Leaving sleeping children in the car for under 3 minutes - Page 13 - Mothering Forums

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#361 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 03:53 AM
 
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I have read that other countries aren't this psycho about everything.
That's true. I get made fun of a bit over here because of some of the more "strange but true" stories they get wind of about America. The all-time favorite is the warnings on candles (that they're flammable). The first time I got confronted about this I just laughed and said it must be an urban legend. I'd never heard anything so ridiculous. So the next time I was in the States, I checked out the candles. It's really true. How embarrassing! Sometimes I just want to go :

The German candles now carry the warning labels too. : America exports EVERYTHING (even stupidity). Here's a great list of other stupid warning labels. Last week I noticed that my cream cheese has an ingredients list that says (in German, of course):

"Ingredients: milk, cultures. May contain milk. Caution: may contain trace elements of milk. May cause an allergic reaction in people with a milk allergy." :

I agree that there should be more common sense and less sensation. And people should stop watching the evening news (that'll completely warp your sensibilities) every night. They feed off sensation, it's almost like a tabloid.

But I won't knock America too much. You're still more free there than anywhere else in the world. We're moving back to take advantage of that (homeschool my kids and build a house). Here are some freedoms that American's enjoy:
  • Freedom from want (I know y'all are going to say that there are poor Americans, too. But you don't know poverty until you've been to a third world country. Read this and believe it!)
  • Freedom from illness (Some people don't have coverage, I know. And we should definitely change that. But America still has the best health system in the world. You don't hear about Saudis flying to England to get treated, do you? And do you know how many Germans die in their hospitals every year just because they're dirty? They look clean on first sight but the doctor's usually don't bother wearing gloves when inspecting a patient and they rarely wash their hands. On the other hand, my Italian colleagues are amazed at what nice hospitals we have here. :Puke)
  • Freedom of education (Need I mention homeschooling? It's a felony here!)
  • Freedom of religion (We're Catholic but we went to a Pentecostal church near hear a few times. A really nice group. They are considered a "religious cult" here and are monitored by the government.)
  • Freedom from taxation (The tax levels in the States are fantastic! We lose about 80% of our income through taxation. They call it "steuer" (steering) here because they use it to control you. The best part is that they take away all of your money, waste it in the bereaucracy and then give a part back as a "gift".

All I've got to say is: God bless America and Where is my plane ticket?!! I am soooo there...
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#362 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 03:54 AM
 
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Just wanted to add that I hear a lot of anti-American flack over here. But whenever I tell someone I'm moving back they say, "You are so lucky. I wish I could move there!" And they do, in droves. America isn't the biggest immigration-target in the world for nothing, you know.
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#363 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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I guess I don't worry about everything because I don't watch the news. I'd rather not live my life super paranoid. The news also reflects those events which are "rare", otherwise, it wouldn't be news.

Yes, I am so sick of this nonsense, even though we just moved back to Ohio last year, we are seriously thinking of leaving when this school year is over. I have a friend who lives in St. Thomas, other than hurricanes, it'd be a great place to live!

I actually am physically sick too. I came down with Mastitis yesterday and had a killer headache and fever and today, added throwing up to the mix. Just what my body needs. I swear this ordeal is gonna kill me!

Anyhow, I talked with my pastor again today and he is rooting for me. He said it is just so arbitrary.
Thanks for your support!
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#364 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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The way my littles are, they are far far far more likely to get whapped by a careless driver. And still likely to get whapped by a careful driver.

I'll take my chances with a not running car, no keys, at the pump than hauling out three little children to walk across the gas station lot to the kiosk any day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rharr! View Post
I don't know if any one has mentioned this,but, what if you have a freak accident while your child is locked in your car?

