Now I am not one to stomp on another parents right to allow their child to do whatever that parent deems fit. A parental choice for a child of another person is not my business, but I must say I am concerned about a few things:
- The number of elementary children having to babysit their younger sibling(s).
- The number of elementary children walking from school to an empty home.
- The number of elementary aged children on Facebook.
I do not recall how old I was when I started walking the streets of the town I grew up in, but I am sure it was way younger than I will feel comfortable allowing my children to walk the streets. My daughter came to me a few weeks ago asking if she could walk home from school because a lot of her friends walk home. My reply?
I work from home Ki, so I have the availability to pick you up from school or have you ride the school bus home to me. There is no reason nor necessity for you to walk home & it’s a half hour to hour walk anyways. You are nine years old & not old enough to be walking the streets.
Of course my daughter went on to remind me that a few of her friends walk home from school. I took the time to remind her that these friends live closer to the school and it’s their parents decision to allow them to walk or maybe the parents have to work so they have no choice but to have their child(ren) walk home from school, it’s honestly none of my business. My daughter on the other hand? She is all my business and I will not have her walking home from school just yet, nor to the library, nor to a friends house. My daughter has two choices; get picked up from school by me or ride the school bus home. That’s it & how it will be until I feel comfortable letting her walk alone.
I can not imagine being in a position where I am allowing my elementary age child walk home with siblings to an empty home. I can’t imagine putting my younger children’s lives in the hands of their older sibling. Here’s the thing though, I do not have to, I work from home. I do not have to think about placing my child in these positions and I am thankful for that. The parents who are placed in a position to make this decision may either love it, hate it or just accept it – who am I to determine another parents reasoning behind their decision, it’s none of my business.
Last but not least, elementary students on Facebook? Here is where I really do not understand. Why would an elementary student need a social media account? Maybe there is out of town family, maybe there is out of town friends. Heck maybe there is out of the country friends & family, I do not know. I do not care, but please keep your child’s Facebook information private. Please do not have your child looking like a sexualized object on their profile photo. Of course Facebook doesn’t allow anyone under age 13 to be on Facebook so these children have learned they can just change their birth date to get an account online, what’s next? Learning that they can fake their age to buy cigarettes & alcohol or get into clubs? I mean where do parents draw the lines?
Again — this is not my place to judge another parent, I do know people who have legitimate reasons behind having their elementary student on Facebook and I respect their decision as a parent to that child. These ones I know about personally do not have their child’s wall open for the general public to read, it is monitored & they do their parental duties to take care of their child to the best of their capabilities, as we all do when we become parents. It’s those elementary students I see on Facebook who look sexualized and are way too immature to be handling an online account that concern me. Not for the sake that their parents allowed them to be on such a site, but for the sake of my sanity of wanting to protect our future generation from pedophiles, dirt bags and just plain out right creepy people that the Internet has stalking it daily.
Let’s stop and think about our reasons behind the decisions we make as parents. Let’s remember we are not friends to our daughters and sons, if they say they hate us then let’s embrace that with a big parental smile, because if your child doesn’t hate you at least once I have heard it means you are not strict enough. Please just protect our children, whether they are mine or yours – they are our future generation and let’s teach them some good morals, manners and respect for not only others but for themselves!