What exactly is bad parenting? Who actually decides whether or not someone is a bad parent? Nowadays, almost everyone is a judge and has an opinion on how you should raise your child. Here are some bad parenting examples. But are they really? Form your own opinion if these stories are cases of bad parenting.
Episode 22 show notes and links are available at letstrashtalk.com/22
Bad Parenting Stories
If you let your children walk home alone, is this considered bad parenting? Well, in Montgomery County, Maryland, two parents are being considered prime candidates. Alexander and Danielle Meitiv trusted their 10 year old son and 6 year old daughter to walk home from a park. A person noticed the kids walking home alone and alerted the police. The police spoke with the parents and are in legal trouble for possible neglect. Child Protective Services is investigating and has threatened the Meitivs with losing custody of their kids. CPS and the local police have essentially labeled the parents’ actions as bad parenting.
A South Carolina mother was arrested for leaving her 9 year old daughter alone to play in a park. Debra Harrell let her daughter play at a nearby park while she was at work. She was arrested for not supervising her kid. The mother spent time in jail and her 9 year old daughter was placed in foster care for 17 days. Debra Harrell can still receive 10 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect.
Bad Parenting and the Law
Do you believe these two stories were cases of bad parenting? The opinions are most likely mixed. So what about the law? Surely there must be legal guidelines that can determine if these people are guilty of bad parenting. Unfortunately, not exactly.
In the case of the Maryland parents, Maryland law prohibits children under the age of 8 from being left unattended in a vehicle or in a dwelling. However, these two children were walking home from a park. Maryland law makes no reference to the outdoors.
What about the South Carolina mother? Do the laws in her state classify bad parenting? South Carolina law does criminalize leaving a child at unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child’s life or safety. The law does not specify whether a child can be left alone without supervision.
Both these cases leave it up to the discretion of prosecutors, police, and child protective services. This doesn’t seem sensible in the eyes of a parent. Their ideals on how you raise your children may not mirror your own.
Free Range Kids Movement
Lenore Skenazy founded the Free Range Kids movement. This woman was dubbed “America’s Worst Mom” by the media in 2008. This occurred because Lenore Skenazy allowed her 9 year old son to ride the New York subway by himself.
The philosophy behind the Free Range Kids movement is that children need to be raised to be self-reliant. Those who don’t raise their kids in this way are “helicopter” parents. Helicopter parents believe their child is so vulnerable that they have to hover over the child like a helicopter, ready to swoop in if anything remotely bad happens. Is the Free Range Kids movement right or just another case of bad parenting?
Also In Episode 22
Here are some of the other stories covered in this podcast episode.
A drone was found on the White House grounds. It didn’t seem to pose a threat to anybody at the White House. President Obama was not at the White House at the time of the incident. The controller of the drone was drunk. He lost control of the drone and it went down at the White House. He hasn’t been charged with a crime.
Celebrity Requests Pardon
Mark Wahlberg wants to be pardoned for hate crimes he committed in the late 1980s. He says it’s to be an example to troubled youths that you can turn your life around. Others say it’s because some states won’t issue a liquor license for his restaurant because of his felon status.
The January storm was predicted to be monumental for New York and New Jersey. However, weather forecasters wrongly predicted Blizzard 2015. Government officials overreacted in preparation for the supposed snow storm.
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