I would never leave my kids at the park!
So tomorrow's national "Take Our Children to the Park... And Leave Them There" day and my kids won't be participating. Then again, they're only 5 and 2, so that has A LOT to do with my decision. I'm pretty sure I'd feel differently if they were, say, 14 and 11... maybe. Listen, I'm by no means a supporter of helicopter parenting, but there's no way I can get behind leaving children at the park in this day and age.
Although I'm all for letting children be children, I can honestly say this idea would be a bit too much considering all the potential dangers. Not to mention the possibility that some sicko might find out about this and take advantage of the situation.
The notion of taking kids to the park and leaving them there is the brainchild of Lenore Skenazy, the author of Free-Range Kids and a huge advocate of this style of parenting, which essentially suggests that children should be given more independence. If you've read any of my Extreme Parenting Fail posts you know I'm all for giving children more freedom, letting them be kids and stop hovering over their every move and yet, I can't fathom the idea of leaving at the park by themselves!
Skenazy's argument is that our kids don't really face as many dangers as the media would like us to believe. As a journalist and a long-time member of the media, I know she's pretty much right in terms of how the news tends to blow out of proportion all incidents involving children in harm's way. And yet, isn't it better to be safe than sorry? In other words, why would I want to expose my children to a situation where so many things can go wrong in the name of teaching them independence?
In the end, I think there's a lot better ways to teach my children to be self-sufficient, but leaving them at the park by themselves is not really one of them.
Would you take your kids to the park and leave them there? Tell us in the comments.
Image via the paessels/flickr