Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What are parents to do?

In light of the recent tragic death of Autumn Pasquale, I am left wondering...what are parents to do?

This post doesn't contain advice.  At all.  It is full of worry and disbelief and questions.

Truly, what are we supposed to do as parents to keep our children safe?  Because I really don't know.  Do we hover over them and never let them out of our sight until adulthood?  And even at that point, are they safe?  Do we give them freedom and independence and hope for the best?  Do we trust that they make the right choices and do we have faith that they choose to trust the right people?

The cold hard truth is that this is a dangerous world in which we live.  Every single day I read or hear about some kind of senseless tragedy.  A shooting at a mall or place of business, an abduction, and even worse, a murder.  You just never know.

I can't begin to fathom what Autumn's parents are going through.  I have three daughters.  Three daughters that will grow up and want to ride their bikes around the neighborhood.  Three daughters that will want to go hang out with friends, without me being there to watch over them.  Three daughters that will want to go to the mall or to the movies one day, completely unsupervised.  This scares the crap out of me. 

What will I do?  Will I let them go?  Will I say no? 

When I was 12 years old, I can say with 100% certainty that I rode my bike all the time without parental supervision.  Not only did my friends and I ride our bikes in the neighborhood, we rode them across a highway to the 5&10 to get candy.  And we rode them to other friends' houses.  We took the bus to the mall.  We had bake sales on the street corner and talked to many random strangers.  We were not afraid. 

And I am not saying that these tragedies didn't occur back then because they did.  But times were different.

Now?  Well, now I am just scared and worried.  It's hard being a parent these days.  How do we keep our children safe?

Again, I honestly don't know the answer.  I wish I did.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Autumn Pasquale.

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  1. So true! I feel like I am being an overprotective parent sometimes but I fear the worst and when I hear these news stories it just confirms my fears... As I kid I just had to be home by dark, things sure have changed.

  2. I feel the same. I couldn't even write about is so scary and real when you have kids of your own. My heart just hurts for her family. I haven't let my kids ride bikes since, but that's not right either. But how DO you live? I just don't know. So sad.

    1. I know!!! Should we be overprotective...but then is that right? I don't know either :(

  3. I've been feeling a lot of this lately, as well. On Monday a 10 month old was kidnapped after her grandmother was murdered. This happened less than half a mile from my home. My kids are terrified (The Middle One kept saying she was worried the bad guys were going to come take The Baby while they were sleeping). What do you do?

    1. I wish I knew! And then it 's hard when the kids are scared too:( So sad about that missing baby. I am in Delaware, so not too far from there.

  4. You're absolutely right, Katie, it's frightening. It's easy to say that you can't live your life in fear, but if it's not safe to allow your child to ride her bike at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon alone, then what the hell is this world coming to?

    My girls ask if they can walk around our neighborhood with their friends and I say yes, but be home before dark. This happened at 12:30 in the middle of the afternoon.

    Now what?


  5. I know exactly what you are talking about also. Its enough that one is scared to let their kids go anywhere. Last weekend my high school senior son went on a backpacking trip in another state. I thoroughly trusted the people was with, and really wasnt worried about the backpacking part, but rather the long drive both ways.Didn't help any that last weeks Sports Illustrated had a gut wrenching story about a kid on a high school baseball team that was killed in a car wreck with his girlfriend on prom night. Oh yes the boy plays baseball too. I worried the whole time he was gone. I never allowed the kids when they were younger to ride their bikes anyway but on our block, and only when an adult was outside. There's a fine line between living with caution and living in fear I guess. Everytime we as parents read a story like this it breaks our hearts into little bitty pieces though.

  6. Hi, I'm coming through from the TGIF blog hop and so saddened to hear of what happened to Autumn. I can never quite comprehend these senseless acts and can only pray such tragedy never comes close to home.


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