And when we say safety we don’t mean from skinned knees, scarped elbows, natural mild consequences of acting up at school, forgetting to do the laundry or let the puppy out, failing grades or non-life threatening common life experiences. We mean safety as much from the perverts, freaks, psychos, mass shooters, deranged killers, those specifically bent on hurting children as the once labeled ‘freak accidents’ that were, in retrospect to our own upbringings, the product of mild neglect and lax safety protocols now insisted upon because of repeated serious injury, death to children.
Ah the measuring sticks have returned assessing American parenting and found it, what sells books better, lacking; notice too all the people writing these books, penning articles telling their fellow Americans how wrong they’ve got it are Americans living abroad, the children of immigrants or those disdainful of American parenting, educational attitudes barely scratching the surface of another cultures’ approach to all aspects of living then purporting to be an expert. First it was Amy Chua eviscerating the virtues of American parenting putting forth we’re disastrously missing the mark because we invest appropriate care into our children’s self-esteem, as opposed to subjecting them to humiliation, loneliness, name calling, mental, emotional and psychological abuses just to see how much they can take, never mind as their parents, their security, their safety, their comfort; the former method assuming strength over fragility in her mind. We don’t call them garbage and reject mother’s day cards from 4 year old’s calming it doesn’t represent their best, oblivious to the point of creating the card at all was to honor a holiday, give mommy something made with their own hand, show her love on her special day using their own ideas not to be perfect; I guess Chua never heard it’s the thought that counts or contemplated the meaning behind the saying. We don’t place them under the pressures of being perfect threatening to burn all their stuffed animals or give away a cherished dollhouse because they didn’t get a complicated piano piece correct during a 3 hour long practice session at age 7, ranting to her long-suffering husband and chief enabler about goals for the family dog; we believe on the whole home should be a comfortable place to fail, even if the rest of the world is not including school, why you see some, not all, parents doing their child’s homework, intervening in natural failures turning in work on time, writing that essay or finishing that project, caught up in the rat race of getting into a known college, cheating scandal or no cheating scandal. It’s an indictment on our supposed meritocracy, education to employment system that one failing grade, an inability to get into a famous named school curtails dreams, career opportunities. Our restrictions on our kids privileges have to do with what they show maturity for, family dynamic practicality of can we all make X extra-curricular activity happen or is too much of a scheduling hardship taken alongside what she wouldn’t allow with her kids from play dates to disregarding grades for art and P.E., being in a school play or participating in a sport that didn’t have the potential to later involve a gold medal; Americans’ 21st century concerns about P.E. involves making sure kids get the physical activity for their health and battling obesity, natural stress relief for children coupled with recess, where we get excited about either P.E. or sports is when they show a talent in physical attributes such as running, swimming, games played with a ball. Acknowledging athletic skills of a child who shows no prowess in academia, art or music usually those who go on to become excellent cooks, mechanics, landscapers; the very type of people Chua only notices when she needs them to mow and manicure her law keeping up class appearances, keeping her car running in tiptop shape, serving her meals in a restaurant they can’t afford to dine in themselves. We don’t get futz about whether our children learn an instrument or not versus forcing her children to learn an ‘acceptable’ instrument code for classical, nothing modern like guitar, rivaling right wing political and religious fundamentalist kooks saying drums lead to drugs; where we become upset is children who beg to learn to play instrument Y and then within no time the item is collecting dust in a corner, schools who ask parents to buy ‘cheep’ instruments for music class, think the recorder, and poorer children can’t afford it, it’s sprung on us and we can’t properly budget for it, lastly when there is no music class for individual and school district budgetary reasons, removed to supposedly boost academic performance. Dido art class, we aren’t overly concerned if our children do well in it or not, but will praise a child showing talent without conditioning them to be the next Renoir, Monet never Picasso, Jackson Pollock, are motivated to action when art class is absent making their educations decidedly less than. Where it can veer off into the absurd is we want our kids to have the opportunity we didn’t to excel at art, an instrument, singing, stage productions, prone to living vicariously through our kids. The so called tiger mother backpedaling on national T.V. when people justifiably started to raise questions about her psychological stability and serious ponderings of abuse she leveled upon her children. Parents all the way from China sounding off saying not my child, holding goals for them very much parallel to American mothers/parents that they be happy, productive citizens able to get good jobs, but pursue the career of their choice; Asian children raised this way in America speaking out about the lifelong consequences of ‘tiger’ parenting, the job interview questions about strengths they can’t answer, the grocery story decisions they can’t make being micromanaged to the nth degree worse than American helicopter parenting ever thought of being. Then it was Pamela Druckerman everything from disappointed being pregnant in France didn’t give her permission to eat cheesecake and bond with strangers to bemoaning the lack of pregnancy manuals, shunning of breastfeeding while being astounded how calm French children were sitting through 4 course meals never squirming to get down proclaiming French children don’t throw food or more accurately French parents lay down the law about that’s not how you will behave at the dinner table where American parents shrug it off as normal. Asserting to her surprise French parents don’t expect their children to eat everything merely taste new foods; shock to her perhaps but not most parents, childcare providers, I saw babysitters here do it regularly insisting a child take 2 bites of something they stated they did not like, were unsure of or was totally new; saying further French parents believe in 3 meals and an after school snack, none of this continuous eating and using food to pacify squirmy children who haven’t learned, or better yet, been taught proper patients. That patients beginning in infancy with La Pause letting babies, as young as 6 weeks cry 10-15 minutes to see if they can settle themselves before going to them insisting children come into the adults lives not the adults into theirs. Ignoring entirely that infants need food every 2-4 hours period, that 0-3 months if not 6 children only cry when they need something food, diaper change, burp, are experiencing gas, other discomfort, are sick, 0-12 months child experts suggest going to a child when they cry to teach them the important psychological stability someone will come to them, their needs will be met preventing significant psychological problems later in life, when seeing to a child’s needs at night keep lights low change their diaper, give them the necessary bottle sans talking or playing with them naturally teaching them night from day, goal to get children on a sleep schedule by age1; why La Pause at the age given makes no sense to sleep deprive parents of newborns struggling to get enough rest from the get go, waking up other children, household members also a dismissed possibility. As blog and author laid out in their initial piece breaking down Druckerman book reviews, reality is at different stages of your child’s life your life will be altered because they are in it from child proofing your home for a toddler’s safety, to ensuring they get to pre-school, and get up in the morning for k-12 school, come home from activities at the agreed upon time even if you allow them the freedom to take public transit ‘do their own thing’ on weekends from an earlier age than Americans would. Regarding meals and snacks actually what parents do is run their own schedule working for their household, meals aligning with work and other activities, where they will ‘pacify’ a child with food is if they are in the supermarket, out on an errand and it is snack/lunch time, past either one of those they will give the, particularly young child, something to tide them over, if used as a ‘bribe,’ reward it is because the child asks for it repeatedly when visiting the store so the parent says maybe if you behave, or as an occasional treat, seasonally available item. A French father responding to the Druckerman hype was unsure if French children were calmer choosing to relay his experience and let readers decide: “For example, I remember a child of friends who was especially restless. Before he came to your house, you basically had to hide everything, because after he’d have broken two glasses, knocked over his organic mashed spinach on the floor, and written on the walls, his parents would put him to bed without disciplining him. There he would shout and cry for an hour or two with his father next to him saying over and over again in a sententious tone: “Sébastien, it is important to sleep. Sleep allows you to rest. It is not a punishment, Sébastien, it is important for your biological rhythm…” and so on. The child would exhaustedly fall asleep around midnight, when our adult evening could finally begin;” sounds very American doesn’t it, said father not above providing tips to get kids to eat their veggies that you’d think came out of the litany of American parenting guides hiding them in other foods, being sure to highlight it doesn’t mean they won’t chose known junk foods if given the choice. Yes American kids can play by themselves too, the ‘big bag of things we cart around to keep our kids entertained in public’ is for the benefit of others and ourselves not solely the child as it keeps them from running off even in the park where the French parent had pacified her kid on a blanket with a medium sized red ball, keeps them from terrorizing other children and parents, the former of whom don’t want to play the same thing they do even in the park, wards off adult dirty looks at seeing a child before it has a chance to misbehave; here she sounds like the woman in the link below proclaiming she wants her child to be bored because she only has 1and has no concept of managing say my friend’s 5, was able to get her preferred method of birth control no hassles, hasn’t had to deal with unplanned, however loved children, yay for you. Distilling French emphasis on social skills mandatory saying hello and goodbye in social settings, none of this wishy-washy can you say hello Tyler purportedly to keep children from becoming insular little weirdos; not one word mentioned about safety, protection from bad strangers who might hurt them or consideration for a shy child as blog and author detailed Druckerman herself taking issue with the shame and humiliation used to achieve such good behavior. American advocates against child abuse though say to keep our kids from predation we have to stop teaching them to be so nice; a mother writing about the R. Kelly scandal and what she tried to model for her daughters put it like this: “What I have tried to do has been to model, from the time that they were babies, is that they don’t have to be pleasant and accommodating and deferential in a way that doesn’t feel right for them for anyone, ever. I have backed them up every single time, for any reason, they didn’t want to give anyone — including me — affection or closeness. They’ve never had to touch or be touched if they didn’t want to, and they’ve never had to give a reason. No is reason enough. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Because I hope that in those moments when I’m not around, they can listen to their guts.” [Sic] Americans in Denmark, Holland the whole of the Netherlands remarking on the uniformity of thought all Dutch, Danish parents share about happier babies more time between parent and child, less stress and simple wooden toys, marveling at kids dancing on scaffolding, allowed freedoms here American parents would never give, viewing a body with all it’s budges and imperfections as just that a body, frank discussions on sex and birth control freely given to teens plummets their teen pregnancy rates, parents who do not take on the guilt refusing to see their children’s behavior as an extension of themselves; why not hard to ascertain, because they are such tiny countries not seeing many immigrants, rather isolated from the rest of the world. You can be absolutely concrete in your convictions when there is nothing to contradict them; like blog and author underlined in deconstructing Michael Moore’s take on this region and why what makes them stand out wouldn’t necessarily work here, they can afford to be more lax in competition when it comes to school, grades, employment, the expectations surround each because they don’t hold the moniker global superpower, they are not players on the world stage the way the U.S., U.K., China, greater known members of the EU are, the Dutch, Danish don’t make national headlines good or bad most years. Where parenting gets the blame beyond the helicopter variety in America is when there are mass shooters, school shooters, serial killers, murderers, rapists and details eventually found out reveals an abused child little wonder they turned into what they did, enabling parents like Adam Lanza’s, Christopher Shawn Harper-Mercer’s; the living member of that duo never facing charges for amassing guns around her autistic son, what did Eliot Roger’s family miss, how could Jared Loughner’s family whom he lived with not comprehend something was seriously wrong with him and minimally attempt to get him help because at least Adam Lanza’s mother was contemplating committing him to a mental health facility. Deeper investigation into the Columbine shooters not only found them psychotic but one parent who failed to pay attention to their child unless they were asking for money; national bullying cases from the boy beaten on his school bus to the middle school group who tormented their bus driver immediately bring parenting into the spotlight, reasonable questioning what kind of parents you could possibly have if you rape people? Yes parents here who can fight to get their kids into good pre-schools, prep and high schools because they want their child to have better opportunities than they did and this is the vehicle presented to do it, it is seen as a fairly certain path to success and by success we mean a decent middle class job, career not something that barely pays the bills if it does at all; what good does a serenely happy childhood do you if you are a miserable adult, reference writer blowing off the high school exit exams they must pass at the correct level. No one ever keen to talk about the failures of these school or social systems everyone says America needs to adopt ASAP nor do they possess a solution to employers who increasingly expect their workers trained by educational institutions not themselves; Germany, the reference catalyst for this piece, has private tuition based colleges mystery is how they keep employers from only picking from those students believing them better qualified, precisely what would happen here if we enacted free state college. Reference article crafted in 2017 is a bit dated talking about no homework for younger grade students as many teachers here have taken the initiative on themselves to eliminate homework or relegate it to any unfinished classwork from that day. Sometimes it’s not about fancy baby gadgets, top infant gear and mommy wars it’s about the thing needed for your child; whether it’s preemie formulas, alternatives for children allergic to cow’s milk when that transition happens, the article on hygge focused on the first year of life babies just transitioning to regular milk slightly after. Or one of those specialized basinets that simulates movement found in the womb be it the variety featured on the Oprah Show circa the mid 90’s to early 2000’s, an upgraded model from today, the new sleeper getting rave reviews that puts babies in a universally liked position soothing crying, easing colic, gas; any and all used either so new born parents can sleep retaining their sanity or necessitated in a house with other children who don’t need to be woken by a screaming