AGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

.

The paragraph below is from a press release about a GPS’ing service parents can subscribe to. When would you need this service? How about when your kids are —

Walking dtdryzfnns
to school solo.
 Sure, you only live a few blocks from school, but letting your kids make the journey alone seems terrifying.  Freedom is important, but before saying yes, show them how to send you a Glympse. You can ensure they make no stops or detours, and have peace of mind whether you are at home waiting for them, or at the office unable to concentrate until you know they are home safe.

So the few-block journey is TERRIFYING? How come? Is it through a mountain lion preserve? Or are you supposed to be terrified every second your school age kids venture outside without you?

“Freedom is important,” says the press release. But it encourages you to GPS your kids like furloughed felons. How free is that?

Your kids are not allowed to make any stops or detours because…well, BECAUSE! Letting them pet a dog, or pick dandelions is hardly worth it, when you are anguished with anxiety. We all know that until your children are back in your arms, you will NOT be able to concentrate. How could you? You’re thinking about all the terrible things that could happen in those “few blocks from school”!

This press release then has the gall to say that this service “can help keep parents sane, with limited helicoptering needed.”

How I resent the idea that this is NOT helicopter parenting. How I resent any company trying to make it seem as if this level of surveillance is just normal and necessary and no big childhood-changing deal. Imagine if your parents constantly checked up on you as you walked home or played outside. I’m not talking about them requesting a call when you got to your friend’s house. I’m talking about them checking in on you on your way to and from the friend’s house, AND at the friend’s house, AND everywhere else you went, all the time. “Are you safe now? Now? How about now?”

And the idea that this helps keep parents sane, after it has just introduced the new notion that you don’t want your kids taking a single step off their march directly home and into your arms, lest you be terrified and unable to concentrate — how sane does that sound???

Come to think of it, how sane do I sound, now that I’m talking about this service??? It is driving ME insane by presenting a whole new, unprecedented, previously certifiably mad idea of what it means to be a normal, caring parent.

So, I got a note this week from a guy who went back to his hometown after an absence of several years. The town, he said:

is lovingly preserved, so much so that about 90% of all the schoolboy haunts I remember are still remarkably intact.
In the entire weekend I was there, I counted exactly two small children playing in a yard adjacent to the back lane I used to take to school. That’s it.

There was a kind of post-apocalyptic feel to the streets. A beautiful summer weekend –and nobody was out.

The apocalypse is fear.

A bomb of psychological terror has been dropped on our civilization, in part by “friendly” products and pitches like this, and its fallout means the kids have to stay inside. Parents, politicians, cops, CPS — a goodly percentage of all adults (and maybe kids, too) have come to believe that any unsupervised child is in immediate danger.

But let us remember this: The walk home from school, except in some truly sad neighborhoods, is no more dangerous than it was when we were kids. In fact,it’s less so. The crime rate is at a 50-year low. Crimes against kids and adults are way down. Even childhood pedestrian deaths are a third of what they were in the early ’90s. What has changed is our perception. And that is thanks, in part, to a marketplace peddling fear in the guise of reassurance.

And war is peace. – L.

.

Forgot one, George: Safety is danger.

Forgot one, George: Safety is danger.

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50 Responses to AGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

  1. Beth May 6, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    Remember Beaver Cleaver walking home from school? He’d stop to watch the guys repair the road, to look at the puppies through the pet store window, meander around pushing a rock with a stick, check out Wally’s baseball practice. And while there wasn’t probably a whole lot of crime in fictional Mayfield, there was crime in the real world at that time if crime today is at a 50-year-low. To me, that’s what walking home from school should be.

  2. Cristabel May 6, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    But NOT being anxious is not very profitable! People don’t buy stuff in order to feel MORE anxious. Of course commercials for things that feed into anxiety will try to normalize your anxiety by telling you it’s not that you need to calm down because your fear is irrational, it’s that you need to buy our product so your kids will be safe because they’re sure not safe now! Fear is a powerful marketing tool.

