Cops Ticket Mom for Letting Son, 14, Babysit His Pre-K Brother

Filed under: In The News, Opinions

Lovely. A mom in England was ticketed for "cruelty" for leaving her 14-year-old son in charge of his 3-year-old brother for half an hour while she went out shopping.

Well, they don't call it a "ticket" in England, they call it a "caution" -- but forget semantics. The fact is, by allowing her teen to babysit for less than an hour, the mom lost her job as a health care assistant, because now her record shows her "committing an act of cruelty on a child or young person."

Feel free to scream.

What, exactly, is so cruel about letting your teenage son act responsibly? What is so cruel about showing him that you believe in him, and that you like the young man he's becoming?

And what is so cruel about letting your younger son be cared for by his older brother? Is anyone in the English establishment aware that many of today's parents were themselves babysitters at age 11 or 12?

In fact, has it dawned on these government goons that since the beginning of human history, teens have even been popping out children of their OWN? That those teen parents must've been doing something right, because our species survived to this day? And, by the way, prehistoric pubescent parents didn't babysit for half an hour, they raised their children to adulthood. In caves. With food they killed themselves.

But no -- half an hour of babysitting at home is just too much for modern day kids.

David Lancy, author of "The Anthropology of Childhood," estimates that, to this day, somewhere between 40 percent and 60 percent of the world's children are raised, in good part, by their siblings. Their moms are too busy eking out a living to spend every last minute minding the kids. Maybe we should send every lawmaker in England a subscription to National Geographic.

My elderly neighbor was just lamenting that "kids today" are so inept. "They don't know how to do anything. They expect everything done for them."

It's an old-lady whine, but she has a point –- she's just wrong about the culprits. It's not the fault of indulgent parents, or spoiled kids. It's the fault of a society that deems young adults indistinguishable from infants: They're all helpless. England's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children actually states no one under the age of 16 should be allowed to babysit!

Glad they weren't around when our species was getting off the ground.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.