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I chuckled at this story about a mother who let her 9-year-old son take the subway home by himself one day in New York City. The hue and cry has been incredible - she's been called an abuser, a publicity-seeker and the country's worst mom.

When I was nine, I used to ride my bike clear across town - crossing highways, main street and back alleys to get to a friend's house.

While we were living in Panama, my 10-year-old son navigated himself from Panama city all the way into Costa Rica on public transit. My wife was there, but offered no assistance. I regularly make my kids navigate us through airports to find our connections. My eight-year-old recently made it through Miami international without any direction from me.

We have such an incredibly risk-averse society - I think it's because of advertising and 24-hour bad news. Someone's always trying to sell you something to make you safer, which means they have to first point out how dangerous your life is. Heh.
 

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Chuck, I know people tend to be very overprotective these days..but for goodness sakes, a NINE year old ALONE on the NYC subway????

That's just nuts!
 

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I didn't get a chance to read the story, but it reminds me of growing up in Southern California/Tijuana. I was that young boy's age and walking into Mexico with friends and coming home at dinner time...guess the same people who are giving this poor mom a hard time are the same ones buying anti-microbal pillow cases and playing "Paranoid Pete" when it come to their kids ("helicopter parents", maybe?)...

My husband says if there is a kid at that age, who was born and raised in NYC, that doesn't know how to navigate (at minimum) the subway system is screwed :viking:

http://www.responsibilityproject.co...dren_familyC=ContentG=WorstMom_(Child)M=broad
“Over-protectiveness is a danger in and of itself,” she wrote. “A child who thinks he can’t do anything on his own eventually can’t.”
 

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While we were living in Panama, my 10-year-old son navigated himself from Panama city all the way into Costa Rica on public transit. My wife was there, but offered no assistance. I regularly make my kids navigate us through airports to find our connections. My eight-year-old recently made it through Miami international without any direction from me.

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But where is the risk? Your wife was there watching over him even though he navigated by himself. A nine year old on a subway in NYC alone is more risk than I would want to take with my own children. I used to live in downtown Boston and took the subways regularly and I was attacked in one of the stations.
 

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The navigating is not the bad part, have you ridden the NYC Subway by yourself? Certain times of the day - no worries, other times of the day I wouldn't do it myself.

There is a big difference betwen riding your bike across town in 1960's and traversing the NYC subway system in 2008. I wouldn't call it child abuse, and if I lived there I might allow a 9 year old to do it during the day time, but I'd be worried the whole time and he would have a cell phone with him.
 

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To put it in perspective, I am not so very old and I grew up in NYC. They don't (or at least they didn't a few years ago) have school buses for the VAST majority of school districts. What you get is a bus pass, for free or a quarter a ride, depending on your parents income and good during certain hours or if you were in a school uniform (for kids doing sports and coming home late). It was all public transit - same buses everyone else takes.

So I'm really surprised at the fuss. No doubt city parents are horrified that country kids go down to the creek or play in the woods behind the house alone. They could drown or get lost.
 

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I rassle me up some visual editing from time to time and I have a bit of trouble with the photo in the linked article.I don't think the published photo is of her son. Or of the situation.

It looks as though it is a stock photo. Izzy left a department store during the day. He didn't have a bunch of luggage and wasn't just hanging out in subway stations. The photo shows something that might be a bit ominous for a child alone: subway at night with lots to carry.

In short, I think that the photo is a lie.
 

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Chuck, I know people tend to be very overprotective these days..but for goodness sakes, a NINE year old ALONE on the NYC subway????

That's just nuts!
Do you really think he's the first, last, or only nine year old traversing the NYC subway on his own?
 

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To put it in perspective, I am not so very old and I grew up in NYC. They don't (or at least they didn't a few years ago) have school buses for the VAST majority of school districts. What you get is a bus pass, for free or a quarter a ride, depending on your parents income and good during certain hours or if you were in a school uniform (for kids doing sports and coming home late). It was all public transit - same buses everyone else takes.

So I'm really surprised at the fuss. No doubt city parents are horrified that country kids go down to the creek or play in the woods behind the house alone. They could drown or get lost.
I spent many years as a nanny in Manhattan.

I never met a parent of a 9 year old who would let their child ride alone, they might ride for free or a discount, but they would be accomanied.

In 10 years of riding the subways every day, I know I never saw a single child that young riding alone.
 

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I would never let my 9 yr old do that no matter how mature he is, times have changed and there are alot of kooks out there. Maybe nobody would mess with her, but who know.
Would you think it's more dangerous for girls or boys? Or about the same? Seeing both my kids are girls theres other reasons i wouldn't want them alone on a subway.
 

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The navigating is not the bad part, have you ridden the NYC Subway by yourself? Certain times of the day - no worries, other times of the day I wouldn't do it myself.

There is a big difference betwen riding your bike across town in 1960's and traversing the NYC subway system in 2008. I wouldn't call it child abuse, and if I lived there I might allow a 9 year old to do it during the day time, but I'd be worried the whole time and he would have a cell phone with him.
Apparently MNN thinks you're old, Chuck.

Chuck is almost the same age as I am. "As a kid" would have been the eighties, not the sixties.

