Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. What Stores Are Open on the 4th of July? Here Are the Restaurants Open on the 4th of July. Getty Images. Roam the Open Road. Hit the Races. Sweat It Out in a Boozy 5K. Get Cheesy. Revert Back to His Roots. Binge on BBQ. Brush Creek Ranch. Seek Adventure. Tee Off on a Golf Getaway. Camp in the Wilderness. Go Hunting or Fishing. Take Him Out to the Ballgame. Courtesy of Maker's Mark. Cheers to Your Dad. Embark on an Educational Excursion. Jam Out Together. Geek Out Over Vintage Cars. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Father's Day Ideas I know that a home with an unfenced swimming pool is as dangerous as one with a loaded gun.
I know how important it is to install car seats correctly, to adjust and fasten the straps regularly. When my kids were babies I always put them to sleep on their backs, though they hated it. I treated small, chokeable objects like arsenic, put up gates on all our stairways not the tension-rod kind that can be pushed over, but the kind you bolt into the wall. I immunized them against everything immunizable, sliced their hotdogs lengthwise and removed the casing, made sure their plates and cups were BPA free, limited their screen time, slathered them in sunscreen on sunny days.
Sometimes I fantasized about moving with my family to a sun-drenched island in the Mediterranean where my children could spend their days frolicking freely on the beach without worry of speeding cars or communicable diseases, but I never confuse this fantasy with the reality we live in, the reality of risk and danger, the reality that terrible things happen to good, well-meaning people every second of every day. By the time the police arrived, I had already left the scene, and by the time they looked up the license plate number of the minivan and traced it to my parents, I was flying home.
I hired a lawyer to talk to the police on my behalf. I sought advice and support from those I loved and trusted. I tried to stay calm. For a while, it looked like he was right. But nine months later, a few minutes after dropping my kids off at school, I was walking to a coffee shop when my cellphone rang. Another officer asked if I was Kim Brooks and if I was aware there was a warrant out for my arrest. My friends and I sometimes play this game, the did-our-parents-really-let-us-do-that game. We recall bike ramps, model rockets, videotaping ourselves setting toys on fire.
Many remember taking off on bikes alone, playing in the woods for hours without adult supervision, crawling through storm drains to follow creek beds, latchkey afternoons, monkey bars installed over slabs of concrete.
My husband recalls forts built in the trunk of the station wagon on long road trips. One friend tells me how, from 7-Elevens, to Kroger, to various banks, schools and offices, he was left alone in the front passenger seat of a convertible Mustang for a good portion of his childhood, primarily because he was shy and wanted to not have to meet new people.
For people of our generation, living a suburban childhood, the car was central to our lives, not simply a mode of transportation but in many ways, an extension of our home. We all knew, of course, that cars were dangerous. Moving cars. Every few years there would be a terrible accident. In the fourth grade, a local mother and her three children were killed on their way to school.
But these horror stories never penetrated the inside of our own family car, which seemed infinitely safe, cozy even. I wondered in the days after it happened if being back home, out of the city, had given me a sort of momentary amnesia. And a lot could change in 25 years, I thought. People were always saying how the world was a more dangerous place than it had been when I was growing up.
I had no reason not to believe them. I felt guilty and ashamed. This was how I thought about what had taken place. That makes no sense. It sounds like I was buying him beer. He laughed. A few years before, the state had tried to pass an ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor to leave a child under 6 alone in a vehicle if the conditions within the vehicle or in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle presented a risk to the health or safety of the child.
He laughed again, then grew serious. It was a temporary lapse in judgment. This is what we need to stress.
‘We are hostages’: A Saudi princess reveals her life of hell
I picture this concerned someone standing beside my car, inches from my child, holding a phone to the window, recording him as he played his game on the iPad. I imagined the person backing away as I came out of the store, watching me return to the car, recording it all, not stopping me, not saying anything, but standing there and dialing as I drove away. Bye now. At this point, almost a year had passed since it happened.
I could hear my lawyer shuffling papers. I looked down and saw that my hands were shaking. I was enraged. He was fine. His response was instant and unequivocal.
This is going to be handled in juvenile court, and the juvenile courts are notorious for erring on the side of protecting the child. It was the first time the idea had skulked out of the darkest, most anxious corners of my mind. I thought I was going to be sick. And so, as the months passed, I told people, and mostly, I was relieved and surprised by how supportive my friends and family were.
If only you could put people in jail for being jerks. Other friends in whom I confided were equally supportive. Another was a high school drama teacher and, after someone observed him fake-pushing a student in the fight scene of a school play rehearsal, put him on paid leave until a social worker could interview him in his home. If you were nominated for parent of the year and they needed a clip, would you submit that one? Probably not. Kids forgotten and then found seven grocery aisles over, babies rolling off changing tables when Mom went to answer the phone.
And still others tried to make me feel better by reminding me that regardless of what I had done on that single afternoon, most days I was a typical, overprotective, over-anxious, neurotic, independence-stifling, middle-class parent. Who am I to judge was, to my surprise and relief, the most common response when I told people what had happened, though there were one or two exceptions. At the other end of the spectrum, a friend who writes and blogs about parenting issues asserted that the whole thing was ridiculous.
You need to talk to Lenore Skenazy. I reached out to Skenazy early this year through a Facebook message, and she got back to me right away, saying she was happy to talk. A former columnist for the New York Daily News and New York Sun, she was launched into the national spotlight in when she wrote a column about her decision to let her 9-year-old son take the subway by himself. Instead, Skenazy comes across as calm, direct and adamant in her ideas. OK, so, you were running errands with your kid when you decided to leave her in the car for a couple minutes while you ran into a store.
