9 year old ride subway alone ok? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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9 year old ride subway alone ok?

Some good points in the article. What are folks thoughts here?

http://www.nysun.com/editorials/why-...e-subway-alone

"I left my 9-year-old at Bloomingdale’s (the original one) a couple weeks ago. Last seen, he was in first floor handbags as I sashayed out the door.

Bye-bye! Have fun!

And he did. He came home on the subway and bus by himself.

Was I worried? Yes, a tinge. But it didn’t strike me as that daring, either. Isn’t New York as safe now as it was in 1963? It’s not like we’re living in downtown Baghdad.

Anyway, for weeks my boy had been begging for me to please leave him somewhere, anywhere, and let him try to figure out how to get home on his own. So on that sunny Sunday I gave him a subway map, a MetroCard, a $20 bill, and several quarters, just in case he had to make a call.

No, I did not give him a cell phone. Didn’t want to lose it. And no, I didn’t trail him, like a mommy private eye. I trusted him to figure out that he should take the Lexington Avenue subway down, and the 34th Street crosstown bus home. If he couldn’t do that, I trusted him to ask a stranger. And then I even trusted that stranger not to think, “Gee, I was about to catch my train home, but now I think I’ll abduct this adorable child instead.”

Long story short: My son got home, ecstatic with independence.

Long story longer, and analyzed, to boot: Half the people I’ve told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. As if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. It’s not. It’s debilitating — for us and for them.

And yet —

“How would you have felt if he didn’t come home?” a New Jersey mom of four, Vicki Garfinkle, asked.

Guess what, Ms. Garfinkle: I’d have been devastated. But would that just prove that no mom should ever let her child ride the subway alone?

No. It would just be one more awful but extremely rare example of random violence, the kind that hyper parents cite as proof that every day in every way our children are more and more vulnerable.

“Carlie Brucia — I don’t know if you’re familiar with that case or not, but she was in Florida and she did a cut-through about a mile from her house … and midday, at 11 in the morning, she was abducted by a guy who violated her several times, killed her, and left her behind a church.”

That’s the story that the head of safetynet4kids.com, Katharine Francis, immediately told me when I asked her what she thought of my son getting around on his own. She runs a company that makes wallet-sized copies of a child’s photo and fingerprints, just in case.

Well of course I know the story of Carlie Brucia. That’s the problem. We all know that story — and the one about the Mormon girl in Utah and the one about the little girl in Spain — and because we do, we all run those tapes in our heads when we think of leaving our kids on their own. We even run a tape of how we’d look on Larry King.

“I do not want to be the one on TV explaining my daughter’s disappearance,” a father, Garth Chouteau, said when we were talking about the subway issue.

These days, when a kid dies, the world — i.e., cable TV — blames the parents. It’s simple as that. And yet, Trevor Butterworth, a spokesman for the research center STATS.org, said, “The statistics show that this is an incredibly rare event, and you can’t protect people from very rare events. It would be like trying to create a shield against being struck by lightning.”

Justice Department data actually show the number of children abducted by strangers has been going down over the years. So why not let your kids get home from school by themselves?

“Parents are in the grip of anxiety and when you’re anxious, you’re totally warped,” the author of “A Nation of Wimps,” Hara Estroff Marano, said. We become so bent out of shape over something as simple as letting your children out of sight on the playground that it starts seeming on par with letting them play on the railroad tracks at night. In the rain. In dark non-reflective coats.

The problem with this everything-is-dangerous outlook is that over-protectiveness is a danger in and of itself. A child who thinks he can’t do anything on his own eventually can’t.

Meantime, my son wants his next trip to be from Queens. In my day, I doubt that would have struck anyone as particularly brave. Now it seems like hitchhiking through Yemen.

Here’s your MetroCard, kid. Go."
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:16 PM
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I ride the subway everyday. I don't see the big deal. There are alot of Jr High/High School kids on there alone.

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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:16 PM
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I was taking public transportation to and from school starting from first grade. And it was in Russia, where polar bears roam the streets freely and wild Cossacks kill everyone in sight daily!

oh, and I rode my bicycle on public roads, without helmet, and ran around with scissors all the time!

I get grief from my neighboors for that fact that my 6-years-old son rides without protective gear on his 10" bicycle with training wheels!
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:17 PM
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I think they have a point there. If the kid wants to do it, and knows he/she can then why not let them try? They are never going to learn if they don't go out and experience it themselves. There are WAY TO MANY parents that are over protective. Example : I was in a clothing store shopping once. There was a kid about 4 or so playing on the ground right by me while I was waiting for someone. So I sat down and kinda played with him. The parent ran up to the kid and swooped him up and told me not to touch her son. Wow!
My rents gave me the freedom to rome when I was in grade school, didn't matter what time it was really.
I can see this parents point. And there are those times where some tragedy happens and the kid gets abducted. But I don't think it's the parents fault.