I once was about to lock dd in the car(in her seat) while I stepped 3 spots over to the cart spot. Then Irealised that if a car went out of control or a hole opened up or some other freak occurance happened, dd would be all alone in the car and no one would know to check for her
That is why I don't leave kids alone in a vehicle- ya just never know.
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#365 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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Mom had left baby in the car while she ran in to 7-11 "just for a second" and in the time it took her to pay for whatever, someone stole the truck with baby in it.
Couldn't you just use the steering wheel lock if you were worried about that? They're standard issue over here.
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#366 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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VanessaS,
I'll bet mom in this instance left her keys in the car or possibly left her car running. In my research the past 2 weeks of kids left in cars, I haven't found a singe case of a child who was taken from a locked parked vehicle. Most people that take cars aren't tryng to kidnap the child, it just so happens that the kids happens to be in there. They are looking for people who leave keys in ignition. When I get gas, I always take the keys out of the ignition and put them in my pocket, just in case.
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#367 of 407 Old 10-17-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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Yes, that is wise. You never know who's watching...
This reminds me of Tsotsi.
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#368 of 407 Old 10-24-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Well for anyone following my saga...I haven't heard a thing from the prosecutor, I believe he probably didn't even read my letter. Tomorrow I go back to court. So we will see what happens. If he doesn't dismiss it, I am going to plead no contest to the disorderly conduct. It's ridiculous I know, however, I think the board of nursing will also see that it is ridiculous as well. I spoke with my friend who is a magistrate again and she said that she does not know the judges well enough to know whether they would drop the case or not. She thought that if I wanted to spend the time and money on a lawyer, then it would probably be dropped. Otherwise, she said that she would probably plead no contest to the DC charge. SHe told me that she thinks it is crazy that I was even given a ticket in the first place and it shows a complete lack of common sense. She even apologized for it, like it was her fault. She's been so helpful to me and I appreciate all of her support.

I think we will be returning to San Jose at the end of this school year if the case isn't dropped (which will hopefully give us enough time to finish remodeling our house and sell it). My mom is already crying about it. It makes me feel so guilty, she's a big reason of why we moved back. I am a people pleaser and it made me feel so badly when we lived in Cali knowing that she was miserable without us. However, I know that I am allowed to have my own life and I need to be happy too. San Jose is a beautiful, safe city and we were treated very well when we lived there. The health insurance that I carried was awesome, considering my husband is a type one diabetic. Not to mention being a veggie is accepted there, unlike Ohio (what do you mean you don't eat meat?!!!).

Thanks so much for your good well wishes and prayers. I will let you know the outcome tomorrow. I know that God can change the prosecutor's heart, so I am leaving it in his hands, I've done as much as I can.

Take care!!
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#369 of 407 Old 10-24-2007, 02:44 PM
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Best of luck!
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#370 of 407 Old 10-25-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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Thanks!
Well, the prosecutor won't drop it, but says that he doesn't want me to lose my nursing license, so wants to be sure this won't cause it to be revoked. The board of nursing can't tell you yes it will or no it won't, they review everything individually, so have fun trying to figure that one out!

So I go back in a week. By that time, it will be a month since I was charged. Ugh...

This seems to never end, round and round it goes.
take care!!
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#371 of 407 Old 10-26-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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Another wish for good luck! This whole thing is crazy! :
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#372 of 407 Old 10-26-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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Best of luck, Ocean2. I'll be thinking about you!
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#373 of 407 Old 10-28-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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Yes, I'm still rooting for you -- but sorry for your mom! She couldn't relocate to San Jose with you?

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#374 of 407 Old 10-28-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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The au pair showed exceedingly poor judgment in two instances. First the children are left alone for several minutes which is apparently the point of this discussion. SECOND, it sounds like SHE DROVE AROUND HYSTERICAL AND CRYING with your children in the car! This would probably have made me more alarmed than the first offense.

(I have been in this situation once and just asked a stranger to buy the stuff for me and gave her some money.)
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#375 of 407 Old 10-28-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meaghann View Post
The au pair showed exceedingly poor judgment in two instances. First the children are left alone for several minutes which is apparently the point of this discussion.
According to the OP, the children weren't out of the au pair's sight at any time. They were no more "alone" than if they were upstairs in the house when the au pair was downstairs.