  3. Wendy W May 6, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    As I child, I would have SO resented that level of surveillance! My mom was a single mom and often worked weekends and evenings, so we had a ton of time on our own, and so many near-by areas to explore with friends. We were required to be in the house every 2 hours when she called home on her breaks, and we HATED that restriction. Just as we got going on some good adventure, it was time to go home. A cell phone would have been a God-send in those days. We explored woods, and houses under construction. Climbed on a dirt cliff where we had to keep a look-out for the property owner who would chase us off. Played in a creek. Explored the whole neighborhood and several adjoining ones on our bikes. If my mother had been able to track our adventures we would have been home under lock-and-key!

  4. Rick May 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    We used to play a game called Ringolevio (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringolevio) back in the 70’s. We spent hours playing, roaming the neighborhood over a couple of square miles. Little did I know it had been around for nearly a century. Now lost and forgotten I decided to introduce my son and kids in the neighborhood to it a little while ago. The kids had a lot of fun with it, but I think there weren’t enough or enough older kids. Needs about 6 or more to play. How about a national Ringolevio day to bring the kids back outside?

  5. lollipoplover May 6, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    “The walk home from school, except in some truly sad neighborhoods, is no more dangerous than it was when we were kids.”

    Exactly. Go walk that 3 blocks and if YOU as a parent feel terrified, get yourself to a doctor or get some good counseling to deal with your own anxiety. Don’t transfer it to your kids. Worry is like a virus and will spread. If the sight of your child *alone* creates terrifying feelings, you have to take a good look inward as to why and improve, not stalk them.

    We’ve endured many changes on our route to elementary school in the 10 years my kids have been in the school system. The amount of car traffic around the school at drop off and pick up has grown exponentially. It is, actually, terrifying. The walking and biking paths improvements make the commute quite pleasant and beautiful and often used by retirees, dog walkers, and children to get to our shopping district. I use it every day. The kids tell me stories of snakes on the path, ice hockey games forming in winter, and often, cars stopping my daughter to if she needs a ride home, which she resents. She likes walking and biking and gets home faster than a car ride. She gets time with her friends and often they make plans to play. We don’t have a phone for her- she doesn’t want one and enjoys her freedom and the responsibility that goes with it.

    This is stalking your child. I just finished the book The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. Oone of the main characters, Melody, installs the app Stalkerville on her twin teenage daughter’s phones so she knows exactly where they are at all times. In NYC, the twins leave their phones in lockers at the destination they should be (an SAT course) and go about the city to museums, Central Park, and a friend’s house.
    Kids are smart like that.

  6. Mike May 6, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    Marketing to parents 101: If you don’t buy our product, your children will DIE!

  7. SKL May 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    LOL. Great title.

    My mom should have been completely white-haired with all the detours we took every day.

  8. SKL May 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    Some perspective. Sponsor a student in a developing country. Stay awake all night worrying about how many chances they have to be kidnapped, injured, burned by the open fire they cook and eat around, asphyxiated by the smoke in the hut, poisoned by the unfiltered water, etc. etc. Then be amazed by the miracle that they are still alive after all these years. Now take a look at your own children sleeping sweetly in their beds and ask just how terrifying it is to send them walking for 3 blocks in your neighborhood.

  9. James Pollock May 6, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Let us assume that, for whatever reason, some parents are… much more intense about monitoring their kids. We (other parents) can complain about this, but it isn’t going to change anything.

    So… are the kids of such parents better off, or worse off, if the parents can monitor electronically rather than by being ever-present, or worse yet, keeping the kids in the house?

  10. Reziac May 6, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    And my very first thought was… whose kids are so stupid they can’t walk a few blocks by themselves?

    Yeah, I’m getting less and less charitable about this stuff. It’s raising a generation of incompetents.

  11. Shawn D. May 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    Next up: a live-stream stereo camera setup so parents can virtually experience the arduous journey.

  12. E May 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    @Shawn D. Have you read The Circle? Honestly, it was frightening because I can see all of it coming true (or already has).

