Overprotective mom drives daughter 1/4 mile to school

Discussion in 'Community' started by wordmunger, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #1
    There was an article in our local paper (the Charlotte Observer) last week about how much time and fuel parents waste driving their kids home from school. Some of the responses to it in the Letters section have been hilarious. Check out this letter (scroll down to "As Mom, I can't let safety take backseat").

    The punch line? She lives 1/4 mile from a school in a good neighborhood, but she still won't let her daughter walk to school because she's worried about her getting abducted. Talk about paranoia! And since most parents around here tend to have a similar attitude, it really is a bit unsafe to let your kids walk to school: so few kids walk that there's no opportunity for "safety in numbers."

    So kids get carted around everywhere, and meanwhile there's an epidemic of childhood obesity in America because kids don't get enough exercise.

    Sorry, just had to rant!
     
  2. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #2
    I did a little searching around, and there's not a lot of readily accessible data, but it looks like there are around 500 unsolved abductions per year, compared to 40,000 auto fatalities, so her daughter is almost 100 times more likely to die in a car crash on the way to school than to be lost to a kidnapper.

    See this and this.
     
  3. hobbes3113 macrumors regular

    hobbes3113

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    #3

    Not to belittle your story, it is a bit ridiculous to drive your kid 1/4 mile to school, but my cousin was almost abducted in a very affluent neighborhood in a suburb of Denver, CO. The only reason that she wasn't taken is that she heavily resisted and the guy got scared and left. This was not an isolated case as there were a few other kids taken by the same guy in that area. Maybe a better thing for that mother to do would be walk her kids to school. That way everyone could get a little excercise.
     
  4. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #4
    You're right. There are plenty of abductions every year--I think the article I linked to above had a figure of 50,000--but 99 percent of them are solved. My point was more that it would be safer if *everyone* let their kids walk to school, and that driving your kids poses its own dangers.
     
  5. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #5
    At least the short drive doesn't use much gas. :p

    Seriously, though, why can't she just walk her over?
     
  6. Kid Red macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Not too many parents in here I guess. I think it GREATLY depends on age, gender and distance to school. As my 2 1/2 daughter will be going to school in a few years, I'll be damned is she's going to be walking to school anytime soon. Girls are typically the ones abducted not boys and boys can usually handle themselves better along with not being as gullible or open to male strangers.

    However, what gets me with the above posts, WHY TAKE THE FRICKING CHANCE?! If you are a parent, why take the chance that your kid is going to be one of 500 for that year? What ever the numbers, do you think the parents of that blonde girl form a few weeks ago thought anything? She was like what, 13 and had probably walked to school for years. Well, now she's dead. Why take that chance with your kid? We live in a sick world, a world VERY different from 10 years ago.

    So laugh if you want, make stupid excuses about kids needing excercise or whatever crap is posted above, hard fact is, not many parents want to take a chance that some pedophile freak ass pervert is going to swipe their kid. Why? Why take the chance?

    (and I hardly think the chances of getting into a car accident when you're doing 20 mpg in a school zone is very likely or a very good argument)
     
  7. briankonar macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2004
    #7
    apparently you've never met an american. we (generalization) are the fattest, laziest society on earth. i have friends who live down the street (in chicago, mind you) from a grocery store, and they DRIVE two blocks over just so they don't have to CARRY their groceries...

    we even have people who LOAD YOUR CAR FOR YOU, now if that's not pathetic i don't know what is.
     
  8. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    St Augustine, FL
    #8
    Here in Florida, Publix packs your bags, walks them to your car, loads them into your trunk, and they do everything but open your car and start the engine for you.

    We do have a larger percentage of obesity and heart disease, but I think a good deal of it is our diet. Most Europeans are smart by eating certain types of food at a certain time of the day so your body is best able to break it down into energy. Not only that, but not as many of them live off of McDonalds, steak and potatoes, and junk food.
     
  9. 1macker1 macrumors 65816

    1macker1

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    #9
    I would dive my child to school, no matter how close he/she stayed. Most people think it's overprotection, until their child gets nabbed.
     
  10. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #10
    I think this is the common perception. However, my understanding is that the crime rate has dropped significantly in the past 10 years. Do you have any statistics to back up your position?

    Regarding the "why take the chance" question, I think kids need to grow up at some point. The only way to do this is to give them some freedom. Yes, freedom involves risks, but there are risks from not allowing children freedom. They can rebel and become drug addicts, commit suicide, or worse.

    The risk of lack of exercise is much more significant than any of these other risks. Lack of exercise correlates strongly with obesity. Millions of Americans die each year from obesity-related diseases including Heart Disease and Diabetes. As the obesity rate skyrockets, this problem will only become worse. It already dwarfs deaths from accidents or crime--what will it be like 20 years from now?
     