infant regardless whether they yet attend school or pre-school. Having at least one other child parents who can’t nap when their baby does because they need the time to do household chores, dishes, laundry, the next round of bottles, prepare an after school snack for the child soon to get off the school bus, be ready to leave for soccer practice, that piano recital. Often times it’s the child’s inclination toward light up and battery operated toys, toy tablets and things that sing; again I go back to the laboratory of my friend’s house and children, her second son from the time he could stand at a year and a half would play with the VCR, TV, DVD player or video game system on and off buttons because they lit up, attacked to my freezer because it has a light at the bottom always on indicating it is functioning properly; her fourth from the time he could crawl was drawn to that same light, as I held him once while we talked transfixed by my computer’s ribbon screen saver, it follows babies tendency to pull at ear and nose rings, glasses because the light reflections attract their attention, look interesting, simple wooden toys, sure. Oh and that much derided ‘mommy guilt’ Americans supposedly have too much of is actually responsibility for the little person(s) they put on the planet, novel idea. And now it’s Sara Zaske who raised her children in their formative, beginning school years in Germany where a majority percent of kids attend kindergarten at 3 lasting through age 6, spending those early years focusing on social skills, how much better it is for a child to have more than 2, people, their parents, when learning and exploring their world in critical years, as opposed to laser focus on learning to read at age 5. Praising their education system and the creativity, love of learning it fosters describing once walking into her daughters pre-school seeing giant snails crawling across the desks confused about their presence asking the teacher bemused if they were studying the letter S (a silly question in all honesty) even more befuddled when the teacher openly said she wasn’t sure which direction the lesson was going; longer explanation, the class votes on interests and study topics Zaske finding the class was highly interested in snails voted on that being the next thing to study and the teacher then went about ascertaining what the children already knew then showing them how to find the maximum amount of information about that topic. Having moved back to the states heralding her kids imaginations, that they don’t come to her and say they are bored, crediting their beginning years in the German school system; here I will relay my friend’s experience with her older 3 school age children who are all the same predilection for math academically, struggles in English especially when asked to write creatively. Her second when asked to create a character for a library summer reading program came up with super snoopy (falling in love with the Peanuts character as a toddler), her third who has always needed help in reading, shows signs of test anxiety in the 4th grade and was just put on an IEP (individual education program to address both), when asked to write writes about the adventures of super ball, ball the name he gave a snow white bear he received valentine’s day as a two year old and super Pooh (he’s been fascinated by the Disney character since his infant eyes could focus), still has to be reminded about spacing when he writes; none of them have ever had vivid imaginations, creative streaks with the mild exception of her second in art. In short Zaske’s kids don’t come to her saying they’re bored for a plethora of reasons, she trained them out of it, they are old enough to search out their own activities, the ability to read and access to books alleviates that greatly in kids old enough, she’s created an environment where they can drag our paints, glitter, paper, glue and create things, she won’t lose it over a fort made of couch cushions just tell them to put it up before dinner and her kids had a natural predilection to creativity at minimum when it comes to ways of occupying their free time indeed nurtured by the school system but not solely due to it. Versus my friend who has 5 not 2 children forced to do what every parent has, temporarily take away paints, markers, colored pencils because they were found on walls, floors, they were trying to stab each other with pencils, wouldn’t pick them up and put them away, spilled paint not readily replaced by poor people barely providing the basics, they prefer card and board games sometimes stopped due to fighting, puzzles another favorite in my friend’s house gone through twice a year and ones with too many missing pieces thrown away, no puzzles above 100 pieces for the middle 2 because they just get lost. Returning one last time here to Zaske’s wonderful Germany experience, to her surprise kids were expected to walk to school alone at 7, described picking up her daughter from a play date finding her on the playground with just her friend checking her instinct to scream about the lack of supervision recognizing that’s normal there, at another juncture talking about putting statistics to our fears therefore gaining needed perspective. Slapping down the twin perception to everyone’s parenting is better than Americans, European kids are better behaved than American ones perhaps carefully digest the story about the 11 year old German boy who stole a city bus, beyond the anecdotal stories coming forth at Druckerman’s book release, European museum workers remarking about the French kids setting off the fire alarms/fire suppression systems lighting toilet paper roles on fire, how children behave around adults when their parents are present versus when not or the French adults who created a chaotic mob scene at a local store touched off by the sale of chocolate sandwich spread Nutella, there were Belgium kids who spent New Year’s eve 2015 pushing a car down the subway stairs necessitating shutting the station down for several hours to remove the totaled vehicle and restore function. Belgium was the country where language textbooks were exposed identifying Syrian refugees as terrorists and greeted women attending a showing of Wonder Woman with cleaning supplies ‘gift bags;’ sickest of all, the Syrian boy water-boarded by his U.K. classmate because of where he comes from, his religion already sporting a cast from previous run-ins with bullies, but those horrid Americans! Therefore it is only fair to question what is Zaske missing because of a language barrier if not to formal German speech/language then the nuances of slang she’s unaware of due to not being a native similar to the person in the Netherlands, link below; what isn’t she privy to because people there readily identified her as an American living in Germany given something of a social pass because she’s not one of them, not held to the same standard? What issues are not confronted by her German friends because they are trying to exercise some cultural tolerance, what information is she not getting with all her mommy free time doing things for herself and watching less news; and holding up all those things how much credence should we be giving her book exactly?
Next it’s once more again into the breach of where to begin finally doing away with the ‘everyone does parenting better than America’ myth; it begins perhaps with statements a-la I guess they don’t have pedophiles in Germany, child kidnappings in Germany, child murders in Germany, child abuse in Germany rendered essentially non-existent through programs the U.S. would never think to adopt while calling themselves the best at everything. Expanding that perception of things at least negligibly registering on a percentage scale, not present at all to the whole of Europe if not the westernized world; someone should alert the upwards of 500 sexual abuse victims found in the German boys choir reaching back decades predictably tied to, you can see where this is going, the catholic church. Doubtful Germany should be held up as a bastion of socially progressive policy, dutiful parenting toward self-reliance aside, when they only recently amended their laws to say women don’t have to physically fight off their sexual attacker for it to be legally called rape, never mind if they were drugged, clubbed over the head or held down in such a way fighting back was impossible, they froze in fear or shock, both; it just took 16 years into the 21st century to get there. Germany had to legalize the ability to insult foreign leaders a direct result of the American election of Donald Trump notwithstanding, huh; but, out freedom of speech laws are totally messed up. Tell that fanciful daydream of lacking all the evils Americans are so paranoid about to the, regular readers will recognize the link, French teen who had to record her father’s sexual abuse to get authorities to do anything; his excuse loneliness and missing his wife, lawyer almost, if not more disgusting, than his client proffering mentioned excuse. If American parenting is so bad and everyone else’s so good, if American social systems are so abysmal and other western world systems are so effective please account for the French father who put his son in the washing machine, turning it on for ‘bad grades,’ naughty behavior at school, even at age 3 parents known to their version of social services still this happened and the child died; one guesses Druckerman was onto something when she spoke about a lack of pregnancy guides and child rearing books, her uneasiness with the amount of corporal punishment seen as the norm in French households. Ironically in light of that story, France was the country less than a decade ago up in arms about legalizing gay marriage because it would open adoption services to same sex couples calling it revolution to expose children to such a lifestyle; gay individuals themselves coming out against that portion worried about the youth impact, FYI the measure passed and France hasn’t imploded. If the larger western world has learned all the lessons we refuse to why is a 20 year old child murder in Sweden centering around 2 beginning grade school young boys accused of killing their toddler brother, virtually treated as if they were much older and assumed guilty continuing to haunt that nation, but only America’s horrid justice system treats children as adults; of particular importance when candidates like Bernie Sanders hold up the Scandinavian model of socialism, AKA social democracy, simultaneously shouting our need for criminal justice reform citing staggeringly high incarceration rates compared to the rest of the developed world. Exclusively concerning Sweden their parenting too shouldn’t be the highlight either since the county has slowly become a gateway to white supremacists; what exactly do we think they are teaching their kids, kids are picking up in that cultural climate? Norway’s Anders Breivik who detonated a van explosive next to a group of government buildings killing 8, shot up kids on a school trip murdering 69, injuring multiple hundreds cited as an inspiration for the New Zealand mosque shooter; it’s a giant red flag when the whole of Europe has people who think their cultural identity is under threat. Ireland’s national abortion referendum made international headlines asking citizens to vote on whether abortion should be legal and regulated even as it is in ‘backward’ America literally years post a Hindu woman who died of blood poisoning after a miscarriage doctors were aware of but would not preform the recommended D& C because the fetus had a heartbeat, her in a catholic hospital, doctors unrelenting despite her pleas and her stated religion differing from the one governing the hospital. The Irish catholic church spent the decades between the 1950’s and the ‘70’s abusing mixed raced children for being part black, The Guardian telling their stories in early 2017 and wasn’t there a movie about sundering unwed mothers from their babies starring Judi Dench centering around a woman’s search for her son whom she was forced to put up for adoption sent to a convent after becoming pregnant as a single woman; Philomena if recent memory of movie history serves. Canada had a serial killer targeting the LGBT community in their Gay Village for years race and class suspected culprits in why to took decades to track multiple disappearances back to him; relevant knowing how many youth come out as LGBT now in their adolescent and teen years and what that means for them in different countries automatically seen as more tolerant and inclusive than America. Holland created the virtual ‘sweetie,’ an Asian computer model girl to lure out online predators globally so they are highly aware of the problem if experiencing less of it themselves; regarding abuse, physical/parental neglect or child sex abuse these are just the cases we know about, cases to have pierced the veil of gaining international attention, who knows what the citizens are being made aware of in their local/national papers/news. Also off the list of horrors ever found in Germany, across western world Europe children hit by cars, falling off a subway platform to serious injury, possible death or dying after playing on thought unused train tracks unable to get off before a train barrels over them. Para or quadriplegics end result of all that freedom and almost daredevil hands off parenting done there, when the kid in the author’s Salon.com written article going down a large hill on their bike hits a rock or a bump and goes over the handlebars doing one of 2 things: A- face plants in such a way he has much more than road rash rather several broken bones in said face necessitating thousands of dollars and numerous painful reconstructive surgeries to restore the resemblance of a face, ability to talk, chew and eat through something besides a tube, straw. Or B- in a matter of seconds becomes a quadriplegic, if slightly more fortunate paraplegic because his neck/back in the latter case, is broken severing his spinal cord, but don’t believe this blog, author look at the videos below; those Dutch kids dancing on scaffolding in a kind of abandon that would never be allowed by anxiety riddled American parents, call us when one or all of them falls and break bones, spend months with rods and pins in legs/arms, grueling physical therapy, to spend the rest of their lives needing a medical card to get through airport security, subject to aches, pain and swelling around their injury as they age. And why are American parents so hyper vigilant toward being safety first oriented, stories like the 5 year old girl who did a gymnastics backbend and ended up paralyzed; doctor’s best guess she sprained her spine leading to the symptoms exhibited. Treatment involving moving to a different state and years of grueling therapy to regain some movement and feeling below the waist; if she’s lucky she might be able to walk to get her diploma at high school graduation. The teen athlete who went to his last annual trip of Christian summer camp before college only to do a backflip off a bed, viewed as typical teen boy behavior and never be the same when he landed wrong on his head needing lifesaving surgery to fuse his spine and began his life as a quadriplegic, GoFundMe page set up to move him to a facility able to maximize his recovery. Chase down old footage of the McCaughey septuplets Joel who broke his back climbing trees, permitted because it was one of the few physical activities he liked, would engage in; he was exceedingly lucky merely breaking bone in his back precious spinal cord intact, why Sara Zaske’s American instinct was to yell for her child to stop when riding that bike down a large hill. Another boy 13 survived being impaled by a screw to his head in the process of building a treehouse when he fell, living to tell the tale; yet, for every fortunate one there is at least one not so fortunate who doesn’t live to recognize their mistake, is forever maimed for that mistake. How about the bitter sweetly inspiring story of Luke Siegel who used to like to play baseball until a golf cart accident rendered the 9 year old incapable of so much as holding up his own head, enter Grayson Sparr who also loved baseball hitting 100 balls, in 100 days as a fundraiser for Luke; undoubtedly impactful and good on Grayson for his project, but how often do Luke’s parents wish they could go back and redo that faithful day, bigger question what kind of quality of life does he have working so hard just to make simple sounds, move body parts a fraction of an inch? Singular thing TV psychiatrist Dr. Phil got right discussing parenting, you want them to scrap their knee not amputate their leg, which one increases the latter likelihood? Elsewhere chronicle the children who’ve died at summer camp, basic day camps, yet a 5 year old did exactly that falling into a pool of water after wandering away while his group was having lunch next to a waterfall at an Atlanta nature preserve in the, what should have been, idyllic setting; camp unlicensed