Proverbs 31 Opinion Question

The report of a mom who put out two bickering children to make them walk has made the news headlines. The first report I heard was that she had put her children out on the highway. During that same report it talked about the mom driving around the block before coming back to pick up the children.

Here’s the full report. Madlyn Primoff was arrested in White Plains for child endangerment after she put out her two daughters – ages 12 and 10 – for fighting in the car. Ms. Primoff and her mother (who was in the car as well) then drove around the block. By the time they arrived back in the same spot the two girls were gone.

The older girl had started walking towards home. The younger girl took ice cream from a “good Samaritan” who then called the police. The police took the 10 year old to the police station.

Be honest – have you ever found yourself in the same place as this mom? When my children were much younger than these two, I left them. I warned them that if they didn’t get in the car then I would leave them. They didn’t and I did. Granted, I only drove up the drive way to get the mail, but the one incident made its impression. My boys now knew that I would not say anything that I did not have the intention of backing up.

So – was the White Plains mom right in putting out her two children? Should have been arrested for it?

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  1. I’ll be the first to chime in. I think that parents get in trouble these days no matter what they do. If you punish your child for mis-behaving and if you don’t punish your child. Kids have to know that mom means business and if she doesn’t follow through on her threats then they will never worry about being punished.

    At the same time, kids 10 and 12 should be able to function relatively well without the constant supervision of mom and dad. Times have changed, but have that changed so much that my 10 and 12 year old can not be trusted even for a few moments while I drive around the block.

    Whether it was right or wrong to put the kids out just three miles from home, mom shouldn’t be arrested. This was not child endangerment. It might be child endangerment if she dropped them off on the side of the interstate with cars zipping past at 70 mph. But she dropped them off in the shopping district just a few miles from home TOGETHER.

  2. You’d have to come bail me out of jail. Parents, not the government, are called by God’s Word to both teach and discipline our children. I am not aware of parents being arrested for dropping their children off at the mall without adult or constant adult supervision, or for allowing their children to walk or ride their bicycle to their friends house or a park that may be 3 miles away. In my opinion, the government is overreaching it’s bounds by dictating how we are to discipline our children. Each of us are unique children of God, and so our parental discipline should be directed as to what works for that child, no government authority should or can dictate this. The great kings of Isreal (Saul, David, Soloman..) failed miserably at discipling their childen, with disasterous results. God corrects us and expects us to correct our children. When the earthly authority conflicts with God’s Word, we are to follow God’s way.

    1. I can’t help but wonder about parents that let their kids go to ball practice alone, or the mall, or just ride up the road on their bikes to the park. When I was that age my parents knew I was gone and that was usually the extent of their knowledge (and that was before cell phones).

  3. I agree with Kathryn…when I was young we went out of the house in the morning and Mom never knew where we were for sure until we came home for lunch. I think the goverment is getting to high handed when it comes to disaplining your children. I agree there is child abuse and it needs to be delt with but when my girls were same if we said to do something they knew if they chose not to what the circumstances would be. I belive that is why we have out of control, on drugs, ect. with teens today…they were not shown what would happen if they were deffient.

    1. Thanks Caroline – I was reminded of that whole consequences thing at a ball game tonight. My three year old did what I told him even though he didn’t want to because he knew what would happen – meanwhile another three year old was all in her mom’s face giving attitude and refusing to do what was asked.

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