Before I begin yet another rant.....allow me to acknowledge that our sweet, sweet baby Trey had his 1st birthday on Tuesday. I have not blogged about it yet because I'm waiting until after his party to be able to post some pics and cute stories...or cute pics and stories....whatever.
Anyway, while playing some highly educational, thought provoking, using all the primary colors game with the kids, something on the Dr. Phil show caught my attention. A woman in New York was arrested after kicking her kids out of the car and driving off without them and then not being able to find one of them. Stop me if you've heard this one....oh wait, it's not a joke. It peaked my curiosity, so I googled it to see what I could find out. Well! Look out Loretta, but people had A LOT to say about this story!
Allow me to fill in some details.....the woman is a successful lawyer in New York. She lives in White Plains, which according to 725 articles is an affluent suburb. Her 2 girls (10 and 12) would not stop fighting with each other, so mom pulled over in their downtown area and told them to get out. They were 3.5 miles from home. The 12 year old took off after mom and eventually caught up with the car and so mom generously let her back in. Mom drove around the block to get the 10 year old, but she was gone from where she was left crying on the corner of 1st and My Mom Just Abandoned Me Avenue. A "Good Samaritan" had taken the girl to get ice cream, then to a police car cruising the mean streets of White Plains. The mom, not knowing about the ice cream and cops, went home, picked up her husband and father, then went back to the area to look some more. Finally, after returning home, she called the police to report the girl missing. The police told her that the girl was with them and was safe if not a little bloated from all the free ice cream freely given by strangers. When mom arrived to pick her up, she was immediately arrested and charged with child endangerment.
I fully expected every message board to be jammed with outrage at this mother.....How could she do this to her children? What if something had happened to her baby? What about the trauma? But you know what? Almost every message was supportive of the mom....huh.
Some of the opinions were....At 10 and 12 years old they totally should be able to walk the 3.5 miles home. Good for the mom for following through on a threat. I remember when I was kicked out of the car as a kid and I found my way home. The 12 year old should be punished for leaving the 10 year old behind. If the mom gets punished, those girls will think they can get away with anything by threatening to call the cops. Kids have too much power these days. We've all thought about kicking the kids out and if you say you haven't then you're a liar. The 10 year old wasn't crying because she was scared, but because mom followed through.
Some leaned towards...I would have kicked them out, but would have parked to wait out the drama. I would have made them walk home, but follow them the whole way. I would train my kids to know the way home. I would have parked and gotten out myself to cool off.
Every one agreed that the mom should NOT be charged, but maybe (just maybe) could benefit from some parenting classes. A judge DID drop the charges, but mom has to stay out of trouble for 6 months...or else!
So, what would you do?
It's hard for me to imagine since my kids aren't that old, yet. I thought back to when I was 10...ahhhh the glory days. We (my brother and I) were allowed to, or more accurately never told not to, walk wherever we wanted. However, it needs to be considered that other activities never approved or disapproved of included setting fire to stuff, disassembling appliances, and throwing rocks at the window above the garage. So, that's not really a good guage.
In my heart of hearts, I have to believe that I would never kick my kids out of the car in anger (or happiness either). I think it would be different if the girls had asked to walk home and mom knew they could handle it. But clearly they were scared or else why would the 12 year old chase down the car, or the 10 year cry and go along with a stranger?! Praise the lord that it was a "good Samaritan" that stopped to help. All the pedophiles must have been at the mall...