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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do you think she's a terrible mom or is she innocent?

When I do my posts on my blog, I like to keep them funny and entertaining. There's enough sadness in the world already, so I like to give readers something to make them smile first thing in the morning. Today, I need to tell you about something not funny and something that will make you think the next time you make an important decision to do with your kids.

This morning while checking my email, I came across an email from Brain, Child Magazine. They were offering me a special on advertising for their magazine, so I decided to check it out to see what this magazine was all about. While clicking through the web pages, I came across their content page which lets you read some of the articles in their magazine. They seemed pretty interesting and while I made mental notes to come back and read some, this one particular title caught my eye; Guilty as Charged, her biggest crime was trusting her own parenting, by Bridget Kevane.

Curiosity got the best of me and I ignored the fact that I really didn't have the time to read anything right now and that I needed to get my post up. I couldn't help it. I kept reading and all the while going, oh my gosh. This article turned out to be about a well educated mom of three, who made a decision as a mom and this decision turned out to be debatable whether it was a right decision or not. You see, she decided to drop her twelve year old daughter and her same aged friend off at the mall with a three year old, seven year old and eight year old. She was tired and wanted to get some rest and figured that with their babysitting training, a cell phone with them and the fact that they weren't going to be there very long, that they would be ok. Unfortunately, the Bozeman Gallatin Valley Mall didn't agree with her.

Now, you need to go read this article (cause you know you want to see what happened) and please, please, please come back here and tell me if you would drop your kids off at a mall unsupervised and think nothing of it. Or, give me your opinion on what verdict you would give her if you were on the jury. Or, faced with the same dilemma, what would you do? Or, darn it, just comment something about it, I'm dying to find out what you think! (Anonymous comments are fine!) :)


Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

I don't even have to read the article to know I WOULD never leave my kids unattended at the mall by themselves. That age range is just too young for even the oldest. I think I am old school though in that I probably won't let my kids date until they are 16 etc. But definitely going to go read now to see what happened!

Thanks for dropping in!!

Aim said...

Without reading, I can say that I have left my 14 year old at the mall,but I would never leave her there in charge of anybody else. EVER. There's too many variable when you leave siblings alone at home. let alone out in public. FYI, I am going to go read the article as well.

Molly said...

I tried to read the article but it was irritating the fire out of me.

Sure when I was younger parents dropped kids off at the mall all the time, "free babysitting"-Mall Rats.

When my son was 13, I didn't drop him off, I let him wander on his own. I wanted to go to Archiver's and as a 13 yr old boy, he would rather poke his eyes with sticks. He and his friend were to meet me in 30 minutes in the food court.

15 minutes before our deadline, my son called on my cellphone, a boy had beaten him up (IN THE FOOD COURT). Two kids from Subway took care of him until I arrived, another one ran after the kid who hit him.

So, oh hell no-not in bozman montana or in po-dunk, nowhere would I leave my 12 yr old daughter at the mall in charge of other children when things like that happen-beyond OUR control.

Many areas have minimum age requirements for children to babysit siblings and other children-I don't think she is a terrible mom and I don't think she is innocent either.

Serious error in judgement. Same kind of thing will get her 15 yr old pregnant because it never occurred to her to not let her kid (who is responsible) to go that frat party or whatever. It isn't always OUR kids who cause the problem, but we are still here to protect them.

Very lucky that the Macy's ladies got the kids and not some freak.
Very. Lucky.

Zelna said...

I scanned through the article. Where i grew up it is very common for parents to leave there kids with 12 year olds and sometimes nine year olds looking after three year olds. of course i dont agree.

I'm a paranoid mother, so i dont think so. But seeing that this was common to the author where she grew up and she was tired and overworked. I think we sometimes do things that we think is right.

If she did not get caught, she might have done it again. I think it is not wise to let children so young out in the world we live in today.

Hit 40 said...

My oldest just this year went to the mall on his own at 14 years old. I am also old fashioned and freaking out paranoid. I've invested a lot of time and money into my two boys. I don't want to lose them. I love them way too much.

I am kinda ok with the 12 year old girls being dropped off, but not to also watch the other 3 kids. They can watch them at home.

