Archive | Worst-First Thinking

A Prosecutor Debates the “Kids Waiting in the Car” Arrest

Hi Readers — A few posts down we were discussing a questionable arrest for “child endangerment.” In this case, the parents had left their  9- and 6-year-olds waiting in the car while they ran into Walmart for what turned out to be half an hour. Vis a vis child safety: The windows were cracked, the doors […]

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What’s Wrong with This Ad?

Take your blood pressure medicine before watching this so-called public service announcement . The spot shows two women in a coffee shop, one of them with her kid. The three chat for about 15 seconds, the mom buys a coffee and then off the mom and child go, leaving the  other woman — for no apparent reason — with a sneaking […]

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Dear Abby: AGAIN With the Abductors?

Dear Readers: You may recall that last week, Dear Abby passed along the advice that children take a walkie talkie every time they enter a public restroom so they can call mom when they get molested. Since this is a common fear, I asked a child abuse specialist if this is also a common occurence. Of the […]

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Outrage of the Weekend: Man Arrested for Duck Impersonation

Hi Readers!  This just in, from Free-Ranger Deb Turner, who asks: “If you were shopping with your nine year old, and a man approached you and your child and did a Donald Duck imitation for the child, would you call 9-1-1? This happened in my local area.” ‘Duck’ didn’t ruffle any legal feathers   The case […]

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No More Sleepovers?!

The latest victim of parental terror? Sleepovers. According to this AP story by Kelli Kennedy, parents are afraid of everything from junk food to “inappropriate” movies, to Internet surfing, to the possibility of  their children being drugged and raped.  The modern parental thinking method applies: Since a drugging/fondling incident DID happen once, and since it was ON […]

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Kids, this is an “adult.” Watch out!

Great (slightly wordy) article on Psychology Today blog about how, with all our exhortations about “stranger danger”  we are teaching our children  “that the world is a dark and nasty place were everybody wants to murder and rape them…” The assumption of disgusting intentions has gone so far that the blogger,  Helene Guldberg, author of Reclaming […]

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Crazed School Bans Parents from Sports Day

What happens when the fear of the incredibly rare crime of child kidnapping becomes so all-consuming that it overshadows any other considerations? Including common sense? Or even Googling? You get something like this: A school in England that holds a multi-school sports day every June – the highlight of the year, where kids compete and […]

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Are We Too Obsessed with Our Kids?

The public bought the idea that they were essentially a danger to their own kids and had better pay money for advice, that they’d better try really hard to do a good job, and they’d still inevitably fail. (Even though, as Lepore points out, kids are actually safer now than ever. In 1850, more than […]

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Fear Not! (Or At Least — Fear Less!)

So, after dithering for a mere five years or so (and blogging about it, below), I finally got my boys — 10 and 12 — a skateboard. I didn’t dither out of laziness. Well, not just laziness. I really avoided it out of fear. The idea of a kid upside down in the air, no […]

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