Allow me to start by saying I’m not a parent.
So, I don’t know exactly what goes through one’s mind when dealing with something like this. But what I am writing about today is just downright ridiculous.
Look, I’m in favor of a government organization that watches over children — to a point. It’s needed because there are some families who fully and utterly neglect kids. However, “protecting children” has gone from being smart to being downright ridiculous. Since when is a kid walking a few blocks neglect?
It seems Child Protective Services can do pretty much anything they want. And if somebody wants to be a jerk, they can call the cops or CPS, say they think a child is being abused, neglected or whatever and things can hit the fan quite quickly.
What I’ve read about a situation in Ohio is downright ridiculous.
It seems a 6-year-old wanted a little independence. So her parents allowed her to walk a few blocks to the post office. Seems harmless, right? When I was 6, I’m pretty sure I was able to roam freely, to a point. Could I run anywhere? No. Did my parents or brothers know where I was? Absolutely. Could I go a couple of blocks to another kid’s house? Sure.
See, it’s lessons like this that allow a kid to grow.
I do realize that the threat of something happening is greater than it used to be. Well, at least reported on. Things happened back when, too. But with media, social things and everything else, it’s reported way more. When I was younger, a convicted child rapist and murderer was sent to my town by the department of probation. He didn’t have the chance to do anything because people knew who he was and he spent most of his time shuttered up in the basement of a local church. He was run out of town a bit later. During that time, our town was quieter, that’s for sure. But when it ended, kids started to be seen again.
In this day and age, we also have lists you can see to know where these creeps are. Well, at least the ones convicted. Depending on the town or area or whatever, though, I would hope parents have a good grip of where their kids will be going.
So back to the current situation.
Would I let my kid walk 3-4 city blocks in New York to go play in Central Park? Probably not. But in a small town where most people know who you are and such? I’d feel a lot better.
The realization is this — kids have to grow, explore and learn. It’s part of life.
Anyway, it turns out this poor child has been taken into custody more than once because she was walking alone. According to the parent who wrote into the Free Range Kids website, the girl knows her address, phone number and all vital things. She does small errands within a few blocks (store, post office etc.) and she’s been detained or stopped by “concerned citizens.”
Am I missing something? Is there a law that says a 6-year-old child can’t walk somewhere? Especially in an area where she is known?
I can’t rehash everything here. I’d encourage you to read the whole story/timeline on Free Range Kids.
I dug around and somebody in the comments noted their situation, which had been previously reported on Free Range Kids. The “charges” are just as silly, but the one that caught my eye — she was a bad parent because she let her kids (aged 8 and 10) walk together to a bus stop 300 feet away.
That’s not even the FULL LENGTH of a football field!
A 10-year-old kid can’t walk with an 8-year-old sibling to a bus stop 300 feet away without setting off a red flag?
We have issues in this country. Our politicians spend more money on so many frivolous things that it makes people’s heads spin. These same people get paid oodles of money to do what? We have these organizations that flex their muscles like they own the world. It’s time to back off. While these may be isolated incidents, they happen. And they shouldn’t. Not once. Let kids grow. A parent needs to be able to do what they need to do to raise their kids.
I once said I’d love to live forever. But I have to admit, with the way society is going, I don’t know if I want to see what it’s like in 75 or 80 years. It’s going to be downright ridiculous.
The biggest thing? People need to get their noses out of other people’s business. If you see something truly bad (such as a parent beating a kid or something crazy), it’s one thing. But a kid walking to the store or the post office in a quiet area where people are bound to know one another?
It’s called growing up.
I have no issues with parents who want to make sure their kids are supervised on these trips. And I have no issues with parents who trust their kids or surroundings enough to let them walk freely, as long as they know where they are going. It should be up to the parent. Respect the parent to know and believe what is best for their kid.
Reality is this — who are CPS to tell somebody what’s best for somebody else’s kids? They aren’t. Back off.
I roamed with my friends as kids all the time. We explored the woods. Played in creeks. Played sports and rode our bikes. In the winter, we went sledding at the local college. We did some crazy things and parents weren’t always around. We were allowed to scrape our knees, get dirty and whatever else. Our parents trusted we knew right from wrong, wouldn’t talk to the wrong people and would run, yell and scream if anything was to happen to us or if we got into a sticky situation.
We’re all fine.
Kids need a chance to grow and learn just as much as anybody else. It’s up to the parent to decide the criteria for that, not the cops, CPS or any other government agency.
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