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Thread: daughter left at playground while mom works..

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    daughter left at playground while mom works..

    Mother arrested for 'leaving daughter, 9, alone on playground' while she worked 600 yards away at McDonald's is out of a job as fundraiser to support her tops $30,000
    ~South Carolina mom Debra Harrell was arrested June 30 after her daughter was found playing alone as her mother worked a shift

    ~Harrell's attorney says the 46-year-old is 'currently unemployed' but McDonald's claims she was not fired

    ~A total stranger to Harrell has started a YouCaring fundraiser to support the mom that topped $30,000 in just a few days

    ~Harrell's daughter had a cell phone with her as she played around dozens of other children


    ~Harrell sent her daughter to the playground after the laptop she used to entertain herself in the McDonald's was stolen from their home, say reports

    McSpecialSauce

    Questions to discuss:

    ~Compassion? Yay/no way
    ~How old is old enough to be out all day at the local playground?
    ~Is the system broken that a single mom can't work and get help with daycare?
    ~Overall impressions?
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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post

    McSpecialSauce

    Questions to discuss:

    ~Compassion? Yay/no way
    ~How old is old enough to be out all day at the local playground?
    ~Is the system broken that a single mom can't work and get help with daycare?
    ~Overall impressions?
    We always used to play alone at 9, without parental supervision. Hell, we were all over town. Also, when I was a kid, the age you could go to the swimming pool unsupervised was 8. I feel for this poor woman. I dont have kids of my own this age, but I know that the kids I teach are all over town and playing on the skate park etc at that age.

    The only thing that may sway my judgement would be the relative safety of the place they lived. I only say that because the place I grew up and where I now live are very different to the places the average person lives.
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    A 9 year old is old enough to play at a park without parental supervision, particularly when she's within walking distance to where her mom is and has a cell phone. I stayed home alone at 9, played outside and at the "park" (the schoolyard, a couple blocks away) for all hours of the day, I really don't see what the big deal is.

    But, I'm also not a parent that has bought into the crime hype (crime is lower now than it was when I was a kid) and I'm definitely not a parent that babies her kids--I'm raising future adults, not forever children. Chickadee has been "staying home alone" for short periods of time since last year, once we practiced what to do in a fire, how to call me, how to call 911, and not to open the door or answer the door for any reason. She's good for about an hour or two at this point--long enough that I can grocery shop if she doesn't want to go. I can also trust her to go into a store to buy something on her own, find a restroom in a store or restaurant on her own, and hie herself to her tutoring or gymnastics on her own, if I just drop her off at the outside curb.

    We've started leaving Sharkbait with her for short periods of time (about 15 minutes), and they are about ready to graduate to 20-30 minutes...


    That family has been screwed--that poor child, put into the state's custody, for something that should be normal (there is a book series from the 70's on "your child at such and such an age"...a six year old should be able to go to the corner store up to 6 blocks a way and pick up a few items and bring back change, but should only need to know how to read and write about 30 words---if you ask me, we are doing this backwards...life skills first). We've infantalized kids for too long, sheltered them too much to think that a kid this age can't be left alone (thank goodness there's no law for this here). At 10 (only a year older than this girl) I was babysitting! Its a McDonald's shift--she's probably not there 8 hours (they usually have few full time employees), and (while I don't know the particulars) I'm pretty sure that little girl could walk down the street (though I get that 900 yards sounds far to lost of lazy, fat Americans that can barely walk down their driveway) if she needed her mom (not to mention that she could apparently call her on the phone).
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
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    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    Thal, I agree with most of what you say. But I wouldn't even leave a kid I hated at the park. I used to go to the park when I was 15/16 alone. And I got into serious trouble doing so. I can't imagine leaving any kid alone at the park. Maybe in a nice rich neighborhood. But not anywhere near where I live. It's all homeless and gangs.
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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Thal, I agree with most of what you say. But I wouldn't even leave a kid I hated at the park. I used to go to the park when I was 15/16 alone. And I got into serious trouble doing so. I can't imagine leaving any kid alone at the park. Maybe in a nice rich neighborhood. But not anywhere near where I live. It's all homeless and gangs.
    I think that this is the main point. It depends on environment.
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    I think that this is the main point. It depends on environment.
    I'm going to go out on a limb about that enviroment. If you are a single mom working at McDonald's, it's likely you are not rich and do not live in the best of areas. Just a hunch.
    Satan is my spirit animal

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Thal, I agree with most of what you say. But I wouldn't even leave a kid I hated at the park. I used to go to the park when I was 15/16 alone. And I got into serious trouble doing so. I can't imagine leaving any kid alone at the park. Maybe in a nice rich neighborhood. But not anywhere near where I live. It's all homeless and gangs.

