Saturday, July 25, 2009

Seeing Evil all Around

I would paraphrase this post by Lenore Skenazy of "Free Range Kids", but there is no way I could say it better. When I first heard her compare our culture now to the hysteria of the Salem witch trials, I thought she was seeing things, but I have since come to agree with her. I'm all for caution, and sexual assaults on children MUST be stopped, but losing the ability to trust any adult with a child will cause harm as well. Like the story she quoted about the man who saw a two-year-old who had wandered from her nursery class, but was afraid to stop for fear he would be accused of kidnapping. She was later found at the bottom of a pond. Drowned.

Our children still need adult role models – especially men. Exercise caution and good judgment, but I think that seeing a pedophile behind any adult (or male, if you want to go there) is going too far. Now, this may be age-related. My children are now old enough that I have conversations with them about what is and isn't appropriate and I don't expect to be with them every minute. I think teaching them to be protective of themselves is better than keeping them away from all other adults. When they were infants and toddlers, I did feel much more protective, as I should have.

Just let good judgment, not hysteria rule.

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