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Subject: Leaving your kids alone - interesting read rss

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Wendell
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Link: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/08/22/490847797/why-do...

An interesting look at how Americans judge people for leaving children unattended. Moral judgments seem to cause the perception of risk to rise dramatically (not the reverse, which is what researchers expected). Women are judged more harshly than men for leaving a child unattended. Americans MUCH more opposed to leaving kids in what they perceive as "unsafe" situations despite significant drops in all kinds of crime and risk indicators since the 1970s. And for a soupcon of how attitudes differ, Norwegians are happy to leave the kids in the stroller outside for a few minutes while they have a cup of coffee with friends. Edit: oh and liability concerns exacerbate this paranoia.
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In todays age, I suspect it has to do more with the PERCEIVED dangers to kids, as opposed to actual dangers that they encounter, statistically. It is actually a national tragedy, in my opinion, kids in general are growing up with a lack of socialization skills that we learned from interactive play (person-to-person) while growing up. Today, the interaction is generated and assisted by technology, without the need to have kids in the same space.
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Paranoia will destroy ya.
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J.D. Hall
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It is insane how the culture of parenting has changed. In fact, it's insane how the culture of America has changed -- Christ, we're just a bunch of terrified wimps fearful of everything.
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rcbevco wrote:
Paranoia will destroy ya.


galad2003 wrote:
Maybe some of the reason crime and risk is down is because we don't leave kids home alone as much. Kind of the chicken and the egg.


And here ladies and gentlemen is the perfect encapsulation of liberal vs conservative.

Great article, BTW- I'm always fascinated by studies that show how profoundly irrational we humans really are.
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We specifically got cell phones for the kids before heading to GenCon, I think, the year our kids were 9, 12 and 16. This was specifically for the purpose that they could roam the convention center, but be able to call for help, if needed. IIRC, we didn't allow them to return to the hotel (usually attached or just across street) alone until 13 or 14.

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galad2003 wrote:
Maybe some of the reason crime and risk is down is because we don't leave kids home alone as much. Kind of the chicken and the egg.


Not sure the reduction in the legal ability of 10 year old kids to ride their bike alone to the park a mile away (or for 16 year old kids to get to soccer practice 30 minutes before the coach) has had a big impact on declining crime.
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Interesting article, thank you.

I can definitely relate to the conflicting thoughts; a) "I can objectively see there is essentially no risk/danger" vs b) "I would feel terrible and be judged horribly if anything did happen, so I shouldn't risk it".

Looking back at my actions I can also see that perhaps the fear of judgement rather than the fear of the risk itself that was driving me as I was more likely to follow option a) when it was just me and him, and option b) when we were in public.

It is an odd feeling to ponder your own irrationality.

James
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verandi wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
Paranoia will destroy ya.


galad2003 wrote:
Maybe some of the reason crime and risk is down is because we don't leave kids home alone as much. Kind of the chicken and the egg.


And here ladies and gentlemen is the perfect encapsulation of liberal vs conservative.

Great article, BTW- I'm always fascinated by studies that show how profoundly irrational we humans really are.


Hogwash. All your post shows is how easily duped into making false assertions you are when you see something that confirms your innate sense of "I'm better than them". The two posts do show two tiny bits of information from two different people that give zero insight into anything wrt liberal vs conservative.

I read the article yesterday. It's long, not very informative, full of assumptions and doesn't speak to anything but a microscopic slice of parents. It's pure anecdote. I do think some parents are too protective but it's not like some sort of destructive plague sweeping America and we are now doomed to a sexless, clueless, mundane future as we spew out millions upon millions of pasty white fearful children. The incidents cited are rare and while they are ridiculous to the extreme and while I'm on board with condemning any cops, judges, etc who actually prosecute women for dashing into a dry cleaner while their 9 year old plays Pokemon, it's not happening at some alarming rate.

