Author Topic: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .  (Read 21924 times)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14316
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/calgary-boy-11-detained-by-security-at-lego-store-for-committing-the-modern-day-crime-of-being-alone

Yes, he was 11 and biked to the lego store with money to buy some lego.  He was detained by security due to being 11 until his father was able to spring him.

Side note - this kid sounds pretty awesome.  He likes building stuff, rides his bike everywhere, works for his money, and has developed a modicum of independence.  It's nice to see society doing it's damnedest to crush all the awesome out of him.

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2015, 07:31:32 AM »
Of course he should be supervised. Do you know how easy it is to hurt your foot in a Lego store?

Elderwood17

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 08:09:59 AM »
When I was 11 I would routinely head on my bike to the nearby mall to buy baseball cards and comics at the local Ben Franklin. Sometimes with neighborhood buddies, sometimes alone, but rarely with an adult.

begood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 971
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2015, 09:01:57 AM »
I had a paper route at 12 and was out in the world by myself (okay, it was my neighborhood, but still...) weekday afternoons and Sunday mornings.

FatCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 244
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2015, 01:26:56 PM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3043
  • Age: 82
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2015, 02:30:20 PM »
I was babysitting actual babies (like 3-4 month olds) at age 11. I can't believe that current day 11 year olds are somehow now incapable of being responsible as past day 11 year olds.

This story is just crazy.

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2754
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2015, 02:40:00 PM »
Lawsuit?

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2015, 02:41:40 PM »
very sad, how we think kids are incapable of everything nowadays.

PP in a camper at 17, that is crazy, you are old enough to drive yourself anywhere and they are threatening to call the authorities? I can just see the Policemans eyes rolling.

Mississippi Mudstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2162
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Danielsville, GA
    • A Riving Home - Ramblings of a Recusant Woodworker
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2015, 02:44:01 PM »
I was babysitting actual babies (like 3-4 month olds) at age 11. I can't believe that current day 11 year olds are somehow now incapable of being responsible as past day 11 year olds.

This story is just crazy.

My wife was regularly babysitting 4 children, including a weeks-old infant, when she was 14.  She started babysitting for other families when she was 12. It's not as though this was for family or friends, either. Today is her 27th birthday, so it wasn't very long ago. What the hell happened in the last 15 years?

Mississippi Mudstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2162
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Danielsville, GA
    • A Riving Home - Ramblings of a Recusant Woodworker
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2015, 02:47:06 PM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

This probably the most insane story in the whole thread. When I was 17, me and four of my (also 17-year-old) friends hitched up my dad's camper to my Ford Explorer and hit the road for a week of camping at the beach.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8833
  • Registered member
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2015, 03:55:35 PM »
Lawsuit?

Probably grounds, but if everything turned out OK why bother?  If the kid is traumatized, however...

FatCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 244
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2015, 04:49:25 PM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

This probably the most insane story in the whole thread. When I was 17, me and four of my (also 17-year-old) friends hitched up my dad's camper to my Ford Explorer and hit the road for a week of camping at the beach.

I couldn't get over how irrational it was. At 17 you can drive around unattended. I think if I were at home they wouldn't have thought it was an issue. But the idea of a 17 year old unattended in a camper was just too much! I think they had some grudge against kids. When I tried to reason with them they accused me of disrespecting my elders. I even pointed out I'm only a few months away from being 18. They just retorted, "You are a child!"

I don't think they could possibly comprehend that harassing a 17 year old who was alone and wanting to stay inside their RV might possibly be worse behavior than a parent leaving a 17 year old alone in a locked RV.

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2015, 06:49:30 PM »
You have to be insane (sorry, mentally hilarious) to say a 17-year-old can't be somewhere alone.

To be fair, I also think the same for an 11-year-old. If an 11-year-old can't be trusted to bike to the store and back, there's probably no hope, and you may as well just ask them to run away and make a new one.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8833
  • Registered member
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2015, 07:23:57 PM »
You have to be insane (sorry, mentally hilarious) to say a 17-year-old can't be somewhere alone.

To be fair, I also think the same for an 11-year-old. If an 11-year-old can't be trusted to bike to the store and back, there's probably no hope, and you may as well just ask them to run away and make a new one.

