Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mourn, but Don't Blame the Parents

I was managing to not hear about the story of the 8-year-old Brooklyn boy who was murdered this week, but after spying a mention on Orange Crate Art, I got it full in the face on Free Range Kids, where Lenore Skenazy put it in perspective:

...the next time someone tells me, “I would NEVER let my child walk outside, because it’s just too dangerous,” here is how I will reply:

“I hope you NEVER put your children in a car. How could you ever forgive yourself if, God forbid, something terrible were to happen? It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to keep your children safe! Personally, I would rather have my kids stuck at home, unable to go anywhere, than take the TERRIBLE RISK of putting them in the car. Maybe at 13 or 14 they can start riding in a car, but seven or eight? Too young! Parents should know better! It’s just not worth a lifetime of regret.”

That’s how wacky — and stifling — we can get when we dangerize everyday life, so let’s try not to. (And let’s keep the blame-the-parents impulse in check, too.)
Children are 25 times (better known as 2,500 percent) more likely to die because of a car accident than a stranger abduction: 1,300 vs. 50 deaths per year in the U.S. Yet no one even considers preventing children from riding in cars.

Banal dangers don't qualify as dangers at all, and therefore are not worth coverage on 24-hour news channels or regurgitation as "ripped from the headlines" plots.

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