Now a days kids can't do ANYTHING without their parents... it's sad. I am talking about kids from kinder garden to college. And I wonder what that generation of kids is going to be. How long they will live at home or off their parents money. It's a lil disturbing.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:18 PM
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samal View Post
I get grief from my neighboors for that fact that my 6-years-old son rides without protective gear on his 10" bicycle with training wheels!
In my decade or so of bicycle riding, I only wore a helmet once and thats because my brother got a free one on a field trip and I wanted to see how it felt. I'm still here.

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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:27 PM
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Adam Walsh was just playing video gamed an aisle or two over....

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:34 PM
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Hmmm, bad things that happened to me while roaming around on foot...

* Car reversed into me while riding - Car came out of it worse than me.
* Got in a fight with a pissed off retard - had a blood nose
* Had a young couple try to mug me - nearly died of laughter
* Thought I was about to get mugged - Guy thought I was going to mug him
* Drugged up retard tried to fight me - Retard left with a new face and criminal record
* Stacked bike several times - Got back up and rode some more
* Video taped cop hassling homeless guy - Cop threatened to beat me up

Yup, kids are fine, let them roam.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
Hmmm, bad things that happened to me while roaming around on foot...

* Car reversed into me while riding - Car came out of it worse than me.
* Got in a fight with a pissed off retard - had a blood nose
* Had a young couple try to mug me - nearly died of laughter
* Thought I was about to get mugged - Guy thought I was going to mug him
* Drugged up retard tried to fight me - Retard left with a new face and criminal record
* Stacked bike several times - Got back up and rode some more
* Video taped cop hassling homeless guy - Cop threatened to beat me up

Yup, kids are fine, let them roam.
I leave the retards/crazy people alone. There is this guy on the bus that shows up drunk as hell every day I see him. On top of that he is kind of crazy (talks to himself about how Russians are better than everyone else). He is extremely racist. I don't screw with him, and I've never gotten in a fight with him.

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In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:38 PM
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In europe this is pretty common place. It's called public transportation. They have to take it to get to school. There's no such thing as a school bus.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunny View Post
I think they have a point there. If the kid wants to do it, and knows he/she can then why not let them try? They are never going to learn if they don't go out and experience it themselves. There are WAY TO MANY parents that are over protective. Example : I was in a clothing store shopping once. There was a kid about 4 or so playing on the ground right by me while I was waiting for someone. So I sat down and kinda played with him. The parent ran up to the kid and swooped him up and told me not to touch her son. Wow!
Bring kid with me to meet hot chicks. Thanks for the tip Hunny.

In all seriousness, i like kids, but i stay away from them if they're near me for that exact reason. I'd get PO'd if someone said don't touch my kid. WTF? Hey, the little fucker came up to me, ok?

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Bring kid with me to meet hot chicks. Thanks for the tip Hunny.

In all seriousness, i like kids, but i stay away from them if they're near me for that exact reason. I'd get PO'd if someone said don't touch my kid. WTF? Hey, the little fucker came up to me, ok?
For events like those I spend some time each week making candy laced with all sorts of chemicals and poisons at home. Then simply carry it around in my pocket and wait for the perfect opportunity to come around. It works with adults too but something is just more appealing to give it to kids. I did try to put a razor blade into a Hershey's Kiss once but for some reason no one ever accepted the candy...mostly just ended up cutting myself a lot.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samal View Post
I was taking public transportation to and from school starting from first grade. And it was in Russia, where polar bears roam the streets freely and wild Cossacks kill everyone in sight daily!

oh, and I rode my bicycle on public roads, without helmet, and ran around with scissors all the time!

I get grief from my neighboors for that fact that my 6-years-old son rides without protective gear on his 10" bicycle with training wheels!
HAHA! I have actually played on a playground with pavement under the swingset. No stupid rubber chips for me.

But on a serious note. Starting in fifth grade I was expected to get from school to the Naperville train station, go into DT Chicago and make my way over to the 1400 block of N. State St. I did this every other Fri. when I would spend the weekend with my dad. My mother was a teacher in Romeoville and my father was a teacher in Chicago. My father is blind and this was just an easier way for us to meet up. I cant remember one time I ever ran into trouble. I am very thankful for the experience, I think its helped me out in life. And not just that I feel comfortable taking public transportation.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
Adam Walsh was just playing video gamed an aisle or two over....
is that the America's Most wanted dudes kid?

as far as the article, I think that's pushing your luck. I wouldn't leave my daughter anywhere.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 03:08 PM
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Yea that's his son.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 06:11 PM
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I don't know if I'd trust anyone, even someone's mother, who honestly believed that giving a kid a few quarters nowadays would let him call home if he got lost. (Have you tried to find a pay phone recently?)