and immediately shut down, still damage done. And a mother morns her toddler who will never graduate grade school forget high school, will never experience his first love forget get married, will never attend his first sleep over or first dance, wasn’t even ready to start losing his baby teeth, be visited by the tooth fairy, but we’re over parenting; who knew you needed a license for a day camp? Listen to the story uncovering rampant sexual abuse at sleep away camps nationwide devastating the lives of hundreds of children, the justifiable guilt featured mother felt for allowing her child to go, putting him in that situation; journalistic investigation uncovering no licensing, no regulation and no background checks, thousands of camp counseling staff coming from foreign countries complicating background check efforts where implemented yet helicopter parents armed with tech are wrong using camera/facial recognition to check in on how their children are doing at camp. Majority doing it to ensure their children are happy and having fun, camps partnering with the app Waldo to provide a parent demand in spite of potential privacy concerns as facial recognition remains in its developmental stages; can you blame parents after the above report? Imagine the boy who died after consuming a grilled cheese sandwich at pre-school, though his severe allergy was well documented, was your child then tell a so called ‘helicopter parent’ they are out of line being as protective of their kids. None listed as of yet helicopter parents in the slightest, they let their kid do gymnastics, attend sleep away camp, go to day camp as a kindergarten age child, sent them to pre-school rather than cloistering them at home; can’t help but wonder if they wish they had been a little more helicopter and a little less western world ‘everywhere else but America’ normal. Torn to shreds should be the relentless concept the media is responsible for scaring parents into bubble wrapping their children until 18 via missing, abducted and killed children cases, sensationalism of sexual abuse and child predation, wrong— for the what are we up to now, 3rd time; the media covers cases of missing and abducted children in the hopes of enlisting the local/national public’s help in finding them, to provide updates to that public on happy endings, closure to sad ones, pleadings for people who may have information on what happened to the child to come forward, contact the FBI or their local police. Same impetus behind the AMBER alert system to find missing, lost, abducted, soon to be exploited if not rescued children; authorities offered thousands in reward money for any information leading to the whereabouts of Hania Aguilar because time is critical in stranger abductions, ABC News forwarded a plea for the public to be on the lookout for the distinctive shoes she wore because they were unique enough to maybe find her, experts telling parents to memorize what shoes their child is wearing due to kidnapers will undoubtedly try to change the child’s appearance but changing their shoes involuntarily much more difficult so often left intact. The woman whom Jayme Closs went up to after escaping 88 days of captivity called authorities because she recognized the name of the teen from news information; my city and neighboring known city had a rash of attempted child abductions in spring/summer2018 including a boy approached walking home from his elementary school prompting them to do segments on ways parents can keep kids safe, advising them to review with their children rules on strangers, what to do if approached, alerts to neighborhood watch after tried abductions in another section of the state including a 13 year old boy who ran into a restaurant describing what happened when a van approached him offering to take him to the boy’s after school job, employee seeing the suspect van and not for the first time; a mother outlining what she is teaching her kids not to bubble wrap them but to keep themselves safe out in the world, taking a daily picture of what they are wearing so if something happened she’s able to give it to police, her personal choice to combat the worst case scenario. Different news segment informed parents of a child self-defense class available, all a direct, rational, sane response empowering parents with tools to combat an emerging situation. April 2019 same town a man was arrested for approaching students at 2 local middle schools within a matter of days broadcast because it was area news not to scare people, put parents on alert to be aware, remind their children what to do if. Store camera footage of the man loitering next to the bathroom and trying to coax a little girl to go with him put out there to identify and stop him; which it promptly did members of the adjacent public reported him across the street from that store where he was expediently taken into custody and charged with annoying a child. Nancy Grace in the days when she had her HLN show pleaded with people to stop letting their children use the public toilet alone reminding viewers of the harrowing case of Matthew Checky whose female relative stood outside a beach McDonald’s men’s room, where the family organized a reunion, awaiting his return while he was inside being sexually assaulted and killed, man caught describing on the stand how he killed the young boy; a basic YouTube or Google search for the words ‘kids molested in bathrooms’ rendering a years’ long pattern of the phenomenon going back to the former’s inception solidifying it isn’t paranoia but reality you must be aware of and plan around, teach your children about to avoid them becoming victims. Surveillance camera footage of the little girl walking down presumably her neighborhood street only to be hauled into a vehicle by a large man she had no hope of fighting off, surrounding neighbors sadly likely to chalk up her screams if she were able to make any (video has no sound) as children playing was initially released doubtlessly to find him, subsequent headline when he was arrested, then offering details though she was assaulted she was able to get away and flag down a passing car willing to offer help by calling police. The girl with the sprained spine was presented to be an inspirational story about what intensive treatment can restore, the athlete was a heartwarming story of you survived lucky young man, dido the boy building a treehouse who fell on a screw living to tell the tale, Luke and Grayson’s story showcasing empathy of young people for someone else and the good it can bring about; pivoting to tackling the accusation made, media sensationalizes abductions, killings and kidnappings, even those perpetrated by non-custodial parents/periphery relatives, the Utah girl who yelled no and ran back into her house when while sunbathing in her front yard a man stopped and asked if she wanted a bicycle was held up as an example of parents training/teaching their kids well. Identical case with the parent who credited a family code word for preventing her daughter‘s kidnapping because she remembered to ask for that code causing the man to spook and drive away; the 11 year old girl who threw coffee on her kidnapper was profiled due to her ingenuity not remotely the first. Whether it was the line of siblings who chased their youngest brother and his abductor down the street after he was snatched when the babysitter turned away for a moment, or the 2 year old whose constant crying kept a would be kidnapper at bay, the 8 year old whose continuous yelling thwarted his little brother’s kidnapping attempt, to children who’ve fought off kidnapers at their front doors, to helped catch burglars with quick thinking and their cellphone, willing to grab kitchen knives to defend themselves and their home, the latter fortunately warding away a potential thief. That 11 year old out with 2 friends having gotten beverages at a local gas station, something we wouldn’t think twice about letting kids do back in the day perhaps even now, until seeing this. The point of the home security footage of a girl returning home after a kidnapping attempt is that she was able to get away, hail enough to run home plus look at where it was published it’s in an international paper out of Australia reporting international news happening on the globe, similar parallel the local LA paper reporting searches for a person who molested a boy in an LA church, St. Louis Post Dispatch reporting on a local cub scout leader accused of molesting 7 children according to new charges leveled against in inarguable monster if found guilty; the kinds of things people would demand to be alerted to if it was being kept out of the media to curb ‘helicopter parenting and fear’ since it effects their immediate and surrounding area. Surveillance video of the 4 year old almost kidnapped in front of her mother was aired for 2 primary reasons the brazenness of the would be kidnapper who did so and the fact the girl quickly got away; mother attuned to where her children were baby in her arms, daughter playing with the candy machine, allowed to go investigate it instead of hold mommy’s hand or stand next to her, mom immediately aware of the person who yanked her out the door, having seen a man watching them, thinking little of it, not jumping to the paranoid conclusion; we can bet she will now. Yet somehow we’re confused, prone to calling it anxious white parents’ problem when we see kids on these little leashes permitted no more than 2 feet from their parents at all times; never mind my friend used that to keep her severe ADHD child from running off the moment he could walk well, kept him from running into traffic on busy streets when he was too young to be diagnosed and thus medicated, used again on her soon to be 5 year old before he learned not to run off, to stay in mommy’s sightline. Story about the mom battling an aggressive kidnaper in the Dollar General was her success in stopping it coupled with the again brazenness of the man trying to take the far from helpless teen in broad daylight who wasn’t alone but with a parent. Sara Zaske remarking during her interview if you can send your child off with another kid, probably describing the school scene where there’s a whole gaggle going to the same place in a sizable group; we had that here for years it was called the buddy system lulling parents with a false sense of security apparently judging by what happened to 2 Indiana teens walking on a nature trail found murdered. So reminiscent to a case in Iowa authorities wondered if they were related, turns out not, but 2 years later even with the photo and audio recorded on one of their phones realizing something was wrong Abby Williams and Libby German’s killer remains a mystery and at large. Purpose in alerting the nation about Elizabeth Thomas was to hopefully use the public and anything they saw to point authorities in the direction of her and her teacher with whom she had a romantic relationship and who’d driven off with her, dido Amy Yu coerced away from her family by a local man who played father figure, the teen was able to change school forms listing her soccer coach as her step father permitting him to take her out of class several times before escaping with her, both found in Mexico. Another Florida 17 year old lured away from her family by her soccer coach finally found in New York; school apparently investigating a rumor about her and coach’s relationship chalking it up to teen gossip when the reporter recanted. Savannah Pruitt found safe in Wisconsin after fleeing her Tennessee home with her adoptive father sharing the same last name; Domeanna Spell who began a relationship with her 47 year old neighbor under the guise of babysitting his granddaughter, the ruse they used to be together, parents informing police when they discovered disturbing texts from him on her phone, found thousands of miles from her home state of Louisiana in Colorado. Because they and we understand these children despite ‘bad’ behavior are victims of perverse adult manipulation to believe they are in a romantic, loving relationship instead of being sexually abused, set up to be humanly trafficked for sex; in the case of runaways over grades, arguments with parents, said children could be harmed in ways they cannot fully process. Other media segments seek public reaction to reports of kidnapping attempts, attempted or achieved molestation happening locally, informing citizens at the local level of potential pedophiles, predators, threats who were in area X, were caught, arrested, charged for what they did to a child/children; letting them know their law enforcement works so they can worry a little less, including the elderly man who tried to buy an 8 year old for $200,000 in a Wal-Mart parking lot or the woman who posed as child protective services to try to kidnap an infant, 2 toddler boys saved from the unthinkable when their family wrestled them away from a convicted sex offender at a park before he could run off with them, held for police to apprehend, all within the last year. A man thousands of miles away from a kidnapped little girl was able to affect her rescue via Facebook and a pizza order, but the media perpetuates parental paranoia; Jacob Wetterling’s home town changed with his disappearance, parents started keeping a tighter rein on their kids, gone were the days of riding bikes to the video store like he and his group were doing that night, not because of what they saw on the news, sensationalized child snatchings thousands of miles and states away but an incident that effected their community personally. Creepy clowns across the south in 2016 trying to lure kids with candy and cash made local parents think twice about letting their children go unsupervised to a small lake in a corpse of woods, not due to drowning but the potential predator there; exactly zero of the kids falling for it, all telling their parents and or cooperating with police, signaling parents react, get proactive to both the overall national threat and the local incidents bringing that home to their backyard. That 13 year old approached by a van immediately said no he was fine, saw a public place and made a B-line contacting his grandmother, boy approached walking home from elementary school arriving home, telling his parents. Outcomes not always as positive, Indiana authorities just announcing they believe the person who killed Abby and Libby is or was, at the time, a local, a member of the sleepy little town where no one thought this could happen, could still be one of their neighbors telling people to be alert. No one caught the person who tried to snatch that 4 year old in front of her mother and the family of the 12 year old who used her cellphone to capture pictures of the person trying to break in quickly elected to move; again proving it’s what happens to you, locally influencing parent decisions on when their child does what, when they are permitted to be alone in public no matter how well taught.
