Motherhood in the Age of Fear

Incredibly sad and terrifying at the same time. If only we could get rid of a lot of laws and start being decent to each other again. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/27/opinion/sunday/motherhood-in-the-age-of-fear.html

  • Heather
    Aug 02, 2018

    For those who do leave kids in the car with air conditioning on, do realize that the airco will not cool air without the engine running. If the car sits there long enough, it will begin to blow hot air.

  • Nancy
    Aug 02, 2018

    I’m a grandma, raised 3 children and now for the most part, raising a little grandson - NEVER EVER leave children unattended in a car or anywhere else today! Anything can go wrong, someone could open that car and abduct the child, open the car and steal it with the child inside, the child might fool around with the dash and flip the gears and push a pedal and crash the car killing them selves and others - NOTHING is worth it! The what if’s are too great. That child depends on the adult caretaker to do the right, wise, intelligent thing and leaving a child to his/her own devices in a parked car, all alone, is NEVER the smart thing to do. Once something goes horribly wrong, it’s too late. Whatever it is you think you need to get - it has to wait unless you take the child in with you! ❤️

  • Anonymous
    Aug 02, 2018

    I own a car that can be locked while it’s left running. I do leave the children in the car for some errands. My kids are 7, 4, and 1. The 7 year old and 4 year old have been instructed to unbuckled, climb up front, and frantically honk the horn if there is a problem. I’m not sure if my car is special (it’s a Jeep), but it doesn’t blow hot air while the car is parked, or maybe I’ve just never left it sit long enough to find out? The longest I leave the kids in the car is 10 minutes, and the longest I’ve ever sat in it while parked was 30 minutes when I was insanely early to pick up my son from school.

  • Anonymous
    Aug 02, 2018

    Florida specifically addresses leaving a child under six alone in a car in statute XXX-XXXX. It is allowable to do so; under the specified conditions; for up to 15 minutes. For safety reasons the vehicle may not be running; and you always run the risk of being in violation if "the health of the child is in danger" or "the child appears to be in distress". Also in Florida; if you can see the child in the car while you're running into a gas station or elsewhere; the child is not considered unattended or unsupervised. Though I normally take my one year old daughter with me; there have been a couple situations where she was happily seated or was asleep and it would have significantly complicated things to remove her from the car while I ran in to a gas station or similar vs. just leaving her for the minute or two I needed to step away. Though I would not envision leaving my daughter alone in the car for more than a couple minutes; it is nice that Florida has a law on the books to avoid issues such as the author of the article wrote about. The law here strikes what I believe is a reasonable balance between the safety of the child and convenience for parents who need to leave a happy child unattended for a few minutes without being accused of abuse or neglect.

  • Amanda
    Aug 02, 2018

    I do think that there's a bit much fear and paranoia in our age of parenting. But, humor my anecdote for a moment here. When I was 4 and my sister was 2, my mom left us in the garage for 2-3 mins while she quickly ran into the house to grab something. I got out of my seat belt (no booster seats for preschoolers in the '80s), crawled into the front seat, turned the ignition on, somehow put the MANUAL transmission into drive, and drove partway through the wall between the garage and the kitchen. Even if I had had a full harness, I'm sure at 4 I could've gotten out of it. I tend to be more concerned about what my kids will do to *themselves* when alone than the statistically very low odds that someone else will harm them.

  • Jennifer
    Aug 02, 2018

    I leave my kids in the car all the time while I go pump gas but I can see my car from inside the store when I'm paying. I also park my car in front of a bank atm and leave my kids in car while I'm at the atm. Is that bad?

  • JJ
    Aug 02, 2018

    @Amanda..... I drove into my parents house when I was a kid too!! Whenever my mom hears the story she’s still pissed about it but my dad thinks it’s hysterical.

