely too young to understand. It is so important to explain it anyway. Then distract. I saw this amazing “time out” DIY that is perfect for young children. It gives them a distraction and it looks amazing! If they’re having a tantrum, it can calm them down too. When they are old enough to comprehend your words, it’s then about explaining, and patience. When explaining a situation, always relate it back to them. If they’ve taken a toy of another child, say “That wasn’t very nice. Look they’re upset. You get upset when someone takes your toy. You don’t like it when your toys are taken and neither do they.” Kids are very narcissistic (I kid) and tend to understand things better when they can relate it to themselves and how they feel. It creates a more empathetic child, and ultimately a more empathetic adult. This is where patience is key. Children don’t learn right away – if your child does, count those blessings! So it will take a few tries of explaining before they will actually understand and “listen”. Realise they are listening the whole time, even if it doesn’t feel like it, but they don’t always process it correctly or they don’t understand it sufficiently to continue the good behaviour. Patience. Patience. Patience.

And finally, a very important quote from Elizabeth Gershoff, “I can just about count on one hand the studies that have found anything positive about physical punishment and hundreds that have been negative.” – Just because some good things may come from it, it doesn’t mean the good are able to outweigh the bad. If we want functional children who grow to be functional adults – including emotionally – then we need to learn different means of discipline. We need to stop thinking it’s okay to hit our children. If you aren’t going to be able to have a child draw on your wall three times before they learn the lesson then you might want to rethink your parenting dreams. Parenting requires patience. These children rely on you for protection and proper learning – and you cannot betray that by hitting them and not allowing their brains to function properly. A lot of people believe you have to have kids, and therefore those that aren’t emotionally capable to handle being a parent end up losing patience, which results in smacking and violent discipline.


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LGBTQ+ – But not asexual folk!

This just in, the “plus” of the LGBTQ+ no longer stands for “in addition to” but is now on par with a full stop. Only lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and queer are in. The rest, are out.

I’ve been relatively quiet on this issue for a while. It’s always eaten at me though. I’ve seen numerous people say that asexual people do not belong within the LGBTQ+ community. More importantly, straight asexuals do not belong. They can “pass as straight” and therefore do not know the struggles.  Anyone is straight passing if they want to be – if you hide enough of who you are. 

Do asexual people face the same trials of gay and lesbian folk? No. Do they face discrimination and hate? Are they forced to change who they are because of outside sources (parents, boy/girlfriends, media etc)? While I do see gays and lesbians getting more hate and verbal/physical abuse, it does not erase the pain asexual people face. Growing up, I never thought there was anything wrong with me liking girls. I had never seen it to be an issue. But I knew there was something wrong with me when I didn’t like or want sex. I knew I was different. I felt like an outcast. All my friends would talk about sex and I just wanted to vomit. It never showed and there was no way to have known, but I was in pain. I felt like I was a broken version of a human. Like I missed the puberty train – the puberty train that gave me the need and desire for sex. It’s the same pain of other members of the LGBTQ+ community, the feeling of exclusion among society. The questioning of being wrong, or having the wrong brain functions. 

Asexual people face “conversion” therapy too. They’re forced into sex in an attempt to have them like it. As if being forced to have sex will make you want it – if it were even a choice. But just like being gay and being a lesbian and being bi, being asexual is not a choice. 

I remember a friend saying “well you can’t have a relationship without sex”, and my whole world shattered. I had just gotten comfortable with the thought that it would take me a lot longer to find my someone because I had to take sex out of the equation. But now I was being told it would always be in the equation. That if I were to ever have a relationship, to ever have any chance of comfort and companionship, I would have to force myself to have sex. It is no different than a gay man having to be in a straight relationship. A lesbian in a relationship with a man. It’s forcing what is not right, what is not me. 

I spent so much of my teen years trying to fit in. Trying to change myself to be what everyone said was “normal”. I would get high and get drunk just to even cope with the idea of having sex. When you compare the internal struggles of an asexual to the internal struggles of a gay/lesbian person, they’re not that different. If we take out street abuse, and slurs shouted on the sidewalk, etc. Then it’s the same. Asexual people are forced into having sex – not from themselves – but from their partners. I knew someone who was forced to have sex with their boyfriend every time. They cried each time. They didn’t want it. And it took a long time to realise this is rape. Asexual people are often raped when in their relationship. They say no, they say they don’t want it. And they’re told “oh no but everyone wants sex”, “it’s what people do in a relationship”. They’re excuses. Excuses used to justify rape. 

And to top it off, lesbian and gay folk are “allowed” in the place of sanctuary. They are allowed in queer bars, and queer groups. They are allowed to be there and be queer. But even people from the LGBTQ+ community exclude ace people. You may think I don’t have the whole totality of it. But I do. I am a girl, attracted to girls. I’m gay. And so I do know discrimination for liking my own sex. I know how it feels when someone yells “gay” in a not so nice way. But it was always okay. It was always okay because I knew that there were others like me out there. I knew there were boys that liked boys, and girls that liked girls. I knew I wasn’t alone. And this was in 2012, when gay rights were on the rise. When same sex marriage was becoming legal in more and more countries. I knew it was okay. But not wanting to have sex? Not wanting to even “french kiss”? That made me terrified. I didn’t know I wasn’t alone. As far as I knew at that moment, I was alone. I genuinely thought something was wrong with me. When I found out that it was in fact something real and not a malfunction in my genetics (yet another), it was like a weight have been lifted off my shoulders. I had never experienced this weight with being gay, it never felt heavy to like other girls. But it felt like I would be crushed to death with the weight of not wanting to have sex. 