Still, if the kid's enthusiastic about the idea, and otherwise responsible, I don't see it as that terrible. It beats getting driven everywhere, certainly, for a whole host of reasons.

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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 06:14 PM
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I was pretty independent as a kid, dont think there's anything wrong with it.

Took the train and had to find my way to UIC when my mom was going to college to surprise her when i was in 4th grade . She was pretty surprised, needless to say lol

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 06:22 PM
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For kids who live in the city and grow up riding public transportation this really isn't that big of a deal. Every time I go to NYC I see kids as young as 6 riding the subway alone and they know exactly what to do.

I agree that something can happen whether you are with your kid or not but if I was to let my daughter do something like this alone and God forbid something happened to her I couldn't live with myself... On the other hand you can't shelter your kids completely. There is a fine balance between giving your kids independence and protecting them from harm.

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 06:26 PM
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Since I have never been on a subway I would say "ARE YOU CRAZY!" Ofcourse I grew up in the country riding 3-wheelers and motorcycles. I think a city dweller given the chance to let there kid to take off on a motorized vehicle would probably think we were crazy. Short answer in good job parent!

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I bet this was her 4th or 5th child. I didn't have half the freedoms my 12 and 13 yr old siblings do now.. Granted, that may be because they have cell phones to stay in contact.
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkrider View Post
I agree that something can happen whether you are with your kid or not but if I was to let my daughter do something like this alone and God forbid something happened to her I couldn't live with myself... On the other hand you can't shelter your kids completely. There is a fine balance between giving your kids independence and protecting them from harm.
There's also a difference between sheltering them and being around to ensure a base level of safety. For instance, a 9 year old isn't going to know what to do in the event of a subway evac or breakdown.

99.N % of the time things turn out fine. It's that Nth percentage that you never know about and also never expect. This is why you see parents on the news with a microphone shoved in their face and a shock-frozen look on their face saying they had no idea something like that could happen.

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:08 PM
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I bet this was her 4th or 5th child. I didn't have half the freedoms my 12 and 13 yr old siblings do now.. Granted, that may be because they have cell phones to stay in contact.
Hell, by our 4th child it's more like:

"How many times have I told you not to juggle the steak knives in the drawer by the sink... if you're going to juggle knives go get the GOOD ONES from the buffet in the dining room!"


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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:13 PM
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I'm with that chick. Kids here nowadays are pussified. I was walking 7 blocks to school starting in 2nd grade. Good for her, and the kid.
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:16 PM
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I would not let my kid do it alone and I'm not saying an overbearing parent is going to prevent every bad situation.

Why would you risk one of the most important things in your life for minimal gain? If you want to see if he can do it, trail him.

The Walsh case is a good example, things can happen pretty quick and you have the rest of your life to replay the event. I also do not think this women should be criticized or accused of child abuse. Maybe her son is advanced and it is their choice. She is not purposefully putting her child in danger.

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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:23 PM
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So a few people people have mentioned kids having cell phones... how young is too young to have a cell phone?

Sometimes your knight in shining armor is just a retard wrapped in tin foil.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:30 PM
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The world is full of crazy ass people. Back in the day and today. They are more known now thanks to easy access to the media. People get so worked up over it. I remember as a 9, 10 year old kid how much freedom I had. Its not that I had bad parents. They were not exposed to all exposer that is today. Just being old school I have no problem with letting my 9 year old be independent in a public situation if I feel that he is intelligent enough in handling himself if a situation crosses him. I would me more worried about them being by themself in a math class room. With all these crazy ass kids.

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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:45 PM
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I kinda agree about the pussyfication and overbabying of kids in general and I was going to post about it. But then I've remembered something I've seen recently. Here's the map showing sexual offenders for the zip code 60618. Red dots are "offense against children" (the legend is on the left):



So, I dunno...

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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
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I kinda agree about the pussyfication and overbabying of kids in general and I was going to post about it. But then I've remembered something I've seen recently. Here's the map showing sexual offenders for the zip code 60618. Red dots are "offense against children" (the legend is on the left):



So, I dunno...
Finally!! that explains this giant green square that's always floating over me..

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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"The man who makes me your enemy, it is he who be the guilty one....Here I abandoned peace and desecrated law; fortune it is you I follow. Farewell to treaties. From now on war is our judge!"
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 11:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Niles
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Location: Niles
Sportbike: 05 CBR600RR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkrider View Post
So a few people people have mentioned kids having cell phones... how young is too young to have a cell phone?
I'm 19 and I got my cell phone like 6 months ago. I don't see why any kid who is in Jr. High or High School needs a cell phone. I don't really need one either actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
In motorcycle terms, that's like taking your Ducati to a dealer for service, and they hand you back a 1979 backfiring Honda 400 Hawk.. because after all, a bike is a bike.
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