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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 20, 2014 / 22 Sivan, 5774

She Let Her Son Wait in the Car

By Lenore Skenazy




JewishWorldReview.com | The parenting article going viral on the Web right now (2093 comments to date) is titled "The day I left my son in the car."

Anyone clicking on it might understandably expect to read yet another horrifying piece about a parent who forgot her child in the car one fateful day and returned, hours later, to death and despair. That is, in fact, the scenario you can read about for seven full pages in this month's Parents magazine (seven pages being the magazine equivalent of "Moby-Dick").

But this Salon piece, by Kim Brooks, is different. She didn't forget her son for hours. She left him in the car for about five minutes while she ran into the store to buy some headphones. While she was out, he played contentedly on her iPad. How do we know this?

A bystander shot video of the boy.

And then she sent the video to the cops.

Long story short, Kim was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a charge that sounds (she writes) as if she bought him a beer. It actually means she was charged with not supervising him diligently enough.

In the article, Kim talks about feeling guilty and distraught and eventually being advised by a friend to call me; I believe I'm America's expert on this topic. Dial she did, and just as she was about to launch into her story, I cut her off, saying, "Wait. Let me tell you your story." It's always the same. A parent, usually a mom, makes a seat-of-the-pants decision: Should I drag my kid out of the car and make this into a longer stop or leave him behind, the way our parents left us?

Here's what we have forgotten: This is a totally legitimate question.



What's more, if a parent decides that the neighborhood is reasonably safe, if it's not a boiling hot day and if the errand is short enough for her to run it solo, she has not committed a crime. She has made a rational decision.

The bystander thought otherwise, as did the cops and the district attorney. Kim's lawyer advised her to plead guilty, so she was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. She also had to attend parenting classes.

As if she'd been a bad parent.

There are those who will say leaving a child in a car unattended for any period of time is putting the child at risk. After all, every year, 30 to 40 children die waiting in cars — a true tragedy. An analysis shows, however, that the vast majority die when they are forgotten there all day or when they get into the car without their parents' knowledge and then can't get out. In other words, not when Mom is running an errand.

What's more, in every single case, the child was in there for at least an hour. Children are not dying in a matter of minutes.

The reality is that having a child wait in the car does put a child at risk — but so does taking a child out of the car. The risk of being run over by a truck, the risk of being shot in a stickup, the risk of slipping on the pavement — all of these dangers are possible. None is probable.

If we judge parents for putting their kids at very low risk, we could jail them for serving solid food (the child could choke!), letting them walk down stairs (the child could fall!) or letting them join a sport (concussions!). Our first order of business would be to prosecute any parent who drives her kid anywhere; the No. 1 way children die is as passengers in cars.

We haven't made those things illegal (yet), because we understand there is no such thing as a risk-free world.

Being a parent seems riskiest of all, in these unforgiving times.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Lenore Skenazy Archives

© 2014, Creators Syndicate.

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