An e-mail has been circulating about an incident involving 13-year olds at Trinoma Mall who were victimized by a thief masquerading as a cop, who accused the boys of damaging merchandise at a sporting goods store. The 'cop' had the boys strip themselves of wallets and cellphones etc. as a prelude to a search, and ended up getting away with this loot.
The robbers and crooks of this world are sure imaginative and relentless. That's not really a surprise, is it? So I can't help but ask myself instead, should 13-year old kids be allowed to go malling with peers on their own? Aren't they, essentially, still kids and should still be supervised?
And it's not that I don't get a child's growing need for independence but I do wonder about the boundaries parents set, and the liberties we allow just because it's 'what people do' nowadays.
Can we really expect a 13 year old to be able to put his foot down and stand up to authority, regardless of whether he did something wrong or not, even if only to insist that their parents be called to be there for them?
I certainly don't think so... even adults lack the presence of mind and get swindled and terrorized all the time so why are we leaving our kids at the mercy of these predators?
And no, am not all for curtailing independence and self-reliance, but I hope parents do not equate promoting autonomy with forgetting that teeners still lack the life experience to think and behave as adults.
They need our guidance and protection. Sure, it'd be nice if society helps out, but that responsibility lies in us first.
And again, it's not like we don't know of the crime rate in the city.
This is the same contention I have for parents who let their kids run around with their own gadgets. Aside from giving in to commercialism, they just make their kids (and others) a magnet for crooks.