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Child safety question--is this extreme? - Page 2

post #21 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah0404 View Post
There was a study in the news just this week here in the UK about the same thing. It turns out more children are killed by cars than killed by weirdos. And of the children who were murdered the majority were killed by family members, or people who the family had allowed access to their children. Only a tiny percent were killed by strangers. So really the risk of something happening to your child is absolutly tiny. But still... everytime I hear on the news about a missing child... it makes me very uncomfortable about letting my children go out anywhere without me.
Statistically, it's the same here in the US - driving our kids somewhere is BY FAR the most dangerous thing any of us do on a daily basis. I don't understand the level of fear that some people have, but I wouldn't judge another mom without knowing her - maybe something did happen to her, maybe she has someone in her life who's unstable (like a crazy ex), there could be lots of reasons she feels the need to be overly protective.

The extreme waste of gas does kind of bug me, though.
post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
I agree.

OP, no I do not think his Mom coming to pick him up at Age 15 is extreme...ESPECIALLY in this day and age.
What day and age? The one where we here about all the weirdos, as opposed to only hearing about the locals?

My grandmother was assaulted as she walked home at the age of 16...that would have been...hmm...1925 or thereabouts? Nobody knew about it, and it didn't make the papers - and she did manage to fight the guy off.

My mom was assaulted in about 1960. She also managed to get loose, and nobody knew about it, and it wasn't splashed all over the papers.

We had a sicko kidnapping teenagers and killing them when I was about 12. It was all over the news here, and his name still makes locals cringe. But...I'm not sure that people on the other side of the country knew about him.

This stuff has been going on forever. We hear all about it now. Our society wallows in it. But, it's not new.


I can't even imagine requiring ds1 to call me to pick him up from two blocks away. There's no way I'd be taking a car out and wasting all that gas. I suppose I could walk over and pick him up, but I'm not sure what difference my presence would make if someone decided to jump us.

I think this is extreme, and it doesn't sound healthy. As many people have pointed out, this boy's less than a year from being able to drive, and only three years from going off to college or getting a job. I think three years is an awfully short time to switch gears from "I can't walk two blocks home by myself" to dealing with all the various situations that an adult can find themselves in.


With respect to the possibility that there's something else going on (eg. drugs, an ex, etc.), that's always a possibility, but the OP did say:

Quote:
His mother's reasoning is that the world just isn't like it used to be years ago, and she's just not willing to take the chance of something happening.
That doesn't sound like there are any specific problems going on. The mom is just terrified of the world and what it might do to her son. Personally, I'm more afraid of what could happen to ds1 at school than I've ever been about what might happen on his way to and from.
post #23 of 103
I would find this extreme under normal circumstances, but I also think everyone needs to do their own cost/benefit analysis.

One thing I do take issue with: the statement that the world is more dangerous today. Since when exactly? Since the 1970s when I was a kid? Doubtful. Since the 1670s? Maybe, but there have always been criminals, abusers, and generally bad people around. There are some new threats, in the past abusers couldn't troll for kids on the internet and the international sex trade in children from poor countries has increased in the past few decades. But if you read old newspapers, you'll find that crimes against children are an old and common problem. And that coverage probably represents and undercounting because in the past people were less likely to report sex crimes against children.

All that said, I think you could take that information and make two very different arguements. One that children have always been endangered so you have to always keep them close. And my own belief that children had always been endangered so you have to do your best to prepare them for the world.
post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
What day and age?
I knew that would come up...I don't have the time to get into a debate on whether or not the world is more dangerous today than it was 50-100 years ago.

I can think of thousands of incidents that have occurred just in the last 10-20years that would have been unheard of in our grandparents' age.

One example- Schools. You all don't think schools are more dangerous today than they were 10-20 years ago?

If not, give me a day and I'll send you a couple of disturbing school violence youtube videos that would leave you breathless....

At least in my region, every week there is some sort of school shooting or gang violence etc..

Now you have students dressing up in black trench coates with an aim "to kill as many people as you can"

Or more recently (yesterday) a Man open firing in Utah Mall.

Also more recently, what 2 or 3 months ago? A man open firing on an Amish community killing innocent kids...

Tell me you heard about that "back in the day"

Again, Schools is just one example. Which is why alot of parents in my region are choosing to Homeschool (not the #1 Reason, but certainly A reason).
post #25 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Definitely extreme, and possibly damaging to the young man. Heck, PROBABLY damaging to the young man

post #26 of 103
I've shared my seemingly overprotective views here on MDC before, but IMO that's for little children.

