Couple Blames Internet for Child Neglect

July 19, 2007 by Kailani  
Filed under Uncategorized

I’m sure by now most of you have heard about this awful story.

Apparently, Michael and Iana Straw of Reno Nevada were so addicted to video games and the Internet that they practically starved their two children (age 22 months and 11 months) to death. They’ve both pleaded “guilty” and face a possible 12-year prison term.

Prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria said that the couple had food in the home, they just chose not to feed their children.

The 11 month old girl weighed only 10 pounds, had a mouth infection, and was serverly dehydrated. Authorites also had to shave her hair because it was matted with cat urine.

The 22 month old boy was treated for starvation, genital infections, and severe muscle deterioration.

You can read the whole story here.

Some experts are now claiming that Internet addiction may be based on a psychological disorder. In fact, some are going as far as equating it to a drug addiction.

I don’t know if I buy it.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I’m on the computer a lot more than I should be. However, the house gets cleaned, the kids get fed and our family spends a lot of quality time together. We read books, go to the playground, or just hang out.

However, if you’re constantly on the computer and your child is at your feet crying because she’s hungry, how can you just ignore it? You’re conscious, your hearing works just fine. How do you let your children starve almost to death? I don’t understand it.

I hope this couple gets what they deserve.

About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


26 Responses to “Couple Blames Internet for Child Neglect”
  1. yoshi says:

    People always try to blame something. While it could be an addiction, it clearly comes down to one thing.

    The parents were irresponsible.

    Seriously. Let’s blame an addiction for the reason that you neglect your children. It’s just plain neglect people.

    Ugh. The world just lost a few cool points in my book today.

  2. Karen says:

    Hmmm… thinks that since Al Gore “invented” the internet, it sounds like this couple should sue him.

    HA HA HA HA!

    Seriously though, sad story. Those kids will be much better off living elsewhere.

  3. Sparky Duck says:

    I heard about this the other day. And while I think you could get sort of transfixed by games online, look at what Everquest is blamed for, its one thing to spend your free time playing a game and its another to spend your not free time ignoring your kid to find some amulet.

  4. Write From Karen says:

    We were just talking about this the other day. I hesitate to call video games/Internet an addiction because before you know it, people will be prescribing a pill for something that simply boils down to SELF CONTROL. Speaking from first hand experience, I know how addicting video games can be. I see the dazed, far off looks from my sons and MAKE them get off their games and join the human race at regular intervals.

    People get sucked into a virtual reality where they are someone they are not – usually something more attractive and “better” than they are in real life. Where people drop the ball is when they allow themselves to disconnect from reality, whether consciously or sub-consciously.

    Those poor, poor children. So young and defenseless. This couple doesn’t deserve to be their parents. They forfeited their parental rights the moment they choose to forgo their children’s needs.

    Geez, this stuff makes me so mad. Control your minds, people! Be strong and take responsibility! Grr.

  5. lulu says:

    Put your hands up and step away from the computer! C’mon…internet addiction?

    Did these people take bathroom breaks? Were they dehydrated and severly malnourished themselves? If their house were to catch on fire, would they leave or just die at the computer? Did they have jobs? It just doesn’t make sense to me…

  6. Desert Songbird says:

    While I’m not defending these people, I would say that addiction of any kind is only the outward symptom of something else out of whack internally.

    In this case, these people are unbalanced, and they are jackasses.

  7. Pamela says:

    throw them in jail – no computer for the rest of their lives. Oh… but let the guards be playing computer games and forget to feed them

  8. Renee says:

    I saw this the other day. Very sad for the kids. I know this is harsh but I firmly believe that “Stupid people should not breed!” And I have to wonder how two people who were so addicted to the internet found time to have two children…although I’m not entirely sure I wanna know the details of how they did that. blech! :p

    I hope the children finally get a good family.

  9. Jill says:

    I’m with you. I don’t buy this whole internet addicition defense. These people have bigger problems than an addicition to video games if they can’t/won’t even step away from the computer long enough to feed and care for their children. I’m going to guess that they wouldn’t have been the best parents even with no computer in their home! They apparently had time to get busy and make two babies in two years…

  10. Melissa says:

    I too sometimes spend a little too much time on the computer… but, um… my kids are fine. We play, laugh, read and EAT together. How weird is that? Wow… that’s just crazy.