17-year old can't be in a pool full of sharks alone

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3235
  • Location: WDC
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2015, 08:17:54 PM »
I was babysitting actual babies (like 3-4 month olds) at age 11. I can't believe that current day 11 year olds are somehow now incapable of being responsible as past day 11 year olds.

This story is just crazy.

My wife was regularly babysitting 4 children, including a weeks-old infant, when she was 14.  She started babysitting for other families when she was 12. It's not as though this was for family or friends, either. Today is her 27th birthday, so it wasn't very long ago. What the hell happened in the last 15 years?
I was a mother's helper at the beach for the summer when I was 13.  I was left alone for days at a time running a household while the parents were out of town.  That's pretty much why I don't have kids

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2015, 10:30:11 PM »
The irony is that people say things like "It's just not safe nowadays!" when in reality, actually it's certainly not like it was in the 1950's, but we are WAY better off for overall violent crime (which includes kidnappings & rapes) now than the 80's through early '00s.



Still, when I look at graphs like this one, I understand when people talk about how it really did used to be so much safer in the 50's and early 60's than it is today.

tofuchampion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • MadeByMarilynM
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2015, 10:32:28 PM »
I babysat for other families starting at 12 or so. I had a paper route at 10.

I occasionally let my 9-year-old stay home alone for short periods of time. I lock everything, let him play Pokemon, and he doesn't move an inch. No one IRL knows this, though, bc they'd probably call CPS.

decembeir

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2015, 11:12:23 PM »
Does anyone know any theories of why these kinds of stories keep happening- what has changed in the last couple of decades? Was there a change in laws or just a change in the interpretation of them? I'm genuinely curious about the subject and haven't really seen any reasoning behind it.

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2393
  • Location: NZ
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2015, 02:02:09 AM »
Continous exposure to fear mongering "news" changes a nation.

Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 383
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2015, 05:42:06 AM »
The irony is that people say things like "It's just not safe nowadays!" when in reality, actually it's certainly not like it was in the 1950's, but we are WAY better off for overall violent crime (which includes kidnappings & rapes) now than the 80's through early '00s.



Still, when I look at graphs like this one, I understand when people talk about how it really did used to be so much safer in the 50's and early 60's than it is today.
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

amyable

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2015, 05:52:16 AM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

This probably the most insane story in the whole thread. When I was 17, me and four of my (also 17-year-old) friends hitched up my dad's camper to my Ford Explorer and hit the road for a week of camping at the beach.

I couldn't get over how irrational it was. At 17 you can drive around unattended. I think if I were at home they wouldn't have thought it was an issue. But the idea of a 17 year old unattended in a camper was just too much! I think they had some grudge against kids. When I tried to reason with them they accused me of disrespecting my elders. I even pointed out I'm only a few months away from being 18. They just retorted, "You are a child!"

I don't think they could possibly comprehend that harassing a 17 year old who was alone and wanting to stay inside their RV might possibly be worse behavior than a parent leaving a 17 year old alone in a locked RV.

That's super weird--in Texas, your parents can literally kick you out of the house at 17, and you're basically on your own.  I have a couple of students who have been kicked out, and then have to deal with trying to graduate while coach surfing. 

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2015, 06:17:05 AM »
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

I wonder if things were skewed low in the '50's due to underreporting though as well?  From talking to the older people around, back then things just weren't reported unless it was extremely serious.  There was more of an attitude of solving one's own problems and not relying on society to solve them.  So, you're not likely to see the attempted (and failed) kidnappings, the assaults, etc in those reports.  You'll just have the times things went REALLY bad.

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2015, 07:23:43 AM »
Quote
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

I think that, since violent crime has reduced over all, not just crimes against children, it seems unlikely that special protection for children is what has made the difference (or at least not all of it).

There have been various theories advanced about why violent crime has declined; but the nature of these things makes it hard to do controlled experiments. I've seen all sorts of explanations: The "broken-windows" theory of policing is one police tactic that has changed. "Freakanomics" famously said abortion contributed to it (essentially that mothers had good judgement about when to have abortions, and were preventing probably criminals from being born).

Steve Pinker in "The Better Angels of Our Nature" points out that violence overall (not just crimes) has actually been a steady decline for millenia.  So  maybe we might really have to explain that uptick in the 70s, rather than the subsequent decline.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 07:32:45 AM by vhalros »

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8925
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2015, 07:49:55 AM »
I was babysitting actual babies (like 3-4 month olds) at age 11. I can't believe that current day 11 year olds are somehow now incapable of being responsible as past day 11 year olds.