I know there are people who won’t even read this in it’s entirety but will comment about how ace people are not truly part of the LGBTQ+ community. How they “don’t belong here”. Funny how people were saying that about gay, lesbian, and bi folk way back when. But then people grew. They made their own group. They united together. But now they are deciding who can sit with them.  Only the cool kids that are socially acceptable are allowed. No ace, no agender, no fun. If society isn’t on the up with it, then neither is the LGBTQ+ community. Asexual people are valid and they have a right to be apart of the community. It’s a place for inclusion and acceptance. A place and community to be who you are despite what society says you should. A place to like who you like, in the way you like (excl. abuse), with no judgement. No. Judgement. 


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Pride – Coming out and coming to terms…

Same-Sex Attraction:

You always hear stories about how “I knew when I was young”, “I knew that I was different” and maybe that’s true. But for the longest time I didn’t really think it was any different. I thought everyone felt that way. None of my friends thought boys were cute – ew cooties! – and so I just assumed it was the same for them as it was for me. Looking back all the pieces of the puzzle fit, but at the time it felt like they were all from eight different puzzles and no pieces matched.

I would see boys and think nothing of them. Nothing happened. I could tell you if a boy was hot or if they were cute but that was it. I had no desire to want to be with them. It terrified me to think I would have to spend the rest of my life with a man. To have to live day in day out, until I died with someone I didn’t care for like that. But that was “the way that it goes” and so I thought I had to suck it up. Until I was 15, I didn’t really have much idea about same sex relationships. I think I knew that they existed, but I can’t actually confirm that. I don’t remember thinking “oh two girls can be a couple” or “two boys can be a couple” – I think that was some good ole institutionalised heterosexual madness going on. Boys were with girls, and girls were with boys. It wasn’t until high school that I realised it didn’t have to be that way. I was lucky enough to go to a very diverse school. People would tell you it’s a crap school, and while it doesn’t offer a lot of additional subjects, it was a lot better than other schools in my town. I remember seeing my first same sex couple. They were walking around like nothing mattered. I remember thinking that it didn’t have to be the way they say it goes. I didn’t have to marry a man, not if I didn’t want to.

My first girlfriend was a…lets call it lesson. I used her to prove I was attracted to girls, I used her for my own personal security, and she used me too. We were toxic and a horrible combination. For a while I thought that it was because I didn’t like girls, because I was a liar. Turns out I just didn’t like her. And that doesn’t make me straight. It took a lot to realise that. I thought if I didn’t like every single girl then I was straight. But hetero people don’t like every single member of the opposite sex so why should I be held to that standard?

Non-sexual Desires:

Sexuality and different means of attraction should be taught in schools. Unlike being gay, I did think I was different. I knew from the start. From when I learned what sex was and that people “had” to do it to love each other. I tried so hard to fit in that way. I wanted to enjoy sex. But every time I even thought about it, it made me vomit. It disgusted me. I could never do it sober. Always drunk/other. The feeling, the sound, all of it. I knew something was wrong. All my friends were in love with the idea of it. They wanted it more and more and more. When I had my first french kiss, all I could think about was how disgusting it was. I felt like such a prude. No one else felt like this. The first time I ever heard the term “asexual” I had no idea what it was. I looked it up and I could have cried. It was me. I wasn’t as alone as I believed. I was so mad that I had to learn about it from the internet. Someone should have told us about it in sex-ed. I spent so long thinking I was wrong. That I had been messed up in the womb that I didn’t like sex. I thought I would have to add it to my list of “ways I’m screwed up”. But I don’t. It doesn’t mean I’m screwed up, it doesn’t mean anything. It just means I don’t like sex. And that’s okay. At least I know the person I will end up with won’t like me just for the sex.

I think the difference between being gay and being asexual was that when I was little, I was naive. But when I was at high school – when everyone started having sex – I was more aware of others. I could see that they were not like me, that I was not like them. I knew I was different because I was more aware. I was not young and naive, I was old and wise (as much as a 15 year old is).

Gender identity:

This one I knew. From the moment my body started changing. Until then nothing much was different. I could have been a boy, I could have been a girl. I could have been neither. When I started growing boobs, and I was an early bloomer, I cried. It meant I was a woman. It meant that was it. I had to be a woman. I watched a documentary on transgender people, I thought “maybe that’s what this is, maybe I’m transgender”. I didn’t want to be a woman so maybe I was a man…but that wasn’t it either. I was 17 when I learned what the term agender meant. 17. I thought it was just people who were both man and woman. Non-binary. I thought that you had to be one or the other or both. I had no idea you could be neither. But I can. And I am. I call myself her and she, but I am not a woman. Don’t call me that. I’m me. I’m Riley.

