The New Fear Of Parenting

Bkono By Bkono, 19th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Kids

The Changes To Parenting 101 - How America's policies have changed and the power an outsider can have when they see something they don't like.

Leaving Your Preteen In The Car

We have all heard the stories our entire lives. A child is left in a car and dies from heat exhaustion, or is abducted when a mother ran into the store for ten minutes. It is not exactly new information that a parent should never leave a kid alone in their car, particularly on a hot day.

What is new information is the age in which your child is no longer considered a child. There are a lot of questions scouring the internet regarding when it is ok to let your child stay in the car if they want to.

Unfortunately for all of us, there is not a law in place specifying any age. In fact they purposely leave it as arbitrary as possible, so they aren't committed to throwing out an age when every child's mental development is different. You will find a few laws sprinkled here and there regarding allowing a child to stay in the car if they have a 12 year old with them supervising, but nothing specifies that 12 is officially the legal age.

Take the story of Christina Williams from Connecticut for example. Last year, the 30 year old mom was charged for leaving her 11 year old daughter in the car while she ran into a store. Despite the fact that her daughter was old enough to roll down the windows if it got too hot, fight back if an abduction was attempted, and that the car was at 85 degrees when the cops arrived (even they admitted it wasn't very hot), Williams was still charged and forced to appear in court.

When you hear about a story like this and begin to skim the comments, there are an overwhelming amount of parents that support the idea of their child staying in the car much younger than this. These are people that know their child and what they are capable of. This is not to say that each parent should define when their kid can stay alone, particular if the child is 2 or 3 years old, but perhaps we should reevaluate where we stand.

Parenting is a tricky situation and requires a massive amount of care and attention. Perhaps it is time that we stop making more work for ourselves and define a few things, so we at least know that we won't be arrested for a simple mis-step.

Letting Your Kids Play...In The Front Yard

When many of us were younger, say perhaps 8 to 12 years old, it was not uncommon for us to go outside and play with friends, or walk down the street alone to play with our friend at their house. This type of behavior was actually encouraged! It promoted the act of being physically active as well as social. For most neighborhoods, there was an official neighborhood watch in case anything were to become suspicious along the way.

Fast forward to 2015. This is a time of video games, iPads and iPhones, laptops and unlimited websites that can take you anywhere you want to go. Needless to say, we as adults end up glued to it more often than we maybe should, and this is coming from someone who is currently writing this article online. I have become an example of all of these things, merely by speaking them here!

Many parents are trying to do more in this respect by getting their children out of the house so they can partake in some actual physical activity. With obesity on the rise for children in America, it is no wonder that so many people are worried.

Now, for the more questionable part. We are once again encountered with the question, at what age is it suitable for a child to go unattended? If my 9 year old self took a walk down the street to my friend's house as I used to, could my parents get arrested? Would they be charged with a crime and be taken away from me?

A good example of this happened in Dallas back in 2012, when a mother was arrested for leaving her 6 and 9 year old unattended. They had been playing on their scooters in their neighborhoods cul-de-sac. The real kicker in the story, was that the mother was actually sitting outside on the sidewalk watching them for two hours, before the family went inside. It wasn't until afterward that a cop showed up at her door to arrest her for child endangerment. All of this had been put into play by a neighbor that didn't see her sitting outside and assumed the children were not being watched. The mother was arrested, and although the charges were eventually dropped, she and her family were officially out thousands of dollars in legal fees.

This type of story is oddly more common than you might think, and I'm not speaking one way or another as to the legality of the situation, but ultimately she was arrested. She was lucky that she was sitting outside watching them, which allowed the charges to be dropped. If she hadn't, this could've been a completely different story.

Once again, we circle back to the need for a clear definition, or we may find ourselves in jail, or worse losing our children.


Arrest, Children, Family, Kids, Parent, Parenting

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author avatar Bkono
Knocking out life one article at a time

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author avatar Retired
20th Jun 2015 (#)

Parenting is really difficult. Thanks for sharing this article. I am pretty sure that parents can get something from this.

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author avatar brendamarie
20th Jun 2015 (#)

This is a great article, as it tell of the many problem parents are facing in this day and age

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