Hardly to be side-stepped by actual Americas versus observers, those who raised their children abroad during their most formative years are both the costs and the quality of childcare here held up to leaving your child with you through the critical learning and bonding time 0-5 years. But barring that as a realistic impediment, a sacrifice you’re willing to make to give your child the best start in life through daycare/preschool, there are plenty of parents who would balk at the homogeny in Germany paralleled in France, Holland exc. where every child is in pre-school at 3 while they are free to go back to work creating a pressure to potty train their toddler by then mimicking American parents trying to get their children into head start pre-school programs, ours at least who won’t take children at minimum daytime potty trained, unmentioned how they do it there. My mother fretted over me being potty trained by kindergarten age 5 in the mid 80’s when pre-school was a novelty up against my disability and living with her elderly mother unenthusiastic about the mess associated with potty training a toddler in the days before pullups were a thing; finally enticed with a summer outfit I couldn’t fit in wearing a diaper and I potty trained fine going to kindergarten as normal having no more accidents than my peers. Diapers here in larger sizes for kids who naturally potty train later, my friend acted as live-in nanny to a boy who had kidney issues as an infant and continued to wet the bed until around age 7 purportedly when his father stopped as well signaling heredity is in play; Goodnites a product for older children whose bodies have grown but their bladders have yet to quite catch up allowing them to hold it all night or properly wake to use the toilet. Parents still today who want their children to have a toddlerhood the way they/we did growing up rather than have structured learning foisted on them too early; one of the problems easily seen with German 3 yearlong kindergarten structured learning or no, voting on topics of class interest to study is when your child, a child’s interest is the obscure thing always voted down by their peers, they will be just as frustrated as a child in an American school maybe more so because there, there is supposed to be a choice where here the material is doled out to everyone full stop. Nor are credentials the be all and end all of what makes a good educator pre-k to college level regardless how much ‘better’ trained early childhood education instructors are in Germany, a bit misleading since to get hired in many American daycares/pre-schools you need a 4 year degree in either child development or early childhood education; obviously daycare abuse cases/corresponding videos are the definition of unacceptable, but degree, certification or no the biggest litmus test in any educational environment is the ability to manage kids, to react proportionately appropriate to what is going on, the age of students you’re dealing with, the root of incidents like the one depicted below. Sure not to win any points for strategy when the German daycare worker there didn’t go to the aide of Zaske’s crying 1 ½ year old who was playing with another child around a kiddie kitchen set them opening/closing the doors and he got smacked in the head with it, began crying and she, instead of going to him waited, he stopped crying, they continued playing but he subsequently watched out for the door. This supposed to be some antidote to something called attachment parenting overdone by us Americans; personally had I been told that story by a daycare worker I would have immediately pulled my child, had I one, out of their care for the following reason he was 1 ½ years old and you didn’t check his head to make sure it was ok, monitor for bruising? Never mind children not yet diagnosed with blood disorders or a host of other ailments, how about being human and provide a little comfort to one so young, where they get the idea providing aforementioned comfort would preclude the child watching for the door after his experience, no one knows; but it leads to disturbing questions pertaining to exactly what else they would ignore in the name of self-reliance, things that could be dangerous not just detrimental to their development, emotional well-being. Zaske talking about being uncomfortable with the idea that by 7 her children were expected to walk to school alone how she had to let go of her, decidedly American ‘overprotectiveness,’ to fit in with the norm of parenting in Europe; except there is a reason why her inclination was not to let a 7 year old walk to school alone, in addition to the hit by a car scenario demonstrated heinously by the students struck and killed, severely injured crossing the street to board their school bus, compartmentalizing where that bus stop is and whether it was put in the worst place possible, parents previous complaints about the stop, who would want their child walking on such a road to go to school? Counting it as fact, for the sake of argument, German infrastructure is better, newer than America’s, not dismissing that the reason many American towns don’t have the plethora of sidewalks, crosswalks for pedestrians is because when it was founded/formed those who settled there already had their own personal vehicles and that’s how the area developed also explaining our lagging public mass transit systems outside large cities nationally; what about someone driving close to a school having a medical event swerving around, rarity though it might be for them, a drunk plowing through crosswalks. The man stateside just arrested for seemingly purposefully plowing his vehicle into pedestrians the only thing stopping him ramming a tree; breaking: him an Iraq war vet with a history of PTSD, instances that should be of particular interest considering the number of terrorists there, across the region running over pedestrians with a variety of vehicles, Germany too having war veterans from current conflicts. One of the linked articles describing the Netherlands depicted a woman with a baby carrier outfitted for her bicycle and a toddler strapped to her back, heaven help either child if she lost control of that bike for any reason let alone got hit by a car while on it with her children; versus cars and children properly secured in their car seats, infants found seat thrown from the vehicle whole and hail sans a few bumps and bruises, things you can’t say about items used in the described ‘utopia.’ Subtracting vehicles versus pedestrian incidents and possibilities, there is the, ‘is the school next to woods in more rural areas of Germany’ were they could get lost during cold weather and literally freeze to death; read closely and you find she’s talking about life in Germany’s probably most famous city from a global standpoint, Berlin, not an isolated small area, most in America or within the country don’t live 600 yards from their child’s school. What about a child who isn’t ready at 7 but is at 8; like with the potty training, again it’s the idea of pushing unique, individual children into things they might not feel comfortable with yet forget their parents. Worth legitimately asking, what services do they (the German school system) offer for children with developmental and neurological disabilities; do they try to mainstream as many of these individuals as possible or simply shunt them off to specialized schools, how do they treat ones who don’t have the capacity to understand how to walk from home to their school at the socially acceptable age independent built in preparedness classes, field trips and parent modeling/walking the route with them ‘a full year before?’ Note the U.K. only has one school for girls with autism, their schools long separated by gender and the disorder disproportionately effecting boys is understood but it still seems massively incongruent with the global autism numbers; the U.K. also where little Adam Payne’s mother had to fight for accessible public housing to meet both her son’s and her entire family’s special needs including him and his range of disabilities as much as possible. No doubt in part to the subtle, perhaps not so subtle, discrimination she experienced being Muslim contrasted to the famed Abby Road once becoming famous built with disability accessibility in mind. Are parents of children with developmental delays, children with conditions such as autism treated by society as any other parent as much as possible or is it more akin to what one U.K. family described for a morning talk show there, once their autistic son was approved and received his service dog taking him out in public became easier not just because the dog calmed his anxiety decreasing meltdowns, allowing him to enjoy regular activities a boy his age normally would, checking his non-existent sense of danger to where his parents felt safe bringing him out into the open because the dog could help ensure he didn’t run into a busy street but also functioned to alert the citizens out and about he was a child with special needs versus a naughty, unruly brat his parents needed to tame. How do they approach children with solely physical impairments meaning they can’t walk at all, they can’t walk that far? My friends 5 children all have asthma and in the cold weather she wouldn’t dare force her oldest 3 with the most detectable symptoms to walk to school, though they do live within the walking distance parameters outlined by the school district. Are there busses provided either category of child to attend school or are parents left to shoulder the burden of transporting their child to/from school if they can’t get there the traditional way unless they are attending a specialized school suited to their needs, even if they are? More practically on a parenting level, facts about parents who walk their kids to school, monitoring them getting on the bus it might be to make sure they go to school instead of skip; my friend would never allow her second plus grade student, her second child, to walk to school alone (despite the districts own rule on when kids can do that discussed in the next paragraph) because of his ADHD, yes a real thing in both the U.S. and Britain at minimum, always made him prone to running, a common problem with it and disorders like autism. Over and over when he attended the school closest to his home they found him at the public library, the neighborhood park, he was removed from pre-k summer school for running and asked when aggressive to be left at home rather than harming other children; many doctor visits and medication adjustments later he was eventually moved to a different mainstream school better able to manage his diagnosis still found walking toward either home or his aunt’s house close to his new school/across town respectively because he got mad at his teacher, it took until 5th grade for the new principal of said school to stop suspending him if he ran rather than bring him back to school and at minimum put him in the office with classwork until the end of the day/remove recess and for his teachers to stop putting his desk, assigning him to a group table near the classroom door. One of the chief reasons she didn’t want her second child at the specialty school for children with mental health issues, autism and behavioral/neurological problems like ADHD isn’t because his autistic older brother goes there and they fight like cats and dogs, something the school found out the hard way placing them on the same bus for a summer school positive behavioral reinforcement program where they did exactly that not heeding her warming against putting them on the same bus, how little she knew about what was going on with the oldest education, how poor communication was with his teachers, it was the woods next to the school where her second child could easily get lost and die during cold weather always having had trouble regulating his body temperature. Confronting the European oddity, 21st century American anomaly of parents who drive their kids to school, it occurs for multiple reasons parents who can simply do, see it as easier than the first day of school top of the year transport SNAFUs, provides their children a little more leeway in the morning getting up, getting out of the house, can be the result of unresolved issues with bullies, parents who trust themselves on the road driving their kids but not particularly bus drivers who have been reported drunk, molesting children, one who asked if the kids were ready to die before speeding down the road, crashing and killing 5, a known sex offender recently snuck onto a school bus; my friend regularly reporting either reckless driving from bus drivers or those who couldn’t adequately handle pre-k through 5th grade sibling squabbles, kids learning to keep their hands to themselves, finding a seat, sans it becoming a 4 star production and a stack of bus tickets getting small children removed from bus service for being kids, things better handled using basic child management than disciplinary action, to their superiors to have them retrained or preferably fired. Has walked all 3 of her k-12 school age children to school at various times fed up with bus issues; principal of our local elementary school sent letters home to parents about bus stop supervision when my friend’s oldest was in first grade, she was waiting with him and a mix of children up to age 11 (5th grade the cut off for elementary school), seeing bullying of her kids, general unruly behavior and no parent apart from herself present. And before foreigners can shout America’s problem no training, expertise for workers doing important jobs an 11 year old able to steal a city bus and drive it around absent anyone noticing doesn’t exactly inspire confidence; at least our case was a man with autism who had been taught what he knew by a bus operator, did it correctly and should have been given a job rather than jail because he was a special case but could still contribute to his immediate society. The irrefutable fact a pilot from a German airline called Germanwings was able to use his plane and the 149 passengers to commit suicide hiding doctors notes revealing his depression made him a risk to fly because they didn’t learn the lesson every western airline did post 9/11 about having 2 pilots, onboard flight personnel in the cockpit at all times, 14 years after that horrific attack it might be added, leaves us wondering what else they missed in all aspects of transportation. Interviewer and Zaske reminiscing about when they first took public transit happening around 11 in Europe, the former from New York city remarking doing so in the 70’s and 80’s tying into crime statics when crime was actually higher and it was worse for kids to be doing alone or only with a buddy; what hasn’t changed despite their nostalgic views of yesteryear women who don’t wear makeup on that same subway to avoid being raped, Germany’s 2015 New Years eve train station rapes doubtlessly instrumental in the law change there, functioning as a preverbal last straw. What’s not hype, paranoia, the journalist who in response to now president Trump’s Access Hollywood tape sent out a call on twitter #tweet my your first assaults to bring awareness to the prevalence of sexual assault, men’s ingrained entitlement to women’s bodies starting with her own;12 on a bus man reaches up her dress grabs her p*ssy (her words), another involved a K-Mart aisle creepy man puts arm around 11 year old touches her inappropriately, remembers favorite ribbon in her hair, burying it in her yard that night, 14 in a dermatologist’s office forced to undress while he watched, being fitted for contacts optician grabs teens breasts to retrieve contact lens fallen down her blouse, those few just the tip of a huge iceberg. Fellow Salon author pinning a piece reflecting her personal experiences with sexual harassment, from the guy everyone liked at her first job making lude comments, to the catcalls and unsolicited penises she’d been shown while jogging, to the anxious paranoid/precautions experience has taught her to take to avoid at least some of the constant bombardment of said harassment, but our kids should be taking public transit and walking to the sometimes non-existent corner store to get items for their parents by middle school, anyone else wanna shout I don’t think so? Scroll down to the creepy clown sightings and social media threats video after the paragraph; when presented with a copy of the online statements watch the parent who directly told the reporter such things would make her want to drive her kids to school. A local parent in my area’s response to the rash of kidnapping attempts linked after the previous paragraph was to tell reporters she usually drove her children in the morning and they walked home together as a family (what are the odds that had something to do with the weather, budding spring and warmer afternoons) but that day to ensure their safety she picked them up, actions directly correlated to things transpiring in the area. It’s a lot easier parent or child to be less stressed about school when you don’t have to worry about them being shot, being the one shot, seeing friends shot just going to school, a place you have no choice in whether you attend; continuing, before repeating the only in America mantra pertaining to guns and mass school violence consider the U.K is again mulling over legislation to curtail knife crimes in a country years into drastically limiting guns after a March set of stabbings killed 2 teens, by April stores had taken it upon themselves to stop selling kitchen knives, Canada saw a school violence event involving a girl with 2 steak knives and ‘crazy eyes’ as recently as 2016 and before they used guns to shoot 50 people in a Crimean school youth used axes, knives and air guns to carry out attacks against their fellow students or with terroristic motives. People scrutinizing American parenting to pick it apart will want to check their default assumption reluctance to strike out independently, do certain things is coming from the parent rather than things the child sees on television, in their neighborhood, their school, relying on their own instincts. I was 4 when I adamantly refused to hold the 4th of July sparkler inherently knowing it could burn me, it could get in my eye, I was 6 when my uncle tried to get me to drink Pepto-Bismol it being pink and looking like candy he thought it would be cute to see me taste the stuff and they’d have a good laugh as I made disgusted faces or began crying parallel to babies reactions to lemon, me not falling for it in the slightest, was 8 or 9 when I saw on that old show Rescue 9-1-1 a 6 year old on a stool cooking oatmeal during commercials of Saturday morning cartoons, parents in bed asleep, catching her robe sleeve on fire spending 6 weeks in a burn unit; to this day I avoid gas stoves and have never been a patient in a burn unit. Was around 10 seeing on the same show the kid who had a firework partially go off in and blow off part of his his hand solidifying my earlier instinct; things I have also never done, broken a bone, received stiches apart from panned surgery, not because my