This story is just crazy.

My wife was regularly babysitting 4 children, including a weeks-old infant, when she was 14.  She started babysitting for other families when she was 12. It's not as though this was for family or friends, either. Today is her 27th birthday, so it wasn't very long ago. What the hell happened in the last 15 years?

This is me as well. I pet- and house-sat for people starting at age 10. I would ride my bike. If it was well past dark or a ways away my parents would drive me and wait outside though. I started nannying at 11. The main family I nannied for when I was 12-16. When I was 13 they had their youngest of the 4, and I started caring for all of them when she was just 6 weeks old. I would even take care of them overnight occasionally. I certainly did not feel like a child taking care of children. I made meals, helped with homework, took them on walks to local parks, etc etc. I was CPR certified and had taken care of younger cousins my whole life. Teenage girls babysit... that's just always been true.

I'm only 26, we're not talking this many years ago. Medium size town, but frankly shockingly high crime as I was growing up (lots of gangs and meth, a fair number of shootings). But no one ever seemed worried about babysitting.

Sam E

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2015, 07:57:35 AM »
Stories like this are just ridiculous to me. When I was as young as 8 or 9 years old I was allowed to bike over to the library or the park alone. The only rule was my mom had to know where I was and how long I'd be gone. When I was 10 or 11 I would even walk or bike a couple miles away and across multiple busy roads to my friend's house.

In the summer, we would then often bike even further to the university and ride the bike trail all the way to the point where it merged onto the road (we weren't allowed on the bike lanes because the roads were too busy and drivers in that city were crazy dangerous). At that point we'd be upwards of 15 miles from home with no adult supervision. As long as we were home by whatever time we set it didn't matter too much what we got up to. This wasn't even that long ago, just the late 90's and early 00's. Just what happened between then and now, I wonder?

RunHappy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2015, 08:01:32 AM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

WOW!  When I was in the military, a child of one of the higher ups got expelled from school (for skipping too much school).  Instead of leaving the teen home and allowing him to sleep in, he brought his kid to work every day.  He was one of those first in, last out kind of guys.  It was a secure building so the teen could not actually BE inside, so he left him in the car with a jug of water and tons of snacks.  Said he could open the doors, sit next to the car in the shade, but not leave.  He would go check on him to make sure he was still there (this was before cell phones) and they would eat at the chow hall for lunch.  For 6 weeks this went on.

If this happened today I'm sure it would be called child abuse, but the following year the teen was present every single day of school. 

Bardo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2015, 08:08:28 AM »
I really feel sorry for kids living in a world like this.

When I was 11 much of the time we were pretty much left to our own devices,especially during the summer, and that was back in the days when there was a higher crime rate than there is today. 

I mentioned this to my mother once, and she said that when I was a kid my dad's worry wasn't that my siblings and I had too much freedom, but that we didn't have enough. 


justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2015, 08:30:36 AM »
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

Although I don't know the answer, I have wondered this myself. If children are never alone, it is much harder to kidnap them. But of course that doesn't explain the decrease of violent crime in general. The most compelling explanation I've read to explain that is higher incarceration rates.

I consider myself between the supposed laissez faire parenting of yore and the supposed helicopter parenting of today. Honestly, my childhood in the 1980s did not resemble what you all discuss here. I never went places alone, and while my mom would let us wander at a  park or swim at the pool, she was always there in the background. I wouldn't, however, call her a "helicopter" just because she wouldn't let us walk or bike to the park by ourselves at 8 years old. We had a lot of freedom as children, and past age 8 or 9, she didn't help with homework at all. Neither of my parents knew our grades until they saw our report cards.

I like the idea of letting them find their own way while still being nearby to help or supervise. I don't understand the parents who hover over their 5 year olds on the playground any more than I understand the parents who let their young kids (under 10 IMO) wander around unsupervised for hours and hours. These days we tend to demonize the former more than the latter - at least in the past few years it has become more popular to do so.

