“Contributing to the deliquency of a minor”??

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    Did anyone else see this article? I somewhat remember another thread that touched on something similar (maybe a relatively young kid alone at a playground?). Curious to hear others’ thoughts. I know I was kind of shocked…



    I saw it. I am developing increasingly strong feelings that we have begun as a society to (1) frequently miscalculate risk (eg, the article’s point that statistically, the kid would have to have been left in the car for years before the level of danger would have approached, say, the danger involved in driving there in the first place), and (2) often misunderstand the consequences of trying to constantly minimize risk (ie, start from the assumption that if there’s any risk at all that a child might be catastrophically harmed doing something independently then it should be avoided at all costs, before you even begin to consider what the cost might be of avoiding that independence).

    Meaning, I take the impact on kids’ development of growing up without the chance to experience fear, take risks, explore independence, learn to negotiate a social world independent of omnipotent adults – I take the consequences of this for kids very, very seriously. And I think we should be willing to say “If I am willing to put my kid in a car, where we have a non-vanishing chance of death every time we drive down the highway or even a side street, just so I can go visit with my friend / run an errand – then I should also be willing to accept that despite some (although much smaller than we tend to imagine) risk of something terrible happening, I should let my kid walk independently to school / the park / a friend’s house at what is now considered a shockingly young age, because it’s good for their development in important ways.”


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