What Would You Do?
A friend of mine emailed me with an interesting question, and I thought I would share the story here, and perhaps get some additional input from our readers.
Her neighbour has two children aged four and eight years. She regularly allows them to ride in the front seat “as a treat”, not just while the vehicle is stationary, but also on major streets. For reference (since every state or province determines its own traffic safety laws), in Ontario, the law dictates that children under eight must be in a booster seat, and that for kids aged eight to 13, they are “strongly recommended” to be in the back seat for safety. So, the neighbour is within her rights as far as the older child is concerned, but is breaking the law with the younger one.
This brings up an interesting question. As parents, many of us feel a responsibility to protect not just our own children, but all children we encounter. However, since the threat is not as immediate, my friend is unsure what to do. Should she speak to the neighbour about the safety of her children? Should she call the police to tell them? Should she just ignore the problem? If this neighbour was hitting the children, I believe my friend (as would most people, not just parents) would intervene in some regard, either by calling the police or children’s aid, or by physically stopping the neighbour.
Have you ever faced a similar question? If so, what did you do? If not, what would you do in such circumstances? Does your relationship with the neighbour factor into consideration? Why or why not?
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