I see the crazy shit that my six year old concocts to do and I just can't fathom letting him loose in our semi-urban environment with traffic, either by himself or with a slightly older friend, but in the backyard by himself or with his friends? Hell yeah! (FYI, in these causes, hide the metal bats, though. Boys this age and metal bats unsupervised is a bad combo)

But I just had a friend (40 year old man with no kids nonetheless) excoriate me yesterday and label me as a helicopter parent because I went after my 11 month old who was wandering out of sight in the back yard. He's freaking 11 months old! He was also the one who thought that gates at stairs were crazy because "what's the worst that can happen to the baby, he falls and gets a concussion??" IMO that's the concept of free range parenting gone awry.

I think all this nonsense in the media about the new era of helicopter parenting is just that - nonsense. There has always been a wide variety of parenting styles in existence. Perhaps these days things trend too much towards over-supervision, and the government intrusion is certainly a concerning trend. Yet in the same breath, we yell at the state when they don't intervene and a child gets hurt in an unsafe household. With parenting as with governing, in general you can't win.

Plus this idealistic picture of the past is also colored by our own perceptions of the "days of yore" before smartphones, screens, etc. came into our lives. I'm not saying there isn't some validity, but we must also recognize what time does to our memories and perceptions and how we idealize the "good ole days" perhaps too much sometimes.

 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 08:35:44 AM by justajane »

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2015, 09:07:22 AM »
Steve Pinker in "The Better Angels of Our Nature" points out that violence overall (not just crimes) has actually been a steady decline for millenia.  So  maybe we might really have to explain that uptick in the 70s, rather than the subsequent decline.

The increase is due to the breakdown of the nuclear family in the 1960's.  Children who are raised by a single parent, regardless if its the mother or father, are more likely to get teen pregnant (if female) or become a criminal (if male).  That becomes a positive feedback loop until the single-parent rate hits 100%, as those teen pregnant girls thus have children of their own while single and those criminal boys get girls pregnant then get put away in prison where they can't be present as a father even if they wanted to.

The rate of single parents has actually continued to increase since the 90s, but that time period saw technology such as DNA analysis, computerization of fingerprint searches, and rapid spread of CCTV cameras solve crimes after the fact more easily.  That is both a deterrent and a stoppage by way of criminals being in jail instead of on the streets.  The other things that became common in the 90's were the militarization of local police forces and creation of SWAT teams, the legalization of concealed gun carry by ordinary citizens, as well as "truth in sentencing" laws which dramatically increased the amount of jail time served for violent crimes.  You can't commit a crime against the public if you've already been shot dead or are in jail for the next 18 years.

All in all, it's actually a pretty ugly situation to be honest.

Bardo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2015, 09:12:23 AM »
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

I see the crazy shit that my six year old concocts to do and I just can't fathom letting him loose in our semi-urban environment with traffic, either by himself or with a slightly older friend, but in the backyard by himself or with his friends? Hell yeah! (FYI, in these causes, hide the metal bats, though. Boys this age and metal bats unsupervised is a bad combo)


But this is what I don't get.  Starting when I was six, and again this was back when crime was higher, I was expected to walk (about a mile) to school.  All the kids in my neighborhood did.  I think if I had expected to be driven my parents would have said "Forget it kiddo!"  This isn't idealizing the "good old days" but a simple fact.  So why do you think your six-year old couldn't handle it?  Are kids somehow less capable now?  Is self-sufficiency less valued than it once was?


justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2015, 09:53:53 AM »
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

I see the crazy shit that my six year old concocts to do and I just can't fathom letting him loose in our semi-urban environment with traffic, either by himself or with a slightly older friend, but in the backyard by himself or with his friends? Hell yeah! (FYI, in these causes, hide the metal bats, though. Boys this age and metal bats unsupervised is a bad combo)


But this is what I don't get.  Starting when I was six, and again this was back when crime was higher, I was expected to walk (about a mile) to school.  All the kids in my neighborhood did.  I think if I had expected to be driven my parents would have said "Forget it kiddo!"  This isn't idealizing the "good old days" but a simple fact.  So why do you think your six-year old couldn't handle it?  Are kids somehow less capable now?  Is self-sufficiency less valued than it once was?

Obviously it must depend on the neighborhood. We didn't walk alone when we were six. Neither did the kids I knew. That's kindergarten, for goodness sake!! Are you sure you aren't misremembering and it was later when you were in 2rd or 3rd grade? That seems awfully young to me. I could see middle to upper elementary, but not that young, at least not unless you were with an older child.

