We Need a Better Word for Kids With Selfish Fathers

Michele Zipp

kids in shadowI am just as horrified and shocked about the affair Arnold Schwarzenegger had with his family's housekeeper Mildred "Patty" Baena as most people. How could he? In his and Maria's bed? What was this woman thinking? Why did she have the baby? Did he know she was having it? Did he try to convince her not to? So many questions.

But behind this scandal is a 14-year-old boy who might not have known who his father really was until the rest of the world found out. We don't know his name. Instead he is the "love child" or "illegitimate child" or the child this woman should have aborted because she had no right having him in the first place. That's what people are thinking and that is a terrible thing.

None of this can be easy for any teenager to take. Considering Arnold is a household name, magnify the issue by a million. It also must be terribly difficult for him to handle all that is being said about his mother.

It's true what they say about kids being very affected when something happens in their family life. When parents are arguing, a kid can't help but feel like they did something wrong or that they wish they could do something to help. Or that they feel totally helpless and terribly sad. I've been there. But I've never been where this illegitimate love child is. And calling him those names is just as damaging. We need a better word or phrase.

There are photos out there of him, face blurred out, but yet anyone who knows who his mother is knows who he is, meaning everyone in his inner circle, at school, at the park where he hangs out, his neighbors, everyone he knows now knows. Everyone is whispering about him and his mom.

I've heard it all -- people making fun of her looks, her profession, her discretion. She is being called a slut and whore. People are saying things that no child should have to hear about their mom. And there is no escaping it for him. It's at fever pitch with no signs of slowing.

Maybe I'm just being a mama bear and worried about this child who has nothing to do with the mess that his mother and father are in. His world is being turned around, along with the Schwarzenegger children who had no idea they had a brother, the same age as the youngest in their clan.

We need to remember that he is 14. It's a delicate age and he will remember. This scandal will shape him, possibly haunt him for the rest of his life. It would be that way for any teen facing this, but for him, it's all in public, on TV, all over the web. I won't call him illegitimate or label him a love child. He is just a boy, who deserves better.

Have you thought about how the repercussions of all this will affect this child? All the Schwarzenegger children?


Image via Vixsjohnson/Flickr

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