I remember a weird guy in a crapped-out old car (then) trying to pick up my sister and me as we walked home from a neighbors house one evening, in the middle of nowhere (half a mile from our house) in the late seventies. It's ALWAYS happened, the only difference being that we hear more about it now, with the media being more national than it used to be. We GET news from California when we live in Ottawa, or from Florida when we live in Alaska. Up until the late eighties, we would never have heard about such things. It isn't happening any MORE than it used to, we're just hearing about it more frequently.
 

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Each child is different, A child should be allowed to do what ever his/her responsibility level dictates. My DD is seven years old. We live out in the country. She has to walk to and from her school bus stop every day, often by herself in the dark with her flashlight. She has been well taught about accepting rides and such stuff, even from people she knows. I would not let her ride the subway by herself but then again if we from NY I would not let her walk down the country road by herself. It depends on the child and the circumstances as to what each child should be allowed to do when.
 

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I spent many years as a nanny in Manhattan.

I never met a parent of a 9 year old who would let their child ride alone, they might ride for free or a discount, but they would be accomanied.

In 10 years of riding the subways every day, I know I never saw a single child that young riding alone.
The parents who could afford nannies and those who moved in the circles that a nanny would be exposed to on a regular basis are not the families I'm talking about.
 

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The parents who could afford nannies and those who moved in the circles that a nanny would be exposed to on a regular basis are not the families I'm talking about.
Perhaps, but I lived a lot of years in Manhattan and several in Queens, I used the subway every day, and never, ever saw children that young riding alone.

Yes, I worked for wealthy people, but my friends and aquaintances, and my ex's family, all New Yorkers born and raised were peons like me ;)

Just a few of the things I experienced.. I was followed (luckily I encountered a cop and got help), molested (grabbing privates while being josted in a crowd) several times, I can count the number of times I had a man expose himself to me, it was 5, one of them tried to masturbate on me. I had a man drop his pants and poo on the floor in the car between stops.

A close friend was raped and several robbed, one beaten.

IMO, 9 is just too young to be exposed to that stuff, and it happens every day. My ex BIL was an NYPD officer (he's now a fed) and I know for sure he would NEVER let any of his 3 children ride alone that young.

ETA, Also, I couldn't begin to count how many times I was solicited with drugs.

Who would want to expose a child of nine to that without adult supervision?

I should also add that I grew up in a tough town, Ask your hubby what Salford is like ;) :eek:
 

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Where we lived in Florida my children didn't even have to leave our yard. People would steal something down the street and run into our yard and steal our children's bikes. We had a fenced yard with a dog. They didn't care. I was always afraid they would try to use my children as hostages.

My husband worked law enforcement and had a patrol car parked right in our front drive. Some places are just really not saved. I lived in the same area as a child in the 60's and went everywhere by myself. Things are different and I guess this tells my age.:rolleyes:
 

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I would not let a nine year old ride the subway alone, not because they might not be capable, but because of the trauma they could experience. The teenage years are soon enough to have their innocence lost!

I didn't read the link, but did this story happen a while back? I think we have talked about it before.
 

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Call me overprotective, then. No way would I let that happen. I wouldn't let my kids ride the city bus alone here in Dayton, and this isn't a particularly dangerous area.

When I lived near Cincinnati and took the bus to college, I saw little kids traveling alone all the time. Looked like some of them took the city bus to get to school every day. I remember this one little girl in particular, couldn't have been any older than 6 or 7, tiny little thing. Sat there so quiet and nice, never talked to anyone, got on and off at the same stop every day. Well, about a year later there was a story on the news about a little girl who was murdered. It was HER. I swear it was her. The incident wasn't bus-related, it was the mother's boyfriend I think - but it kind of makes you wonder about the sort of people who let their little LITTLE ones ride the bus alone and why nobody did anything about it.

Including me. :(

But, like Chuck said, I do believe in making sure my kids can navigate. They're 10 and 12, and I taught them early on how to read maps, made sure they know how to get home from various places, etc., just in case they should need to know.
 

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Perhaps, but I lived a lot of years in Manhattan and several in Queens, I used the subway every day, and never, ever saw children that young riding alone.

Yes, I worked for wealthy people, but my friends and aquaintances, and my ex's family, all New Yorkers born and raised were peons like me ;)

Just a few of the things I experienced.. I was followed (luckily I encountered a cop and got help), molested (grabbing privates while being josted in a crowd) several times, I can count the number of times I had a man expose himself to me, it was 5, one of them tried to masturbate on me. I had a man drop his pants and poo on the floor in the car between stops.

A close friend was raped and several robbed, one beaten.

IMO, 9 is just too young to be exposed to that stuff, and it happens every day. My ex BIL was an NYPD officer (he's now a fed) and I know for sure he would NEVER let any of his 3 children ride alone that young.

ETA, Also, I couldn't begin to count how many times I was solicited with drugs.

Who would want to expose a child of nine to that without adult supervision?

I should also add that I grew up in a tough town, Ask your hubby what Salford is like ;) :eek:
Hmmm, I guess I'll have to be a little more lenient in my chastising, when the country folk start talking about the "animals" in the city. I guess they truly are animals.
 

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Hmmm, I guess I'll have to be a little more lenient in my chastising, when the country folk start talking about the "animals" in the city. I guess they truly are animals.
By far the majority are good people, I enjoyed my time there, but sure, there plenty of scary people too.
 
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