And what always cracks me up is the self-sufficiency argument - as if, if you don't walk alone to school when you are a kindergartener that somehow you are going to end up in your parent's basement for the rest of your life. As if, if you don't do your own laundry by the time you can reach the machine -- or I've even seen parents brag that their 4 year olds do their own laundry -- you are going to end up unable to ever be independent. I didn't start doing my laundry until I went to college. It's really not the hard to figure out even if you (gasp!) haven't been doing it since you could walk.

I'm not trying to make light of helicoptering. It is a real phenomenon. Parents do hover over older kids/ teenagers in unhelpful ways. It boggles my mind that a parent would call a university professor about their child's grade; yet they do. My sister still has a bed time routine with her teenager and gets her plate of food for her sometimes when they come to visit. That kinda amazes me.

But I don't think the only way to develop self-sufficiency in an early elementary child is by letting them walk alone. I actually enjoy walking my kid to school and to the bus stop. Aside from it being forbidden by the district until (I believe) 2nd grade, it is a nice time to chat. Some of the best conversations I have with my kid are on the way back from the bus stop.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1644
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2015, 10:02:56 AM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

What's great about this is that this person thought it was ok for them to invade your space and question you because they thought you were a minor.

It's the same with people who call the police or approach children just because they see kids walking down the road.

I just want to shake them and say, "Don't you see that -you- are the predator!"

Until that stranger came along to "protect" you, no one had frightened you, hurt you, or harassed you.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4673
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2015, 10:34:04 AM »
I think the more pernicious problem than "helicopter parenting" is what I've seen called "snowplow parenting"--when the parents try to solve their child's every problem. You can teach your kids to be self-sufficient while still, if you prefer, staying near them. My sister's children, for instance (who are older than mine) have always been taught to order their own food at restaurants, etc.

The anti-baby gate friend is nuts! I let my kids take a lot of risks... on grass, mulch, and other soft (playground) surfaces. My son was going down the "big" slide on his own at 14 months (Mommy was too pregnant to hover). But on hardwood floors and concrete, we enforce no climbing.

justajane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2015, 11:31:03 AM »
I think the more pernicious problem than "helicopter parenting" is what I've seen called "snowplow parenting"--when the parents try to solve their child's every problem. You can teach your kids to be self-sufficient while still, if you prefer, staying near them. My sister's children, for instance (who are older than mine) have always been taught to order their own food at restaurants, etc.

The anti-baby gate friend is nuts! I let my kids take a lot of risks... on grass, mulch, and other soft (playground) surfaces. My son was going down the "big" slide on his own at 14 months (Mommy was too pregnant to hover). But on hardwood floors and concrete, we enforce no climbing.

Exactly. The question I usually ask is - what is the worst case scenario here? If the list includes possibly death (and falling down stairs or on concrete from a high(ish) height is on that list), I nix it. If it's just a broken bone or a bruise or scab - carry on. Of course, death can occur sitting on the toilet, but if the stakes of the activity are extremely high, I don't allow a young child to do it.

And I have to add the I would never call a governmental agency on a child left in a car (unless the weather was hot and the child was at risk of getting sick or dying) or if the child was unattended in public. I don't have a problem with people parenting their kids differently and choosing to give their kids latitudes and freedoms than I am not comfortable with at an earlier age. Not my kid, not my responsibility, not my situation. In that sense, I agree with the OP. But I would not go so far as to describe someone who parents differently as "hyperprotective."

What I do, however, have a problem with is this notion that if I make a different decision that I am bubble wrapping my kid or somehow a neurotic mother.

Even with parents who more closely fit the definition of a helicopter parent, I have to remind myself that I have no idea what causes their over-protectedness and that I shouldn't be so quick to judge. Maybe they lost or almost lost a child. Maybe their kid has extremely bad allergies. Maybe the kid has a developmental disability. I don't know. Once again - not my life.

My problem with the "good ole days" is not as much that people might be misrepresenting what happened (although they might be) but this idea that the way they were raised is the best way to be raised and that new ways or alternate ways spell impending doom and will result in a generation who can't face life somehow.

hernandz

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2015, 12:15:02 PM »
Steve Pinker in "The Better Angels of Our Nature" points out that violence overall (not just crimes) has actually been a steady decline for millenia.  So  maybe we might really have to explain that uptick in the 70s, rather than the subsequent decline.