  • Englishbaron
    Aug 02, 2018

    This is an emotional topic turned bitter, which is sadly more expected these days. Can we, for once, share views without the implicit (or explicit) judgement of other people whose views diverge from our own? I think we can all agree that today’s generation is being brought up somewhat differently than its parents were on this issue. There is more anxiousness, protectiveness and preemptiveness than 40 years ago. It is helpful to remember that it is not like this in other countries and cultures. There is no absolute right or wrong on this issue. It’s about the level of risk not just that you’re comfortable with but the culture you’re living in is comfortable with. Personally, this issue as well as gun culture in this country is motivating me to leave, for one more in line with my preferences I realize not everyone has this option. But to live in a culture that is essentially hostile to your personal values and happiness (though in a societal not personally directed way) is no life at all.

  • Jeremy
    Aug 02, 2018

    @Englishbaron, I agree with much of what you said. I got so focused on the bias of the article I lost sight of the actual OP’s question. I agree that there really is no blanket answer when the situation can vary so wildly. Thank you for the response and reminder.

  • Anonymous
    Aug 02, 2018

    Giving up food or not potty training is a lot different than leaving kids in the car. Leaving a child in the car isn't a need. Children need to learn to eat. A liquid diet is only sustainable for a certain period of time. They need to learn to eat solids sooner or later. The toilet too. I mean, technically you don't have to have a toilet , but if bringing a child into the store with you is too much of an inconveniance, then I'm pretty sure taking your child outside the store to use nature as their toilet would be quite the interruption too. There are other risks of leaving children in cars aside from kidnapping too. Sexual assault, theft, etc.

  • Jeska
    Aug 02, 2018

    Our culture is so broken. I wouldn’t leave my kids in the car alone until they’re older, but not because I’m afraid someone will take them or that it’ll be too hot (our fancy electric car can blow cold air forever). I’m afraid some busy body stranger would call the police and it’d lead to a nightmare. People are obsessed with concern trolling and mom policing. It’s exhausting.

  • Teddy
    Aug 03, 2018

    @Amanda and JJ, My brother and I did the same thing when we were kids (maybe 8 and 10). My dad left us in the car while he ran into the bank and we started fighting (physically) and one of us slammed into the shifter and knocked the car into gear and it rolled backwards down a small hill and then up another hill almost right into another parking spot WITHOUT HITTING ANYTHING and then my brother leapt forward and pulled the E-brake on. We both buckled ourselves into our seats and sat there silently scared shitless. My dad came out and was very confused at the change in parking spaces and then he was pissed with us. This is the type of thing I would worry about with older kids. My kids are 18mo and 4, and if I can see them I will leave them in the car with the AC on and the windows cracked, doors locked, completely buckled in their carseat harnesses. I would never leave them longer than maybe 2 minutes and only if I can see and hear them. Such as getting gas or while parked in front of an ATM. I don't think I have even done it to run and get coffee (we have ample drive-thru Starbucks' around here) but I do often wish it wasn't so controversial!

  • Mom
    Aug 03, 2018

    I do not leave my kid in the car. I do not leave my dog in the car. For me, it a no brainer!

  • Anonymous
    Aug 03, 2018

    Forget about kidnapping. Let's talk about how many parents have gone in to run a quick errand in the summer and have come back out to their dead kids.

  • Flakachula
    Aug 03, 2018

    Not at all even if one of my kids fell asleep I don’t care I would take them out I love my kids too much

  • Shannon
    Aug 03, 2018

    Those who say NEVER leave your child unattended in the car - too risky - did you actually read the referenced article? If you had, you would have that it really is not as dangerous in certain situations, statically speaking, as you believe.

  • JJ
    Aug 03, 2018

    Just because statistics say it isn’t likely to happen doesn’t mean it won’t or that I can’t do everything in my power to prevent it. That’s why you have a fence around your pool, car insurance, baby gates, goggles, teach your kids how to swim, protective gloves, car seats, seat belts, air bags, brakes on your stroller, etc.... shit happens.

  • Faith
    Aug 21, 2018

    @Teddy that story made my day!!! I was literally laughing out loud! You and your brother learned a valuable lesson AND no one was hurt? Double win.