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SECOND, it sounds like SHE DROVE AROUND HYSTERICAL AND CRYING with your children in the car! This would probably have made me more alarmed than the first offense.
I never read where the OP said the au pair was "driving around hysterical and crying." I don't know about you, but I can be shaken up by an incident, and still pull myself together enough to drive home. Then the first conversation I have can trigger the tears. That doesn't mean I was "hysterical" from the time of the incident until the moment when I saw the friend.

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(I have been in this situation once and just asked a stranger to buy the stuff for me and gave her some money.)
That's not a bad idea! It's all about frame of reference. From the au pair's frame of reference, she saw no danger that would require this kind of accommodation. Obviously you did, and there's nothing wrong with you doing what you did.

As an example, it's important to me to be able to hold my babies 'til they start expressing a desire to be put down, so I buy slings and develop skills that enable me to do housework with one hand during this time period, and put some things off 'til dh is home.

Another mom, who sees absolutely nothing wrong with setting a baby down (even letting Baby cry for a few moments), is likely to view all my efforts to hold the baby every minute as kind of ridiculous. We just have different frames of reference.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#376 of 407 Old 10-28-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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SECOND, it sounds like SHE DROVE AROUND HYSTERICAL AND CRYING with your children in the car! This would probably have made me more alarmed than the first offense.
I didn't see anything about her post that made me leap from "couldn't stop crying" to "HYSTERICAL AND CRYING". And weeping is A-OK in my book if the babysitter has cause to weep.
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#377 of 407 Old 10-28-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
According to the OP, the children weren't out of the au pair's sight at any time. They were no more "alone" than if they were upstairs in the house when the au pair was downstairs.
I would agree with you the scenarios are similar if the room were on wheels, were designed to move whether through a powertrain or inertia, and strangers had the ability to come within inches to view the child. A previous poster curiously remarked why if the au pair was so watchful, didn't the au pair see the hovering and obviously agitated stranger and become alarmed herself? This is a good question. As far as the negligible possibility of something bad happening within these 3 minutes, basically it did! A "fanatic" noticed what was going on and could not turn loose of her obsession with children. The "fanatic" found an outlet for her obsession through screaming. Fortunately the "fanatic" was a child advocate. What if it had simply been another kind of "fanatic" with another type of outlet?

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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I never read where the OP said the au pair was "driving around hysterical and crying."
Ok neither did I but I this is what I did read:

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Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
quickly got in the car and drove away. She said she couldn't stop crying for a good 30 minutes and had to come home early because she was so upset.
It is a reasonable and not outlandish assumption that the young lady was very upset driving and crying. I would not want someone who is crying or weeping or sobbing or focused on their own pain to the point of tears in control of a car I'm in. I'm serious about this (not trying to mock the pain of the young Brazilian au pair).

The main problem with leaving a child for 3 minutes in a car to buy drinks at 7/11 and thinking it's okay, is that it makes one likely to do it again. The more often you leave a child alone for 3 minutes, the more often the child is left alone! So the key question is: How often does this happen? If I leave a child alone for 3 minutes every 3 minutes, would even the most forgiving amongst us see a problem with this?

If the screaming stranger succeeded at nothing else, she probably caused the young Brazilian to think twice before doing the same thing again ... in the US anyway. And if this lessens the frequency or cumulative number of minutes or hours of any child being left alone in a car, then some good came out of it.
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#378 of 407 Old 10-28-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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Tigeresse, Mammal_mama, and Mamatoablessing,
Thanks for your support! The only 'good' thing so far is that the prosecutor is acting like he cares that I could lose my livlihood over this. I've been told that even if I keep my license, I will most likely be fined up to $500 (not counting the court fees and gov't fine) and may get a public reprimand meaning if a future employer checks out my license, there will be a notation beside it stating that I was convicted of something. This is so frustrating!

mamal_mama,
haha, I've told her to just move with us. However, she said she couldn't afford it since the cost of housing there is astronomical. That's the bad thing about us moving, we will definitely be paying for our house for a loooong time, whereas in OH, we could have had it paid off in about 5-7 years and we just bought it last year! Plus, my 2 siblings live in OH, so she doesn't want to leave them.

