Today I Learned…

…I’m not allowed, as father and parent, to decide when and how my children are allowed to be mature.

I was quite capable, at 10 years old, to go to the grocery store by myself, on my bike, and pick up various thing my mother needed but couldn’t load the whole family into the car for.

But in Illinois, if I allow my children to be unsupervised before they’re 14, I’m negligent and liable.

So the question is:

Do I make myself the target in order to illustrate how ludicrous such nanny-state tactics are in arming do-gooders and busy-bodies the world over with false moral standing in their quest to ruin the world for the rest of us normal people?

Or do I keep my kids in the back yard until they’re fully feral?

What kind of responsibility did you have growing up? And how much responsibility would you give you children today? How similar are you to your parents or how different?

And what about the mother who let her son ride the subway home alone in New York city?

9 thoughts on “Today I Learned…”

  1. Thanks for the link. I am sorry thay Illinios has no confidence in its children or the parents who raise them. Ours is a culture of fear. I’m sick of it.

  2. You're welcome for the link. Thanks for the original post.

    And how do we change this culture of fear? By standing up against it and telling it to grow a pair.

    Not sure how I'll do it in my life and with my family. But I intend to do it nonetheless.

  3. Interesting points. I suspect most people react from initial emotion without considering that the parent's know their child and the city better than anyone else, and so are uniquely qualified to make these kinds of decisions. I went all over the neighborhood at that age, on bike or on foot, and with one exception (that you can ask Grace about, Matthew) never had any trouble. When we have kids I plan to let them have the same freedom.

    Some common sense should be used, of course, a parent leaving a nine year old in the Dallas West End Marketplace with a bus pass should be corrected … but the same parent leaving the same child in the Arts District should be left alone.

  4. As a small child growing up in the fiftties my mother was allowed to roam freely in her hometown. In the eighties I was walking almost a mile home from school everyday in elementary school. As a twelve year old I regularly babysitted infants and small children.
    I allow my very capable 8 year old daughter to occasionally stay home alone while I go to the store and allow her to walk the four blocks to our home after school. I dont tell many people this because even in a small town in Texas some people would consider this neglect.

    1. No doubt you've heard tales of your dad and his brothers and their adventures about Sharp Park and Redwood City? Some of my favorite times growing up were when dad would tell us stories about when he was a kid.

      The community was assumed to be responsible and if you caught some kid you knew making mischief, you were expected to let their parents know and probably provide some sort of basic discipline or at least counter their wrong actions as appropriate.

      Now we're being legislated into helicopter parenting and required to be stifling of our children's own maturity.

  5. children are seen as a nuisance now. it used to be that everyone looked out for all the kids and all the kids knew the adults by their last name and greeted them. now everyone is too engrossed in technology that they do not want to have to look out for others children. therefore we have delegated the responsibility of the community to the government. if you want to rectify this situation you need to get people outside working on their lawns sitting on their porches and saying hi to the other biological organisms that do not respond in a predictable manner instead of sticking their head in the sand/technology.

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