A while back in the news there was a story about a mother who was charged for neglecting her seven year old son… for letting him walk to the park alone. Yes, a Florida mother was charged for letting her son go to the park with out proper supervision. This is absurd right? I ask because as a child growing up my brother and I had a playground down the street of our house and a lot of times would ride our bikes there.
Many times we would go and meet up with other local kids there many of whom had houses with backyards leading right to the park. Our parents of course came with us plenty of times and would socialize with the other parents. Other times there would be one of the other kids mom around keeping an eye on everyone. This was the norm and it appeared that the parents would look after other children because it was the right thing to do.
Now I strongly believe there is an age when a child is grown enough to be able to do something’s with out total supervision, one of those things is playing. In the very old days children would wander far off to play in the woods or walk around. Just look at some of the stories and movies from the 40’s and 50’s. They all presented this as being a normal and ok thing, nut now it isn’t. So what has really changed? This is a question I often ask myself.
Laws in many states don’t give an age when a child is old enough to be left alone at home. Some other states say the age can be as low as 9-10 years old while others say 18 years old. Something has shifted and now we’re in the middle of a dangerous societal trend of arresting parents for noncriminal activities. Parents are nervous about doing anything, thinking they could get charged for something without knowing what they’re doing wrong. While leaving your child at home or walk to the park are two different things, they both fall under parenting styles.
So should parents be so afraid of being charged for doing a criminal act that there has to be a better understand of when laws should interfere with the styles of parenting? Personally I think that parents shouldn’t be punished so harshly, especially since no sane parent wants to see their child hurt. Perhaps a better educational system that focus on critical thinking for parents to help make decisive decisions regarding the safety of their child.
Large cultural changes have been going on recently and with the internet and technology, security and safety have become more of the focus. With all of the devices that allow tracking and geotagging ones location is scary. I personally have no idea what will be the accepted ideology for the care of a child. I do have an idea of how I want to bring up a child and to teach them but also let them explore the world themselves. Many choices ahead but I do ask everyone to use common sense.