The increase is due to the breakdown of the nuclear family in the 1960's.  Children who are raised by a single parent, regardless if its the mother or father, are more likely to get teen pregnant (if female) or become a criminal (if male).  That becomes a positive feedback loop until the single-parent rate hits 100%, as those teen pregnant girls thus have children of their own while single and those criminal boys get girls pregnant then get put away in prison where they can't be present as a father even if they wanted to.

The rate of single parents has actually continued to increase since the 90s, but that time period saw technology such as DNA analysis, computerization of fingerprint searches, and rapid spread of CCTV cameras solve crimes after the fact more easily.  That is both a deterrent and a stoppage by way of criminals being in jail instead of on the streets.  The other things that became common in the 90's were the militarization of local police forces and creation of SWAT teams, the legalization of concealed gun carry by ordinary citizens, as well as "truth in sentencing" laws which dramatically increased the amount of jail time served for violent crimes.  You can't commit a crime against the public if you've already been shot dead or are in jail for the next 18 years.

All in all, it's actually a pretty ugly situation to be honest.

A year ago I was reading some intriguing articles about a correlation between lead exposure and violent crime rates.  However, it doesn't explain anything about the sharp rise in helicoptering/ snowplowing hyperprotectiveness.  If you are interested, here's a BBC article or if you prefer a more scholarly approach PLOS

The BBC article mentions leaded gasoline, which was introduced in the US in the 1920s and banned in the 1970s (banned somewhat later in the UK).  The PLOS article uses leaded paint exposure rather than leaded gasoline. 

[edited for clarity on the links]
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 12:51:19 PM by hernandz »

dividendman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1128
  • Age: 37
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2015, 12:35:18 PM »
I think one of the commenters of the article has the most important point:

Quote
The most disturbing part of all this which received no focus was that the boy was "detained" by store security. Accordingly, the question has to be what right does store security have to detain anyone who does not wish to be detained and has done nothing wrong. They can ask him to leave but they have no right whatever to detain him. Store policy may be of predominant importance to store employees but it doesn't trump the law of the land and certainly not the Charter of Rights.

Unlawful detainment/false imprisonment/kidnapping is what that is and they should sue their pants off.

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2015, 12:46:16 PM »
My youngest started walking home from school at 6. In the beginning with her 7 y.o. sister, but after a few times, they argued so much that they chose to walk different ways. My oldest biked to the library today, at age 8. From my judgment, our neighbourhoods are safe enough, and I trust my girls to behave within the frames we have set. Sometimes they have stepped outside those frames, and have lost a lot of their freedom. So it is not a case of laissez faire parenting, but rather that we believe that self reliance is very important for our children to learn. They have also learned to do laundry from kindergarten age, and now know how to cook dinner. I've met teenagers struggling to make it on their own, with no knowledge of how to do normal household chores. Of course they will figure it out eventually, but why should they struggle to do that, when I can teach them how at an age where they love learning it?

There is no proven negative correlation between numbers incarcerated and crime rates, in fact some studies have shown the opposite. The lead poisoning link is interesting, but I don't think it is big enough. I blame the school system, and the increased muslim population for the fall in crime rates. Kids today drink less alcohol, use less drugs, are more polite and well behaved, etc, than my generation. There is so much focus in the schools on teaching the children social skills, on special education for those who don't fit in, and a lot of cooperation between schools and the CPS to catch those who need help. Of course there is still much to do, but the improvement since my childhood is substantial. 

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3755
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2015, 04:34:16 PM »
Does anyone know any theories of why these kinds of stories keep happening- what has changed in the last couple of decades? Was there a change in laws or just a change in the interpretation of them? I'm genuinely curious about the subject and haven't really seen any reasoning behind it.

I have a theory that it's because actually live in a very safe world overall, but our brains have to have a "danger" and this is what we've latched onto. Think about it. Child labor isn't required for basic survival. Wild animals aren't going to eat us. We have a stable government. There isn't a war going on in our country (I don't know about you, but I haven't seen any bombs flying lately).

