Summer Fun

A great day to be frolicking in the water. It makes it hard to find a parking spot near the library but who can complain when this is the result.

Summer Fun



Mad as a Hatter“…. that’s one way of putting it!

I saw an article last night about the Maryland couple, the Meltivs, that let their 10-year-old & 6-year-old walk home from the park and were then charged with “unsubstantiated child neglect”. In this new article the children were walking home from the park again this past Sunday, they were dropped off at 4 pm and told to be home by 6 pm. A neighbor called the police when they saw the children walking home. The children were picked up 2 blocks from their house. The children were kept in the police car for 2 1/2 hours. The cops told the kids they would be driven home and then took them to CPS. No one called the parents until 8:30 pm. The parents were frantic at 6:30 pm and started looking for the kids. When they got the call they went to CPS and were told to wait. They did not get their children until 10:30 pm. The “responsible” adults of the police dept and CPS didn’t even give these kids dinner.

The comments on the article ranged from “Leave the parents alone” to “How irresponsible! We live 2 blocks away from the school and I drive my 10 yr old to and from” to “The world has changed since we were all kids”.

Holy crap people…things have not changed since we were all kids! The only difference is you hear about it more because of how connected the world is. Children are more likely to be abducted by a family member or someone they know than a stranger. If you actually talk to your kids about the dangers out there and they prove to you that they can be responsible LET THEM BE KIDS! Do you want your children living in your basement when they are 40? Because that’s where they are headed. They will have ZERO social skills and not be able to function as adults because of this “fear” that has been instilled in them from a young age.

My oldest has walked to school since she was 10 (we lived over 5 miles away before that age). She walks up to the store all the time. My youngest is way to friendly and therefore she needs to have someone with her. That is called observing how your kids handle the outside world, not just following them around wiping their asses.

There are always risks in life: You may get in a car accident on your way to work…are you going to stop driving?

Someone may shoot you in a robbery at a store…..are you going to stop shopping?

Some kid at your kid’s school may shoot up the place….are you going to home school from now on?

The answer to those is hell no. Because we all know that the probability of those things happening is low if you are attentive and know what to do in those situations. So why shelter kids instead of giving them the tools to be responsible? 

This subject is one that gets my hackles up. Parents aren’t allowed to be parents anymore! We aren’t allowed to spank our kids or discipline them at all in public for fear of someone calling the cops. Yet when a kid is running around causing all kinds of chaos we say “Why don’t those parents discipline their kid?!” You can’t have it both ways people. We aren’t allowed to tell our kids “Go outside and play. When the streetlights come on, it’s time to come in”. Yet when the kids are overweight due to not getting enough exercise we say “Why don’t those kids go play?” Again, can’t have it both ways.

I weep for what the younger generation will grow up to be. May as well institute the principles of “1984” right now because that kind of conformity is what everyone is crying for.


Free-range Parenting vs. Helicopter Parenting

As I was sipping my first cup of coffee, half listening to the Today show, my ears perked up when they started talking about the Maryland couple accused of child neglect. This is a case I have been following since I got wind of it in late December.

A little back story: On Dec. 20th the Meitivs’ let their two children, ages 10 & 6, walk home from a park that is less than a mile away. Someone driving by saw the two children walking alone and called the police. The kids were picked up by the police about halfway between the park and home. The police asked the father to sign a form saying he would not leave the children unsupervised until CPS followed up. When he refused, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer first, the police said the children would be removed if he did not sign the form.

On February 20th the family received a decision letter stating that the CPS investigation had been completed. It cited a finding of “unsubstantiated child neglect” and the file would remain open for 5 years.

The Meitivs’ practice what is called “free-range” parenting, believing that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to make choices, build independence and progressively experience the world on their own. This is in direct opposition of how a majority of parents and society think today. Most parents are “helicopter” parents, going along with the idea of “take your eyes off your kid for one second and they’ll be snatched”. So they drive their kids to school even though they only live a couple blocks away and get their 6 year olds cell phones.

When I was a kid I walked about a mile to elementary school. Then a mile and a half to junior high. For one high school the walk was a little over 2 miles, then when we moved that walk turned into 3 miles. I would go out and ride my bike around the neighborhood and was told to “come check in once in a while” and “be back by dark”. I would walk to the mall that was 4 miles away. And guess what? Nothing ever happened to me! Gasp! My husband grew up on a 350 acre ranch. He would walk 7 miles into town to go to the store by himself and he was 6 years old at the time. Nothing ever happened to him either, other than maybe a blister or two the first time. When did it become such a crime to let your kids walk around?

“But kids will get abducted if they are out on their own!” The instances of child abduction have not increased since I was a child in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but due to people being connected via the internet and social media the cases are more publicized. This has led to parents seeing child abductors and molesters around every corner. My teenage daughter has friends that won’t walk 2 miles to school. If they sleep in or miss the bus they just don’t go to school that day. Then she has friends that get dropped off at school everyday and they only live a block away. Is that the kind of mind-set these kids need? What happens when they become adults?

Since when have we become gerbils ladies and gentlemen? The next thing will be micro-chipping just like we do with dogs, or kids will have to wear ankle locators like people on house arrest.