    I believe it’s going to be made into a movie.

  13. bluebird of bitterness May 6, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    This reminds me of the phony commercials Garrison Keillor used to do for The Fearmonger’s Shop (mission statement: “serving all your phobia needs since 1954”).

  14. elizabeth May 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    I like the idea of sponsoring a child in a developing country. Quite a few of those kids are taken care of by older siblings, walk many miles to school, and cook their own food. They have real things to worry about, like what to do for clean water, and, in many cases, what to do about getting food. HAVE WE GONE OFF THE DEEP END, AMERICA!? SERIOUSLY!

  15. EricS May 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    Again, all about the parents. Less about the kids. It maybe piece of mind for the parents, but how does it actually benefit the kids? Exactly, it doesn’t. This is all for the parents. The company knows this. And they also know it’s the parents that will dish out the cash to make themselves feel better. So again, everything at the expense of what’s actually best for children. Sad.

  16. Steve May 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    The USA must be such a dangerous place for children I’m just shocked, *SHOCKED*, that Americans can bring themselves to even have babies at all!

    Surely the safest thing would be just to not have children at all than risk exposing them to all this DANGER!!!!11111

  17. Vaughan Evans May 6, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    In Vancouver, Canada, it is said that to support a family of four, BOTH parents must make an hourly wage of $20.09.
    However, they COULD reduce expenses.
    One is after and before school daycare. Children can walk to school-and play on the grounds-before school.
    -Children 9 and over-can walk home with latchkey-and play with other children.
    -That would save a monthly cost of $1300.
    Before and after school care is care and expensive in Vancouver.
    There a big waiting lists.
    It should be restricted to children 5-9.

  18. fostermom May 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    We live just a half mile from my kid’s school. My kid is even a foster kid, and the county has given permission for her to walk herself to school. And yes she has a cell phone. But that is for me calling or texting her and asking her to pop into the grocery store between her school and our home and pick up a few things I am too lazy to get myself. Or to get me an In-N-Out shake on her way home…and I guess she can have one too 😉

  19. Shawn D. May 6, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    @E — no, I haven’t read The Circle. Sounds like the stuff we here are afraid of!

  20. BL May 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    @fostermom
    “pop into the grocery store between her school and our home and pick up a few things I am too lazy to get myself”

    Within the memory of people still living, kids could even pick up cigarettes and beer for the parents.

  21. SanityAnyone? May 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    I was reading a book of WWII memories yesterday. The Mom described how happy her daughter was because she was allowed to ride the public bus to the new school across town that she was forced to attend. Girl, age 7, road the bus alone a long distance daily with Nazis roaming the city, and was happy and proud, and Mom didn’t sound too concerned. Eldest of 3, she and her brother (3) and sister (5) all survived living in hiding over the next three years even though separated from each other and their parents. They were not streetwise-kids. They were from comfortable upper-middle class homes who were thrown into a nightmare. The middle child is now a friend of ours.

    All I am saying is 1) our kids are capable of far more than we give them credit for and 2) you never know when you will need the ability to survive hardship, so allow some opportunity for “reasonable risk” struggles during childhood.

  22. Havva May 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    “You can ensure they make no stops or detours,” sounds to me exactly like “You can control your kids like a jealous abusive boyfriend.”

    I understand don’t make your mom worry. I had what was once called a strict mom. But my mom had reasonable boundaries for what constituted worrisome. And that didn’t include some brief stops, or varying my route, or talking to neighbors.

    This just reeks of: How dare a child stop to take a good look at that lizard or caterpillar. How dare a child walk home a little differently today. How dare a child pause to talk to a friend or neighbor. How dare a child stop to drop a book back at the library without telling you first. How dare a child swing by a friend’s house on the way home. You, their stalker… I mean parent… have feelings that matter oh, sooo, sooo, much, right! And the kid has to constantly appease you… I mean, show that they love you. Because you love them enough to make sure that everything is perfect. So they would never forget for a second that you are timing them…I mean ‘worrying’ about them. After all why should your property…I mean kid… ever do or want to do anything not explicit per-authorized by their abuser…ahem.. loving parent?

