Now, if only people would listen: abduction of children by strangers is incredibly rare. These days people keep their children indoors under supervision at all times, or at least chained to a cell phone, because they’re terrified some boogeyman is going to get them if they ever go anywhere by themselves. But the world, at least in terms of stranger kidnappings, is no more risky than it ever was: which is to say, not risky at all. The real danger is from neighbors, friends, teachers, relatives: all the people the parents trust.
I fear sometimes for the youth of today. I worry that they’re going to grow up into completely clueless adults who have no idea how to take care of themselves, because they were never allowed to take responsibility and never allowed to be alone. I heard once about a woman who wrote a newspaper column in I think Boston, and she mentioned in her column that she let her twelve-year-old son take public transportation to and from school by himself, and a bunch of people wrote her hate mail calling her a terrible mother for subjecting her child to such danger, didn’t she know that he could be kidnapped or molested, especially now that she’d publicly advertised that he would be on the bus alone five days a week? It seems to me that she was a good mother for seeing to it that the kid knew how to take care of himself in the city and knew how to get around without assistance. But I guess I’m a minority in this belief.
Anyway, I wish there were more editorials like this one.