parent was overprotective but due to my own since of self-preservation and a healthy appreciation of fear. I was also one of a lucky few from my birth decade forward who has never been molested, sexually assaulted or raped because I was never left in the care of strangers, didn’t want to go to sleep away camp before those were the ‘it’ thing, church and bible school weren’t really my mother’s thing so I avoided what happened to a boy recently on a church bus; I was never left alone in a doctor’s office because my mother and grandmother raised me, being female it was never the opposite sex parent situation, I was a teen with my head on straight so I never had the embarrassing sex talk with the pediatrician, ogled at the idea of ever putting something in your eye even a contact lens, have rarely needed a dermatologist kept away from those scenes, and never felt comfortable as a kid/teen being alone at the doctor the few times I needed to see one. Part of being an efficient, property molded adult is organizing your life in a way that works for you, part of being an effective, adequate parent is crafting a life that works for you and your family dynamic to the best of your ability; my friend doesn’t force her kids to have an alarm clock and get themselves up for school in the morning because it’s highly impractical with a middle schooler down to a toddler in the home, one attending specialized schooling with its own unique start and end time, a preschooler also on different hours, getting her second ADHD child to sleep through the night, not get up, go downstairs and out the front door has been a years long process and necessitated special locks supported by his doctor after he got out one morning, went to a neighbor’s, got in their car, put the key (left in said car) in the ignition and drove it into the grass. If her preschooler gets up with the older crowd, versus having that extra hour to hour and a half, he necessitates a nap in the afternoon problematic as he will go to big boy kindergarten in the fall where there is only a 30 minute rest period first half of the year causing problems for all of her kids not permitted to wake naturally from nap time. She just recently got her 2 middle kids in the habit of putting way their own clothes because her second soon to be 12 year old is finally tall enough to reach the closet rod to hang items, finally able to afford storage bins for socks and underwear, moving toward summer shorts and tank tops that go in drawers not hung in the closet. My friend’s boys liking the show Cops her using the show where a girl was hit by a car to try and reinforce to her second son why running indiscriminately into the street can end very bad for you, to this day he has not broken a bone, suffered any major injury in spite of his diagnosis and the marginal control his medication provides; her children for all their issues are alive and thriving if not the apex of self-reliance people across an ocean think they should be. Zaske tells us herself she struck to her guns and waited until 3rd grade, at least a full year after ‘everyone else’ was walking to school alone to let her daughter join her friends pushed by much cajoling but even ‘helicopter parents’ here eventually give in and let their child try once; far from wrong to comprehend the possibility her child could get snatched walking that measly 600 yards knowing Hania Aguilar was taken from her front yard waiting for the school bus after going out to start the family SUV, her body found 3 weeks later, 5 months later authorities no closer to catching her killer, and Jayme Closs was sighted by her captor getting on and off the school bus as he was heading to work, (Jaycee Dugard, Ben Ownby redux much), that 8 year old who warded off his brother’s potential kidnapper was standing with his mother and sibling outside an elementary school, attacker sneaking past the family and hitting mom in an attempt to get the baby, a woman who had already tried to take another child from a stroller just minutes beforehand. When in Georgia, in addition to the other clowns, there were the ones scaring children as they walked to school, look at the video of the girl crying in presumably her mother’s arms, good luck getting those kids to walk to school alone sans an adult for a long time after that, helicopter parenting having nothing to do with it; another set in Texas posting threats on social media prompting parents to keep their kids home. Wasn’t wrong to be apprehensive about finding her daughter in that park only with her friend seeing as the would be kidnapper in the code word incident, who pulled up next to the girl walking home from a park didn’t use candy, puppies, gift cards or coloring books but lied and said her brother had been in a serious accident; yes train you kids well but these things do happen. When the kid asked if she wanted a bicycle was in her own yard, never mind the car who plowed into a front yard putting a girl in the hospital; Polly Klaas to Elizabeth Smart taken from their own bedrooms, one who lived one who didn’t.
That being said, to be shattered is this reverberating, regurgitated concept because we don’t teach our kids everything at the earliest opportunity so we, the parents, can be more of the wrong kinds of selfish, maintain an aloof, awkward detachment from, have an odd, less tangible responsibility for our children, perpetuate mild neglect against them instead insisting on a close emotional bond if at all possible and rendering the actual care required per age level of the little people we dared bring into the world, that we don’t ever teach our kids things they need to know to function in the world, that they never learn how to cut meat with a ‘real’ knife and similar experiences. Wrong—we teach age appropriately and when our individual child/children are ready. Neither has over parenting backfired on America keeping in mind Johnathan Haidt is the same old, graying man who co-authored The Atlantic piece ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’ at the collegiate level deconstructed by both this blog and a Salon piece by Arthur Chu proving just how much Mr. Haidt misunderstood the so called social justice warriors on college campuses and their goals; adjacently how much old crusty, comedians looking for an easy gig equally misunderstand this generation succinctly summed up as follows by Caitlin Flanagan profiling comedians troubles on college campuses “These young people have decided that some subjects—among them rape and race—are so serious that they shouldn’t be fodder for comics. They want a world that’s less cruel; they want to play a game that isn’t rigged in favor of the powerful. And it’s their student-activities money…” That the comedians referred to were the likes of Chris Rock criticized for his degrading of the black community while being black and lucky himself, Louis C.K. pilloried by the #metoo movement, Jerry Seinfeld himself becoming a real life parody of his former show mad audiences didn’t laugh at his truthfully less than sophomoric joke, Bill Maher hated by young progressives for being politically stuck in 1992 and Dennis Miller who ridiculed the occupy Wall Street movement beside him, each proven utterly wrong 10 years after the recession officially ended and the number of Americans who haven’t recovered, feasibly never will gives you some idea the mindset behind their viewpoint. Remember the Oklahoma Wesleyan University president who put out a letter to his students and the broader public announcing his institution was a college not a daycare, story scrutiny finding his missive based on 3rd hand information regarding a student who allegedly spoke to him about the homily on love, part of the school’s regular chapel service. As blog and author asked at the time did he even understand the student’s complaint or would it be better characterized as a question; was he seeking to stop sermons evoking guilt, a conscience or was he seeking guidance regarding action to take addressing how he felt? How much credence is to be given to the following comment, since the student made no demands listed by Piper, say firing the chaplain, made no effort to rally others to his cause of discontinuing sermons, alter calls, instituting a trigger warning the president condescendingly referencing they don’t do and the fact that, according to the story, he approached the president of the college, not the owner of the “offensive” comments, even with the ‘failing logic of millennials?’ “It appears that Piper didn’t actually speak with the student who had the complaint. The student spoke with the person who gave the sermon and that person told Piper. Piper then uses the hearsay to stereotype “the culture” and bash that student on national media. Sounds like a real upper-crust kind of guy;” quoted portion a comment response from the original Washington Post piece on the letter. Him obviously wanting it to be a daycare if he permitted such tattle tailing among grown adults but it’s the kids running to someone wanting something done because he said this she said that, try again. He (Haidt) should perhaps digest those realities and the point in the Salon author’s piece about what was missing from one Windy City college president’s letter announcing no trigger warnings, no safe spaces i.e. the traumatic experiences of war veterans, foreign students fleeing any number of conflicts and violence, daily life for sexual assault victims particularly knowing its prevalence on campus, to name a few of the things he refused to contemplate before his announcement. Emerging adults aren’t running to HR about jokes not least of which because colleges don’t possess HR departments the same way employers do, they simply vote, comment with their money and their talent refusing to work in toxic employment environments when given the choice; toxic work environments being those where sexual harassment is common place, there is an overwhelming lack of diversity and you are the only LGBT individual, the only person of color, the only woman, working for crazy bosses studies have proven have psychopathic traits, jobs willing to screen applicants using snowflake tests to suss out their views on the police on things having nothing to do with the parameters of the work described. And they certainly aren’t doing it because their parents didn’t let them out to play with friends, do things alone or as a group of kids until 13, 14, 15, 16 (as if they can’t reorient their ‘social skills’ from that point anyway), no thought given to the notion persons asked to shout out the age they were permitted to do X could be misremembering, exaggerating or forgetting things they did do younger; contextualizing it further Haidt brings up himself the group he’s talking about was the first raised post 9/11 commentary published 2018 well after the spread of the #metoo movement. Borrowing for the umpteenth time from my own story growing up I was 9 when we moved from my grandmother’s out in the country to the suburbs with kids in the neighborhood my age to play with who picked on me for my disability, my being an only child adult mannerisms, total disinterest in doing things that would get me in trouble; dynamics that too develop with only children, neighborhoods with no adjacent age children to play with, vastly different age siblings, yet all the helicopter parenting fear mongers of a different kind can come up with is parents who won’t let their kids go outside unsupervised. He may even be right that the height of parent protective instincts began in the 90’s when crime rates were declining measurably, however what he gets palpably wrong is while other crime was decreasing child abductions, attempted kidnappings and molestation, predation remained consistent and has unto present day, videos provided proving that point in living color; accompanying response was plainly new awareness of what had and can happen to children, adjustments made to parenting to fit the environment. Haidt careening farther down the path of misinterpretation claims ‘not ready’ college students are asking adults for help but doesn’t describe one instance of with what, in what way or how they are asking, what they want from the adults around them following yes a trend of ‘hyper anxious’ college students who can’t seem to survive away from their parents; but, the ‘Posse’ program taking select gifted students from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds helping college students acclimate to college life found it isn’t just their parents millennial college students are yearning for but the network of friends they’ve also depended on until now to bounce ideas off of, help them make major decisions, the mentors, people they’ve known since diapers, pre-school, friendships cultivated in grade school, middle school, the girl or boyfriend had in high school, they miss that sounding board that’s always been a free phone call away, shoulder they could cry on who was their friend, people who could help them with work or Ms./Mr. so and so’s class, networks ‘Posse’ attempts to cultivate towards their success. Millennials preferring collaborative work environments; following another exposé on why poor students drop out of college even when their financial obligations are covered finding fitting in is a need as big as air for this generation of higher education attendees, solutions offered include moving out after high school, but settling in the next town over, not cross country, attending college closer to home rather than thousands of miles away. Sensibilities corroborated by articles suggesting the only obstacle to prestigious colleges or college period wasn’t merely the cost of attendance, the periphery expenses room board, food plaguing so many students it’s spawned calls for meal plan accounts in higher ed.; but, the very idea of uprooting themselves and going thousands of miles away from their small town or rural community was absurd to begin with because their parents/community’s network of people would provide child and elder care when the time came, help with home and car repair if needed and capable. Mentioned too wanting to go so far away to school was a sign you didn’t know where you came from, had your nose in the air; personally I experienced this with my mother from picking high school classes when I shunned so called ‘practical’ courses beyond what was required accused of being too good for them rather than interested in other things, willing to pursue a dream first J.O.B. second, plus while she supported my going to college she mocked me when I said I wanted to frame my acceptance letter ecstatic they wanted me saying many students with worse grades probably got in. Missing entirely I was just happy the school I wanted to go to wanted me to attend, meaning also I could stay local; my choice to avoid dorm life, off campus housing, apartment hunting, cleaning and school all at once. More importantly countering both Haidt and Zaske specific skills not taught often attributed to the failings of helicopter parenting aren’t necessarily, instead things the parent honestly didn’t think about teaching say before their teen went off to college; a vastly misunderstood aspect is that the things parents bent on raising their version of independent, resilient, self-reliant kids see helicopter parented kids lack were ever taught in the first place rather than it being expected they would use the things they learned at home doing chores exc. to navigate the new challenges of adulthood. Finishing the trifecta making the issue more complicated than the free range parenting crowd believes it is on its face, they forget they had some of the very anxieties millennials and college age gen Z are relentlessly stereotyped, harassed and hated for; they survived and so will the currently discussed generations. Dovetailing into the next facet, let’s face it certain things aren’t being taught to kids less because of helicopter parenting and more due to how their parents do it being antiquated, outdated and no longer needed in the format parents used; it intertwines with the comeback push for teaching cursive handwriting in school, we don’t teach our kids how to use matches (one of the comment examples on the plethora of stories about the negatives of helicopter parenting) so much anymore because they are rarely used anymore absent camping or lighting candles on a birthday cake, an action that doesn’t need a tutorial for a teen forget an adult in college, moving into their own apartment. And when used at home with kids the parent/adult usually lights the cake candles and they sing happy birthday, kids job to blow out the candles; removing the ‘they are supposed to do it themselves’ concept. My friend would allow her older children in the kitchen to cook when she wants the apartment burned down; no the parent in the salon link did not fail her children not teaching them how to cook because getting food and cooking it is changing for the current generation via food delivery services slowly supplanting the grocery store, microwavable foods undergoing a 21st century