    I swear some adults forget that kids are human too.

  23. Lihtox May 6, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    “Are you afraid of spiders? Our new Spider Detector app will show you the location of every spider in your house, so you can sit on the couch free from worry that spiders may lurk nearby. There’s also a panic button that calls the exterminator of your choice at a moment’s notice!”

    It’s all about justifying people’s phobias in the name of profit.

  24. hineata May 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    It must be really fun in some of your offices over there, if there really are parents sick with worry while their kids walk home ‘alone’. Sounds like an unproductive waste of time to me.

    Kids pour out of schools here, some younger ones with parents, most older ones and of course high schoolers in groups or alone, but lots at once. ..so your kid is not actually ‘alone’ as such. And that’s a much better way of being safe….everyone out and about together…than some stupid alarm or whatever.

  25. Warren May 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    Just add this to the ever growing list of apps and programs employers will block from their systems.

  26. Papilio May 6, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    That “NO IT DOESN’T!” tweet already had me chuckling, but with this title I can’t stop 🙂 Have you wiped the foam from your mouth yet? 😛

    I would’ve hated this as a kid and certainly as a teen. Not because I was actually doing stuff I wasn’t supposed to, but still, that feeling of being watched constantly, as if stalked? Yuck. (Or agggghhhhhhhhhh, I guess.)

  27. Donald May 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    Fear can be paralyzing! That’s not just a figure of speech. It’s hard to comprehend just how bad it can get! While emotion consumes a person, rational thinking becomes disabled.

    We all see more of what we focus on. In the context of kidnappers, bringing up the ‘half empty/half full’ glass topic sound ridiculous. However until you understand this, you won’t fully comprehend just how paralyzed a person came become!

    http://www.onmysoapboxx.com/eyes

  28. Donald May 6, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    This strong level of surveillance WILL build a strong level of resentment. Anyone that can’t foresee just how dangerous this resentment can become is short sighted.

    http://www.onmysoapboxx.com/tough-decision

  29. Donald May 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    “Go walk that 3 blocks and if YOU as a parent feel terrified, get yourself to a doctor or get some good counseling to deal with your own anxiety. Don’t transfer it to your kids.”

    While I agree with you 100%, I’d like to point out that being cured of anxiety is not as easy. Anxiety can have such a strong grip that it resembles torture. BTW this also makes the stronger reason of why you SHOULDN’T TRANSFER IT TO YOUR KIDS!

  30. Beth May 6, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    @Lihtox, I would so love that app!

  31. Anna May 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

    Funny – all the years I walked about a mile to school (and a mile home) I never got the sense my mom was sitting at home terrified and biting her nails until I checked in. Despite the fact that my sister was actually hit by a car more than once (at low velocity – no serious injuries). Or that we had to pass within a few feet of the benches where the town drunks hung out. (I still remember my parents telling us, “Drunks are harmless! Don’t be scared just because they belch at you as you pass by. They just sit there and do nothing.”)

  32. lollipoplover May 6, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    @Donald- Anxiety (and paranoia) are very real and by I didn’t intend to minimize how severe the symptoms are. Yet also very real is anxiety as an Emotional Contagion, from parent to child. Feeling terrified and treating that symptom with a tracking devise doesn’t address the problem. Treating your child like a UPS package and tracking their delivery is a controlling behavior, satisfying the need of the parent under this guise of *safety*.

  33. SKL May 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    I thought we were past this, but today my kid went to the restroom at the tavern where we were having dinner, and my friend got up to go look for her when she took a long time to come back. She was doing her hair. It didn’t even cross my mind to get concerned. Coincidentally my kid was coming back as my friend was getting up to go after her, and my friend said “I thought …” my kid finished “you thought I was kidnapped?” because this is the line she has been told so many times. My friend responded, “yes, you were gone so long someone could have taken you.” UGH. WHEN will these people stop? Kid is almost a 5th grader now.

