My most recent piece for Tablet magazine has over 3,000 Facebook shares, so I’m guessing it’s hit a nerve. It’s about the Meitivs, a family in Maryland who were found responsible for “unsubstantiated child neglect” after letting their kids (ages 10 and 7) walk home (during the day) from a nearby park (on well-traveled streets). And it’s about a woman calling my synagogue to accuse me of being a neglectful parent for letting my 10-year-old take the bus alone.
We talk about wanting our kids to be responsible and independent (and we tell them “Let’s Move!” if we are the First Lady of the United States) but we don’t allow them to actually get out in the world to play,Â walk and bike in a self-directed way. Grr. Anyway, the piece makes the point that keeping your kids in a lockbox is not actually a Jewish value.