Friday, July 18, 2014

Short: Arrested for a parenting decision

At a time when we have stressed parents trying to make ends meet, I don't think we should add to the burden by questioning non-dangerous parenting decisions. Here's a story. A mother had a shift at work, the 9-year-old daughter was bored sitting at the workplace and wanted to stay at the park instead. Mom said yes, and gave her a cellphone. On the third day of this arrangement, a budinsky parent called the cops or child services. Was the child incapable of looking after herself? There's no evidence of that. So why should the kid be whisked into foster care, and the mother arrested and charged?

Yes, there was the potential of danger, but children do transition from needing full-time adult supervision (minus bathroom breaks and sanity breaks) to being responsible for their own safety. Our laws are wrong if they represent the expectation that a 9-year-old needs the same supervision as a 9-month-old or as a 15-year-old. Please, let's not make it harder on our parents and our kids. Give them more leeway than was shown in this incident.

This is most likely the park. Looks nice.


get72ready said...

I have more of a problem with the punishment than the police being called. There is no wisdom in arresting this woman. If the girl in the park alone was a problem then give the mom a warning and carry on. Everything that result from the arrest will have a negative impact on the child.

I give that parent that called the police a little latitude. Some professional licenses mandate reporting child abuse/endangerment at the risk of forfeiting your license. With out too much conjecture, the caller could have thought the police would be rational.

ModeratePoli said...

@get, you have some good points, but the police themselves may be required to act in certain ways. A private person, even a mandated reporter (which I am in my state) has more discretion. But you're right that the parent who called the police didn't necessary intend for this to happen.