makeover. Reiterating the problem with millennials and food is having the funds to buy it not the task of going to the store to get it, unless perhaps your confronting a food desert; where trips to the store are a problem is young professionals putting in long days to get that start up off the ground, after 12 to 18 hours possessing no intention of roaming store aisles, like their older, overworked counterparts on weekends, what little they get, choosing between washing their laundry or sleeping, choosing sleeping hands down. Then there’s the Haidt prescription to solve the effects of over parenting couched in one sentence, divorce kids from their screens; delaying screen time and social media use as long as possible naming the data inconclusive but pointing to tangible harm in life preparedness. Ignoring kids that attached to their social media going to a city that either has robust public transit or an active Uber/Lyft system they can utilize likewise eliminating the cost of gas and vehicle upkeep, explain their disinterest in a driver’s license, new facets of tech providing recipes for what’s in your fridge sent to your tablet able to pre-heat a connected oven for millennials whose parents didn’t teach them to cook, didn’t know how themselves or they hate the taste of their parent’s cooking, FASA, the student financial aid form, getting a mobile app in 2018; millennials on down more likely to use a debit card as opposed to checks, make use of mobile and online banking, a majority of employers have switched to direct deposit as has social security, automatic and online bill pay not just available for most utility, cable and internet providers, renters to car insurance, it’s preferred not solely as better for the environment but an assurance it gets paid rather than lost in the mail. No kids don’t need to know how to read an analog clock anymore and the U.K.’s move to change to a digital clock in testing rooms shouldn’t have been met with such derision because they were asking for something easy to glance at to see how much time remained without requiring a translation. Redundancy making a repeated appearance part of adulting now both a word and a verb is finding/developing life hacks that make the most sense to and for you, nothing saying that if you taught your kids what happens in a bank, services offered outside mobile, online and electronic banking made sure they had a signature, learned how to cook using conventional means and utensils it automatically indicate they won’t opt for easier, more convenient ways of doing things. Returning to kids under 18, far from college still, review closely the anti- helicopter parenting choices set up by adults, the dads playborhood and the New York playground billed as the scariest and where parents are not allowed; A that father established himself as a trusted adult not in any way creepy or sending off a vibe of a pedophile, has his own children similar in age to the neighborhood kids, B he turned his yard into a playground with kid sized and designed things for them to climb on, take risks in the proper context, they are jumping off the roof of playhouses (not the actual roof) onto soft bean bag chair type things, foam wedge pits and small trampolines, there are ramps for scooters and skateboards but you see them wearing helmets while doing that, his large trampoline has the recommended net, parent and manufacturer demanded after children bounced off and cracked their heads open. C remembering the problem with the park is kids being there alone, bullies, not largely the equipment or how their child used it and he is there to provide minimal supervision of the children on his property most of the time. One parent admits her breaking point in deciding away from the playborhood was 1 knowing her kids were extremely reckless and 2 their admission they’d gotten onto the man’s roof through the attic when everyone else wasn’t looking; sounds like my friend and her mentioned second ADHD child she wouldn’t put in a situation like that for his low since of danger or her third child with a stiff ankle, a klutz who by 10 has suffered 2 minor concussions from falls and smacking into things, more worried about his brain than his ‘happy childhood,’ or the notion the only way kids can be truly happy is that presented by the California dad. The New York playground mandates parents sign waivers and while they are not permitted inside there is adult supervision/training of children as they use hammers and saws, kids being reckless chasing others, trying to hit them with a hammer or saw would doubtlessly be asked to leave; not covered is how old the nail was that child stepped on, was her family advised to get her a tetanus shot, if they were ok, project supervisor blaming himself for what happened to her explaining the difference, in his mind between risks, the things we want kids to learn to take appropriately, and hazards, what he identified that stray nail as, naming those his responsibility. Personally I go back to myself knowing the tomboy that I was I wouldn’t have wanted to play with the things there because of exactly what happened to that girl and the place does look like a boring, dull junk heap. Much of parents who fight things whether it’s for better window blinds, labeling of ones with cords that can’t choke babies and toddlers or offering ones minus cords making sure store personnel tell parents the best ones for a household with small children after a death or a close call is about the regulation we thought we had. Same with trampoline parks no, its not just the 40 year old trying to act far too young for his age blowing both his knees; it’s the gymnastics coach walking in and highlighting ways things can be made safer and avoid the paraplegics created, the guy who tried a bungie apparatus on a cruise ship suddenly crippled because it was faulty and poorly managed, why the family whose son died on a water slide sued the park— for it’s engineering design failure. Laws pertaining to stalking and information disclosure changed upon the death of popular budding actress Rebecca Schaeffer’s murder by an obsessed fan after it was disclosed a private investigator was able to walk into the DMV and obtain her address information by naming his profession alone, P.I. hired by her stalker; perfectly legal at the time later amended, California the first to pass anti stalking laws, Schaeffer’s brutal slaying further led to some of the first gun safety PSA’s circa 1989. Circling it back to the self-reliant, free range parenting argument, as alluded to above, my local school district did implement a simple rule kids must be in the 5th grade before they can walk to school alone/not in the company of someone 18 or older; similar to children must be in middle school before they are allowed to carry their inhalers (for asthma) rather than it being kept in the nurses office and either the child sent to the nurse to use it or the nurse coming to them. Primary reason such rules come into being, morph into laws where applicable is due to irresponsible, negligent parenting resulting in the death or injury of a child subsequently no legal actions able to be taken, child services hands tied because there are no laws on the books and no regulations at child protective services classifying what they did as wrong enough to prosecute, remove children from a potentially dangerous situation; rules and laws changing based on cases where children were injured/killed and the existing laws and child protective rules didn’t cover their parents’ cruelty, abuse, neglect. One of the things drastically overlooked in her references to the Meitivs (this blog did a 2 part story on them both times they were arrested for ‘free range’ parenting their children) is that Maryland had a law, no child under 8 left in the care of anyone less than 13 inside a home alone, extrapolated in their case due to busy streets and concerned adults seeing them at the park unsupervised; the Meitiv’s blatantly broke that law instead of trying to get abolished or changed, their second run in with child services was sparked not by their neighbor who saw them and called police hoping they were ok, wondering what was going on, but what the children said to officers in the patrol car as they were willing to drive them home, changing their minds based on their words, things they said about their home life, things their parents let them do, blog/author floating the idea maybe it was time for social services to take those kids if the parents couldn’t wait a measly 3 years until their oldest was 13 and legally watch his sister as they walked to/played in the park. Compare the adult Meitiv’s behavior to the HBO featured parents in New Jersey who are fighting for the right for their kids to walk home alone from school, and doing it the right way by attempting to change law; the Utah mother who spearheaded a move to do the same in her state adding playing in parks alone to the list of things that will no longer see parents potentially subject to arrest/visits from child services. See the way the way a mother below, who when her son passionately came to her wanting her to do something about the arcane rule outlawing snowball fights in his town, a law that understand was 100 years old when the boy discovered it, she instructed him he needed to do so and helped him achieve his goal persuading the city council to reverse the ban; the girl whose curiosity lead to honoring a civil rights leader with more than a plaque in a park fighting to name the new local early learning center after him and winning. Sometimes it’s not just that you do things it’s how you do them truths carrying over into the method used to teach your child life skills, whether you teach them skills or seek to change the fabric of your world. According to the anti-helicopter parenting model trunk latches in cars are stupid if they prevent a child from dying of heat, cold, suffocation trapped while playing, car mistakenly left unlocked presenting a tempting ‘toy,’ justifiably lauded by the media when they allow kidnapping and carjacking victims a means to escape; funny, as in ironic, a family sent out a national warning about coolers after their son playing hide and seek, hid in the cooler and couldn’t get out, if he’d have stopped crying or been left their any longer they wouldn’t have been able to find him. Subscribing to the anti- helicopter parenting philosophy the glaring problem with the college student recently killed when she mistook her killers car for the Uber she ordered is the child safety locks on the car, we should just teach our kids better, not save their lives long enough to learn the lesson, not Uber and Lyft need to better identify their cars, drivers with lit car top signs with the name of the service, improved descriptions of cars, drivers, easier to see license plates at night; like legalizing recreational marijuana public education on how to use them and potential dangers need to come with it, what that girls parents are now fighting to ascertain. Others will zero in on her intoxication as to why she didn’t check driver information, especially rich coming from people who told persons for years call a friend, call a cab, Uber and it’s spinoffs the 21st century incarnation, walk but don’t drink and drive; understood is the need for cabs/rideshare entities to be safe for even the impaired person to use, supplanting mass transit in some areas could also be occupied by sick persons headed to a hospital. Samantha Josephson’s murder touching off an unveiling of more problems for rideshare services including a woman who did check the make and model of what she thought was her Uber ride and they match, red flag when she asked for payment, her saying she paid through the app, following to her apartment, robbing her using Uber as a cover. The woman raped when she got into what she though was the Uber her friend called for her after visiting a bar; why Josephson’s parents quickly became activists, not a new phenomenon as the disappearance of Etan Patz sparked the missing kids’ faces on milk cartons campaign to find them, little Adam Walsh’s death propelled his parents to create the national center for missing and exploited children an organization depended on to help find lost, taken children.
Sara Zaske was milquetoast about her agreement with the Salon talk session host who asserted as a passing thought to another topic: the chief reason millennials, gen Y, barely turned 18 to college age gen Z-er’s are primarily on their parents couches, in their parent’s basements is because of the economy more than being unable to stop their vice grip on mommy’s apron strings; this blog won’t be. Her affluence oozing throughout the interview, she had the time to walk her 7 year old 600 yards to school because she didn’t have to work, put in the kind of hours Americans do, she could send her child to pre-school there because it was either much more affordable or no cost, she doubtlessly lived in a good, low crime neighborhood and as stated in a highly known city versus the poorest Germans, no matter how many percentage wise less there are or what the country’s poverty lines look like compared America. True, work life balance is better achieved when your kids are finally old enough to get themselves up for school and out the door in the morning, can take public transit or get rides from friends parents to shared after school activities; it also is highly more attainable when you don’t have to work 18 hour days and 3 jobs to pay your bills, afford your rent, keep the student loan beast off your back, have enough lunch time as they allot in Germany to bike home eating leisurely with your spouse, biking back to work steadily but not hurried. The quoted French dad was quick to make sure foreigners reading his reaction piece knew Druckerman was writing to and in response to a specific group, elite subset of French of parents not all or most, working class families raising children; Chua exerting an air of well to do, as pointed out in the deconstruct of her second book The Triple Package marrying into more upper middle class money translating to children who will parlay their parents connections into their own success regardless their grades, sought after extracurriculars, college application indicators of a well-rounded student, names they can drop when seeking jobs post college which will mean a greater chance at hire, names, ins those whose last name isn’t known don’t have whatever their work ethic, drive, what parenting style their parents did or didn’t employ. Economics that started well before they turned 18, my friend’s 3 oldest who might be all old enough to start doing their own laundry don’t because there is no washer and dryer in their home, they can’t afford to buy one, our local public housing units are in the process of renovation but the old ones still only have washer hookups; compounding the unworkability of the Zaske model for raising self-reliant kids borrowed from the German’s the neighborhood laundry mat a few years ago tightened the rules barring children under 18 being their without an adult after several nuisance complaints of kids being rowdy, making a mess and tearing things up, but no matter what kids should be doing their own laundry. Forget my friend has one who will put his clean laundry in the dirty clothes hamper unless she removes it from his room until they are put away; none having a problem with wearing dirty clothes either if let do so (she doesn’t and wouldn’t, but yet here we go again with the generic solutions to insignificant problems). Going back to Haidt’s arguments about kids let out in their teens arriving at college not ready, so absorbed in their screens they don’t attempt getting their driver’s license, perception predicated on their parents having a car and the ability to teach them practical driving skills once they pass the permit test as opposed to the working poor who don’t; conveniently forgotten about the ones who got cars at 16 because their parents could afford to set up the contract they would pay for their car payment or insurance, the teen and their after school job the opposite item. 3rd deterrent for young people being attracted to driving as he was, all the graduated licensing programs limiting teens driving when, some mandating no passengers, specifying a maximum number of passages meaning no they can’t take their brother to band practice, sister to dance class, can’t take them all at once; same problem with the city curfews supposedly enacted to curb vandalism and teen mischief meaning kids can’t skateboard long after dark during summer when it’s less hot, my local mall banned kids under 18 after 4:00 pm unless accompanied by an adult citing similar behavior, kids who can’t see a midnight showing of say Avengers Endgame without running afoul of the city ordinance, need notes from their employer if driving/walking back from work after the designated time, hindrance 412 to getting a job on top of no vehicle access. Highlighting something else, serious question is it 90’s, post 9/11 parents, 21st