Most of this sort of NPR shite is geared to the hip, urban, college educated student loan debtor who is planning to run the cost/benefit ratio of having a child through their spreadsheet just as soon as they get done posting on Twitter, FaceBook and the rest of the social media sites how much they love Hillary because she has proven she is strong, strong like bull (take that Putin!) by opening a pickle jar on national TV.

Some parents are overprotective and we now have some districts that feel it's their job to prosecute parents for not meeting the standard of the guy with the cell phone and the outrage. Overall though kids roam and kids play and I see them unattended by adults every day, scores of them on bikes, walking, skateboarding, playing in the ditch or park and nary a hovering parents skulking in the background making sure they aren't dragged into a van to see a puppy. I have a 13 year old who is 5'9" and 160 pounds and by 15 will probably be 6' and 180 pounds, like the author of the article's son, I have zero concerns that he will be kidnapped or somehow abused when he's out with the dog or walking to the store a half mile away.

Maybe this is an urban thing? Nah, I know people who live in NYC, SF and a few other cities who have kids that walk to their schools a few blocks away. So maybe it's not really a thing? The few instances of idiocy by meddlers and morons in the court system don't portray America as a whole.
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DWTripp wrote:

Hogwash. All your post shows is how easily duped into making false assertions you are when you see something that confirms your innate sense of "I'm better than them".


I must've missed the part where I took sides?

DWTripp wrote:
Most of this sort of NPR shite is geared to the hip, urban, college educated student loan debtor who is planning to run the cost/benefit ratio of having a child through their spreadsheet just as soon as they get done posting on Twitter, FaceBook and the rest of the social media sites how much they love Hillary because she has proven she is strong, strong like bull (take that Putin!) by opening a pickle jar on national TV.


You were saying something about being easily duped into making false assertions, confirming your innate sense of "I'm better than them"?

DWTripp wrote:
The few instances of idiocy by meddlers and morons in the court system don't portray America as a whole.


Ah, of course- the usual source of your vitriol: a perceived slight against America. Welcome back to RSP.
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DWTripp wrote:
I read the article yesterday. It's long, not very informative, full of assumptions and doesn't speak to anything but a microscopic slice of parents. It's pure anecdote.


It's original research posted in a peer reviewed journal. That us literally the exact opposite of anecdote. Anecdote does not mean "something I disagree with".
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verandi wrote:


Ah, of course- the usual source of your vitriol: a perceived slight against America. Welcome back to RSP.


Not at all. It's not even a slight. Like I said, I read the article and understood the "serious scientific study" done and even agree that anecdotally some of the incidents cited confirm what some people "feel". And I didn't say you took a side, just that you are snarky about there being sides and your post implies you think your side is superior which is impossible because my side clearly is the superior one.

Studies like this are commonplace and are sloppy at best because they attempt to explain something that rarely needs explaining. People are different, whether parenting or voting. The study says there is some sort of shift afoot wrt helicopter parenting and social (and now legal) shaming and punishment. It correctly points out women are viewed less favorably than men for similar parenting choices.

So what? Not a single thing i read is new except the whole prosecution thing. The rest is exactly what humans have been like for thousands of years, meddling shitbags trying to insert their morally superior choices into the lives of those they view as morally inferior. Especially when it comes to kids. Fer Christ's sake! Don't you have kids? And a mother? OrmMother-in-law? This isn't new. The only new thing here is cell phones and fines. And honestly, that's not surprising because parents have been paying fines and damages for what their kids do for like forever.

When I read articles like this I want, desire, hope to be informed and read new information with insight. Not the same tired old "the world is going to shit because *the new generation sucks*" crap.
 
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damiangerous wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
I read the article yesterday. It's long, not very informative, full of assumptions and doesn't speak to anything but a microscopic slice of parents. It's pure anecdote.


It's original research posted in a peer reviewed journal. That us literally the exact opposite of anecdote. Anecdote does not mean "something I disagree with".


Because it is posted in a peer-reviewed journal doesn't necessarily mean it isn't anecdotal (although, in this case, it isn't).

But, really, the journal Collabra?

