Posted by Sandra on September 11, 2009
Posted by Sandra on August 13, 2009
I wish I was young enough – eh, who am I kidding, I AM young enough! – to race towards a plastic sheet, flop down on my cushioned tummy, and fly thru the water… ah, to be a child!
Posted by Sandra on June 26, 2009
housecleaning ala June Cleaver is dead???
Posted by Sandra on June 25, 2009
Posted on June 25, 2009 by lskenazy
One reason Americans are so extremely terrified about child abductions is that whenever we turn on the TV or computer, there’s another one. As if these horrific crimes are happening 24/7, when actually the media is only too happy to fly across the country — or world — to set up camp wherever a cute, white girl has disappeared. Tight news budgets get thrown out the window for a story like this. But because that story then shows up on our screen at home, it feels like it’s happening right around the corner. All the time.
What happens when there is NOT a new story like this for the media to feast upon? Instead of traveling to another state, or country, they’ll travel back in time. The show 20/20 just did an hour-long look at the Etan Patz kidnapping from 30 years ago. And here’s CNN’s Nancy Grace page , from a few days ago: “Third Grader Stepped Off School Bus, Disappeared.”
Start reading it: ” With the weekend arriving and a long day finally over, 8-year-old Cherrie Mahan stepped off her yellow school bus on a chilly Friday around 4 p.m….”
Oh, by the way, CNN finally adds at the end of paragraph three: This was in 1985.
I’m not saying that it doesn’t make sense to sometimes revisit a cold case in hopes of solving it. I do hope someone solves this one. But it begins to look suspiciously self-serving when networks desperate for viewers keep coming up with the exact same kind of story, served up any which way they can. How about the cold case of an African-American teenager gone missing? Or a schitzophrenic adult? Or someone who isn’t winsome, white and under five feet tall?
A newly Free-Range mom dropped me a little note this morning trying to help all of us (herself included) put our fears in perspective: The chance of a child being kidnapped and murdered? 1 in 1.5 million. The chance of a child ending up at some point with some form of depression? 1 in 4.
(emphasis mine! – Sandra)
It is extremely depressing, disheartening, lose-your-faith-in-humity-izing, to keep being presented with the most vile crimes on earth as if that’s what life is all about. As if that’s just what you can expect if you’re bringing up a kid these days.
So what’s the alternative?
One of the chapters in my book is called, “Turn Off the News.” At the end it has some suggestions for how to get started going Free-Range, including, “Get up and go out. Spend that hour you were going to watch ‘Law and Order’ on a walk with the kids instead. Look around at all the unspeakable crimes not being committed. This is called the Real World. (Not to be confused with MTV’s version, which is a crime all its own.)”
When we depend on the media to shape our world view, we’re going to get a world view that looks a whole lot like the view from a harried, ratings-obsessed assignment desk: If it bleeds, it leads. If it’s sad, we’re glad! If it’s an abduction, ramp up production!
Which they sure do.
But if a network thinks its job is to terrify us, maybe it’s time to turn the tables and terrify them: Let them watch their viewers mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again.
Someday, they may even do a cold case special on us. – Lenore
Posted by Sandra on May 26, 2009
I was biting it so hard this past weekend.
WARNING – RANT AHEAD RANT AHEAD RANT AHEAD RANT AHEAD. I mean a BIG RANT ahead!
Okay, you were very warned.
So a gentleman came by to purchase some baby items we had for sale. He had a new 7 week old baby at home, a precious little girl. His first. New parents are just the cutest things, aren’t they??
As this very nice gentleman started regaling us with the stories of his wife’s pregnancy, childbirth, and the baby’s first few weeks of life, as well as his observations of other parents and their children now that he is a daddy, I glanced over and watched my husband prepare… waiting for me to start correcting and educating this poor unsuspecting man. I found it funny – my hubby knows me all too well. And I behaved and didn’t say a word. Rather proud of myself, and if I could, I would pat my own back.