  11. Aeolius macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Call me paranoid if you wish, but my wife or I drive the kids to school and pick them up. Granted, school is not within walking distance, but I would drive them in that case as well. My son is almost 10 years old and I can count on one hand the number of times he has been driven by someone other than me or my wife. Granted, he uses a wheelchair so there are added considerations. We also arrange to drive them on days with field trips.

    Just do a web search for registered sex offenders living near your neighborhood, sometime, and you'll understand my caution. Reality Rule #1: Trust No One. My kids don't even play in the yard, without supervision.
     
  12. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    iowa
    #12
    parents that are overprotective should not be the least bit surprised when their children grow up to be naive, unwise, scared, paranoid, reclusive adults. Wake up people, these kids are going to be out on their own soon, exposed to any number of drugs, situations, people, neighborhoods, the whole world is out there. They won't know how to deal with any of it if you don't let them cross the ****ing street by themselves.

    it just pisses me off that people maintain this "nothing but the best" attitude for their children, when they're doing more harm than good. children need to learn. they're not going to do that by sitting in the back of Daddy's lexus SUV.

    i'll never have kids. they're too noisy. but if i did, and the little bugger hadn't figured out how to get 1/4 mile (for christs sake!) to school by age 8, i'd probably have him tested for a disorder.

    snatching nothing. grow up, people. it's the real world, and you can't protect your kids from the bogeyman forever. Not that there's any real statistical need, as was pointed out above. Don't drag your kids down into your little self-serving induced-panic safe, sad little world.

    paul
     
  13. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #13
    its sad that things have gotten so bad that it requires parents to worry so much about their kids. Growing up in the 70s, I remember riding my bike to school every day in Elementary, Junior High and High School. School was only a couple miles away, and the bus was an option on rainy days. But I even remember a couple times walking home - it just wasn't even thinkable then (although it happened, I'm sure).

    My kids will get walked to school if we're close enough. I'm out walking the dog in the morning anyway....:D

    D
     
  14. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    Charlotte, NC
    #14

    I used to have to walk to school with my younger sister everyday. But when I moved on to middle school, my parents started driving my younger sister to Elementary School, and we only lived 2 blocks away.

    Of course if some of these people would carpool I don't think we would have as many problems. Try getting to work at 8am when you have to drive by an elementary school...the traffic is impossible and most people are only taking one kid to school
     
  15. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a

    leftbanke7

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    #15
    I have an issue with the overprotection of children in general in this society. I agree, there are a lot of sickos out there and I also agree that it is easy to disregard the issue of abductions until it happens to you (living in Utah and the whole Elizabeth Smart thing opened a lot of people's eyes), however parents make it a goal to shelter their kids from everything. I bet half of all abductions would have never have happened if the children had a little bit of "street smarts". Not that crap they try to teach in the elementaries but the stuff you learn by going out on your own and experiencing the world. At age 12, I was riding public transportation on my own with no worries. I always walked to school with all the rest of my friends. I was out playing until dark every night of the week. I taught myself a lot about life. Many people may consider the fact that my dad not getting us a baby sitter while he was at work as abuse and negligent but I think that was probably the best thing he ever did for us (my siblings and I). I had to learn how to take care of myself. I saw and experienced things that most parents would lose their minds over if their children saw. I was cooking my own meals and doing my own laundry. This geared me towards real life after I turned 18. I wasn't thrust upon the world ignorant to just how dirty life can be. Too many people these days have absolutely no idea how to cope outside of the nest. And when overprotected children are confronted with a serious issue (ie. an abducter), they have no idea what to do. They are the proverbial sickly antelope in the world of hungry lions. I think George Carlin says it best: "You wanna know how to help your children, leave them the f*** alone."
     
  16. Kid Red macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Kids grow up in public school. Between friends, peer pressure, school, homework, fitting in, drugs, parents, etc, you think they need additional risk OF DEATH!? Yes, kids need to be set free but NOT WHEN THEY ARE KIDS! This is not a fricking exercise issue, it's an issue that the PARENTS DON'T WANT THIER YOUND DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED, MOLESTED SEXUALLY AND THEN BRUTALLY MURDERED AND LEFT IN A FOREST IN A MATTER OF HOURS!

    Yea, it's because we are americans and fat and lazy. Not because we wish our children to grow up.

    As far as stats, my stats are that I used to walk to school, elementary and JR high. Never, do I remember this many abductions in this short of time frame this routinely! That makes this a sick world. Maybe the world has always been sick and it's only now with the Amber alert that we hear about these crimes.