And the method:

Quote:

In each of six experiments, we invited participants on Amazon Mechanical Turk to read brief vignettes in which a child spends a brief period of time unsupervised. The children’s ages, locations and duration of time unsupervised in each vignette were kept constant across participants (see Table 1)



Also, the peer-review was LAZY (you can see it on the link you provided). Sent out to reviewers, one of the reviewers (only 2, which is probably too few) had some substantial comments. Paper wasn't sent back to the reviewers to see if it answered their questions. Also, it really was only one Review because Reviewer 1 was a joke.

The problem with published research is that this is the kind of thing that passes off as peer-review for an accepted paper.




Those things make me question anything this study has to say
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J.D. Hall
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galad2003 wrote:
[ I think the decrease in leaving our children alone is a net improvement for society. Sure some people over parent but the good still out weighs the bad.


And I think it turns children into people that are unsure in unfamiliar situations, lack the confidence to be alone at any time of the day, and are terrified of people they don't know. In short, they're still tied to their mommy's apron strings.

Sadly, my generation -- one of the most free-to-wander generations in US history -- are the parents of these little butterball wimps stuck next to mommy's legs. Too much dope, I guess.
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galad2003 wrote:
Maybe some of the reason crime and risk is down is because we don't leave kids home alone as much. Kind of the chicken and the egg.


Crime is down across the board; not only crimes committed against kids. Is that because we also do not allow adults to roam around freely anymore?
 
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remorseless1 wrote:
It is insane how the culture of parenting has changed. In fact, it's insane how the culture of America has changed


https://youtu.be/u0YMgcFjE9E?t=5m36s

https://youtu.be/BFOffsXCId4?t=13m32s
 
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There are people afraid to leave their kids alone, and then there are people afraid of CPS coming and taking their kids because they left their kids alone.

The anecdotes are enough to scare anyone, because in all the anecdotes there is no reasonable person above the CPS agent who tells them they screwed up and to give the kids back. Kids are ripped away for months. Years. And maybe not returned ever. All because a parent decided to show some trust in their child's ability to live in this world without a supervisor.

And while you and I and a whole ton of people with common sense understand that it's total nonsense and it's going to hurt our world in the future to disallow trust to be shown in children, that threat is still there and I don't want to be the one it happens to next.

Our family has a 'negative behavior ringleader' in it and he does some stuff that we all frown on but that often there was no way to keep it from happening apart from eyes on him every second of the day. You send a kid to his room upstairs, and you figure he's contained, but maybe he's just gone out on the roof. You sleep and wake up to find the cops at your door because your child snuck outside with his little sister and they were playing in the street, and she happened to be naked because she's just learned that she can in fact take her clothes off if she wants. Which led to them checking to make sure the kids all had beds and that we had food in the house...? None of which had anything to do with the kids being outside... breaking the rules...

There's pressure on parents to stop kids from breaking the rules, which is ridiculous... it's like children aren't really people to society until they're 18. You realize they do have their own agency, right? That if I had total control over them they wouldn't do these things, or fight, or any number of other things I would stop?

They do them and they get punished and then they don't do them again, usually.

Anyway, the point is, the threat of someone coming and legally taking your kids away is way more potent than the bullshit threat of some stranger coming and taking the kids away. And if you have a custody dispute, you should probably keep a better eye on your kid, because that's when kidnappings happen.
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There is a culture shift, but I think this is more interesting for its showing that morality dictates perception of risk. If you do something morally wrong, it is riskier by estimation, even if it is not, or if it is the same thing that happened unintentionally. Time to re-examine my own feelings on the risk of some behaviors.
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SpaceGhost wrote:


Those things make me question anything this study has to say


Yep. Even a non-scientist non-peer review expert can read an article and easily pluck out the underlying message or tone. Being peer-reviewed is meaningless in this sort of thing (to me anyway) because it's social/psychological and very easy to just assume things that may or may not be true. Still, I wholeheartedly agree -- as previously stated -- that the involvement of legal authorities that deeply into parenting that is clearly not only not dangerous, but also not the business of the passer-by or meddling neighbors is a troubling development.