  34. fostermom May 7, 2016 at 1:22 am #

    @BL Our grocery store sells crap beer and the good stuff is a 20 minute drive to Bev Mo so she would never be able to get it for me anyway even if they allowed it nowadays.

    Btw, that grocery store is less than a 5 minute walk for me, but up a hill. That is why one has children, to run errands for them. Am I right?

  35. Donald May 7, 2016 at 2:16 am #

    @lollipoplover

    Again I agree with you 100%. I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t think it was serious. I just wanted to pipe in that some anxiety parents overdo it and pat themselves on the back for giving the ‘gift’ of fear to their child.

  36. JP Merzetti May 7, 2016 at 7:35 am #

    Well, that wasn’t just several years, Lenore – it was more like 50!
    That’s a long time for a town to grow up and still keep itself kid-friendly.

    But you’re absolutely right – it is fear that keeps kids off the streets. All this ‘not being allowed’ to ….(fill in the blanks) and the justification for it is always danger.
    Which strikes me in a profound way.

    If children – at whatever age…..have become eroded in their deemed behaviors, abilities, maturities…..in a downward way…..and if this starts from the get-go…….then when do they ever catch up?
    I know we all hear the stories of apron-stringed university kids.
    Even boomerang kids (although a wretched economy goes a long way to explaining at least in part, that one.)

    As if……time and age have becomed warped things. When we see a 10 year-old now – we don’t really “see” the ten good years of development and acquired sense. We see the endless parade of ubiquitous vulnerabilities.
    Kids are demanded to do so many things for their greater good – academically, in the long pursuit of ultimate success (chasing the dream.)
    But they are not challenged to become independent – in the most important ways of all…..

    I have spent many years mulling over this one:
    Independent mobility.
    Mobility itself….was how I learned about independence, young. To go from here to there on my own, or with friends, without adult supervision.
    Perhaps all the adults were too busy….but I happen to think that normal social attitudes had a lot to do with it.
    And that (for many different reasons) is what has changed.
    When an unsupervised kid is a kid endangered, a kid uncared for, a kid at risk, a kid neglected, a kid failing to thrive……then how the hell do they learn anything at all beyond the activities, enactments, realities of surveillance?

    I think what they really learn is the overpowering paranoias and fears of their elders…….and something even worse than that.
    In my boyhood dogs used to run free – and so did kids.
    We can’t do that anymore. We can’t allow that anymore. We have come up with a million good hardline reasons why our brave new world cannot allow it.
    So what can be worse than paranoia and fear?

    Um…..control.
    (Ah….but it’s for their own good and blah blah blah.)
    Until it isn’t.
    A kid’s life used to be a kid’s life. As if it belonged to them.
    Now it’s become a vested interest. A corporatised opportunity. A cash-grabbed chaotic crapstorm of digitised meddling.

    And the result?
    Now 10 is the new 5.
    And 15 is the new 10.
    And 20-something is the new tween and teen.
    And 30’s are the new 20’s.
    ……and all that fear and paranoia have eroded age into a time-warped deflation of circumstance.
    And we get used to it, as a new normal.

    Gone are the lemonade stands, the soapbox derbies, the gaggles of gadabout girls, the free-roving boys……
    They all have to be adults now, before they’re ready to tackle these things….independently.
    So what exactly kind of “adultism” have we thrust upon them?
    …creating bogeymen out of thin air.
    Shadows of our darkness, echoed in prime-time news, sacrificed to our modernity.
    As if the real ‘problem’ with kids…………is that they’re not adults, actually.
    No, they aren’t indeed.
    But what they are is capable of far more than our society gives them credit for.

    As if…..in a weird way, we wish for them to solve our problem……to somehow be able to help us get over the fear.
    (I grew up in that wonderful old-fashioned time – when the way I performed that little deed – was with my own behavior.)
    When freedom was a thing to be earned. And so it was. That was the old normal.