The point of this story is that I am increasingly shocked at the poor information out there. This man said his wife was a doctor. Now, he didn’t say what KIND of doctor, and I didn’t ask. So she could’ve been a veterinarian for all I know. But he began by saying that when her water broke, she knew, as a doctor and based on her doctor’s instructions, they must Immediately Rush, Without Hesitation, Without Finishing Packing The Bag, To The Hospital… because it’s absolutely urgent that she lay down in bed right that second and start being monitored. Just because her water broke.
I hate this myth. But I hate it more because this is coming from a doctor. This was her first baby, she probably could’ve labored at home for hours and hours and hours before she went to the hospital and started letting doctors interfere with nature.
But I forget – she IS a doctor, so she is going to believe 100% of everything her doctors tell her, no questions asked.
And I didn’t utter a word. I’m still beaming with pride that I didn’t let a rant go right then and there. Of course, I didn’t have his money in my hands yet, I wasn’t about to blow a $100.00 sale because I wanted to scream that his wife and her lousy doctors were WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!
I didn’t even rant at the woman who called me and asked if I had a child leash for sale. Well, lady, I have some for my dogs, because dogs belong on leashes… but that’s another blog altogether, isn’t it???
But then he made a comment about driving through a neighborhood and seeing children playing in their front yards alone. ALONE??? GASP!! THE HORROR, I was thinking! He just couldn’t understand how any responsible parent could possibly let their children play outside without being within 32 inches of them At All Times! I mean, if it happens on CSI Every Single Week, it must happen in your suburban neighborhood every single week too!!!
People really need to quit living in the land of make believe when it comes to their children and their safety. I asked my husband how many scaremongering news stories we’ve heard in the past year or so about a child abduction that wasn’t committed by a mom or dad or their Uncle Bob. We could only think of one off the top of our heads (and I’m not interested in being corrected – there hasn’t been hundreds or even dozens or even tens) and one we weren’t sure of the result of. And the one we could think of was actually the child’s teacher or someone she knew, so still not a real stranger abduction. But since two or three happen Every Night in prime time, people really get the lines blurred between reality and complete fiction.
I was even getting well-meaning but very ill-informed advice in another blog post about letting my children eat raw cookie and cake dough. The chance of my kids killing themselves in a bathtub is about 60 times higher than dying from raw eggs. More people die from venomous spider bites than eating cookie dough. Licking the beaters is a rite of childhood, in my opinion. Since walking across the floor and falling to their death has about a 1 in 6,000 risk, I’m not going to fret a 1 in 50,000,000 risk. Yes, 50 million. You’ve not even looked into the stats, or really researched the odds, have you? Even without looking it up, I knew the odds were pathetically low and I was always a-okay with my choice.
But the naysayers are shaking their heads and shrugging “no no no – kids get killed daily by strangers and men in vans take girls from the schools weekly and it’s a bad dangerous terrible world out there”. They look at their neighborhood map online with the sexual predators – so many then-18 year olds having sex with their 17 year old girlfriends and being on the list forever, to name a few things that totally discredit that list, IMO. And of course, if it’s an old man, he’s waiting on his front porch with a bowl of candy, waiting to lure your children into the bowels of his vinyl siding home to do God-Knows-What to. NO HE’S NOT! It’s NOT a bad world! You’re doing a horrible disservice to your kids sheltering them so. They won’t know how to prepare for the world, because you won’t be there hovering over them.
You have to let them go. You have to let them have their childhoods. It’s not fair to them or you, it’s not beneficial, and it’s sad when I hear about a friend of my 11 year old son that doesn’t know how to navigate the neighborhood on his bike – he should’ve been riding in that neighborhood for years by now! I’m so glad our kids are so safe in today’s world.
I warned you it was a rant. I feel much better now!
Posted by Sandra on December 22, 2008
…”We need ideas that are fun and exciting, like your ideas, with just one little detail changed: they need to meet modern standards of liability and insurance. That means no kids in the woods, in town, on the water, or anywhere else where they are not closely supervised by adults at all times.”
Free Range Kids will be oddballs until society stops equating “independence” with “liability” (and, often, “doom.”).
People, we HAVE to let our children roam. We are severely stifling their childhoods, independence, education, experiences, and freedoms.
Hats off Lenore for yet another great piece!