Thursday, December 25, 2008

Warning: Soapbox Alert

So, I try to keep my posts, mostly about our family and what is going on with us, etc.

But, I feel the need to get up on my soapbox here, so feel free to pass on this one.

As many of you know, I read a blog called Free Range's all about learning to give our children a little more freedom to learn, to make mistakes, and to grow into strong, confident adults.

Well, today's post really got to me.

The writer allowed her son to ride the railroad for a half hour, by himself. He is 10 and had done this many times before. He was put on the train by his mother, and was being met at the other end by his friend's parents.

Again...he has done this many times, and prior to riding the very first time, he and his mother had asked at the ticket counter at what age could he ride alone. Well, there were no guidelines, but they all thought that 10 was a fine the boy and his mother both felt he was ready.

Well, when the conductor saw him riding alone today, he was appalled. He was so appalled, he called the police...and wouldn't let anyone leave the train station until the police came to investiage. Even though the conductor called the boy's mother and she told him that the boy had his permission, even though the parents of his friend were waiting, right where they were supposed to be.

Well, the police came, and thankfully, they ended up agreeing that everything was okay...but it just as easily could have turned out the other way...they could have called Child Protective Services...and this woman could face the task of trying to get her child back for letting him ride a train!

She realized that this is not just about giving our kids a little more freedom, but it is about our rights as parents to raise our children as we see fit. I could not agree more!

We live in a world where more and more people (e.g. government) are getting involved in how we raise our children. They are deciding what kinds of things can be taught in school (whether we agree or not), and what kinds of things we can and should do for our children. They are even getting involved in the medical decisions we make regarding our children.

It is scary...and I think we need to be aware of new laws and regulations propogated in the name of "keeping our children safe".

Frankly, I want Troy and I to be the ones to decide what, when, where, and how we will raise our children. And I don't want the government looking over my shoulder to make sure I am doing a good job.

Granted, there are instances where the government can and should step in...where children are being abused...but too often they step in where they have no place.

And it is getting worse. I hope you will be on guard for these instances, and look to see what you can do to make it stop.

Here is the link to the article if you want to read it for yourself. Whether you agree with her decision to let her son ride the train or not, I think it's obvious that she and her son talked this over, and planned carefully before making the decision to go ahead.

Not all 10 year olds might be up to the task, but I think it is up to her and her son to make that decision, and not some stranger on a train.

Let's be vigilant about what rights we are willing to give up...because I think one day, maybe even soon, we will have to stand up to defend what we know to be right...and I, for one, hope to be ready.


alamama said...

Well said!

Kimber said...

Sometimes it is a fine line balancing the rights of the parent vs. protection for the child. As a foster family, we've seen the other side (what happens when parents are allowed to truly abuse their children), so I know some legislation needs to be in place to protect the little ones that need it. However, the story of the train seems pretty excessive in infringing upon the parents' rights. This certainly is not an easy issue!

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