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would you let a 9 year old alone at the library? - Page 6

Poll Results: Is it OK for a 9 year old to attend a book club alone at the library?

 
  • 76% (119)
    Yes. Sure. Why not?
  • 6% (10)
    Hmmm. Not so sure
  • 5% (9)
    Absolutely not.
  • 10% (16)
    Maybe.
  • 1% (2)
    The Proverbial Other
156 Total Votes  
post #101 of 109

Our libraries all have children's sections with signs saying not to leave your children unattended.  They are fine with kids browsing while you are in the same room but not fine with children being left alone in the room.  There are usually two or three librarians in the room and at least one person stocking shelves.  They don't stop people from going in though because it is a public place.  I don't think it is an issue if they say they are going to supervise your child and you are free to leave though.

 

This is a little off topic but I do want to address the idea that people who are unsafe are going to look it and that someone will just turn them away.  It is very naive to think that someone who is unsafe is going to look unsafe.  People who are unsafe do not generally look unsafe and they don't always give you a bad feeling inside.  The person who hurt me the worst as a child was a person who looked and acted very safe and caring.  Serial killers, rapists, and child molestors seem like very nice people who would never hurt anyone and at the same time they commit heinous crimes that have long lasting devastating events.  They sometimes insinuate themselves into your lives and they sometimes just snatch people in broad daylight with no one blinking an eye because they look so nice.  My mom was just telling me about a serial killer who snatched kids from front yards while neighbors who knew them just looked on because he looked so decent and like he belonged.  If an adult in the know can be fooled a librarian at a desk can be fooled just as easily.  I don't think that this is a big thing to worry about in the situation you describe, or even in general, but I truly hope you are teaching your child not to be taken in by nice looks and sweet talk when you talk to her about staying safe when she isn't around adults who are watching out for her. 

 

post #102 of 109

Ours has a sign saying that children younger than 6 can't be left unattended. So I guess this is different for different libraries.

post #103 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

but isnt that a chance you take all the time you leave you child alone at a public place - even at one that 'looks' safe. 

 

i am curious - at big big libraries isnt there a children's section? i know at our main branch the children's section is completely separate - on its own floor with the librarians desk at the main entrance so no 'unsafe' looking person can go down there. even at that library i wont feel unsafe leaving my dd alone - for one because i trust her not leaving the floor and second there are security guards at both entrances. in fact they have extra security at that library - esp. around the children's section too.  


There is risk involved anytime a child is alone in public, yes.  But the risk is dramatically increased if the child is alone in a place where people with mental illness and substance abuse problems are known to congregate.  Just because unknown risk exists in the world doesn't make it any more logical to knowingly place a child at risk.

 

As to the libraries here, all of the libraries have children's sections, but they are all also open floorplan - the children's sections are not isolated, and no one is prevented from entering them.  To be clear though, I wasn't making a suggestion one way or another about whether or not gyou should leave your child alone at the library (I think every parent has to make their own decisions there); my intention in this thread was merely to controvert the argument that a large presence of homeless people shouldn't have any bearing on a parent's decision, or is somehow irrelevant to the conversation.

 

I don't have a nine year old.  My oldest is seven.  At the moment, I'm comfortable allowing her to walk to the other end of the grocery store for a cookie from the bakery while I'm in frozen foods.  Who knows where I'll be in two years.  At the moment, I don't foresee leaving her in the library alone, but I've parented long enough to have learned not to predict how I will handle situations I haven't yet been in.

 

post #104 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by chenchen View Post

There is risk involved anytime a child is alone in public, yes.  But the risk is dramatically increased if the child is alone in a place where people with mental illness and substance abuse problems are known to congregate. 

OK substance abuse wasn't part of the original statement. Substance abuse may be linked to violence. What I said earlier, I will repeat -- people with mental illnesses are not more dangerous to your child. Someone with a mental illness is much more likely to harm themselves or be a victim than a perpetrator. It really bothers me to hear people say how dangerous it can be to be around people with mental illness. That's simply not true, and this cuts close to home because I've suffered mental illnesses, I have many close friends that have as well, I've spent a lot of time around people who are mentally ill or hospitalized, including state hospital patients (aka the worst off)... The link between violence & mental illness is a stereotype promoted by media & Hollywood.
post #105 of 109
Thread Starter 

i am sorry but it really gets my goat when people stigmatise people with mental illness, homeless and substance abuse. 

 

the last 14 years of my life i have spent with them. and really just coz their outer self shows they are different there is such a huge bias around them. 

