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Judging parents who let their kids take risks

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by hbarcat, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk?

    This was particularly interesting to me.

    JMacBass65 and One Drop like this.
  2. I rode my bike to school when I was 9 or 10.
    murphy and jmattbassplaya like this.
  3. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    What's changed? People have forgotten how to mind their own business, and the 24 news cycle has so lacked for ratings and news that they've created a place where everything is to be feared.
    JMacBass65, PillO, Mike A and 4 others like this.
  4. D M C

    D M C Oh good god, this again? Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    North America, Earth
    On the threshold of a verge on the brink.
    It certainly is a conundrum.
  5. What is considered risky behavior these days was considered good clean fun when I was young. But then again, I was raised by negligent nuns who wielded metal yardsticks.
    JMacBass65, Jaume2, murphy and 6 others like this.
  6. Without a helmet.

    On my way home, I'd set up a ramp and jump over my friends!!
    JMacBass65, murphy, PillO and 4 others like this.
  7. So which one are you? Jake or Elwood? ;)

  8. The nuns that raised me would consider those wimps to be rank amateurs.

    I must admit, I love the color and lighting in that photo. It's like the Rembrandt in that partial Masterpiece game we had at "home".
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    In USA (but it applies elsewhere too), child protection services have an irrealistic view of the way a kid should be raised.
    What they expect to find is a family with no issue, who work well paid jobs and live in nice suburbs.
    BUT the kid should see his parents for a long time everyday, the house has to be perfect clean, there must be a lot of distractions, serious hobbies, kids should never be put to work on anything, there must be vacations and great school results.
    This never happens as a whole out of fantasy land of course.

    If they go after you, you can't get out. It's terrifying.
    JMacBass65, murphy, PillO and 4 others like this.
  10. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    we had a regular problem with child abductions in the 90's here. pretty sure My stepmom was trying to initiate a different lifestyle for herself when she let us three <70lbs kids wander around a huge old mall alone at least once a month.

    I doubt my dad ever considered the side effect of giving me an endorphin and adrenaline addiction or risking full-body paralasys when, by age ten, he'd taught me: a solid aero-tuck, fluid mogul slaloming and maxing out 30'+ jumps on every black- and double black-diamond ski trail in the area; donuts, wheelie-ing, general going-as-fast-as-traction-will-allow on motorcycles; and driving cars and trucks like Luke Duke on public roads. Maybe it made me a safer driver? It certainly saddled me with some expensive hobbies. If I wore a helmet more than twenty times whilst bicycling, I'd be suprised. I have no idea how we spent so little time at the hospital.

    If I ever have kids, the only similarities between their upbringing and mine will be manners, hygene, and making things with their hands. I'd rather them get their adrenaline fix from playing chess.
    JMacBass65, murphy and BboogieXVII like this.
  11. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    Murika has gone crazy.

    Bring your kid to a park and he falls off a swing and you spend 6 months fighting with Child Protection Services about neglect.
    Your kid finds a loaded firearm and shoots himself, sibling, parent, friend and it's an unfortunate accident, the parents have suffered enough, and it's forgotten as no harm no foul.

    And I know that in some localities they are starting to prosecute the parents, babysitter, etc but in too many cases it's just forgotten as just another daily incident.
  12. So like all parents I am torn on this topic. I grew up with a lot of freedom to go out and have done my share of srupid things. And now I have 2 teenage girls. One pretty significant difference between the environment I grew up in and the one they do is access. In my time, you could only see or obtain stuff through direct connections (friends, families, neighbors). Today you can gain access to absolutely everything through your phones. Drugs, sexual perversion, stolen goods,... and kids get exposed to that much earlier than I was. As a parent, this is scary and if your child is a risk taker (which one of mine is), it can quickly get out of control.

    One thing I learn as a parent is that all you can do is provide guidance. A child has his/her own mind and will make his/her own decisions. If your child is impulsive, risks are greater today than they used to 30 years ago.

    And I am not even addressing the ease of access that pedophiles have through social media.
    murphy, PillO, Tbone76 and 3 others like this.
  13. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    It's a shame that people focus so much on the risk if something bad were to happen, but they ignore the missed opportunity for success that constant monitoring prevents them from having.

    From the article:
    I think of my role as parent as one where I prepare my kids to be self-sufficient. I cannot do that while doing everything for them or constantly monitoring them. In practice, it's not always easy to let them fail, but I try very hard to let them make mistakes in ways that won't lead to permanent injury. Failure is part of learning and making mistakes is inevitable. I regularly tell my kids that I believe that they have the ability to do things themselves, and encourage them to be more self-sufficient on a regular basis.