    But how does a kid ever earn a thing whose cost is eternally unaffordable? (So they now say.)

  37. Yocheved May 7, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    We recently moved from the US to Israel. There was a commotion outside my bedroom window, and my daughter looked out to see what was going on.
    She said to me “Mama, there’s a big bunch of boys outside playing basketball in the parking lot, and they look like they’re my age. We really ARE in a different country, aren’t we!”

  38. Rachel May 7, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    The funny title got me to read the article. But once I opened it I understood the AGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

    I have fond memories of being 6-9 years old, getting off the school bus and taking lots of detours on the way home with my sister. Sometimes we’d stop at the grassy field to look for 4-leaf clovers.

    But, if we had a GPS-thingy and a paranoid mom on the other end, all that fun, easy-going childhood may not have existed. Instead of assuming we were looking for clovers while on our way home from the bus stop, our mom, looking at the GPS, might have wondered…why did they stop? Maybe my girls are hurt and they are lying in a field dying!

    Thanks for sharing, Lenore. And thanks for outing this stupid device.

    And to my own Mom on Mother’s Day…Thanks for letting me take lots of detours and letting me explore my world as a kid.

  39. AB May 9, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    I am a free range parent. My kids (10 and 8) have GPS enabled phone/watches that allow me to see where they are and call them.

    It’s actually quite liberating and empowering for them (and us).

    They’re too young for their own phones, but their afternoons are essentially: “I’m going to Joe’s house to see if he can play. If he’s not there, I’m going to try Steve. Then Henry. Then Bill.” We just got tired of, at dinner time, texting Joe’s parents, then Steve’s, then Henry’s, then Bill’s to say “Is my kid over there? Can you send him home?”

    The phrase “You can ensure they make no stops or detours…” can work both ways. If they already have permission to make stops or detours, this simply makes it easier to track them down if something comes up before the streetlights come on. (“I have to head out to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. If you’re done playing, the front door is unlocked.”)

    We see the system as simply an upgraded version of ringing a bell on the front porch when it’s come to come home (my parents’ system) coupled with a newer version of jamming a dime for the pay phone into your shoelaces “just in case you need to call for a ride.”

    Of course, I’m sure there are plenty of helicopter parents who will use the parent app to check in on their kids’ every movement. But in our case, it’s actually given the kids more freedom by eliminating some of the hassle for us. It’s more of a non-phone phone.

  40. TCHall May 9, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    The nosey government agents in too many places will STILL take the kids off to be saved from themselves, and charge the parents with neglect.
    Mine, when they were 6 & 7, had 800 extra acres to run on when the cotton crop was harvested. A motorcycle they shared, and didn’t go past the creek at the other side of the fields.
    Here they finished growing up on 19 acres with two rifle/pistol ranges and a couple of archery targets set up here and there. The oldest became an Airman two weeks ago, with two extra promotion points that go with Honor Grad…
    Unlike the average child I see as a school sub, Free Range kids can actually solve problems and make decisions on their own.
    Grown up at 16 with a couple of years to practice adulting from home is a Good Thing! (The gentle irony, BTW, of getting paid to teach other kids while my home schoolers autopilot on my sub days has not escaped me)

  41. John May 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Quote:

    “I like the idea of sponsoring a child in a developing country. Quite a few of those kids are taken care of by older siblings, walk many miles to school, and cook their own food. They have real things to worry about, like what to do for clean water, and, in many cases, what to do about getting food. HAVE WE GONE OFF THE DEEP END, AMERICA!? SERIOUSLY!”

    @Elizabeth:

    Exactly Elizabeth! I’ve been to many countries including Nepal, the Philippines, Egypt, Vietnam, India, Bali, Borneo, Malaysia, Czech Republic, etc., etc. and I can tell you that the kids in those countries walk to school in big numbers. I can also tell you that the older siblings keep a good watch on their younger siblings too, especially the mountain kids of Nepal. It seems as if American parents have extremely limited trust in even their older high school aged kids being responsible for their much younger siblings in certain situations such as walking to school or accompanying them to the store, even picking up and carrying their 3-year-old sister or brother. It’s as if parents don’t believe their middle school aged child is even strong enough to hold a 2-year-old! But yet this is a very common sight in developing countries.