I contacted one of my RN friends whom I worked with in SJ on Friday. She said she's sure they would love to have me back and they always have openings, she was surprised about this as well. So I think if we decide to move back, I should be able to have my old job back (which I loved!).

Thanks all, take care!
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#379 of 407 Old 11-09-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Hi ladies,
Well, it's over.
At least going to court is over. The prosecutor said that he didn't receive a reply from the board of nursing so he would do a minor misdemeanor or he would go to trial for the child endangerment.

I was sick of everything. Sick of the heart palpitations, inability to sleep, I lost down to 105 lbs (and I'm 5'5") from the stress and not being able to eat. I felt like I was going to die. So I wanted it over and I plead no contest. I was not allowed to plead not guilty unless I went to trial.

This just makes me wonder if this was about the small town getting the $135 fine from me. Was this about money? I am in the process of finding out the legalities about my nursing license. When I called the Ohio board the woman kind of laughed and said, "yeah, IF you are convicted, then you have to send the documents in." She could see the ridiculousness of the situation, however, she is not the one who will determine my fate.

If they take my license, they are going to lose a really good nurse. Unlike some nurses in my department, I always picked up the babies when they cried. If my babies were asleep and another nurse had 2 crying babies, I would hold one of them. I know some moms let their kids cry it out. I never could, and I don't feel that a child in a medical setting will benefit from being allowed to cry it out. I loved my job. I loved my life. I feel like I've been raped of my good name, of my career and of my happiness.

I know this probably would not affect some people, but I am extremely sensitive (which is not necessarily a good thing!). I still think about it everyday.

take care and thank you to everyone who cared enough to write to me about this situation. I hope that this will prevent another great parent from being prosecuted for something as ridiculous as this.
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#380 of 407 Old 11-10-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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Ocean2 -- I wish you the best as you move forward from here. I think as time passes, you'll find you don't think about it as much, and I honestly can't see it affecting your career at all. You sound like a wonderful mother and nurse!

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#381 of 407 Old 11-10-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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Ocean2-- I am so sorry. It seems like your prosecutor needs more to do. I wish you could have retained counsel and gone to trial. I think you would have had a better outcome.
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#382 of 407 Old 11-11-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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Ocean2, thanks so much for the update. I am sorry about the result though. It's so unsettling to think that the prosecuter has so little to do that he has to focus his efforts on something like your case. The police officer too. I wish you the best of luck in San Jose.
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#383 of 407 Old 11-11-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
Are you serious??!!!!! :

It was at 7-11!!! Obviously the person isn't going to be in there for hours, and it wasn't even hot outside!! How would you be justified in destroying another person's property like that??

Don't you think that it would be traumatizing for the kids to be woken up a raging, self appointed safety officer smashing their car window and taking them out of the vehicle???!!!

It is not illegal to leave your kid in the car for 3 minutes in front of 7-11 where I live...but you will get arrested or physically attacked if you break a persons car window and take their children out of the car. I think that is called breaking & entering and attempted kidnapping.


IMHO their is nothing wrong with the Au Pair leaving them for a couple minutes as long as the OP is okay with it.

This is one of the silliest threads I've seen here in a while.
:

I agree. I guess that if I get really creative I can think of something that could happen to a child under those circumstances, but none of the things I can imagine are any likelier than things that could happen if the children accompanied the adult into the store. I think it is each parent's responsibility to evaluate risk in ALL circumstances and act reasonably. I don't think that blanket bans are necessary or helpful.
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#384 of 407 Old 11-11-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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Wow!!! Really, I DID NOT read this entire thread by any means. It seams pretty 50/50 here on what people think. I have left my daughter in the car once while I ran into the gas station, (car off, locked, sleeping, and parked infront of doors clearly in my veiw). Afterward I felt weird about it, and asked my mom what she thought. She said that she wouldn't have done it, and honestly I haven't done it since. But I do leave her at my own home. She takes HORRIBLE naps, and the only way she will fall asleep most times is in the car. She wakes up emididately when we try to take her out of her carseat. I will leave her in there sometimes to sleep a little longer. (mostly if I am outside doing something.) But DH is really uncomfurtable with it. Allthough I don't see the danger. Especially in my own driveway, or garage with doors locked and constant monitoring. (we live in a safe naighborhood and know all of our naighbors)
I think the lady who yelled was quite out of line. I could see someone questioning the situation, but to just go off like that was not necessary.

