By NICK CHILES
If you’re a parent whose kid has been acting up this week and putting you through knucklehead changes, for some much-needed perspective all you have to do is cast your gaze to Detroit—where a 14-year-old boy killed his mother this week by blasting her repeatedly with a shotgun because she wouldn’t let him go out.
As I read the story of Tamiko Robinson, the 36-year-old mother who lost her life at the hands of her child, I felt like it had to be a fictionalized account of a child monster written for Lifetime Television. This kid was just too horrible to be real: smoking weed, popping pills, hanging out with gang members, skipping school, refusing to help his mom—who suffered from lupus and had to get dialysis three times a week.
On the fateful day, Robinson had tracked the boy down and forced him to return home after he had run away. So he allegedly broke into a locked room where he knew he would find a 12-gauge shotgun and a box of shells—kept in the house for protection. Shortly after midnight he found his mother sleeping on a couch, according to published reports, and he shot her 10 to 12 times at point blank range. While the boy was allegedly killing his mother, Robinson’s fiancée escaped out a window with the couple’s five-year-old daughter.
A child killing his mother at point blank range? This is the kind of story that makes pretty much any of our everyday parenting conflicts pale in comparison. The kind of story that makes you want to hug your child and tell him it’s going to be okay. Yes, his D on the report card, or her repeated failure to clean her room, or even his suspension from school, are all infuriating as hell. Your blood is still raging. But it could be worse. Tamiko Robinson could tell you how much worse. But she can’t.
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.