Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
August 1st, 2014 05:00:00 am
A parent is arrested for leaving an eleven year-old in the car while she went shopping. Another parent is arrested for allowing her nine year-old to in the park by herself, a park where there were other kids and kid-friendly adults around. An eight year-old kid told his father he was taking a community van to church, but ditched to play in the neighborhood instead; not only was the father arrested, he lost his job when the story ran in the local paper. Last year, a man was arrested for trying to pick up his kids up at school on foot, instead of taking the car.
Our society is focusing on the wrong things. We're arresting people for the wrong things, the petty, insignificant things. We continue to turn a blind eye to the legal abuses our children are exposed to everyday, and focus on parents who can't afford childcare, so they send their child to play in the park. Why? Some abuses make our children cash cows. Billions of dollars are made off kids every year. No one is going to challenge advertisements, but we'll quickly challenge a parent's decision about the level and maturity of their child.
A child wants to sit in the car, while the mother picks up a few things in the store. It's warm. The child is eleven, old enough to make their own decisions, articulate their feelings, wants, needs. Old enough to spend the day at school, with people the parents don't know. Old enough to be medicated. The child wants to sit in the car alone instead of going shopping. Why not?
An eight year-old decides he'd rather play in his neighborhood than go to church, stealthily skips the bus. Smart kid, if you ask me. At eight years old, he could've already decided that it wasn't for him. What are they teaching him there? To hate and judge? To feel superior to others? Who knows. I think the kid made a good choice. Who wouldn't do the same, in his shoes?
Recently, I've been interviewed on the topic of legalized child abuse. The things we do to children—everything from the crime of forcing gender, to convincing them to medicate themselves, to feeding them toxic foods, to allowing electronic devices to not only babysit but parent them—are harmful. As much as I struggle with what we call parenting today (reliant on daycare, after school programs, iPads, computers, television, and fast food), I don't think it's right to second-guess a mom's choice to leave her eleven year-old alone in a car, or arrest a father who didn't know his son lied and ditched church (a waste of tax-payer dollars). We are focusing on the wrong thing, rather than doing the right thing. Doing the right thing means aggravating many of the people in power, who hold the illusion of power. When are we going to grow up, America?