Still, the moral judgement against mothers that are more harsh than when fathers effectively do the same thing is not exactly a discovery. Unless, of course, the person discovering it never read any books. or interacted with any people. or had a family to observe. That has nothing to do with umbrella parenting or Norway somehow being the land of better parents. If you simply open your eyes and look at the diversity of cultures, races, religions, backgrounds, nationalities, regional preferences, etc. here in America versus Norway (where parents are probably arrested and fined for failing to provide ample portions of lutefisk for their children) then it's pretty easy to see that the vast majority of people raising kids in America (or even Canada!) are doing a fairly decent job.

As for J's troublemaker, that's the price you pay for having kids. Some are more difficult than others. I recommend moving to an isolated farm with no neighbors and no access to wells, guns, matches or chainsaws. Tough it out and he/she will probably be fine. If not they'll get older and leave. Same difference.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:


Those things make me question anything this study has to say


Yep. Even a non-scientist non-peer review expert can read an article and easily pluck out the underlying message or tone. Being peer-reviewed is meaningless in this sort of thing (to me anyway) because it's social/psychological and very easy to just assume things that may or may not be true. Still, I wholeheartedly agree -- as previously stated -- that the involvement of legal authorities that deeply into parenting that is clearly not only not dangerous, but also not the business of the passer-by or meddling neighbors is a troubling development.

Still, the moral judgement against mothers that are more harsh than when fathers effectively do the same thing is not exactly a discovery. Unless, of course, the person discovering it never read any books. or interacted with any people. or had a family to observe. That has nothing to do with umbrella parenting or Norway somehow being the land of better parents. If you simply open your eyes and look at the diversity of cultures, races, religions, backgrounds, nationalities, regional preferences, etc. here in America versus Norway (where parents are probably arrested and fined for failing to provide ample portions of lutefisk for their children) then it's pretty easy to see that the vast majority of people raising kids in America (or even Canada!) are doing a fairly decent job.

As for J's troublemaker, that's the price you pay for having kids. Some are more difficult than others. I recommend moving to an isolated farm with no neighbors and no access to wells, guns, matches or chainsaws. Tough it out and he/she will probably be fine. If not they'll get older and leave. Same difference.


Worth every penny.

He was also the easiest to potty train, so I mean, that makes up for a lot of it.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
...it's pretty easy to see that the vast majority of people raising kids ... (or even Canada!)

That's just crazy talk, man, crazy talk.
 
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galad2003 wrote:

Not leaving your small toddler in the car by themselves is good. Not leaving your 6 year old home by themselves after school is good.




The summer after first grade I was 6/7. Until school let out, I was trusted to get off the bus at the house we were renting, go inside and change clothes, then ride my bike approximately a half mile to get to the construction site of the house we were building where the rest of the family usually was.

My oldest sister, 6, and I were allowed to ride our bikes or walk back to the old house during the day to retrieve stuff that we'd forgotten.

To be fair, most of the ride/walk we were within sight of the new house location, it was out in the country and we only passed one house on the way.

I think my parents would leave us for short periods of time* alone when we were 8-10, but only alone. We weren't allowed to babysit each other or our younger sisters until 11 or 12.

Although we were certainly allowed to play outside unattended as long as we informed our parents when we left on bikes and to whose house we were going. My closest friend through elementary was 1/2 mile, then 1-1/2 miles away and we regularly rode to each other's house or just went for bike rides. (We couldn't go on the highway, but otherwise were free to roam. One of our favorite rides was to the (kind of) local "grocery store" about three miles away.)

On another "child abuse" front, we also helped with the construction to the extent we were able. Lots of carrying materials, holding the end of the measuring tape, etc. We got to drive nails alone, but not to use the staple gun without immediate supervision**.

*going to neighbors, possibly running into town for grocery shopping (1/2 round trip driving plus shopping).

**Dad showed us how dangerous the staple gun could be by "shooting" a staple into wood a few feet away. I guess "Cool!" wasn't the response he was hoping for....