If you were to look at how children are raised and supervised in places where these things aren't a given, I bet you wouldn't see too many people freaking out about a 11 year old being on their own for a few hours.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 707
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2015, 05:39:55 PM »
As an American visiting Oslo, Norway a couple years back, I was surprised by the number of prams, equipped with babies, were left outside the local Starbucks, while mom's chatted inside.  I quipped to my host "...someone would call child services in the US is they saw an unattended stroller outside a Starbucks in the US"  He said something to the effect that "fussy babies need fresh air"...  and I could not find a fault with his logic.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8925
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2015, 05:48:15 PM »

(I don't know about you, but I haven't seen any bombs flying lately).



Mayday riots.  ;)

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2015, 08:12:56 PM »
A year ago I was reading some intriguing articles about a correlation between lead exposure and violent crime rates.  However, it doesn't explain anything about the sharp rise in helicoptering/ snowplowing hyperprotectiveness.  If you are interested, here's a BBC article or if you prefer a more scholarly approach PLOS

The BBC article mentions leaded gasoline, which was introduced in the US in the 1920s and banned in the 1970s (banned somewhat later in the UK).  The PLOS article uses leaded paint exposure rather than leaded gasoline.

That's an interesting theory, although it fails the simple test which is the fact that you can take a specific geographic area, look at who is committing crimes and who's not and find the same exposure to lead for both groups.  The difference pretty much always boils down to if the kid was raised with two parents or not.  So many kids nowadays have the deck stacked against them not because of money, location, or what they were born with, but simply by if they have two parents at home or not.  It's such a simple thing, but reliably consistent across time periods as well as geography and pretty much all other measurements.  Feel free to google it.  If we want a stronger society, we need to encourage two-parent families by any means available.  Every kid deserves the best start possible.

rocketpj

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 748
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2015, 11:37:26 PM »
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

I wonder if things were skewed low in the '50's due to underreporting though as well?  From talking to the older people around, back then things just weren't reported unless it was extremely serious.  There was more of an attitude of solving one's own problems and not relying on society to solve them.  So, you're not likely to see the attempted (and failed) kidnappings, the assaults, etc in those reports.  You'll just have the times things went REALLY bad.

Well, in the 50s a person beating his wife was often laughed off and no charges laid.  Ditto smacking the kids around.  Not to mention a pretty high percentage of rapes (that is still an issue). 

Now crimes like that are taken more seriously, thankfully.  Though I suspect we still have a long way to go.

Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 383
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2015, 05:07:07 AM »
Are we truly better off for these type of crimes or is it because children are so protected nowadays that they are not available for kidnapping and the likes?

I wonder if things were skewed low in the '50's due to underreporting though as well?  From talking to the older people around, back then things just weren't reported unless it was extremely serious.  There was more of an attitude of solving one's own problems and not relying on society to solve them.  So, you're not likely to see the attempted (and failed) kidnappings, the assaults, etc in those reports.  You'll just have the times things went REALLY bad.

Well, in the 50s a person beating his wife was often laughed off and no charges laid.  Ditto smacking the kids around.  Not to mention a pretty high percentage of rapes (that is still an issue). 

Now crimes like that are taken more seriously, thankfully.  Though I suspect we still have a long way to go.

Absolutely true! The same is true in many parts of the world including some countries in Western Europe. People just get arrested and prosecuted way more in the US. In some cases that is not warranted. Society is better served if people aren't arrested for so many non violent offenses.

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2015, 07:55:03 AM »
Well, in the 50s a person beating his wife was often laughed off and no charges laid.  Ditto smacking the kids around.  Not to mention a pretty high percentage of rapes (that is still an issue). 

Now crimes like that are taken more seriously, thankfully.  Though I suspect we still have a long way to go.

Actually it's the other way around now.  Even as of 2010, 40% of domestic abuse victims were men according to official federal statistics.  However the laws and social conventions are so skewed against men, that it's almost 100% impossible for a man to get charges to stick against a woman when reporting domestic abuse.  I've read case after case where a woman started beating her husband, he pushed her away and ran away to call the police only to find that HE is the one who gets put in jail for admitting he pushed her [to get away].  American society is now turned completely against men.

Psychstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 873
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2015, 08:29:42 AM »
Well, in the 50s a person beating his wife was often laughed off and no charges laid.  Ditto smacking the kids around.  Not to mention a pretty high percentage of rapes (that is still an issue). 