century, read 1 too many parenting books, parents who don’t want their kids let out of the house, reaching any farther than their apron strings or larger society who doesn’t want them out less because their weak parents haven’t taught them manners, basic parameters of behavior, kids destroying things, constantly brought to ‘inappropriate’ adult settings a-la fancy restaurants and more because they can’t stand the sight of a child in public, are petrified themselves of seeing child misbehavior? Employment wise job availability for teens continues to become scarcer and scarcer as once traditionally teen jobs are taken by adults who need to work, seniors working after retirement, the increased skills needed for labeled ‘entry level’ jobs, yet his tone chides kids for not working for money anymore; babysitting now done by professionals, we won’t bother bringing up the black young man who got police called on him for mowing the wrong part of a lawn during his lawn mowing business or the other middle schooler not wishing to get paid for filling neighborhood pot holes just that no one else’s car get damaged like his mothers. Stepping into the employment sector proper, check out this comment from a Mike Rowe appearance on Meet the Press Daily early2017 diagnosing employment perceptions lopsided shifting too far away from manual labor, trades, title of his once show dirty jobs; “companies need to go back to training their own workforce. They expect people to come fully trained and qualified or they expect the government to pay for the training of their employees. Next thing you know you will have to train yourself to work the fry station at McDonald’s BEFORE you can even apply for that job. Some retail chains already require minimum wage workers to complete a retail sales course before they even accept their application and they call this a skill shortage. Enough with the drug testing as well, so many people are disqualified from many of these jobs even with prescription medications and doctor’s notes,” and you begin to understand what starting workers are battling. Not dawning on the older generation the tangible truth of the above quote falling in line with functional reality we aren’t living in the old days when if you had a question about filling out paperwork for your fishing license, questions about the insurance for your car at the DMV, they’d see you asking something about a job application question, young probably filling out one for the first time, older filling out one for the first time in years and just answer your question, help you; not laugh in your face, go directly to the boss badmouthing what you don’t know, calling you names to the person who of course won’t hire you depending on their staff, secretaries to operate as gatekeepers. Combing through recent research identifying millennials the most likely to lie on their résumés opining what do you expect you’re lying on your résumé oblivious that if they don’t they’d never get their food in the door to start any job at any point; keenly ironic coming from baby boomers and gen Xers who currently hold no need to lie on their résumés possessing the experience they require, afforded those advantages when young to get it. How about the 19% of recently polled Americans who don’t use the internet not because they find social media vapid, boring, worthless, not because it was too hard to use, the internet itself not social media specifically, though that 32% is likely older Americans, moving straight to costs for either a PC or internet service being well out of their price range; cable and DSL choices running you somewhere around $100, especially if you bundle it with a landline phone, the few wireless plans not for your phone work like the old AOL model subtracting from a chunk of monthly given data every time you view a website, have to refresh a page, not to mention the number of both wireless dead zones and broadband blackout spaces continuing to exist, clinging to the get a job you bums mentality glossing over job applications gone online along with a sizable portion of everything else. Regarding teens actively seeking employment at the eligible age to work, independent students for whom school, getting good, not perfect grades, is time consuming enough completing the extracurricular, non-academic criteria for scholarships giving themselves at minimum the option to apply, making it worthwhile to apply to known universities, colligate institutions Ivy League or not, wishing to be considered on their merits bypassing cheating scandals, name dropping; blue collar and lower middle class parents who still insist their kids not work instead focus on their education believing it the vehicle to monetary mobility even now, who had to work themselves and work harder so their kids don’t have to split their time the way they did. Lost is while they aren’t necessarily working for money they are volunteering, spending spring breaks and summer vacations aiding entities like habitat for humanity, participating in religious missionary work, organizing school, neighborhood, city or national drives for winter coats, food, relief for disaster victims, treatments for classmates suffering rare disease, toys and other equipment and needs for fellow children in remote parts of the globe. Ingenuity driven young people creating apps to partner teens like themselves with local jobs, using 3D printing and engineering skills to craft affordable prosthetic hands for children/ people who need them, robotics classes outfitting affordable wheelchairs for toddlers who need them; teens using apps akin to TaskRabbit to pair up jobs paying dollars to blocks of time they have free, so much for not working, where this is in practice. Projects that can mean connections and acquired skills suitable for a résumé in lieu of coveted work experience, references and opened doors to other prospects; dismissed the few remaining internships that are unpaid despite pushes to make them minimum wage opening up avenues for students who must work during the summer for funds to put toward their educations unable to participate, are living independently, possess a job and can’t afford to take unpaid work, are doing freelance unpaid work in their chosen field to get their foot in the door, put on a résumé toward their career not just a paycheck. My friend’s oldest at 14 not only doesn’t have anywhere he wants to go on the city bus there is no money for him to be given to go, familiar with the bus because he rides it with his mother on trips across town to doctors and other necessary errands or when it is too cold for him and his smaller bothers to be outside but they need to see doctors, pay bills, buy food, household products; they don’t send him to the nearest store to pick up forgotten ingredients to dinner, a gallon of milk because they buy food with food stamps and as a minor he’s not allowed to use the card at the store, using WIC (women infants and children) for bread, fruits, vegetables, eggs for the 2 youngest eligible for the program mandating an adult do the shopping. Even if he were, they would not do that because they have so little funds and aren’t going to chance him coming home with candy when they needed a can of mushroom soup to compete their meal, because it can’t be replaced. I’ve talked, readers will know, about my personal experience with this; there is a profound difference between being handed money and told go get this brand of that in this size out of the store, chewed a new one when the size changed, price changed but you followed your parent’s direction to buy it and standing there in the store with your own dollars knowing precisely what you have to spend, other bills you need to pay, seeing the selection of twist tie bags, Ziploc type bags, trash bags, as long as they fit the size of your can at home and making a choice for yourself. Reasons I didn’t intricately know what things cost 2 fold, my disability preventing me from always following my mother around the store, times I wanted to look at toys, clothes then would sit on the bench waiting for her to finish; by the time I was old enough by resilient parenting standards to go to the store, walking that far also off the table, my mother got off work on Fridays (her payday) at 12:30 and would do the weekly food shopping while I was still at school, after work going directly to the store leaving me home alone for an extra hour seeing no point in wasting gas to come get me, wait for me to come home then go when I could stay home, do homework, watch TV, be available to help bring them in when she arrived. My friend’s oldest, her second son doesn’t do things like order food at a counter less because malls with café style choices are going the way of the dodo and exactly because his family is poor, he, his brothers don’t receive an allowance, birthday money sent by other relatives is usually used to pay maintenance fees for things shoved down the toilet necessitating unclog, holes in doors, demolished window screens exc., lost public and school library book/material fees, things they need in terms of clothing, shoes, school supplies not obtained through local run back to school fairs, thrift store vouchers. First calling out the during college, post college economic aspects of the Salon interview of an American mom raising children in Germany, their mutually backed up description is a blatant, persistent and overwhelmingly inaccurate stereotype that assumes millennials, gen Zers now defined 13-21, where applicable never left their parents’ home or moved back into it by choice rather than the mathematical realities of student loan debt, unable to be resolved through standard or any kind of bankruptcy; things they don’t deal with in Germany due to free public colleges we know, we know, frankly missing the point. Despite all the built in social programs so lauded across Europe France has seen youth marching in the streets for access to jobs and currently has the yellow vest protests and a rising homeless problem independent a right to housing being part of their constitution. Both Italy and Germany have grappled with the influx of Syrian refugees simultaneously needing them to balance out their native aging workforce but daunted as to how to pay for all the things they need to get started, the former seeing a political candidate handing out their equivalent of food pantry contents to struggling Italians provided they weren’t immigrants forget they revitalized otherwise dying villages profiled by National Geographic in 2016, youth unemployment standing at an astronomically high 30%; while that specific party didn’t win the 2018 election populist right leaning parties did win big. Student loan debt compounded on their shoulders by parents who added to being unable to fulfill the 80’s, 90’s, early 2000’s parent child contract paying either their car payment or insurance, an after school job covering the other allowing them to drive, don’t have a college fund for any of their children too strapped providing food, shelter, clothes, school supplies and a few toys, interest level model cars and what have you. In other cases parents taking on student loan debt from kids who went into a should have been steady income field but can’t get more than minimum wage work as a server, barista, retail worker, habitual readers will recall the law student who wanted to work for legal aid working as a server and getting loan help from his parents while suing his school for blatant lies and deceptive marketing about post-graduation job prospect percentages. For profit colleges like Phoenix and ITT tech bilking students for excessive dollars and handing out worthless pieces of paper, several shut down by the government; still fighting to either pay back the funds or have the debt canceled seeing what was discover about the ‘school.’ Showing us the second tier in dispelling conventional thinking attached to our youngest generation, based on the follow up stereotyped perception that their living in their parents basement, sleeping on their couch or retaking their childhood bedrooms means they don’t have a job, refuse to work because they don’t like their options, can’t find the perfect one for them, as opposed to working at least one, usually minimum wage because that’s what’s readily available job, many working ‘side hustles’ to supplement incomes or as ventures they hope to turn into permanent careers eventually. Think Jacob Wahl who has made a however dubious name for himself in right wing circles, for good or most think ill, he can’t be accused of doing nothing though his use of his mother’s phone number for some of his exploits suggests living in mommy’s basement; but, millennial and Gen Z failure to thrive in the adult world is about helicopter now evolved into over patenting. Not the increasing droves of talented young people, recent college graduates and willing workers our employment system openly signals it doesn’t want less for their ‘snowflake,’ expensive avocado toast munching, want my workplace catered to me ways and more for the job experience, ultra-specialized skills they can’t get without internships, apprenticeships suffering extinction. Which explains the chip on their shoulder, expectation they be ‘taken care of’ if there is one at all on either front; better said they want what we told them for the last 40-45 odd years they would get if they followed our advice, followed the society prescribed path of education, hard work= a middle class living. Instead they’re coming out of educations they went into debt to get, those who could somehow afford post-secondary education in the first place, justifiably saying where are the jobs? 24 cited as the new 18, age of majority when it comes to adult functionality based on factors such as how much longer students are remaining in formal schooling, how long it takes to get a substantial enough job to achieve even partial financial independence from parents, relatives or friends while the latest science clocks brain maturity in a person’s 30’s but we still want children out of our house the moment they turn 18 whether that’s going to college or getting their own place, unwilling to change perceptions with evolving information. Financial realities millennials and subsequent gen Z will have to save twice as much for retirement while being poorer than baby boomers ever were; hints the preverbal laundry list of things millennials are accused of destroying from diamonds, to cars, to napkins, to canned tuna, their disdain for home ownership, no they don’t hate houses they just can’t afford them, back on their parents couches due to the undeniable housing crisis here where rents have skyrocketed in the last year since her interview alone. People facing eviction for any reason who struggle to find a place to live, always looking downward not upward in those cases, researchers finding the varying and often too easy rules on evicting tenants in certain states; Oregon just passing a law putting in rules for landlords preventing them from randomly raising rents without notice, tying rent hikes to X percentage of inflation. One of the things done during the housing crisis of 2008 was en mass evictions of people who couldn’t pay their adjustable rate mortgages rather than bank refinancing, negotiating payments based on what the home was now worth, offering to rent it back to them at Y lower affordable rate they became vacant, targets for vandalism and drug/miscreant mischief flophouses. Freshman congress woman Katie Porter grilling JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on a hypothetical single mom with one child working and entry level job at his bank at $16 per hour and the 500 plus a moth deficit she runs living in Irvine California paying 1600 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment/ house where her and her daughter share a room; substitute childcare for student loans, make the food budget for 1, slightly healthier than Ramon noodles, substitute the 2008 mini-van gas, upkeep, expenses for slightly less public transit/Uber you could easily have a just out of college millennial only paying their bills, not saving for retirement, a car, a home, a family or an emergency 40% who say they would have to go into debt for a $400 one of those. But as Porter flatly stated to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Dimon couldn’t come up with the sane, practical answer of raising the starting wage to $20 at least in that area to correct this employee’s budget shortfall to a living wage while he makes 31 million dollars a year; comments scoffing and chastising the woman for not being able to raise her skills beyond an entry level $16 an hour job in California, absolute non-sense on its face considering she could have come from fast food, retail, she was working an entry level job within the bank with the possibility to move up after a period of time but even that’s not good enough, then what is pray tell? Another republican told millennials simply to add more roommates to defer cost of rent at a time when living alone is a luxury they can’t possibly enjoy, others are already breaking fire and related building codes creating cardboard walls to pack in more people; simultaneously millennials seeking jobs are going to where the jobs reside usually highly populated, high cost of living cities, subsequent millennials getting married and having children later is tied to 2 major factors how much longer it takes to establish a career, to feel like you can minimally afford a wedding, to how much it costs to merely entertain the idea of starting a family, facts laid bare when reporters investigated America’s declining birthrate, when student loan debt delays them from buying a vehicle and current economic health indicators find people 3 months behind on their car payments yet the biggest obstacle to a more functional generation is parenting style. Not the housing rules we thought we had for landlords come to find we don’t, to the lack of uniformity by city, state, county, municipality, region as to on what grounds a landlord can start, stop an eviction, how a tenant can resolve an eviction and keep their living space; locally I talked to a bus driver who moved out of her roach infested apartment because it was thus infested only to find she had an eviction on her rental record from her former landlord making it that much harder to get a place, forget a better place to live. Not wages that have stagnated for almost the last half century remembering we are nearly 20 years into the 21st century, millennials getting paid roughly 30% less than baby boomers, gen X for identical job tittles yet expanded job descriptions; concurrently grappling with the escalating prices of everything from grocery staples even millennials buy, housing, transportation reduced by people who think indoor plumbing, electricity and air-conditioning, cars with seatbelts are new enough newfangled things for people to contend with; having no concept the internet has become a necessity not a luxury, a cellphone, cricket or TracFone though it may be a matter of safety not status symbol; signaling today’s adults need a financial re-education not merely a parenting one.
