There Are None So Blind As Those That Will Not See

William has this school friend, let’s call him Robert.

Robert’s parents are both filthy rich, and when I say filthy rich, the father arrives in a helicopter to pick his son up from school on quite a regular basis, and the mother lives in a mahoosive Georgian property with a lake, a tennis court and about 50 acres of land.  They are divorced, and both live with new partners and their step-children.  Robert spends his time 50/50 between them both.

Robert comes to play at our house quite often, and I’ve always found him a really quiet, brooding sort of child, not really warmed to him if I’m honest, but Will seems to like him which is the main thing.

Anyway, I bumped into R’s mother outside school last week, passed the time of day with her as I hadn’t seen her for ages and asked her how she was.  Big mistake.  Huge.

She regaled me with this lengthy story about how Robert’s father has recently split up with his long-term live-in partner, which has caused Robert’s father to start drinking very heavily (a long standing problem, I believe – not entirely sure whether he should actually be flying a helicopter, bearing this in mind … ).

The whole situation has affected Robert very badly emotionally, and he’d witnessed quite a lot of unpleasantness, and seemed very traumatised.  (This was borne out a couple of days after my conversation, when the boys had a sleepover at another friend’s house, but Robert was very upset during the evening, didn’t want to stay the night, and his mother picked up and took him  home).

Robert’s mother then said that she was supposed to be going away with her new husband to the Far East for three weeks, leaving Robert with his father, and did I think she should go or not?  Unbelievable!  Even more so, bearing in mind she’s already been away for two fortnight long holidays this year (one during the entirety of the Easter Holidays) WITHOUT taking Robert with her, just with her new husband. 

Just to add more pressure to this 10 year old child, the father is absolutely insistent that he pass his 11-plus exam and get into Grammar School, and he is having extra tuition three times a week in addition to school, homework etc. 

I was chatting to one of the other mums at the rugby match this afternoon (Will scored a brilliant try, I was so proud of him!), and Robert’s name came up in conversation.  (His parents never bother to attend a match to watch him play, despite neither of them having a job as an excuse).

The mum I was chatting to told me that several years ago, when the boys were about six, she had been on a school trip with the class to help out, and that Robert had been sitting apart from the other children at lunchtime. This mum had gone over to see if he was okay, and he was quietly crying, clutching a photograph of his parents on their wedding day.

It actually brought tears to my eyes – it was one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard.

And these are well-educated, well-off people, with the luxury of plenty of time on their hands and the ability to make the most wonderful life for their only son.  Are they really so blind that they cannot see what THEIR ACTIONS are doing to him?


8 thoughts on “There Are None So Blind As Those That Will Not See

  1. brought a tear to my eye too. poor wee mite. I had a friend who had been a nanny to many filthy rich types and she absolutely stood by her belief that a privileged child was one who had a family that loved them and was their for them. Poverty while it can cause some sorrowful issues is not the prime cause of an impoverished childhood. I think that these folk bear witness to that. What a mess.

  2. Oh that is so sad, poor boy, he must feel so alone and confused, I think that some people have children but do not think about the childrens needs and put their own needs first, In my opinion your childs happiness comes first, yes you may be seperatedd/divorced but then the child needs even more reassurance that he wanted and part of and the most important thing in your life and is loved and no man would ever come before my child. He has witnessed the seperation and divorce of his parent and now step family and it must be so traumatic.
    I come from a family who grew up with very little money and my parents both worked but there was always one of them there and we were loved and knew it, my Sister and I had fun times and have so many happy memories and it hurts to think that people do not give a monkeys.

    I bet you had to bite your tongue so many times, I know I would have to.

  3. Very sad. We see this quite a lot at school unfortunately, and it’s mostly down to the parents not taking responsibility for their children’s problems. Poor boy, and sadly it sounds like things won’t be getting any easier for him.

  4. Just because they are ‘posh’ and have ‘dosh’ doesn’t excuse them … their behaviour is appalling and somebody should be reporting them to the local child protection team because of emotional neglect. Makes me so mad!

    • I completely agree – the point I was making was that with all that money and education, they have even less excuse for their behaviour than somebody with less privilege.

      However, I’m not quite sure how reporting them to Social Services would help, other than traumatising Robert even further by having to be interviewed and asked probing questions? Having worked for Social Services myself in the past, I have to say that I don’t believe that they could/would do ANYTHING of any help whatsoever.

  5. Very sad. I know money can’t buy you happiness etc but seriously, these two are just setting the boy up for future issues… poor thing.

  6. Well there is no hope is there for children like this if we all just throw our hands in the air and say what a shame but do nothing …. that includes the direct family, schools, friends and those closest to the child. Why should the parents from a ‘less privileged’ background have more excuse for this type of behaviour ….. a lot of families that I know who are ‘not privileged’ would not dream of demonstrating this selfish behaviour and treating their children in such a manner. There is NO excuse full stop for anyone from whatever background to do this to a child who didn’t ask to be put on this earth in the first place but is here as a result of the adults selfish behaviour once again. Children themselves are not a right but a privilege and we seem to have lost our way somewhere along the line.

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