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    Shandi's Avatar

    Would you let your kids play alone in a public park? You can be arrested and lose them!

    When I was raising my kids, we lived only half a block from the school, so they walked by themselves. It was a family neighborhood, and nearly every house had kids. Also, since mine were close in age, they walked together.

    When they started riding bikes at 6, I allowed them to ride on the sidewalk, and around the corner to a certain point. My husband was appalled at that, and thought I was being neglectful. He and I came from different perspectives. He was fearful of the unknown; I wasn't, and even saw that there was adventure in it.

    During that same time, I happened to see a little girl of about 4 or 5 walking alone at dusk. I pulled over to ask where she lived. She pointed down the street. I couldn't leave this vulnerable child, so I followed closely in my car. When she reached home, I got out and shared with the mom/guardian that I was concerned for her safety. The woman nearly slammed the door in my face. I walked to my car, with tears streaming down my face, and couldn't stop crying for awhile after I got home. A child in my neighborhood was allowed to be a target for predators.

    I, myself, was an unsupervised, key latch kid. I even enrolled myself in kindergarten at 5. And when I arrived at the school, they said "Oh, you have the wrong school, you need to go two blocks down and turn left." This was downtown San Francisco in 1948. I rode buses and street cars alone at five. I thwarted 2 predators at five, and 2 more at nine, then one more at 39 years old. So, I survived, but I wouldn't recommend it. My testimony put one man in jail for a year, and after that I saw him get on a bus in the neighborhood. I hid myself in fear.

    Fast forward 40 years, and if I were the mother of young children, I would not allow the freedom I did then. I would feel badly about it, and hope that I could give other opportunities for them to explore their world with me watching from a distance. I have mixed feelings about this, but fortunately I'm not raising children anymore, but do have grand children. One in Hawaii and one in So. California. They seem to have good supervision, but two of them are 13 year old girls, going into a whole new level of vulnerability. My sons are very watchful, even more than their wives. I see women with babies and young children whose eyes are on screens, not on the children. Easy targets, even with parent's "supervision".?

    The headlines are continuing to pop up: “Mom arrested for letting kids play at the park,” “Parents could go to jail for letting child walk home alone,” “Mother arrested after children play unsupervised.”

    An Illinois mother, Natasha, who allowed her three children, ages 11, 9, and 5, to play with a 9-year-old cousin in a park adjacent to her home. Placing her oldest in charge of the others, Natasha checked on the children every 10 minutes; the park could be seen from her apartment window. When a preschool teacher arrived at the park, however, she assumed the children were unsupervised and placed a call to child protective services. After receiving a child neglect citation, Natasha was forbidden from volunteering at her children’s school and lost her job. After years of battling the citation, the case was dropped.

    Continues here

    Last edited by Barry; 05-25-2016 at 10:36 PM.
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