A dad wrote to Let Grow to vent: He’d been eating at the Costco food court with his 4-year-old daughter when he got up to go get ketchup and napkins.
A concerned bystander tapped him on the back to chide him for this — he said it was an irresponsible “no-no.”
In addition to the dad’s letter at Let Grow I’ve got a short discussion of how our new laws in Texas and Oklahoma will prevent incidents like this from becoming…well…actual incidents. Reasonable Childhood Independence bills allow parents to make reasonable decisions.
Helicopter parenting cannot be the law of the land — no matter what “concerned bystanders” think.
Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash
In Georgia, a mother was charged with a crime under the State’s “Reckless Conduct Statute” because she left her younger children in the care and supervision of their older sibling, 14 year old girl. No harm came to the younger children, although one left the house undetected and went next door. The neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office. Let Grow’s legislation map incorrectly suggests there is no “specific” law under which a parent could be charged with a crime. And, even if not charged with a crime, CPS is often called.
It’s time we talked again and collaborated, yes?
Well, what are the alternatives? Go to the table with everything you need? No, the individual food court vendors often don’t give out straws, ketchup, napkins, et cetera, because those are on a communal “island” in the food court. Grab everything on the way to the table? No, because Dad doesn’t have enough hands, and maybe Four can’t reach the island, let alone pump ketchup and mustard on her hot dog without making a mess. Put the food on the table, then schlep Four to Napkin, Straw, And Condiment Island? No, because then someone might think that Dad and Four are finished eating, and then a mall staff member might clear their table, or another food court patron might just move their food and take their table. Even if that didn’t happen, the other people at the island might complain about too many people crowding around it who aren’t actually getting stuff there. There’s literally no right answer here, and I don’t think any of the people vilifying Dad, would have any viable solutions if asked.