  11. Holly Schwendiman says:

    It leaves such a hollow pit in my stomach. It’s exactly the kind of story that pierces the heart, soul and hope of couples that can’t have kids too…couples who want kids more than feeding their personal internet appetite…’s so unfair. I can’t imagine just tuning your kids out at the level that must have been done for the results. It really makes me sick.


  12. Michelle says:

    This really makes me SICK! I sincerely hope these people get what they deserve, and their children need to be taken away for good! How outrageously sad!!

  13. wendy says:

    I hadn’t heard about this! Wow… People disgust me sometimes. I do most of my internet time when Jayke is busy doing something or with his dad or in bed. If he needs something while I’m on the computer I get off. I can’t even imagine…

  14. Janine @ Moving Mama says:

    This story made me cry when I read it in the newspaper. My heart aches for all of the children who don’t have parents who take care of them and give them the love they deserve.

  15. Mary says:

    Good grief, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so disgusted right now.

    I hope those poor kids can recover and I hope they find a decent family to place these kids with.

  16. amy says:

    I don’t even think I can comment on this. Working in social services is hard enough without parents like this….ugh…unfortunately I never have to worry about not having employment

  17. Christine says:

    Very sad story. I’m at loss for words,because it just sickens me to think of children being neglected, in any way, shape or form.

    Although what Pamela had to say, made me shake my head in agreement.

  18. La Bellina Mammina says:

    Oh my god! What were they thinking?? Those poor babies! Like you Kailani, I spend (more) time than I should on the net, but I also work, cook, help with homework and FEED the kids too!
    I hope those two get what they deserve!!

  19. Pamela says:

    Hey— saw another flight attendant story today.
    F/A intervened when a mother was “BEATING” her two kids.

    Woman turned on F/A

    Woman arrested at airport.

  20. diana/sunshine says:

    i think since it’s so extreme – so hard for a normal person to understand – that it is some kind of mental disease. if we can’t figure out how someone in their right mind could neglect their children in such a way as described, then their mind really isn’t right. no excuse really and very, very sad.

  21. rach says:

    That’s terrible! I feel so sorry for what happened to those poor children.

    I admit I spend a lot of time on the computer but I always prioritize my child above anything.

    I hope something like that will never happen to other children.

  22. donetta says:

    My children were so malnourished and small when they were adopted and all the work and intervention to help them overcome has been tremendous.
    I think of the work ahead for the kids and just hope and pray that someone will dedicate themselfs to restoring them. That is my prayer.

  23. BeachMama says:

    That is just the saddest story. Internet or not, those poor kids. It just breaks my heart, especially when there are so many of us out there that cannot have children so easily. They had been given a gift and decided to play online games instead.

  24. Cory in Canada says:

    I don’t buy this internet addiction stuff. They are quite able enough to get off the computer and games to feed and nourish themselves, drink etc…so when they do that, no time to do for the kids either??? this better not become some kind of psychological thing. It’s a matter of choice, otherwise the parents would be suffereing with starvation and dehydration as well. They should take this into consideration before declaring this insanity or addiction!!

  25. Cory in Canada says:

    There are people in the world who are trying their hardest to have kids and here you have 2 idiots who take advantage of the fact and don’t do their duty as parents. They don’t deserve these kids. It’s unfortunate that so many kids grow up without their parents because of stupidity, don’t have kids if you aren’t gonna be responsible enough. How hard is that, then you can do whatever you want! How selfish! these 2 losers should be kept in a room, while someone is playing video games, lets not feed them!!!!!

  26. Carrie says:

    Sad sad story!!
    I just watched Nancy Grace talk about the 2 toddlers that died in South Carolina! I can hardly wrap my mind around parents doing such disturbing things to their own children! I feel guilty on the rare occasion that I feel the need to spank my kids, let alone do something that I know may kill them!! Very sad…

We Appreciate Your Comments

Thank you for stopping by!
If you'd like an image next to your comment, you need a gravatar.

CommentLuv Enabled