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as a new parent...
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Posted by WASSAAB (more from WASSAAB) on Fri, 13 Jun 2008 09:59:40 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Abusive mother or simply teaching a lesson?, Wasabi, Fri, 13 Jun 2008 07:07:39
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(baby is 16 days old today) I can look forward to dealing with this appropriately when the time comes. I agree wholeheartedly with the author that kids need to be given independence and to learn self-autonomy. However, NYC, even as "safe" as it allegedly is now, is not an appropriate place to be experimenting. A 9 year old, no matter how savvy, is not *legally* capable of being held accountable for imposing his will on his mother to allow him to travel home alone on the subway. Had something gone wrong, she would have been held accountable. There's no reason to put a child in harm's way when there's an opportunity to avoid it. Risk for risk's sake is inappropriate when the subject of the experiment is a child.

That said, IMHO, it's a different ballgame elsewhere. I grew up in the DC suburbs, and I live in Baltimore (in the city) now. While I rode my bike around my neighborhood until the street lights came on, beginning at about age 5, I would not recommend that my child do so where I live now. It's simply a different environment, and I live in one of the best neighborhoods in all of Baltimore. To be sure, she'll have her fair share of autonomy, and we can't watch our children like hawks 24/7. But there's no chance on Earth I'm going to drop off my 10 year old daughter on a Baltimore street corner, hand her $20 for who knows what and .50 in change for a pay phone, and say "see ya at home" when I need to be responsible for her safety and to get her home.

I remember thinking that as a child I knew better than my parents did about a lot of things. I can see myself as this 9 year old trying to convince my mother to let me ride the DC subway + MoCo bus home. I can see now, though, that I had no idea what I was talking about at that age.

Thus, IMHO, the "at some point" came too soon for this 9 year old. They're fortunate that it worked out as it did, but this "experiment" focuses on extremes. There's a huge difference between letting a child grow and mature through experience and unnecessarily subjecting a child to risk for risk's sake.

Mike
88 SPG - sold
95 9000 Aero - sold
00 9-5 Aero - sold
05 9-5 Aero
06 9-7X 5.3i

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