Does she not realize he can leave home in 3 years? What will he do then? Is a college campus really safer than his own neighborhood?

IMO if she so fears for her children's safety, she could enroll them in karate and self-defense classes to keep themselves safe, in Red Cross classes (like babysitting, first aid, CPR) to give them skills to keep self and others safe), and equip them with cell phones and maybe mace. Then let 'em go.
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This stuff has been going on forever. We hear all about it now. Our society wallows in it. But, it's not new.
I totally agree with this. With the invention of the TV and the proliferation of channels, especially news channels, they need to have something to talk about. And they have learned that these type of stories get viewership.

Back to the original question, yes, I do think that she is being too extreme. We let my DH's 14 year old daughter walk 1/2 mile to get to our swimming pool and never even blinked an eye.
post #28 of 103
I'd say a compromise is in order; ie. have him call and say I'm heading home now. Then, she can keep an eye out for him. Have him carry a cell phone.

We had a teenaged girl kidnapped and killed while waiting at her bus stop in the morning. It can happen.

It's a tough call & I really can't judge over protective Moms b/c I'm not one and it's scary either way.
post #29 of 103
I was listening to an NPR article on obesity and they sited fear of walking to school and in our neighborhoods as part of the obesity problem in the US. I thought that was an interesting point when dealing with the “better safe than sorry” way of thinking that seems so wrong to me when it comes to this kind of thing.

IMO, and having nothing to do with this particular parent because I agree that there might be something going on with that family that we don’t know about (maybe bullying in the neighborhood or something that you just don’t talk to your music teacher about, it’s best to think about the whole package.

When we don’t let kids walk around and when we don’t walk around as a family, the streets are emptier. Emptier streets have fewer eyes around, fewer people checking out what’s going on (because it’s not “our kid” out there) and they’re more difficult to police. In a sense dangerous streets become a self fulfilling prophecy. JMO.
post #30 of 103
Yes I think it is extreme behavior but i also think that this extreme is becoming normal.

our cars give us such a sense of saftey don't they. I refuse to live my life ocked into my metal box of peace and comfort and I erfuse to allow my children to do so (much less force them.) I walk too and from work. its 2 miles. I get off between 10:00 PM and midnight. I live in a rough part of town. I am not scared in the slightest. and I get no end fo grief about it. but i refuse to live my life scared of "what if". There just came a point where I decided what i was missing by always tucking myself safely away was worth the risk of a little less safety. my kids climb trees and go barefoot and go sledding on the slickest most areodynamic object they can find or build. I am not constantly chasing them to the bathroom to wash thier hands and we are firm believers in the 10 second rule. Life is just to short to be scared that there is a criminal, accident or germ waiting to nab you around every corner.
post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
I knew that would come up...I don't have the time to get into a debate on whether or not the world is more dangerous today than it was 50-100 years ago.

I can think of thousands of incidents that have occurred just in the last 10-20years that would have been unheard of in our grandparents' age.

One example- Schools. You all don't think schools are more dangerous today than they were 10-20 years ago?

If not, give me a day and I'll send you a couple of disturbing school violence youtube videos that would leave you breathless....

At least in my region, every week there is some sort of school shooting or gang violence etc..

Now you have students dressing up in black trench coates with an aim "to kill as many people as you can"

Or more recently (yesterday) a Man open firing in Utah Mall.

Also more recently, what 2 or 3 months ago? A man open firing on an Amish community killing innocent kids...

Tell me you heard about that "back in the day"

Again, Schools is just one example. Which is why alot of parents in my region are choosing to Homeschool (not the #1 Reason, but certainly A reason).
I have no doubt that schools are more dangerous than they used to be. Of course, there was a whole lot more going on than was acknowledged years ago, too. There was violence going on in my school - mostly an upper-middle class student population - 25 years ago. Guns? Not so much - but violence - lots of it.

If you're in an area where drive-by shootings are common, I can see being afraid to let your 15-year-old walk two blocks. But, violence within the schools is, imo, a totally different cultural phenomenon.

The things you're talking about are not the same as weirdos and kidnappers. The gun violence thing is a totally separate issue, and I'm not sure what good a car is with respect to any of the incidents you listed. If somebody's going to gun people down, he can do it through a windshield just as easily as not.

Somebody else made the point about obesity. This is a real concern. Do I think it makes sense to teach my son that he needs a car to go two blocks (whatever the reasoning) because there's a very small chance that something might happen to him while he's walking along the street? No - I don't. I don't want him to be sedentary and obese because he's afraid to outside. I don't think it makes sense to greatly increase his risk of heart disease or diabetes because I'm afraid that there might be some pervert or sadist lurking in the area. My son gets around mostly on his feet...just like I always have.