    I constantly feel that I'm fighting against other groups that don't share this view, at least in practice. School is particularly bad about this. There are so many rewards for compliance and punishments for mistakes that our kids are internalizing a fear of making mistakes. I put a lot of energy into trying to reverse this tendency.
    JMacBass65, murphy, PillO and 3 others like this.
  14. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    As a parent of two kids, I have to admit that I'm terrified of this possibility. Their mother and I try as hard as we can to meet the best standards possible, but all it takes is one phone call by a nosy neighbor who maybe heard a small argument or a 10yr old girl throwing a tantrum to seriously put out whole family in jeapordy. While I don't know of other solutions to keep kids that are in actual bad environments safe, I have to think it's a flawed system that can allow this sort of thing. The answers aren't black and white but the system doesn't do black and white.
    murphy likes this.
  15. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I was only part time with evil nuns, i feel for you Immi.
  16. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    This all started with "It Takes a Village" and we all know who is responsible for that nonsense...
    JMacBass65 and BboogieXVII like this.
  17. fingerguy


    Aug 2, 2016
    The world has changed and I really don't get it for it's my generation that is the adults of today and many of us had no issues taking risks but today it's all about being fair, or that is too dangerous, and etc. When did the world become filled with a bunch of wimps? When did the world become so PR? I remember that trend that when someone was offended the person that offended them had to be fired and had to give an apology. It's all crap and I will not apologize for feeling that way.
  18. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    This from the article:

    "To get a sense of the experiments they conducted, consider a case from earlier this month: A 2-year-old was found unattended after his parents allegedly left home to play Pokémon Go. As expected, the case generated plenty of moral outrage. ("If you can't take care of a child," wrote one commentator, "DON'T HAVE ONE!")

    But consider: How much risk was there of some harm coming to the child while the parents were gone? And, more importantly, would you feel differently about this risk if the circumstances were otherwise the same, but the parents had left the child unattended by accident, or to go to work? In other words, would decreasing the moral outrage one feels toward the parents decrease the perception of risk to the child?"

    I understand about leaving children to play by themselves but I believe a two-year-old is too young to leave alone. Unexpected things can happen in life and a child that young will probably not be able to respond to protect his/her self if something does happen.
    I don't know about moral outrage. I do know a couple that left very young children alone for an hour or so. The children were asleep and they couple had only one car. They would leave the kids while the wife drove her husband to work or he drove her to work.
    When I found out about it I told them it was not a good idea. It never occurred to me to report them to the authorities. Instead I loaned them my car until they could figure out their transportation situation. I also offered to baby sit but they never took me up on that.
    When I was young I played unsupervised with my friends all day. There is a difference. During that time there were lots and lots of stay at home moms, that was the norm. Everyone in the neighborhood new each other and looked out for each other. There was not an adult with us at all times but there was lots of supervision going on. If one of the neighbors told us to do or stop doing something we said "okay." We knew that nieghbor would be in touch with our parents and we would be in trouble if we didn't do what they said. Of course, we got into mischief when we could get away with it, but isn't that what all kids do.
    There was also no strangers in my neighborhood. If a strange man was walking up the street everyone knew he wasn't part of the neighborhood.
    Tbone76 likes this.
  19. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA
    Starting when I was seven, I walked to and from school, generally by myself, a mile each way. Part of this was in a busy thoroughfare with sidewalks. I had to cross at the light by myself.

    Since my single parent worked full time, after school I let myself into the empty house with my key. I called her work secretary and said "I'm home!" and then got on with the business of chores, homework, shooting hoops, reading, whatever. I was not allowed to leave or to have anybody over for the 90 or so minutes I was on my own.

    I somehow survived. I did not get kidnapped, I did not burn the house down. Furthermore, I'd say this daily dose of self-reliance was very good for me. I learned:

    That reliability was not optional
    How to be alone - and enjoy it!
    How to manage time
    What chores had to be done how often
    How to say "no" to invitations
    How to be self-sufficient in a limited sense

    Today, any kid flying solo like this would get their parents in big trouble. I was happy, and I was safe. There were no problems.

    Child abduction is actually way down from 40 years ago, I heard. And remember, most kidnappers are not strangers. They're people known to the child. Sometimes I think we focus on the wrong "risks."
  20. I think some of it is the location. In NYC, kids as young as 12 manage the subway and bus system by themselves, with out problems.

    In a more focused sense, I have allowed my daughter to take some risks that might be considered excessive. She has been training in circus arts for 8 years now, starting in 2nd grade. She has learned how to walk on a ball (2-3ft in circumference), climb silks and rope, 25ft up into the air. For rope she has also done 1 handed spins, like in Cirque du Solei. She has learned how to use stilts. All from a gal who has now been teaching this stuff for 50 years.

    Is it potentially dangerous? Yes, some of it very much so. Have I regretted a moment of it? Nope.

    I look forward to what she will be learning next.


    For another view of things: Per the FBI, some 80-90% of child abductions are by somebody known to the child and family. Not strangers.
    bolophonic likes this.

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