The surrounding conditions were perfectly safe, mild weather and such, but when you came out, you found yourself blocked in by a cop car, being yelled at by a nosy, angry onlooker, being accused of child neglect or endangering your chid. Is that about right? We talked for about an hour, and what stuck with me and surprised me most was not her sympathy, but her certainty, her utter lack of equivocation or doubt. About children are injured in traffic accidents every day — and about two die.
The furniture has been built with love and wit—the TV, for example, is a crate on a rock with a magazine glamour shot taped onto the front. The phone is a stone with a curled piece of wire coming out from under it. The girls should be self-conscious because they are being filmed, but they are utterly at home, flipping their hair, sitting close to each other on crates, and drawing up plans for how to renovate.
Nearby, their 4-year-old brother is cutting down a small tree with a hatchet for a new addition.
In another scene, Andrew and Jenny, a brother and sister who are 6 and 4, respectively, explore a patch of woods to find the best ferns to make a bed with. Jenny walks around in her knee-high white socks, her braids swinging, looking for the biggest fronds. Her big brother tries to arrange them just so. The sun is shining through the dense trees and the camera stays on the children for a long time.
When they are satisfied with their bed, they lie down next to each other. I teared up while watching the film, and it was only a few days later that I understood why. In , Hart returned to the same town to do a follow-up study. His aim was to reconnect with any kids he had written about who still lived within miles of the town and see how they were raising their own children, and also to track some of the kids who now lived in the town. But from the first day he arrived, he knew he would never be able to do the research in the same way. The mother said they could go in the backyard, but she followed them, always staying about yards behind them.
When Hart went to visit Sylvia, he filmed the exchange. They are both parents and are still living in that New England town.
‘We are hostages’: A Saudi princess reveals her life of hell
Jenny gets some of her girlish self back when she talks about how she and the boys pile up rocks in the backyard to build a ski jump or use sticks to make a fort. Among this new set of kids, the free range is fairly limited. For example, he said he has to be honest about the things that have improved in the new version of childhood.
In the old days, when children were left on their own, child power hierarchies formed fairly quickly, and some children always remained on the bottom, or were excluded entirely. Also, fathers were largely absent; now children are much closer to their dads—closer to both their parents than kids were back then.
O ne common concern of parents these days is that children grow up too fast. They crossed the road, went to the store; eventually some of them got small neighborhood jobs. But these days, middle-class children, at least, skip these milestones. They spend a lot of time in the company of adults, so they can talk and think like them, but they never build up the confidence to be truly independent and self-reliant. Lately parents have come to think along the class lines defined by the University of Pennsylvania sociologist Annette Lareau. Many people interpret her findings as proof that middle-class parenting styles, in their totality, are superior.
But this may be an overly simplistic and self-serving conclusion; perhaps each form of child-rearing has something to recommend it to the other. She also talks about the same issue Lady Allen talked about all those years ago—encouraging children to take risks so they build their confidence.
But the more nebulous benefits of a freer child culture are harder to explain in a grant application, even though experiments bear them out. The teachers feared chaos, but in fact what they got was less naughtiness and bullying—because the kids were too busy and engaged to want to cause trouble, the principal said. In the past decade, the percentage of college-age kids taking psychiatric medication has spiked, according to a study by the American College Counseling Association.
The data show that children have become:. In the U. Meanwhile, the Welsh government has explicitly adopted a strategy to encourage active independent play, rather than book learning, among young children, paving the way for a handful of adventure playgrounds like the Land and other play initiatives. Whether Americans will pick up on the British vibe is hard to say, although some hopeful signs are appearing.
And in Washington, D. Located at a private school called Beauvoir, it has a zip line and climbing structures that kids of all ages perceive as treacherous. He said the board was concerned about safety but also wanted an exciting playground; the safety guidelines are, after all these years, still just guidelines.
But the real cultural shift has to come from parents. There is a big difference between avoiding major hazards and making every decision with the primary goal of optimizing child safety or enrichment, or happiness. We can no more create the perfect environment for our children than we can create perfect children. To believe otherwise is a delusion, and a harmful one; remind yourself of that every time the panic rises. Even by my relatively laissez-faire parenting standards, the situation seemed dicey. The light was fading, the slope was very steep, and Christian, the kid who was doing the pushing, was only 7.
Also, the creek was frigid, and I had no change of clothes for Gideon. I inched close enough to hear the exchange. Christian had already taught Gideon how to climb up to the highest slide and manage the rope swing. Down he went, and landed in the creek. In my experience, Gideon is very finicky about water.
I started scheming how to get him new clothes. Ask Christian to get his father? Or, failing that, persuade Gideon to sit a while with the big boys by the fire? He is using the office he holds to advance his extraordinary lifetime project of assigning unchecked power to the president. Donald Trump disdains, more than anything else, the limitations of checks and balances on his power. There are the vital signs: heart and respiratory rates and body temperature.
Sometimes blood pressure. These are critical in emergencies. But in day-to-day life, the normalcy of those numbers is expected. The most common numbers are age and body weight. The U. This number has come to be massively consequential in the lives of millions of people, and to influence the movement of billions of dollars.
Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. At a. The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane. He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified. His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines.
In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie. He was married and had three adult children. He lived in a gated development. He owned two houses. In his first house he had installed an elaborate Microsoft flight simulator. These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D. The plane was dark and quiet. To hear more feature stories, see our full list or get the Audm iPhone app.
I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.