Having children does not automatically make someone a parent — at least not a good one.
And having a YouTube channel dedicated to parenting certainly doesn’t make one qualified to teach about parenting.
But even given those life truths, you’ll want to brace yourself for this doozy of a story.
If you’ve spent any time within the world of YouTube parenting vlogs (full disclosure, this writer is a relatively new father and has), you may have stumbled on a video series called “8 Passengers,” which features a Utah mom, Ruby Franke.
As far as parenting vlogs go, it was pretty standard fare, until you started peeling a few layers back.
(The channel has since been taken down.)
In the videos, Franke revealed some peculiar parenting tactics — such as withholding food as punishment.
The concerns were real enough that, per NBC News, Franke’s neighbors tried multiple times to call child protective services.
That all came to a head on Wednesday, when Franke and her equally dubious business partner Jodi Hildebrant were arrested and face felony aggravated child abuse charges.
So what was the issue that finally broke the dam?
According to Insider, the 12-year-old son (who will remain nameless because he is a minor) of Franke escaped the home of Hildebrant and was begging neighbors for food and water for him and his 10-year-old sister.
When neighbors saw the shape the boy was in, that was all the impetus they needed to call the authorities.
The two children were thankfully recovered but were discovered with all manner of “severe” wounds, had their extremities duct taped, and were described as aggressively malnourished.
It’s every bit as awful as it seems — and made 100 times worse by the fact that this woman was ever considered something a parent should aspire to be.
A “famous” parenting YouTuber has been arrested for child abuse.
She allegedly used rope&duct tape to tie up 2 of her daughters (10&12yrs), starved & abused them, leaving them emaciated. The older one escaped through a window & went to a neighbor for help.
Meet Ruby Franke. pic.twitter.com/gSztSHeq7j
— dara faye (@darafaye) August 31, 2023
Look, it’s no secret that there is a parenting epidemic in this country.
When the country’s leaders include a mother putting her vacation time over her husband’s health and a literal sitting president who apparently abetted or was completely unaware of his son’s shady business dealings (neither of which is a good look), is it any surprise that awful adults masquerading as good parents are as prolific as they are?
If there is one tiny, silver lining to this horrid tale, it’s that this debacle highlights the importance of good parenting.
Fathers who don’t want their daughters changing in a locker room with men, mothers who are trying to navigate their son away from siren calls of pornography, and parents doing good just don’t make for sexy headlines (or, at least, headlines that won’t be picked up by the establishment media.)
But without those stories, overwhelmed parents may turn to charlatans like Franke and Hildebrant to guide their parenting, which is like going to Adolf Hitler for lessons on tolerance.
So please … don’t go to YouTube to learn to be a better parent.
You’re honestly better off just actively parenting and figuring it out on your own as you go.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.