Now crimes like that are taken more seriously, thankfully.  Though I suspect we still have a long way to go.

Actually it's the other way around now.  Even as of 2010, 40% of domestic abuse victims were men according to official federal statistics.  However the laws and social conventions are so skewed against men, that it's almost 100% impossible for a man to get charges to stick against a woman when reporting domestic abuse.  I've read case after case where a woman started beating her husband, he pushed her away and ran away to call the police only to find that HE is the one who gets put in jail for admitting he pushed her [to get away].  American society is now turned completely against men.

I hate to derail the thread, but while you have a point about societal issues with men getting justice as victims of domestic abuse, the bolded statement is absurd.

-An American Male

Gas Panic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Location: Norway
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2015, 06:02:58 AM »
I stared to let my son use public transportation by his own when he was 7 years and ca 4 months. If it comes up in a conversation, many people are looking at me in disbelief because they are not letting their kids use the bus/tram before they are 12/13. And they are afraid their kids will get lost in our small city of ca 250k.

When I grew up, going solo at 7 was not uncommon at all.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1891
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2015, 11:22:12 AM »
At age 7 in 1995 my mom gave me a watch and said "come home by 7" and I went off on my bike. I wasn't allowed to cross big roads, but I ran around with other kids in the apartment complex and had a grand time. I also walked to school (probably close to a mile) and watched my 2yo sister when my mom had to step out to do laundry or something.

At 16 or 17 (2004-5) I distinctly remember hiking 6-8 miles with my 8-9 yo sister while the rest of the family was rock climbing. We had a grand time and ate lots of blackberries. I also watched my sisters for as long as a weekend a few times. Didn't develop a babysitting clientele, though.

The kneejerk reaction to kids alone is ridiculous, but I think so is the kneejerk reaction to not wanting to put kids into a situation alone. There's a lot to be said for parental judgement; of the situation, of their child, etc. I walked to school alone at 7 with a bunch of neighborhood kids on a safe route with no big streets. Then we moved and she walked with me for a year, but I was on my own again at 9 with a friend who lived 4 buildings away down a pretty busy street (lots of eyes on the road). We moved again a few years later, and she or I picked up my sisters until they were 11 or 12, because the last 1/4-1/2 mile of their walk didn't have kids on it, and the neighborhood was very quiet in the afternoon; she didn't want to make it easy for someone to single them out or target them. I don't think her reasoning really changed, but we were different kids in different situations, so she made different judgements.

And for all that I probably got more independence early on, my sisters at 15 or 17 did things I would have been very nervous about, like going to Chicago or San Francisco alone with friends, or traveling alone (flying+taxi) to go to admitted students weekend at college (one sister had a sprained ankle at the time, to boot!). I think it took me 1-2 more years to reach those milestones; went out in the city as soon as I started college and traveled alone to an unfamiliar place probably halfway through. Or maybe even later; I think the event I'm thinking of was going to a conference with a student group, and traveling with a group is much less intimidating.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3883
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2015, 04:00:55 PM »
This is part of why my wife and I are moving close to the middle of nowhere... no interest in having CPS called on us for a "free range kid" that would have been perfectly normal 20-30 years ago.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2015, 05:30:17 PM »
Someone threatened to call the police for child endangerment because my mother left me alone in a camper when I was 17. Someone actually came over and started questioning me because they couldn't tell if I was an adult or not. I was in my camper with the door locked. When I said I was 17 they made a huge deal about leaving children unattended in a camper and kept harassing me about it until my mother returned and then told her they could have her arrested.

What's great about this is that this person thought it was ok for them to invade your space and question you because they thought you were a minor.

It's the same with people who call the police or approach children just because they see kids walking down the road.

I just want to shake them and say, "Don't you see that -you- are the predator!"

Until that stranger came along to "protect" you, no one had frightened you, hurt you, or harassed you.

When/if I have kids, I'm going to teach them to scream, attack, and report to the authorities anyone who tries that kind of shit.

By the way, as far as walking to school goes, if you live in the City of Atlanta and within a mile of the school, you pretty much have no choice but to walk because the school buses don't stop for you.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3883
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Hyperprotectiveness of children gone wild . . . again . . .
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2015, 05:36:14 PM »
... So I'd bet 75% are driven. Walk? A MILE????