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Friday, January 16, 2015

Mom Doesn't Know Best

Yet again, some parents are being investigated by CPS for ... allowing their children to walk go to the park alone.

This time the children are 6 and 10.

Six to me is young to being going to the park.  At the same time, this is something similar to what I've done.

A couple years ago, I would let my oldest son walk my younger son to his friend's house a few blocks away.  The deal was simple, he had to call as soon as he arrived and he had to call before he left so someone could come get him.  Fred was 10 and Thom was 8.

He wasn't allowed to cross the street alone.  My biggest concern wasn't someone snatching the boys.  It was a safe neighborhood.  Kids were always running and riding bikes around.  My biggest concern that because of Thom's height, a car may not see him.

When we were kids, in 1st and 2nd grade, we were allowed to go the park, and roam the neighborhood.  Our parents deemed it safe.  If we had lived in a different neighborhood that wasn't so safe, I don't doubt my parents would have said no.

Today, my mother watches the kids after school.  They are not allowed to play outside without supervision.  Emma has friends in the neighborhood, but still, she isn't allowed.  Emma is 8.  The reason is that she is afraid it isn't safe.

The world has changed.  Or rather, attitudes have changed.

Twenty years ago, you rarely heard about the things that happened two towns over, much less in another state.   Now, we constantly hear it.  We are inundated with it.

My aunt was a social worker in small town Pennsylvania.  I don't remember much about what she did, but I do remember from time to time having to go on a late night run to check on a report or neglect or abuse.  This type of thing happened then also.  Our world isn't safer or less safe.  We are more informed.  And, sometimes that knowledge does not add to better our lives, but instead hinders us and makes us fearful.