Montgomery County Child Protective Services visited the Meitiv family home in Silver Spring a few days before Christmas. They were worried about the family’s two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. The problem? The children had been seen walking home from the park unaccompanied by an adult.
Letting the children walk the mile from the park to their home raised questions of neglect, the Meitivs were told. Both parents are scientists, and they apparently approach their parenting from a predictably rationalist standpoint, judging from an interview they gave the Washington Post: Kids used to be allowed to walk around alone back when they were growing up; the world is actually statistically safer now than it was then; and besides, child abductions are vanishingly rare– a child is much, much more likely to get hurt in a car accident than to be abducted while walking home from the park. Ergo, letting a couple of kids walk by themselves is pretty harmless. Guess they hadn’t heard how you can get your kids taken away if you let them play alone!
However, the Meitivs don’t seem to be making things easier on themselves: After the Dec. 20 walking incident, CPS tried to perform a mandatory follow-up at the Meitiv home; the parents refused to let them come inside. I’m certainly not in favor of helicopter parenting, but is a home visit really the worst thing in the world?