    Just because crime as a whole has gone down, doesn't mean certain crimes have. Murder is probably down, but who knows about kidnapping/abduction.

    Besides, that's not the issue. It's we as parents will do what we think is right to keep our kids SAFE AND ALIVE based on our society based RISK FACTORS.
     
  17. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #17
    i walked a mile to and from school each day from 1-8th grade, granted someone usually walked with me but still....and once i got to hs i had to figure out my own way to and from school....let your kids grow up jeez, walking is awesome for your health...what are your kids gonna do when they get to college and are on thier own? i knew someone who was totally protected by thier parents....when he got to college, he was my roomate my freshman year...he was afraid to cross the street unless it was at a crosswalk, he couldnt even decide what he wanted to do with his life because he had his hand held for his whole life....and then he just ****ed everything up.....if kids are not let on thier own sometimes they will never be able to function properly in society....
     
  18. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #18
    While I don't have the statistics either, I second this, by saying that I've read studies that show that the media (esp. TV) is overplaying crime so that even though rates ARE dropping, it SEEMS like it's getting worse.
     
  19. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    iowa
    #19
    You are absolutely correct. I, too, deeply value the knowledge and perspective that I learned by being independent (to a degree of course) at a younger age, and kids simply do not get that anymore. i can appreciate why parents do this, really i can... but you can not eliminate a necessity like "growing up" from growing up.

    maybe it's the older generation's fault... they never taught today's parents that yes, their children will get hurt; yes, they'll do stupid things; and yes, they will leave the nest. it's part of life, no matter how much you complain about society's misshaping of these events.

    it's too common today to see a kid walking down the street with their parents, and you can almost see a 5-foot bubble of "perfect" surrounding the child. the bubble of their parents protecting them from everything (and from themselves!)... it'll hit hard when the kid finds out that bubble is a complete illusion.

    paul
     
  20. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    Montréal (Canada)
    #20
    Yes you are paranoid! Nobody trusting no body is one of the biggest plague of the society!

    Some of the best encounter I had in my life involved total stranger. When I see someone walking with too many grocery bags, I always ask if they need help, what ever if they are 40 or are a hot chick.

    When I am waiting in line at the Blockbuster, I always talk to the kids around, asking them if they have seen Finding Nemo, etc...

    I help drunken girls to take the cab/metro/walk home (well, if its not too far from my appatment).

    Why I do all of these things? Because I like to do them and also because I think this is how people should be in society. If you dont help others, why would they help you?

    Of course there are ****ed-up people who will try to exploit others. But there arent more of these wackos now than 10-20 years ago (in % terms). Now kids are just more aware of them and know better how to deal with them than before. This is why they get caught more often and we hear more about it in the news.

    If people would just start knowing each others, society would be so much better. Just imagine if you knew all the people who lived from your house to the school, your kid's walk every morning would be much safer.

    And for god sake, if you see a kid needing help, HELP HIM! Dont just look the other way.
     
  21. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #21
    Wow, case-in-point, you've worked yourself into quite a tizzy haven't you? PANIC, people, PANIC. it's what you're supposed to do (until 20/20 tells you otherwise). Tell you what. Your child has a better chance of being killed in an airplane crash. Yet, you don't strap flotation devices to the kid. Your child has better chances of being mauled by a dog-- yet you don't coat them with bitter-spray every morning. Your children are at less risk today than you were as a child, or than children were 80 years ago. you've been duped into creating a bubble-child.

    paul
     
  22. 1macker1 macrumors 65816

    1macker1

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    #22
    I think a kid walking alone is dangerous, no matter how close the school is. Now if they had a group of kids walking together, I'd be fine with that. When I was going to school as a youngster, we walked to school, but we were in a group.
     
  23. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a

    leftbanke7

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    #23
    This is problem #2 with many parents. They rely on the schools to raise their kids. They don't want to bother teaching their kids about all those really hard issues (sex, drugs, etc etc) so they let the schools do it. When the child gets home, they park them in front of the TV to watch whatever inoffensive programming is on so they don't have to take the time to teach the kid about life (problem #3). No wonder kids grow up with such an askewed view of life. Their view on society has a Zenith written underneath it.

    The big bad scary world isn't as big and bad and scary as Zenith the baby sitter makes it out to be. Try taking your kids outside and showing them this.

    And this comes from a person living in a really poor part of town.
     
  24. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    State College, PA
    #24
    Sounds just like the person that posted on here that "REFUSES" to buy windows for their child to play PC games. Too paranoid if you ask me...

    then again:

    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you."
     
  25. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a

    leftbanke7

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    #25
    My kid isn't going to learn what a computer is until high school. There is much too much to do outside to let them bask in the warmth of a LCD
     

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