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Yeah, my 10 year old is not mature enough to watch any other kid but he and his 9 year old brother can be home without us for short periods of time. It's not a big deal. They'll just play with Legos. Of course, if they had the other kids to watch, they would still just play with Legos, hence the problem.
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A friend likes to blame "helicopter parents", but I tend to think we, as a society, are just letting ourselves be pushed without considering the side effects.

I think we're being pushed by the 24-hour new cycle and the proliferation of channels. We can see Bad Things happening any time of the day or night on channel after channel after channel. The news channels need grist for their mills, so they grab it from worldwide feeds with clickbait headlines. "23 killed in bus accident"...in Nowhere, Bumistan. Zero relevance to someone in the developed world. But, ”Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." (And profit.)

So, we get tricked into being super-cautious and spend all our time going through safety procedures instead of living.

The side effects are pretty serious if it robs our children of developing independence. At some points kids have to learn to function on their own. The earlier they do so, the more resilient their bodies are (infants aside). If they get a scraped knee, that's not a tragedy but a normal part of growing up.

In addition to the local effects people have mentioned, a problem is that all kids aren't free-range so they can be independent and watch out for each other.

And then, after being wrapped in cotton wool for 18 years, we dump them out and expect them to be independent and responsible drivers and so forth--when did they get training for this? Were they allowed to ride around on their bikes independently? To make decisions? To make mistakes?

Life is a progression. You start running around--and falling down and skinning knees. Next you ride a bike--and dump it a few times. Maybe if you're lucky, you do some other stuff--and gain some more lessons. All before you get behind the wheel of a two ton behemoth that can cause really serious damage.

OTOH, maybe all this safe-safe-safe is what's leading to self-driving cars.

But still: teach your kids to swim. Yes, they'll get a snout full of water now and then.
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Tall_Walt wrote:
A friend likes to blame "helicopter parents", but I tend to think we, as a society, are just letting ourselves be pushed without considering the side effects.

I think we're being pushed by the 24-hour new cycle and the proliferation of channels. We can see Bad Things happening any time of the day or night on channel after channel after channel.


Uh, Walt, that's pretty much exactly what the article said. Did you not get your coffee today?

Anyway, this is kind of why I think there is little value in the article or the study. Mainly because - who didn't already know this? The people who are going to be lured into fearing for their kid's safety 24/7/365 until the end of time aren't going to read this study, nor are they suddenly going to become rational. Judges and CPS staff aren't going to realize they're being assholes and meddling neighbors and in-laws won't just back off. It's like fearing guns, if the news cycle and the agenda-driven media narrative wants the peasantry and the uninformed to vote a certain way wrt to guns, just fill the air and internet with non-stop gun-related accidents and deaths. As you alluded to with your bus accident example, unless you live in Chicago guns are hardly a factor in the every day life of 99% of America when they consider their children.

Google and other news feeds not only buy into this false narrative of child-at-risk-from-everything, they seem to actively promote the fear. This story was in my Google news feed -

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/strangers-approach-wo...

The article is rubbish. Lady fears Eastern-looking women and tattooed white guy want to abduct her daughter from the check-out line at Walmart and sell her as a sex slave. Because what? Something she "felt"? Then lady researches sex trade and kidnapping online (??? why ???) and sees troubling parallels to her terrifying Walmart experience with the dark women and Tattoo Guy.

The so-called article then informs us that over a period of 9 years:

Quote:

Independent Journal Review stated that incidents of sex trafficking have been reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline on 14,588 occasions since 2007.


What the hell is an "reported incident of sex trafficking" anyway? And what does that have to do with Walmart, Tattoo Guy and a lady who somehow concluded her toddler was going to be kidnapped? And who the hell are the people behind this site and their umbrella site Render? This is all crap in my view. We'd be far better off allocating tax dollars to fund a program where adults and teens were required to attend an extensive training cycle on how to use the internet, read stuff and watch TV without being a clueless fucktard.
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