Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Free-Range Parenting

A couple in Maryland, Sasha and Daniel Meitiv, are under investigation for possible child neglect for allowing their children to walk around their neighborhood alone.
The kids are 10 and 6 years old and were allowed to go to the park at 4pm and told to return at 6.
At some point during that window of time, a man walking his dog called police non-emergency because he was concerned about their well-being.
A police officer showed up and turned the kids over to Children's Protective Services.
That to me is bad enough, an alarmist douche calls the cops because kids are walking alone. It's not like they were toddlers, the older one is 10, certainly old enough to be responsible for himself and his sibling.
The only mitigating factor here is that apparently these kids are frequently walking alone in this neighborhood.
We also have a douche cop who showed up and couldn't determine that the kids were completely safe.
But the absolute worst part of this is that the authorities, police and CPS, kept the kids for more than four hours.
They didn't even try to contact the parents until 8pm. Two hours after the kids were expected home. And they didn't return the kids to their parents until 10:30 pm.
Too bad common sense didn't enter into the decision-making at any time or else the police could have taken the kids home, discussed it with the parents and avoid all this ugliness.
As someone who has been criticized for being a little too lax with the freedoms I give to Chase I side with the parents here.
If they feel the kids are responsible enough, and the neighborhood is safe enough, then they should allow the kids to walk to and from the playground.
Certainly I don't know if there are any other reasons to perceive these parents as neglecting their children, but judging from what we know, the neighbors should butt out and the cops and CPS should use their fuckin brains.


Damino said...

I agree with you. You have to know your kids and certainly by age 10 many children are capable of watching a first grade sibling and walking in a safe neighborhood to a local park. Others aren't, and I have no idea what this particular 10 year old is like.

I think the reactions of the neighbors and cops and CPS seem like massive overreactions, but again it depends on the situation. If I saw kids this age dressed very shabbily by themselves and looking distressed I'd definitely try to help them. But if I were walking home from the train and saw 2 of the neighbors' kids playing at the park by themselves during daylight hours, I'd probably wave to them and mind my own business. The context is everything.

Paul said...

As usual Damino is 100% correct. It's very possible that previous circumstances and other unknown details will make the actions of the neighbor, the cops and CPS more understandable.
But to me it's more likely an overreaction and an imposition of their own views, standards and values on others.
And I still can't see any reason, other than obvious physical danger, to hold the kids for hours without even attempting to contact the parents.