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The 10 Worst #LetGrow Moments of 2023 (And One Development that’s SO GREAT)

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Read Time: 3 minutes

Roll your eyes! Shake your head! Scream “That stinks!” and go to bed.

Or, if you prefer, read on:

UNSPECIFIED DANGER IN AISLE 4

A University of Michigan survey of parents of children age 9-11 found that half will not let their kids go to another aisle to get a few items. Too dangerous!

GENERATION UNEASE-Z

“Gen Z perceives more dangers in life than previous generations,” according to a study presented at the 2023 Society for Risk Analysis conference. Young people think everything is dangerous? Gee, I wonder why!

POTTY CRASHERS

Students in several Oklahoma elementary and middle schools are now required to sit with their parents at all times during high school football games. At one school, the kids must have an adult take them to the bathroom. No word on whether they’re allowed to close the stall door.

D.C.’s ONE CHILD POLICY

One child per swing, that is. A playground sign in suburban DC listed 22 rules, including: Children must swing in “upright position.” No “loitering” on the slide. And on the jungle gym: “Do not skip rings or rungs.” Fun!

A SQUEAKER

Meanwhile, the town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin shut down one of its playgrounds when a health hazard was discovered on premises: a mouse. Eek! A bureaucratic overreactionl

OVERBLOWN PANIC 1

After a 5-year-old pulled down a 3-year-old’s pants in Poncha Springs, Colorado, two preschool workers were criminally charged for not reporting the incident quickly enough. A defense attorney told the judge: “We are here because one preschooler pulled down another preschooler’s pants.”  But that’s better than —

OVERBLOWN PANIC 2

Sociologist Emily Horowitz’s 2023 book, From Rage to Reason, chronicles what’s wrong with the sex offense registry, including the case of an 18-year-old who had consensual sex with a 16-year-old. After this got the 18-year-old on the registry it was almost impossible for him to find a job, but at last he did – in an office near a school. A judge then sentenced him to six years in prison for working too close to children.

BLAME THE MOM

Before Connecticut mom of five and part-time Uber driver Tabitha Frank left for her shift, she called the children’s dad to come help her daughter, 12, babysit. He said he’d be right over, but fell asleep. Tabitha’s 2-year-old fell from the window and died. Tabitha was charged with manslaughter — because somehow it’s always the mom’s fault.

COPS AND DONUTS

Elsewhere in Connecticut, parents still too afraid of retalliation to use their names came forward to discuss the 2019 day they let their kids, 7 and 9, walk to Dunkin Donuts. The police saw them and charged the parents with risk of injury to a minor. A few days later, they dropped the case. But child protective services picked it up and insisted the mom get therapy. Because obviously she’s the crazy one here. 

HOW ABOUT JUST A TARDY SLIP?

A Chicago mom who was late to pick up her children from school four times got a letter saying she was under investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). But that’s not so unusual. In Cook County – that is, Chicago — 60% of kids are the subject of a child protective services investigation. BUT…

THE FANTASTIC LET GROW NEWS OF 2023

This year, four states enacted “Reasonable Childhood Independence” laws: Virginia, Montana, Illinois and Connecticut (yep, Connecticut — where the parents had been arrested for the Dunkin Donuts walk)! These laws, passed with the help of Let Grow, say that “neglect” is when you put your child in serious, obvious danger — not anytime you take your eyes off them.

That brings the total to eight “Childhood Independence” states, including Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Next year we’re hoping to pass our law in Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Georgia, and California. If you’d like to get involved, please visit our legislative advocacy page.

Here’s to a fantastically Let Grow 2024!

Comments

  1. CaryCary says:

    Just reading the synopses of those articles is depressing. It makes me so, so glad I was a kid more than half a century ago.

    I know there are people here who don’t like me because I speak my mind and occasionally question others’ repressive, development-delaying parenting methods. Fortunately, one of the nice things about being me is that I don’t care. Happy New Year!

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