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Mommy Police With Real Handcuffs
Bloomberg View, by Megan McArdle

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 7/18/2014 4:19:13 AM

A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you? I’m not interested in defending mothers who are under stress or are low-wage workers without a lot of great child-care options. I mean, fine, but these defenses should be unnecessary because what the heck are we doing arresting parents for things that were perfectly normal 30 years ago? At


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Reply 1 - Posted by: ladydawgfan, 7/18/2014 5:05:06 AM     (No. 9929715)

I was 11 years old when I first started babysitting (five children, all under age 5, three in diapers, 2 under 2 years old). I did well enough that I had a pretty extensive client list by the time I was 14.

When I was living in South Bend, IN, we lived about a mile from my elementary school. I attended that school between the ages of 7 and 9 and usually walked with either my sister or my best friend. Sometimes I walked by myself. We walked by busy city streets and across a large bridge. Dad had the car and had to go to work. Mom stayed home. The kids walked to school. No one called the authorities. That was the way it was in those days.

This generation is being raised to not know how to care for themselves or others. Mommy has to drive them to school and dance lessons and soccer. They cannot walk or ride their bikes and God forbid if they fall and scrape their knees or get dirty or bloody!!!! If they need stitches, someone might call Child Protective services!!!

It is time for parents to stand up and say "ENOUGH!!!" Children need certain freedoms - not to cause trouble or to "be their own person," like brainless parents sometimes want, but the freedom to play, to sometimes get dirty, to fall down and get hurt (you learn a LOT of lessons from that), to climb trees and catch bugs and use their imaginations for something other than video games. And the parents need the freedom to raise their children without the threat of Big Nanny rising up to take their kids away.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: DaddyO, 7/18/2014 6:01:12 AM     (No. 9929753)

A lady at our church, head of a child placement service, actually threatened to call the police when someone´s ten year old kid went to sit in their car in the parking lot and wait for their parents after church service.

Same thing when someone takes a butter knife to school and is suspended. No conception of degree.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Hammock, 7/18/2014 6:26:34 AM     (No. 9929772)

I´ve thought about this before. This is a very different world from "the old days" when, at 7, I could run around the neighborhood and city unescorted.

It´s much more heavily populated, perverts seem way more numerous and emboldened, and TV shows continually air detailed and lavish stories of psychos and abductions.

We´ve already had a couple generations of parents who were afraid to let kids out of sight and see anything else as abnormal. It´s a great loss for today´s kids.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Rinktum, 7/18/2014 6:28:50 AM     (No. 9929774)

While I agree with the comments, it is a different age and time. When I was growing up my parents taught me responsibility, but they also taught me to be cautious and to be aware of my surroundings. I did walk to and from school several blocks through the neighborhood and road the city bus all over town to meet friends and go to the movies, etc. I also lived in the Midwest. Now, I would never want my grandkids to do that. There is just too much evil out there waiting to pounce. I am, however, completely opposed to helicopter parents. You must use good judgment because there is a fine line between protecting and over protecting your child. Of course, we want to raise healthy, happy, responsible children but it is not easy in this culture. Sadly, this is not the same country it was just a couple decades ago.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Hicksvillekid59, 7/18/2014 6:59:50 AM     (No. 9929804)

My older brother walked me to kindergarten in New York city. He was in first grade.


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Reply 6 - Posted by: broken01, 7/18/2014 7:08:27 AM     (No. 9929813)

I´m a child of the 70s and 80s who grew up in rual WVA. It was a different country back then with me at 7 and 11 being able to play and have fun with my brothers and sister all over the neighborhood. We were always told to be careful and watch out for each other. Being the oldest I took that as me watching out for my siblings and we were always fine. In this day and age of perverts being close by and nosey busy bodied cretins ready to call CPS on you being a parent can be difficult. We all want our kids to be happy and have freedom to play. We as parents just need to always be aware of what´s going on.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: chumley, 7/18/2014 8:54:46 AM     (No. 9929980)

I had similar experiences to the other posters, here in the US and all over the world. Dawn to dusk we were on our own. If we messed up the parents usually knew about it before we got home. Justice was swift and severe. Only once did I run into a serious adult problem; a prevert drove up on my paper route when I was 13. He wanted me to watch him shifting gears, so to speak. I ran to a deputy´s house on my route (his squad car was in the driveway) and the sicko took off.
Now its different though. There seem to be a lot more sickos out there, and they are a lot bolder. The courts dont seem to want to lock them up like they used to and neighborhoods are not as close as they used to be.
It´s a different world now. Better in some respects, worse in others.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: flybynight, 7/18/2014 9:09:45 AM     (No. 9930004)

I´m disagree with the idea that the world is more dangerous, that there are more bad guys lurking in the bushes. We had perverts in The Good Old Days. They didn´t make the evening news. We had murderers. They did make the local news, but didn´t draw the attention of Walter Cronkite. and yes, we walked to school, yea, even with our Scout pocket knives in our purses. We sat in a hot car if we so chose, without busybodies summoning the cops to rescue our helpless little middle school-age selves. There are two big differences between Then and Now.
1. Then MYOB and common sense were important
And 2. we didn´t have 24/7 news cycles looking for sensationalist fodder for their global broadcasts. If a tree falls in today´s forest, anywhere in the nation, you can bet a breathless on-the-spot reporterette will be there with conjecture and misinformation to share with a credulous audience.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: StormCnter, 7/18/2014 9:16:25 AM     (No. 9930015)

It´s hard to be a good parent these days. It was easier when I was a child and when my children were young. How to teach children to be aware without making them frightened. It grieves me when I smile or say hello to a child in a public place with a parent and the child turns away. I know that he has been cautioned about speaking to a stranger.

I consider Lenore Skenazy (my child rides the NY subway alone) to be nuts, but we have to allow our children to be carefree. No child should be afraid to smile back at a stranger in a public place when mama is standing alongside.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: mathman, 7/18/2014 11:01:39 AM     (No. 9930198)

But when Central American parents send their kids (alone) through Mexico to cross our borders, that is LEGAL.
In fact our pResident has directed his Border Patrol to let them in. Then they are anchor babies, and their extended families will join them. Then all the folks will go on welfare.

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