 

i have seen their other side and to lump them all as unsafe is grossly unfair. 

 

i have seen both sides. but just coz the guy 'looks' crazy does not mean they are crazy. in fact some of them are quite the opposite. yeah those 'crazies' do hang out at our main library but we have never had any incidence with them at the library - not once. never. 

 

yeah the problems we have downtime are the meth kids. kids. 

 

in our city there have been more homeless who have frozen to death than the number who have attacked anyone in public. 

 

because i was one of the few people who spoke to the homeless around where i lived, they were my security when i came home late. they kept an eye out for me. yes they were mentally ill, smelly badly kept and i am sure they had substance abuse. and yet they were the only people who offered to share their TG meal with me when they saw me walking down the empty street by myself on TG day. 

post #106 of 109

There's that word "stigmatize" again.  No one is stigmatizing ("regard as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval") the mentally ill or the homeless. I'm not campaigning disgrace OR disapproval.  I'm encouraging caution.  I also have a good deal of experience with mental illness.  I'm the daughter of a woman with borderline personality disorder and sister of two brothers with bipolar disorder, one of whom has spent substantial amounts of his life as a homeless man, and more than a year in my home.  You can be a champion for the rights and dignity of the homeless and mentally ill without being unrealistic about the level of stability they embody.

 

I am so stunned by this assertion

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy
 
...people with mental illnesses are not more dangerous to your child. Someone with a mental illness is much more likely to harm themselves or be a victim than a perpetrator. It really bothers me to hear people say how dangerous it can be to be around people with mental illness. That's simply not true...

 

that I had to do some digging.  The New England Journal of Medicine published a study (7000 subjects) which concluded "that patients with serious mental illness — those with schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder — were two to three times as likely as people without such an illness to be assaultive."  A separate study (of 802 adults with a psychotic or major mood disorder) showed "violence was independently correlated with several risk factors, including substance abuse, a history of having been a victim of violence, homelessness, and poor medical health."

 

Then you must consider that substance abuse among the homeless is significantly higher than among the general population. "More than half of homeless people with mental illness have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, including addiction to marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine." (American Psychiatric Association 2011 Institute on Psychiatric Services). 

 

While these statistics obviously don't mean that all people who suffer from mental illness (or for that matter substance abuse) will be a threat, it does mean that the the risk is increased.  Knowingly putting an unsupervised child in a position of increased risk is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

post #107 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy

OK substance abuse wasn't part of the original statement. Substance abuse may be linked to violence.


Substance abuse wasn't directly mentioned in your original rebuttal, but homelessness was.  Since substance abuse is present in more than 50% of homeless individuals, it was worth naming explicitly as a danger.

post #108 of 109
I could show you a bunch of studies stating the opposite. And a lot of the studies showing a correlation of violence studied incarcerated people -- hardly a representative sample. The study you quoted wasn't even designed to study violence, and they only correlated it with 3 specific mental illnesses, which again is not representative of mental illnesses as a whole. And even they admit that when they removed certain risk factors, potential for violence was the same among people with mental illness as the general population.

This really isn't something I can deal with debating right now, I've said my piece & I hope at least a few people 'heard' me enough to think twice before stereotyping people who are mentally ill. It's just a sad & upsetting thing to hear, but maybe I'm overly sensitive.
post #109 of 109


Mental illness hits close to home for most people. It is in almost everyone's family to one degree or another. I think I may have made the original post that you originally responded to and quoted. It clearly mentions that many (not all) homeless people have mental illness and/or (not necessarily both) addiction problems. It is not true that addiction was not mentioned in the post. I don't know if that will change your feelings on the post at all, but I thought I would let you know, hoping it would make you feel a bit better. I had another post after that to clarify, because I know my original post was all over the place, and I was afraid people might read it the wrong way. Both posts mention addiction and/or mental illness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I could show you a bunch of studies stating the opposite. And a lot of the studies showing a correlation of violence studied incarcerated people -- hardly a representative sample. The study you quoted wasn't even designed to study violence, and they only correlated it with 3 specific mental illnesses, which again is not representative of mental illnesses as a whole. And even they admit that when they removed certain risk factors, potential for violence was the same among people with mental illness as the general population.
This really isn't something I can deal with debating right now, I've said my piece & I hope at least a few people 'heard' me enough to think twice before stereotyping people who are mentally ill. It's just a sad & upsetting thing to hear, but maybe I'm overly sensitive.


 

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