    I live in the city (just under a million in Norfolk/Virginia Beach), in a lower rent apartment in a middle class neighborhood across the street from a park, and down the street from a McD's...where I grew up a lower-middle income neighborhood that was right outside the downtown of 40,000 person town, next to a highway. I in no way live in a nice rich neighborhood (we used to...and funny thing is, we had more problems there)...its a decent suburban-ish neighborhood in a city.

    I have no idea what sort of town North Augusta, South Carolina is (wiki just says it has 21,000 people, which seems small to me)...but unless its all homeless and gangs, I can't see that its automatically a big deal. Unless my kid was a known trouble maker, known to have peer pressure issues, or for some reason rather immature...

    Don't get me wrong, if she's working anything more than a 4 or maybe a 6 hour shift, it does seem excessive, but I don't think we know enough--was she actually sent there all day? Was she dropped off there to walk back later when she was sick of playing or to get picked up when she called and mom could take a break? Did she have a snack or drink with her? Was she capable of using the phone she was sent with? Was the park relatively safe in an okay neighborhood.

    Or was she sent there with no food and no water in 110 heat index to swelter for 8+ hours next to a homeless drug addict with a pile of broken needles at his feet?

    If its the latter, shitty mother. If its the former...I think its reasonable, and we are punishing a single mother that obviously couldn't afford child care.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    Have you taken a look at Megan's Law and seen all the child predators in your neck of the woods? I say this because I do it every time I move. And I'm shocked just how many (and I'm not talking those who were 18 and had sex with their gf who was 17 for a month etc)I'm talking sexual violent crimes, are taking place in my little neighborhood. I would never in this day and age leave a kid at a park. I'm not making a judgement on a mom who does so, because I'm sure it was a Sophie's Choice kind of heart wrenching decision. But where I'm from? A lot of moms are shitty and do in fact leave their kids roaming about.

    You and I must live in different worlds. Then again I do live in Los Angeles county. So..there's that. If you know anything about my lovely county.
    Satan is my spirit animal

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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    The town I grew up in was poor as hell, but there were only about eight hundred people... so everyone knew everybody. Plus it was a reservation, which meant it was very insular and everyone was drilled since day one to "take care of our own."

    Honestly, you were safer on the streets than you were in your own home most of the time.
    Trust is knowing someone or something well enough to have a good idea of their motivations and character, for good or for ill. People often say trust when they mean faith.

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: daughter left at playground while mom works..

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Have you taken a look at Megan's Law and seen all the child predators in your neck of the woods? I say this because I do it every time I move. And I'm shocked just how many (and I'm not talking those who were 18 and had sex with their gf who was 17 for a month etc)I'm talking sexual violent crimes, are taking place in my little neighborhood. I would never in this day and age leave a kid at a park. I'm not making a judgement on a mom who does so, because I'm sure it was a Sophie's Choice kind of heart wrenching decision. But where I'm from? A lot of moms are shitty and do in fact leave their kids roaming about.
    I think we must--though there are areas of Norfolk and Va Beach and some other locales where I wouldn't let them play without my also being armed (and we all know my feelings about waving guns around)...plus (I've worked in North St. Louis and East St. Louis, which are not very nice neighborhoods) I think a lot of it, assuming the place is okay over all is the kid. Although I don't disagree there are shitty moms...we called CPS last summer when one of Phee's gaggle of friends was beat and told Phee more than we were prepared to deal with at the time.

    The first thing we've always done when we move somewhere is look at the sex offender registry...we try to pick places where its less of an issue.

    The second thing we do is tell our kids where they can and can't go, and now we add in a why. And they listen and follow directions pretty well--V 2.0 has some impulse issues to work on, but V 1.0* is surprisingly understanding and reasonable--and cautious.

    The third thing we do (even if it means people think we are weird) is get to know our neighbors, their kids, and their kids friends--this last one is not unusual around here (knowing your neighbors, even in an urban area, maybe is a Southern thing in the US). Kids around here play outside together--there are only a few homes they can go in.

    The fourth thing we've done (consistently, as an on going conversation about life--everything from safety to ethics to decision making to dinosaurs and space travel) is talk to our kids--Sophia now knows (Collin doesn't quite understand yet) about sexual predators (she also knows about child abuse, after incident) because we've had many conversations about things like sex, bodily autonomy, people that do bad things, about appropriate behavior around strangers, and about what she should do various situations---everything from bullying to a fire in the home to a stranger at the store...and some of those things we've practiced. We try to be age appropriate, but honest...especially after the incident last summer, it was our "come to Jesus" moment on needing to start talking about things like abuse (and Hubby's mom is a retired detective).

    We are pretty laid back parents...but as a family we are pretty introspective, and we discuss the crap out of stuff, even things other families probably wouldn't consider their kids mature enough for.

    And to some extent...yeah...lets face it, I'm a middle class white mom that was raised in a middle class white-ish close-knit neighborhood, there is probably a certain amount of race and class privilege there, that I expect that my family should be able to live relatively unmolested by crime and abuse.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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