Police arrest mother for dropping her kids at the mall

There’s an essay in Brain, Child this issue about a Montana mom who left two seventh graders in charge of an 8 year old, a 7 year old and a 3 year old in a stroller, at the mall in Bozeman, for 2 hours. She was charged with child endangerment and forced to pay massive legal fees and to attend parenting classes.

The full essay is here.

As usual, I remain far more frightened of government child abduction than I am of stranger danger. What a world we live in.

9 thoughts on “Police arrest mother for dropping her kids at the mall

  1. I find it telling that the angry city attorney and the unforgiving mock juror were parents of only children. I think raising more than one kid is a vastly different experience than raising just one. And since I have experienced the difference between one and two I can say with certainty that raising more than two must also be very different. It’s most often parents of one child that I hear saying things like, “I would NEVER let my child do [x,y,z].”

    Of course, regardless of how many kids you have it seems out of control extreme to me that this mother was charged with a crime.

    • Yes, it’s very different to have more than one, I’m sure. Having two under two (and then three under three, and so forth) I don’t know what it’s like to parent one child.

      However, I am the youngest in my family of origin, by 12+ years. My older siblings were occasionally charged with my care but by the time I was 10 I was permitted to go anywhere in the city I could get to by bicycle – with admonitions to avoid very busy streets or to walk the bike if I had to use that route. So I was functionally an only child, but with wise parents 🙂

      • With wise and experienced parents! I just think that raising one kid can lead the parent to believe that their way is the way and will work with every kid just because it worked with their one, you know?

        I was the younger of two and rode the subway in Philadelphia by myself to and from school when I was 10 years old. Part of me just wonders if the world has gone crazy since we were kids. A friend of mine claims that our parents were more permissive than parents before and after them but I don’t know.

  2. when i’m working at the farmer’s market, i occasionally let my 11 yo walk around with my 4 1/2 yo. i guess that makes me a bad parent too. however, i’d never let my 2 1/2 yo walk around w/o myself, my partner or possibly an older child such as an older teenager because it’s the younger child i have to trust in this issue and knowing my 2 1/2 yo, i know it would be dangerous to let him loose with someone young.

    she hit the nail on the head when she said parents have a hard enough time feeling that what they are doing is the right thing and then to have something like this happen really makes you doubt yourself. ok, i did a terrible job of paraphrasing but i couldn’t find the quote when i quickly skimmed the article again.

    i agree fee, the gvt kidnapping is much more fearful than stranger danger in this instance.

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