This article, “Motherhood in the Age of Fear“, by Kim Brooks is long overdue. I have previously blogged about the irrational fears of modern American parents, and the harm we do by not letting our kids explore. (See blog post, “Let us teach our children to be curious and independent”, April 17, 2018). But now we come to a related but different issue, the classic normal experience of leaving young kids in a car unattended. This is not about giving kids opportunities. It is about whether we expect parents to constantly watch young children or whether a short wait in a car while the parent pops into the store is permitted.
I am completely on the side of the parent/author of this piece. Parents of young children must make judgments about convenience versus safety almost constantly when they are in the presence of their children. Nosy third parties and police should not be in the business of second-guessing parental judgment, in the absence of an obvious harm or serious threat, such as a hot car without sufficient air. If we limited our nosiness to kids who appear to be a danger, we would help many more kids who are actually in distress and not bother non-negligent but imperfect parents trying to juggle parenting duties.