I’ve noticed a new trend popping up all over my Facebook newsfeed lately…No, it isn’t some new nail art or a cute Pinterest craft. It’s something that, as a parent, actually kind of terrifies me.
It’s the good Samaritan.
Yes, I’m one hundred percent serious. In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen no less than three stories involving someone calling the police to report a parent. Now generally, these headlines of Parent Goes to Jail for blah blah blah are the kind that make you shake your head and feel better about your parenting tactics. I mean, you wouldn’t think of letting your kid run around in a days-old diaper while you go on a heroin binge (bender? What is the correct term?), so you can pat yourself on the back for being a better parent than that asshole.
But today, I was scrolling through Facebook during my brief moment of peace (also known as mommy quiet bathroom time) after having put O down for his nap, when I saw this:
Florida Mom Facing Felony Child Neglect After Letting 7-Year-Old Walk to the Park Alone
I thought, “Well, the park must be miles away… or maybe the kid had walked there and then told someone about living in deplorable conditions…” Upon reading the story, though, I realized that I was wrong. This poor mother simply allowed her child to walk to a park (about half a mile from their home) to play. According to the story, a stranger noticed the boy walking along and started asking questions. The boy got spooked (uh, as he should have been) and took off for the park. The stranger called to report the “neglect”. Next thing you know, a police officer picked the boy up at the park, then took him home and arrested his mother.
Arrested his mother.
Sweet baby Jesus, for letting her kid go to the park. And this isn’t the first time a “Good Samaritan” has nosed into someone else’s business and gotten them arrested. Recently, a Texas mom was arrested for letting her kids play outside. Another mom was arrested (and then fired from her job) when she allowed her child to play at a nearby park while she worked.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!
Guys, out of every little thing that scares me about parenting, this is the thing that frightens me the most. I mean, yes…I’m raising a child that knows no fear, only moves in one speed (fast), and unfortunately seems to have inherited his father’s grace. O seems to think that catching himself with his face is the best strategy when he falls, and trust me, he falls a lot. Still, all of the emergency room trips we may end up making in the future are small potatoes when I think about the horrible impact one “well-meaning”
jerkwad stranger could have on my family.
Ridiculous isn’t even the word.
Last week, my mom and I took O to lunch after having my phone looked at. He was playing with the crayons when he decided to start throwing them on the floor. While I picked them up, my mom patted him on the hand (mostly to get his attention) and told him not to throw the crayons. An older woman sitting near us apparently gave my mom the stink eye because clearly my child was being abused. Or maybe we just don’t believe in letting kids get away with being little turds in public? I don’t know.
Anyway, when I read stories like the ones above, I can’t help but shiver a little over that indecent. What if Ms. Incapable of Minding Her Own Business had gone outside and called the police? What if I was the one getting cuffed in front of my kid because she saw something she didn’t approve of? No thank you.
What with Facebook and reality tv, I can see why some people might think that the lives of others is everyone else’s business…But NO. Not even close. I vote we all start minding our own business unless someone is without a doubt in some kind of distress. For clarification: Kid playing on the swings at the playground? He’s probably ok. Kid yelling for help while running down the road? Well maybe you should get involved.
How do you feel about this recent trend? Share your thoughts in the comments!