When I envision my future, I have a wife, we have a kid, and we are happy. We live on a farm – that’s not too close to town, but close enough. She protects me from all that scares me, and I try to do the same for her. We love each other so much and we are so happy. She doesn’t force me to have sex, she doesn’t care for it so much either. She doesn’t call me a woman, because I’m just Riley. And we have family game night, and couples game night, and we go out to dinner, and we go out to places. I finally see my future relationship as happy. I realise it doesn’t have to be the way I was made to think it did. I don’t have to be unhappily married to a man who makes me have sex. It doesn’t have to be like that at all. I can be happy. I can have my happy ever after, after all.


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And Then There Were Three – DaddyOFive and the abuse allegations

Let’s begin with some wonderful news – Rose (the biological mother of Cody and Emma) has been given emergency custody over her two children. Cody and Emma have been removed from the toxic home they were in.

The channel is supposedly a family channel of fun pranks and hilarious jokes. But I would NEVER want any child, in fact any adult, to watch these videos. It broke my heart to watch them even in clips. My heart broke for these kids and the hell that their lives must be. This is not an easy thing to write about, but I’m beyond mad. I’m beyond upset and watching the videos makes me wonder how anyone can sit there and watch them. How can anyone be silent?

People are still arguing whether the children are abused or whether it was fake. If it was fake, what kind of sick, sadistic person would write a script about your kids slapping one another, and throwing iPads at another, and hurting each other. Why would you want that to be your channel? Have you no pride? You would think an honest person would see these allegations and think, “look, we made a mistake, we notice now that we were treating our children wrong and are going to get help”. Instead, they brag about having social services investigate them already – and they passed, but that’s easy enough to do. In the first “explanation” video to tell people there is no abuse going on, you can see Cody – the main victim of all of the abuse – move his eyes as he is denying the abuse allegations. And having kids being asked by the person abusing them if they’re being abused is ridiculous. Of course they’re going to say no – they’re terrified of him. Why would they say “oh yeah they are hurting us and I don’t like it” when the dad will a) cut it out, and b) most likely play another “prank” on them?

Now the main reason I am now invested in this and hope for the best is the fact that the mother – Cody and Emma’s biological mother – Rose was denied custody of her kids after Mike took them away in ill circumstances. The judge/courts determined a mother with bipolar was not able to take care of kids. From a video posted on Rose’s channel, we can see how happy and ecstatic the kids are for life. They look like they are surrounded by love, their eyes are full of light and their faces are bright. It’s a stark comparison to now, they are clearly terrified of Mike and are petrified of what he’s going to do if they “disobey” him. It must be a nightmare for them living in that house, and all because the mother was apparently unable to raise the kids. She had been doing a fine job until they were taken from her by Mike for what she believed was a six month period. To make matters worse, Mike is living with – as are the children – a lady named Heather (who has three children of her own). Heather has a previous record of second degree assault. In the state of Maryland (where Baltimore is situated), second degree assault is defined as someone causing serious bodily harm to another being. Now I’m sure each person differs, but I consider myself to place children at the top of the human pyramid. Children are the highest of society and the ones that deserve our utmost respect and care. So personally, if I were to have two kids of my own, then miraculously meet the love of my life, then find out they have an assault charge on them, I would not take my children anywhere near them. Regardless of what the circumstances – if it were self defense it would not be charged as assault – if they can hurt an adult, or another human being, then they will not be going near my kids. It’s just logical. The “EhBeeFamily” brings forth what a loving family on YouTube means, it means that the kids are not used for profit, that their sanity and their dignity is not sacrificed for some money.

This whole situation brings forth the point that we need to be more vigilant as a society for our children. Cody’s teachers had noticed he was self-harming by scratching at his skin to make it bleed. Instead of contacting the schools guidance counselor, the school wrote it on a note to the father which resulted in the Cody being shamed by Mike. People have been watching this family for a while, the channel had some 700,000 subscribers. Why had no one spoken up before now? Why were those around the family silent? In New Zealand specifically, child abuse is a very real and very huge epidemic among our society. The biggest thing we as citizens of the country can do is raise questions. Step in for the kids when they have no voice.

Abuse is not just physical. It is a broad spectrum of things and it’s so important that people realise this. People need to be made aware of different means of abuse and how they are shown in children’s actions. We need to start asking questions and making things known. CYFs and any other child protective service would (or should) rather look into an allegation that holds no truth, than have a child not be saved because no one wanted to bother them. Better safe than sorry is not a statement made for fun. It is a truth that we need to remember. Better safe than another statistic to add to our growing rate.


If you, or anyone you know, is being abused, you can get help at these places:

USA:

General

Child Help

NEW ZEALAND:

2Shine

Are You Ok?

Parent Help – for parents that are seeking help on parenting techniques

AUSTRALIA:

1800Respect

ReachOut Info

And of course your local emergency number.