Significant takeaways then: every country, every culture’s parenting has strengths and weaknesses, positives and negatives, things they all can learn from each other pulling ideas from all areas to find what works for unique and distinctive families across the western world and eventually the globe. Parents parent for the world around them, the culture and the country they live in; it’s just less sharply visible than when watching developing world parents do it so we don’t see the variations as that preparedness needing to be given to children growing up in different places. Similar to us not being able to make America great again, debate says at all or making it great again is unnecessary because it already is, we can’t solve today’s employment problems, rural stagnation problems, urban blight problems, the opioid crisis problems, economic problems going back to the nostalgia or yesteryear, wanting things the way they were 30, 40, 50 years ago, thinking we can bring coal to its height rather than train workers in new green energy jobs, we can’t parent like it’s 30, 40, 50 years ago. We have to parent for today, we have to parent for now which means letting go of used to and teaching the free range crowd a different aspect of perspective illustrated in the comment on one of those you’ll love this if you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s“I’m laughing at the “we did it when I was a kid so it must be okay now” mentality of the majority of the people posting comments here. Come on, people. Just because “we used to do it” doesn’t mean it’s safe…then or now! Example……We used to routinely ignore seat belts in cars. We used to think it was totally safe not to wear a bicycle helmet. We used to think that inhaling second-hand smoke was perfectly fine. We used to not realize how important sunscreen is. The list goes on and on. People used to think heroin cough syrup, bloodletting, tapeworms, and lobotomy were healthy!” Sadly and extremely unfortunately like their controversial rape case that changed laws in Germany, like the bus gang rape in India that brought home to her people the need for enforcement of existing law as well as strengthening laws on the books covering the subject like the final stories that changed Turkey’s ‘marry your rapist law,’ covering up sexual violence with ritual marriage, they are going to have to have their own rash of child abductions, their own series of child murders, creepy clowns, suspicious persons scaring children on their way to school, missing from local parks, vanished from their own front yard before parents there get the wakeup call ones got here-roughly 30 years ago. Too quickly glossed over is why Zaske’s examples that woman in Connecticut who was arrested ‘when she overslept and her stepson took it upon himself to walk the two miles to school,’ this blog covered the Florida mother referenced arrested for letting her seven-year-old walk to a park alone and found the cop’s reasoning horrifying (the large number of pedophiles in the area) an impetuous behind stringent rules for sex offenders apparently not enforced there, our reformed while in Germany, ‘recovering helicopter parent’ concedes maybe the South Carolina mother who trusted her nine-year-old nephew to walk her three-year-old son less than a quarter of a mile to McDonald’s and was arrested could have faulty judgment maybe nine isn’t old enough to watch a toddler, generate the reactions they do; local police respond the way they do because there are no set guidelines, there are few if any laws governing instances like these in many states, cities and counties varying by named regions, cultural pockets across the country and no cultural consensus nationally on when a child should be able to do what outside age mandates for driving, legal adulthood and drinking, always in dispute. Everyone from psychologists to insurance companies support raising the driving age citing teens frontal lobes, governing judgement and impulse control, aren’t fully formed until 25, graduated licensing programs come from the same school of thought; on the other side young people challenging old paradigms to lower the drinking age, themselves capable of citing parts things too, of Europe where the drinking age is 16 putting forth they’ve seen teens, themselves handle their liquor, with increased push for legalization of marijuana and new uses for once completely illicit drugs, manage their recreational drug us better, more responsibly than some 30 year olds. Law enforcement responds the way they do because for every child being raised independently, for those who have a problem with the term ‘free range,’ raised the way children were in the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and early 80’s (check your calendars that was nearly 40 years ago on the earliest end) the way they were raised in rural/small town, pick a state, there is a Turpin child somewhere being locked up, an adult, parent really isn’t the right word in this situation, using their sacrosanct right as the child’s biological origin/guardian, blood relative as a guise to perpetuate their abuse; glancing at the date of Salon’s interview with Ms. Zaske one can see it was done a full year before anyone knew the name Turpin but there is always a Turpin family somewhere engaging in similar torture to the determent of children and society. Like the 10 children removed from a California home alleging they were hit with crossbows among other horrors; police initially called when mom couldn’t find her 11 year old. Or the man and his cult teaching/training the kids to become school shooters on land where they were apparently squatting; dead child on the property dying in some sort of religious ceremony according to authorities. For every child who is being given what their parent merely believes is age appropriate freedom, tasks/freedoms they have indicated a readiness for, parents forced to allow their kids to walk to school, walk home alone or walk to grandmas after school because of work schedules, taking a second job there is a child being truly neglected, serious neglect and abuse missed thanks to the asserted rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit and who the hell are you to question me, the ‘when I was your age’ conundrum, the shocking things people continue to see no problem with despite evidence, news stories to the contrary; and sadly unlike spanking, where it is comparatively easy to win the public over to the idea that there are better ways to discipline, instruct children than hitting them, there is no conceivable way to generate that consensus. They support leally, though child protective services handling free range parents aggressively when a 3 year old left unattended while mom took a shower led to a Bronx fire killing at least 12, chasing countless residents from their home, untold millions lost in personal property never mind the build, not facing charges, restitution her 3 year old was playing with the stove thanks to lacking supervision. They, police/various aspects of law enforcement, factions of the FBI are the ones called to the hundreds of thousands of missing children in the United States yearly, granted many taken by non-custodial parents/other relatives but paragraph 2 shows us there are plenty of freaks, perverts and psychos to go around legitimately threatening our children’s lives and wellbeing no matter how much we prepare them for the world they live in, not the one we thought we lived in growing up, not the one we desperately want to believe we live in now evidence to the contrary up to our ears. And as this article was being crafted we had yet another nationally noted missing child care that brought the FBI out to look for another young child parents from the start uncooperative, giving off warning signs they knew more than they were telling authorities, refusing to speak with them at various junctures quickly discovered they killed him (perhaps accidentally) and buried his body neighbors wondering why child services saw fit to leave him in that home. Still another set of siblings make news managing to get away from the carjacker whose goal seems to have been their grandmother’s SUV left running when she went in to help a relative inside the hospital, if his goal her vehicle interesting why he had ahold of the girl’s hoodie to where her little brother had to yank her away opening the door so they both could jump/roll out of the moving car, heralded again for their quick thinking and self-preservation, the 11 year old getting beverages from a gas station initially thought her abduction was a test Those stats, every 40 seconds a child goes missing or is abducted should be sobering if not frightening when juxtaposing them against the amount of awareness, the child self-defense classes, what they know about stranger danger, what they may have experienced smart enough to run away from predators no matter what they have or haven’t been told that we still have pedophiles and weirdos brazen enough to try and take kids let alone succeed, repeatedly doing so in broad daylight, parents feet away; not missed by concerned parents it’s the child alone at the park, teen walking somewhere, child going to and from school with friends approached, taken reinforcing their ‘overblown’ instincts. When you can have your child killed being thrown off a mall railing from an upper floor by a delusional person upset women wanted nothing to do with him and looking for someone to kill, opting for a child when his attempt to attack and kill an adult failed (information he told police) why would any parent be anything apart from a helicopter parent; when you’re like the mother and daughter below thwarting a teens kidnapping pleading with her your car after seeing them fight off a would be abductor chasing him down so police can arrest them you get up close and personal taste of the why patents helicopter parent. The hoax involving Timmothy Pitzen able to happen because we don’t know what happened to 6 year old Timmothy only that his mother said in her suicide note he was safe but would never be found; we also as a society have to do a better job of thinking beyond the headline, putting ourselves in the shoes of those who do make it back alive sometimes after years in captivity, years of sexual and other abuse, returned but not unscathed. Kids who find out they are the face on the milk carton, the abducted one consider the fate of Alexis Manigo born initially born Kamiyah Mobley kidnapped shortly after birth and 18 years later seeing the woman she called mom, knew as mom jailed charged and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Her biological family dreaming of the day they would find her, now confronted with a teenager legally an adult doubtlessly conflicted about what she wants to do, how she’s supposed to feel, how to pick up her life from here. The anniversary of Steven Stayner’s being found brought a new documentary of what it was like for him to come home, go to high school having spent years with his abuser, provided no psychological help, bullied relentlessly for his assumed sexuality based on what he endured, proving even if they make it home for their harrowing experience there is no guarantee. Many presume we do things better now providing counseling to abuse victims, high profile or not; sadly no, my best friend babysat a boy who was molested by his father, when discovered there was evidence enough to send him to jail, mother never getting him counseling for that, state never offering/coordinating anything for him during the early to mid ‘90’s. Sexual abuse forever writing on who children are from that day on, changing who they are and not for the better why we can’t be flippant about it, see it almost as a rite of passage in our culture it happens so much and so often. We don’t spend enough time pondering what that 5 year old might have been had he not drowned in a pool of water at a day camp, what that 3 year old might have been provided the chance to grow up, what little Luke Siegel could have done with his life but for his accident how both that athlete and little girl’s life dreams will be changed by what happened to them We need to be jarringly reminded that Etan Patz was a human real being who went to school one day and never came home brutally killed, Adam Walsh was a real human boy ejected from a mall where older kids were acting up to be decapitated by his abductor Jacob Wetterling was a real human boy who had a favorite color, blue, a favorite food, stake and parents who loved him. Steven Stayner was a real human boy who made it back from his years in captivity to a different kind of hellscape only to be felled by a motor cycle accident, Polly Klaas was a real human girl who should have been safe in her own bedroom at least from outside threats Elizabeth Smart real human girl who likewise should have been safe at home from the big bad world but wasn’t, her world never to be the same. Jaycee Dugard was a real human girl taken from her bus stop by a known sex offender kept in a shed for 18 years fathering 2 daughters by him treated so horribly because the system failed on every level to monitor this predator her and her children left to pick up the pieces. Shawn Hornbeck a real human boy who shouldn’t have had to bargain for his life promising to never tell anyone about what his abuser did to him in order to live, but he did and he came back, only he able to answer what it all did to him; Ben Ownby a real human boy in the hands of that same captor mere hours still molested several times. Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina Dejesus were all kidnapped in the same 2 year period by the same monster Ariel Castro who spend the next decade plus torturing, them hanging Knight up by her hands feet and neck on the wall, repeated rape causing her to miscarry 5 times, Berry another woman part of a club no one wants to be in having a daughter by her captor. Elizabeth Smart organizing a televised program to help the latest victim like her Jayme Closs as she said move forward in heal; the most powerful thing we can take away from it Sarah Maynard years later crying about what it’s like not to be able to say mom anymore and have yours respond because like Jayme hers was killed by her abductor. Kids learning to use a real knife rarely slice off their fingertips, it’s a fluke to get stabbed with a pencil, run with scissors and actually impale yourself, until it happens; until you are the parent in the ER, getting that call from the school to meet your kid at such and such hospital, child eventually fine, your blood pressure not. Statistics, experts, authorities say that stranger kidnappings are rare, they are rare until it’s your kid; no Sara Zaske American parents will continue to helicopter parent, continue to endure score from abroad and from their compatriots at home reveling in the fact that our children are alive, whole and healthy for as long as long as we can keep them that way.