    I’m just not sure about the future of our country when these kids become adults. Kids in America are just too helicoptered and spoiled nowadays.

  42. MichaelF May 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    “Or are you supposed to be terrified every second your school age kids venture outside without you?”

    well, YES!!! But I think all of us here pretty much know the hysteria routine by now.

  43. John Ringo May 9, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

    Various responses. Over all very much agree. The level of paranoia about child snatching is insane. They are much more likely to be molested by family/acquaintance and that rate is in middle class society quite low.

    Two points however.

    There are child predators and their rate is constant and does not fix to overall crime rate. The tendencies cop out at a very constant rate and have statistical crime studies have been around.

    Same numberofpredators-fewerpotentailprey=higher likelihood of attack per potential prey.

    Less kids on the street means each has a higher likelihood of attack than ‘back when’ (my day) when the mantra from mom was ‘Go play outside! You’re driving me crazy!’ (Also ‘Don’t talk to strangers’)

    But here’s the one you will truly go insane over.

    There are several companies working on drones designed to follow a person in a sports setting. Going mountain biking? Have a drone record you’re every stunt!

    Forget the shallow narcissism of it all. One presentation SPECIFICALLY addressed the ‘helicopter parent’ market and how such a drone could be programmed to FOLLOW EVERY SINGLE STEP of their precious little snowflake.

    Happy nightmares.

  44. James Pollock May 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

    “Less kids on the street means each has a higher likelihood of attack”

    Kids are rarely attacked outside. Attacks happen “behind closed doors” when a person who should not have been trusted is presented with an opportunity.

    Feel free to look up the last time a child was attacked outside, by a stranger, in your local region. Not a panic about how some person tried to snatch a child, where more investigation reveals that it was a guy in a van actually looking for a dog, or a couple of girls at the end of a driveway who get asked if girl scouts are still selling cookies, but an actual attempt to forcibly remove a child from where they are supposed to be that doesn’t involve a parental custody dispute. It CAN happen, but it’s WAY down on the list of bad things that can happen to your kids.

  45. John May 10, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    Quote:

    “Kids are rarely attacked outside. Attacks happen “behind closed doors” when a person who should not have been trusted is presented with an opportunity.”

    True. I have yet to hear of a case where a youngster was sexually molested or raped out in public view, at least where the perpetrator knew other people would see what he (or she) was doing to the kid. It would take a real dumb criminal to do that.

  46. Meghan May 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    I imagine some enterprising middle schooler sitting in study hall “checking in” with about 25 phones: for a small fee of course.

  47. Deab Whinery May 16, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    Good grief! My friends need this >sarcasm off<. They actually allowed their 10 year old daughter to walk home from her school in early evening hours a whole–gasp!–two kilometers (almost 1-1/2 miles) along a federal highway. In their mountainous community a cell phone would have been useless, so would a GPS-based leash have functioned?
    When will this silliness end?

  48. Laura May 16, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    We live 0.3 miles from the school, just a couple of blocks. Some days it takes my 8 year old 5 mins to get home sometimes 45. Sometimes she likes to “go exploring” along the route. I’ve gone out when it hit 60 min to look for her and she was just laying on the grass of the neighbor’s yard daydreaming. She knows she has to come straight home, and she always does, she’s just allowed an hour to do it.

  49. Alexis May 16, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    Or maybe all of the crime rates are a result of a new sort of parenting that acknowledges certain dangers. Maybe. I’m not suggesting that we need to monitor our children all the time but I am suggesting that your reasoning is flawed.

  50. Warren May 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    Alexis

    Your logic is flawed. How does any parenting account for the decrease in property crimes and all the other crimes not involving kids also being at all time lows?

    You need to do some more research.