Opinion | Dear Mom and Dad: We Need You

By: Tom Jordan
Co-host of “All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz


July 13, 2022
~ There was no one more important in Aidan McCarthy’s life than his parents.

Mama, Dada – come get me soon,” was Aidan’s plea to Irina and Kevin McCarthy.

The two-year-old seemed confused at the Independence Day parade just north of Chicago. “Why can’t my parents find me?” is what the toddler was likely thinking in the confusion of unrelenting gunfire.

Unbeknownst to Aidan – he wasn’t lost. His parents were. Irina and Kevin had just been killed by a mass shooter in Highland Park, Illinois. The two most influential people in his life were forever gone.

On the other end of the bullets that killed Aidan’s parents was Robert Crimo, III – a callous mass shooter.

Where were Robert Crimo’s parents? As we’ve come to expect from these troubled killers, mom and dad had been seemingly aloof in their roles as caretakers, providers, and emotional / psychological / spiritual mentors and disciplinarians; they were – and are – the type of ineffective role models who exacerbate the loneliness and anxiety experienced by disturbed young people who are left to fend for themselves.

There were no signs of trouble,” said Crimo’s dad and uncle.

Yeah, there were.

He kept to himself.”

No, he didn’t.

A disturbed Crimo left all sorts of troubling signs in the form of gory drawings, disturbing writings to a growing social media following. He had problematic interests like, you know, shooting people and threatening to “kill everyone” in the family.

Maybe, more likely, there weren’t enough discerning and interested adults in this quiet kid’s young life to help prevent the screaming voices in his head.

That’s the common thread being woven through America’s most violent cities. Too few parents taking the responsibility of shaping the next generation. Uncles believing a “quiet kid” equates to a “peaceful kid” when in reality the voices in that kid’s head are raging more loudly than he can stand.

Closely-monitored children in healthy home environments are simply no longer the norm. Not even close. Take Chicago. Half of the city’s households have one parent. Detroit is worse, more than 70 percent of kids have one parent at home. Broken homes produce broken kids. Broken kids are increasingly breaking communities, ending their own tormented lives and taking others with them.

The problem extends well beyond the stereotypical “bad areas.” The United States as a whole has the most households in the world with single-parent homes. A Pew Research Center study of 130 countries found the US has more than three times the rate of children living with one adult in the house than any other country. That’s one-in-four. 25%.

In China? It’s 3%.

Nigeria? 5%.

Canada is the 2nd worst at 15%. 1

No one tops the USA – we lead the way in producing troubled children who lack the full spectrum of guidance needed to live a fulfilling, productive and more selfless life that, in turn, will benefit all of society.

A National Fatherhood Initiative study shows kids without a father are four times more likely to live in poverty, seven times more likely to become pregnant, and are more likely to commit a crime and go to prison.

Robert Crimo’s parents? Broken-up. Their separate post-massacre reactions indicate a reluctance to not only instill responsibility, but also to take their own. They could have done better. And they know it.

Little Aidan’s parents have no such chance. They’re also broken up, a young family torn apart – taken out by a deeply disturbed and lost soul.

As for Aidan – thanks to a loving grandma and grandpa – who will now take responsibility for nurturing an impressionable young toddler in a new and profound way – this two-year-old has a fighting chance.

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