chrism39's Blog

Jul. 30, 2008 at 8:46pm

let your kids out!

I am reading this book about extreme parenting, it's called " Even June forgot a juice box" It is so wonderful. It basically talks about how woman strive to hard to be perfect mothers, is speaks to mommy wars, and a whole list of other things, but my favorite point talked about the high level of fear that surrounds many parents. I have been saying for years that the likely hood of your child being abducted by a stranger is very low, but whenever I say this parents look at me like I am an abusive monster. But the book ( and yes I know statistics can be skewed) says that the likely hood of a child being abducted by a stranger is a million to one. Yet no one lets their children play out of their sight, and we are always being bombarded with messages that you can never be to safe. Take Halloween for instance, the whole razors in the candy, no one has ever proved that actually happened, but go trick or treating ( as we do) and you see no one. I'm tired of it, i think my children deserve the freedom I had as a child. I let my eight year old ride her bike around the block today and it felt good.

comments [7]  |  posted under kids


by NineInchNachos on 7/30/2008 @ 9:03pm
reminds me of the free range kids movement.

by chrism39 on 7/30/2008 @ 9:09pm
I have never heard of that, but just browsed through. Looks good.

by jcbetty on 7/31/2008 @ 12:46am
I love the thought that my kid can do things without me being anal-retentive mama. Even still, Pierce County has an awful lot of sexual predators, per capita, and that's what I fear. As a kid, I rode my bike, walked, and in general hung around, safely, BUT-- there was the flasher at the school bus stop, the guy who liked to look up my skirt (unbeknownst to any one until the neighbor across the street informed us of what he'd observed as I read and hung in my tree) and the occasional Western State Hospital walkers wandering about. --Yeah, we were safe, and it could have been not so good, for us. I vote for mostly being as vigilant with my lone kid as I can be, within the range of what my mental health can handle...

by chrism39 on 7/31/2008 @ 9:07am
But almost always the person who molests your kids, is someone they know. The chance of a stranger molesting your kids is very low.

by ensie on 7/31/2008 @ 3:32pm
We actually live in the safest time ever in the history of the World, but people are perpetually bombarded by messages that they are in danger and likely to be attacked, murdered, raped, robbed, etc., when they aren't. You can read about it in books like "Freakonomics" and "The Progress Paradox". Both books discuss statistics, and how they clearly show that crime is DOWN, people are convinced of the opposite.

We get an overabundance of bad news, and then those sources (TV, newspaper, internet) harp on and on about issues, making them seem as though each abduction, each child murder, each scary thing could happen to any one of us. But the truth is, each situation is very unique; and the chance that we will ever have any of these things happen to us is highly unlikely.

There is no higher rate of child abductions now than there was when I was a child (in fact it may be LOWER). Yet in those days kids would often be sent outside to play for hours at a time on their own relatively unsupervised. These days, if kids aren't watched by multiple sets of eyes at all times, people fear they're already being targeted by drooling child molesters.

I'm not saying it's wrong to keep an eye on your kids or to protect them, but I think that overall we've really gone overboard in the fear department.

by KevinFreitas on 7/31/2008 @ 3:40pm
So, not being a parent myself, a question: Do you feel more comfortable letting your kids roam more freely when more people are around at, say, a park or do you think numbers make your worry more because of the possibility of them being taken without being noticed?

I agree with ensie though, the bad is all we hear. It makes news. Hence much of the reason for local blogging to pick up much of that slack. Spread the good just as importantly as the bad.

by jenyum on 7/31/2008 @ 4:43pm
I always feel more comfortable with more people around. People are generally hyper-aware of weird behavior toward children these days and even strangers will be protective if they see someone approach a child that doesn't appear to be her parent.

I do think we go overboard about fear. I think kids need to go outside more, and I think that when parents have to be with them every second they are outside they end up sitting inside playing video games. The odds that a child will be obese are astronomically high in comparison to the odds that she will be abducted.

BUT no matter how healthy I try to be about it, it's not possible to completely shut out the fear, and some of that is not unreasonable. How many Tacoma parents went to Zinna Linnick's memorial last summer? That shook me, I have to say. It actually changed some things about how I parent. In an age when we've got more information than ever about all the sex offenders in our community, it's pretty impossible not to want to know who's walking down your alley.

So I'm happy to spread the good but at the same time, I try to advocate for ways to get more kids outside *now* - like more (or in Tacoma's case any) fenced playgrounds. For better or for worse (and I do pick worse) parents are scared, and they won't allow their kids to play in an environment in which they don't feel safe.


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