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Threats to My Child

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Kids are going to hurt themselves, and try as any parent may to protect them from all threats – they’re going to experience some bumps and bruises – no matter how vigilant you are. Especially when they’re very young –  they’re going to “fall down, go boom.”

imageAs I sit here writing this, my 16-month-old daughter is eating an egg and mushroom omelette. She loves mushrooms.

Along with God and my wife, she’s one of the most precious things in my life. I look at her and want to make sure nothing bad ever happens to her but unfortunately, that is an impossibility.

Especially for my daughter who seems to be fearless.

She has not met an obstacle that is too big to climb, but at 16 months old, her balance and agility don’t match her adventurous spirit. Sometimes I’m able to catch her or at least lessen the fall.

Other times she falls, gets hurt and cries. My wife or I pick her up and love the pain away. As soon as my daughter feels better she’s at it again. What I’m describing above is natural though – just “growing pains.” Children will get hurt.

Riding bicycles, climbing slides, running and falling… it is called being a kid. It scares us as parents but of course it’s natural. Sadly, Now, there are also some very real unnatural threats/hurts out there that can guarded against.

For example. Would you send your 7-year-old daughter to a sex offenders house for a sleepover? That’s not a joke or even rhetorical, in fact, a “writer” on slate.com is suggesting just that – albeit with an explanation and caveat to at least think about:

In a “Dear Abbey” like column a lady identified as “Stumped” asks if she should allow her daughter to have a sleepover at a friend’s house where the father is a registered sex offender.  His offense occurred some years ago for having sex with his then 14-year-old girlfriend. He was 18 at the time and was turned in by the girls parents (rightly so in my opinion!).

Now Emily Yoffe at slate.com writes:

“He has been held accountable for his actions, he is no threat to the community (including your daughter), and what he did when he was a teen should not haunt him the rest of his days..”

So the question at least in Emily Yoffe’s mind becomes one of degree:  Should the actions of an 18-year-old follow him around on a permanent “sex offender” record – or should young people “in love” be treated differently than, say pedophiles, rapists or other types of sexual assault? Most parents of young girls know what this man did when he was 18 is wrong and would agree that a 14-year-old girl doesn’t have the ability to consent as an adult.

But decades later, now with his own daughter and family – is he a danger to society? Perhaps, but is it automatic and a no-brainer? Perhaps not. We’ve all read stories of authoritative overreach where a grade schooler will be charged with a sex offense for kissing the little red-haired girl in their second-grade class during recess.

Permanent record for rambunctious little 7-year-old Billy?

Or what about in States where a 16-year-old boy (notice I didn’t say, ‘man’?) can be charged with the statutory rape of his 15-year-old girlfriend – when both of them have been “hooking up” for  who knows how long?

I’m not excusing or condoning it. If I find out about something like this with my little angel when she grows up – that boy better hope he’s taken into custody before I get to him.

It is your responsibility to keep your children safe, that I know and harmless or not this is a “threat” that can be avoided. Alas, as I said, she’ll fall down and go boom a few times along the way, I’m afraid.

However, as her daddy, I will still try to protect her from all harm. That is what we do as parents.

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