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#385 of 407 Old 11-11-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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Now I've far from read the entire thread, but I honestly don't get what the big deal is. Maybe this is a cultural thing, but I've never seen ANYONE take their kids into the service station when paying for petrol (gas) and I don't see how this situation is much different.
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#386 of 407 Old 01-18-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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Hi I'm sorry to reincarnate this thread again, I just wanted to let you know that the Ohio Board of Nursing quickly responded (about 6 weeks after submitting all of the appropriate documents) by closing the case against my license, so I'm now just waiting on the California board to close it as well, although they have many more nurses there, so it may take awhile. I haven't looked into fostering/adopting since then, but am going to get fingerprinted for it next week to see if it's still a viable option.

Thanks again for all of your support during the most difficult time of my life (to date). You've been wonderful and I'm so very grateful for the well wishes and prayers.

Take care
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#387 of 407 Old 01-19-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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Well, I don't think parents should leave kids in the car even for a moment, even when the car is in view. In this day and age, a child molester could be waiting behind any 7-11 for just that opportunity to smash the window, grab a kid, and drive away. It only takes seconds. Even if the mom could SEE the abduction from inside, doesn't mean she could get there in time to stop it.
So I vote, don't leave your kids in the car. Period.

BUT:

That said, I also think that the yelling passerby who threatened to "call the cops" went WAY overboard. If I witnessed the same thing, rather than yell and threaten the mother, I would stand by and quietly watch over the kids until Mom returned.

Kady
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#388 of 407 Old 01-19-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hippie Mama in MI View Post
In this day and age, a child molester could be waiting behind any 7-11 for just that opportunity to smash the window, grab a kid, and drive away. It only takes seconds. Even if the mom could SEE the abduction from inside, doesn't mean she could get there in time to stop.
Woah. It is so sad that some people live in this much fear. People need to be looking at their own family, friends, & neighbors for child molesters... not behind the 7-11 at any given moment.
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#389 of 407 Old 01-19-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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Woah. It is so sad that some people live in this much fear. People need to be looking at their own family, friends, & neighbors for child molesters... not behind the 7-11 at any given moment.
Yes ... and I'm just going to reiterate what I said early on in this thread: each parent needs to go with her own comfort level.

What concerns me is that so many people feel a need to try to determine for other parents what their comfort levels should be.

I frequently see other parents feeling comfortable with a low level of supervision that I just couldn't be comfortable with, myself -- but I'm too busy with my own life to really fret about other parents' decisions.

If anyone doesn't have enough of a life to keep them occupied -- I wish they'd find a way to get more of a life. Seriously. I think the world would be a better place, if more people were busy tending to their own families.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#390 of 407 Old 01-19-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippie Mama in MI View Post
Well, I don't think parents should leave kids in the car even for a moment, even when the car is in view. In this day and age, a child molester could be waiting behind any 7-11 for just that opportunity to smash the window, grab a kid, and drive away. It only takes seconds. Even if the mom could SEE the abduction from inside, doesn't mean she could get there in time to stop it.
So I vote, don't leave your kids in the car. Period.

BUT:

That said, I also think that the yelling passerby who threatened to "call the cops" went WAY overboard. If I witnessed the same thing, rather than yell and threaten the mother, I would stand by and quietly watch over the kids until Mom returned.

Kady
I don't know about that. I don't think that child molesters are hiding behind 7-11 waiting to steal my kids. Statistically speaking, the most dangerous people are people that are close to you, that the child trusts.

I wouldn't leave my kids in the car to go grocery shopping, but I'm not going to drag them in with me to pay for has.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
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