Motherhood In The Age Of Fear, The High Price Of Leaving Your Kids Alone

by | August 7, 2018

Have you thought about leaving your kids alone for more than a split second? You might want to read this.

A New York Times article is sparking an online debate about why leaving your children unattended has become not only viewed as lackluster parenting but taboo in the modern age.

In the essay, “Motherhood in the Age of Fear,” author Kim Brooks details the stories of six mothers who “paid the cost of parenting” after they left their kids behind while running errands.

“We now live in a country where it is seen as abnormal, or even criminal to allow children to be away from direct adult supervision, even for a second,” Brooks wrote.

Another mom, who Brooks interviewed for the book, Julie Koehler – had a similar tale to tell. In 2016, she was getting a coffee in the store, with her three kids sitting in the car within eyesight.

“I saw the police officer walk up to the car and start questioning my children and I thought nothing of it until my kids started to cry,” Koehler said on “Good Morning America.” “And at that point, I walked out and he turned on me and asked me where I was.”

“He accused me of abandoning my children and I just laughed at him,” Koehler recalled. “He had picked on the wrong mother because I actually know my rights.”

Koehler luckily had no charges pressed against her because she knew her rights, but other parents may not be so lucky. Koehler said something needs to change.

PHOTO: Julie Koehler of Illinois, who was interviewed for Kim Brooks New York Times article, agreed that the mommy shaming is very much real.

Julie Koehler of Illinois, who was interviewed for Kim Brooks’ New York Times article, agreed that the mommy shaming is very much real,especially when it comes to leaving your kids alone.


RELATED: SUBSCRIBE TO RAISE VEGAN MAGAZINE 




“We need to fight back against this judgment, this shaming of mothers,” she explained. “It’s got to stop and it stops with us.”

 

leaving your kids aloneThis years-long debate is becoming extreme. Researchers at the University of California Irvine studied how people reacted to parents leaving their children unattended.

The researchers used short descriptions of situations and asked participants to estimate how much danger the child may be in.

In Brook’s article, she says that “no mom is safe from the parenting criticism.”

“We’re contemptuous of ‘lazy’ poor mothers. We’re contemptuous of ‘distracted’ working mothers. We’re contemptuous of ‘selfish’ rich mothers,” Brook said.

As the NYT article points out “Yes, child abuse and domestic violence remain a serious problem in America, but we should never conflate that abuse with what many Americans still consider traditional parenting in a free country. We must demand better training and education for child protective workers and police officers on what is true “child abuse and neglect.”

 

Have you thought about leaving your kids alone for more than a split second even when they were in eyesight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Emma Williams

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via emma@raisevegan.com

twitter

Comments

Leave a Comment