Where's the line? If a kid can't walk two blocks home at 15, can he walk around on campus at 18?
post #32 of 103
You know, the more I think about it the more I think pp must have been right.

There is probably a crazy ex somewhere, or an incident within the family that accounts for this. 15 is so old for that kind of handholding.

I'd feel inclined to press mom a little, to see if she is aware of local services and help. Not sure how to tactfully do that...but it sounds like she won't even walk in the neighborhood, herself, with the kids.
post #33 of 103
nak - yes it's extreme. i think fear about 'stranger danger' far outstrips the actual risk, and i think there is a huge downside that we fail to acknowledge.

as they say, paranoia will destroy ya.
post #34 of 103
It's very extreme and I think almost certainly damaging to the young man, not only in his skills for dealing with the world but just for having the privacy to think and grow on his own.

She defnitely has a right to give whatever story she wants, and I think it is entirely possible that there is a more plausible reason that she is not being real specific about, but if not, then yeah, way too extreme to be safe.

And, to quote an MDC-er of my acquaintance, judgement is not always bad. Absent a better explanation, this is just so damaging on so many levels.
post #35 of 103
I wonder if those folks who don't see this as extreme have teenagers? I do and man at 15, kids are anxious to start gaining freedoms. I think how my son likes to go to the mall, etc.

It would seem to me that the better thing is to give this boy a cell phone and have him call when he is leaving and connect that way rather than driving to pick him up.

Shay
post #36 of 103
The really crappy thing about this kind of paranoia becoming mainstream is that it sets a standard for the rest of us. That is, if I fail to be as paranoid about my 15 year old (when she gets to that age) then I am likely to get branded as a careless and uncaring mother, "asking for trouble."

That and yes yes yes it makes my head explode thinking of the wasted fossil fuel, ARGH! And the loss to that poor kid of fresh air and freedom. No one should have to live in a prison of paranoia. Trust me, with my parents, I know all about it. And I even had more freedom that this kid.

We walk and take public transit everywhere. It's safe. It really is. Sometimes there are creepy guys, but there's also a driver with a direct radio to police. And the walks are so invigorating for mind, body, and spirit. It's a wonderful way to live. It's just not scary. I find freeway driving FAR scarier.

Whoever said if you're worried, teach your kid self-defense was right on, IMHO.
post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I wonder if those folks who don't see this as extreme have teenagers? I do and man at 15, kids are anxious to start gaining freedoms. I think how my son likes to go to the mall, etc.

It would seem to me that the better thing is to give this boy a cell phone and have him call when he is leaving and connect that way rather than driving to pick him up.

Shay
I agree. My soon to be 13 yr old would feel infantalized and humiliated if I treated her as though she was not capable of getting home by herself from 2 blocks away. I would feel that I was failing to meet her needs if she did not feel capable herself of doing so! My job as a parent is to help my children grow up, not treat them as small children when they are no longer small.
post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
The really crappy thing about this kind of paranoia becoming mainstream is that it sets a standard for the rest of us. That is, if I fail to be as paranoid about my 15 year old (when she gets to that age) then I am likely to get branded as a careless and uncaring mother, "asking for trouble."
Yes. This is the very truly scary thing about it.

Quote:
And the walks are so invigorating for mind, body, and spirit. It's a wonderful way to live. It's just not scary. I find freeway driving FAR scarier.
TOTALLY!!!! And I'm sure statistically it is much more dangerous. But we don't get paranoid about the danger of driving at super fast speeds, because we are enculturated (is that a word?) to view it as a risk worth taking, a risk everyone takes. Those who won't are deemed paranoid.
post #39 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
We walk and take public transit everywhere. It's safe. It really is. Sometimes there are creepy guys, but there's also a driver with a direct radio to police. And the walks are so invigorating for mind, body, and spirit. It's a wonderful way to live. It's just not scary. I find freeway driving FAR scarier.
:

I find driving to be much scarier than walking...and I'm far more nervous about having my kids in a vehicle than I am when ds1 is out walking around by himself.
post #40 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
Whoever said if you're worried, teach your kid self-defense was right on, IMHO.
...and, again :

DS1 is about an inch and a half taller than I am. He weighs 150 pounds (not fat). He's taken two yaers of Tae Kwon Do. Honestly, I think he's safer walking around by himself than I am.
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