I am not sure if you saw on the news or read the story of the mother in South Carolina who has been arrested for neglect of her 9-year-old child (essentially) after leaving her unattended at a nearby park. I first heard the story mentioned on a local TV show called “The Social” in which 4 women host it and discuss relevant topics. This topic came up and one felt this was excessive another felt a sense of loss in our community and how it was handled.

It was not that this mother left her 9-year-old child unattained at the park and went off shopping. No, the mother was working nearby at the McDonald’s restaurant and likely had no other caregiver options. The article I read said she often took her daughter to work and she used to play on her computer but I believe the computer had been stolen so that day the mother sent her daughter out to a nearby park to play with other kids rather than sit bored in McD’s.

A “concerned” parent noticed the child was unattended and when this person asked where the girl’s mother was the girl responded, “at work”. Rather than the person reaching out to the mother or ask more questions to the child, this person called the police.

Where is the sense of community?

One of the women from the show was saying that not long ago this would have never happened. That rather than showing support and concern and coming together as a community to help one another, this person went to fear and judgement and called in the police.

I personally am stunned that this happened. I think a number of our parents would be thrown in jail today using this logic. I remember as young as 9 leaving my house in the morning, saying goodbye to my mom and going out for the day. I am sure there were many times that my parents had no clue where I was AS LONG AS I returned home for dinner. I could literally be gone a whole day. This time of being on my own was so important for my development.

Leading experts are telling us that parents today due to hypersensitivity and helicopter style parenting are in fact taking away a crucial part of our children’s learning, growth and development. How do we teach our children to be responsible, accountable and independent when we do not allow them to one, make decisions, two be independent and three, fail and learn. Of course I am not talking about putting our children in dangerous situations rather ones that cause enough fear to get them to make good decisions.

I am very concerned that by raising our kids to be dependent, live in a bubble, will translate in social, economic and even political issues for our future…. These same children will one day be the ones leading our country. Rather than guiding and providing them the life skills to make good decisions we are debilitating them and creating dependence.

We are already seeing elements of this amongst our millennial youth in the workplace. Employers are complaining that many kids lack the life and soft skills for the workplace. I am sure this carries over into their personal lives.

I cannot support treating this woman as a criminal. As a single mom I have had to leave my child for short periods because I cannot be in two places at one time.

I am also concerned about what it says about our society and communities. Do we not come together anymore to help one another? Do we automatically go to fear?

This is only my opinion. Others may think differently. I respect that.

I leave you this weekend to think about what you would have done about that child?

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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