The article was a perfect example of the entitlement society that we have now. I know that the mom was tired. I get tired and exhausted too. Being a mom can be very overwhelming. However, you can not just dump your kids off all over town while you nap.

The fact that the women checked before hand with her husband and mom to try to decide if it was a good idea or not .... should have made her realize that it is obviously not a good idea if your calling around trying to decide.

I feel bad that her mom did not volunteer to watch the kids for her. My mom also is of absolutely no help!!! And...

she always asked when am I going to have grandkids. Darn witch!!!!

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

Would never leave my kids in a mall! I have passed an award on to you! Check it out at!

eight helping hands said...

I drop my kids off at the mall, only when I know that another parent is going to be there. If not then I'm the parent that sticks around.
Don't feel bad honey, we all do things we think are right, but don't ever second guess yourself. It was a large group of kids, which is a deterent.
Miss me?

Veronica Lee said...

I definitely would never leave my kids in a mall.

Brooke said...

Leaving the 12 year olds is debatable, but with the 3 year old? That's too much.

Tami said...

I have to agree with most of the people here I wouldn't leave my kids at the mall with younger children, they just aren't responsible enough.
Kids are kids and regardless of how many classes they take out them in a mall, they;s boys, and clothes. Maybe at home OK.. but never in a mall..

Creative Junkie said...

I read the article and found it fascinating.

As for me, I would not have left my 12 year old at the mall by herself, let alone with a friend and certainly not in charge of three younger children. It's not that I'd worry about what they will do - I'd worry about what everyone else around them will do. It's just like I tell my eldest who will be going for her license next year - I trust she'll be a good driver, but I don't trust everyone else on the road.

My daughter is 15 and I still worry about leaving her alone anywhere - you just never know.

What I do find infuriating about that article is the actions on behalf of the police. Granted, this article is written from the mom's point of view so I realize it's biased but still, based on her retelling of the story, had that been me, I'd have been hard pressed not to pitch a screaming fit about how I was being treated. said...

Never, ever, NEVER would I do that to two 12 y.o. girls. It's one thing to have them babysit 3 children in your own home for an hour or so........but making them responsible for young children in a mall is absurd to me........

The Redhead Riter said...

for you...

Nanny Dee said...

Growing up in a small town that had a new mall built while I was in the 8th grade, it was common for us to get dropped off as a group to play in the pinball (I'm old school)room, shop for records, and eat at Papa Gino's.

Fast forward over 30 years and the world is not the same place. I personally would not leave young babysitters to watch over the younger children, especially a 3-year-old at such a public place.

I'm kind of surprised that she was able to rest after dropping them off like that -- so many things can go wrong.

blakes said...

Um nope I'm NEVER going to let my kid go to the mall by himself for a long long time, OK so he's just about 1 now bwe not for a LONG time... tooo much wierd stuff goes on "at the mall." Plus it's not a babysitting service or a museam you should go to the mall to "buy" something you need and then go home! the end... LOL Following from MBC.

Hit 40 said...

So what did you think of the mom?? :-)

Too Many Hats said...

I would never entrust twelve year olds with the care of a 3 yr old at a mall - 12 yr olds are not mature enough to see the ramifications of their decisions when there is a "totally cute" t-shirt staring them in the face.

However, I do not think what she did was criminal. I think it was totally blown out of proportion.

Jenjen @GottaLoveMom said...

I think malls and public places want children accompanied by an adult.

However, I do know that a 12 yo can baby sit. BUT it seems like there are just way too many kids wandering off on their own all at the same time.

So I just googled : What is the legal age in NJ to stay home alone and also to babysit?
Here's what I got:

There are very few states in the U.S. with legal minimum ages, but many state agencies have published guidelines (NH, Illinois, Maryland and Oregon are a few of the states with very specific ages). Typically 8 year olds and over can be left at home for up to several hours (usually after school before a parent gets home from work).

12 years old appears to be the most common recommendation. provides a state by state comparison.

Tess said...

What do I think? I would never leave my kids at a mall and I would never let them watch younger kids. They arent old enough to make sensible judgements-hence, them leaving the little ones outside of the dressing room. Arresting her and making her go to jail? Very extreme, but better that she had to go through that instead of putting her three year old's photo on the back of a milk carton because she was stolen!