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  1. #46
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    Sep 2007
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    I'm just going to have to weigh in one more time, as one of those "self-righteous" parents who did not ever leave my children alone.

    My kids are now 27, 23 and 17. We have lived in a suburban community outside San Diego since they were born and we have no family in town to act as babysitters. My husband was (he's recently retired) an executive for a large company so we had to attend a lot of company schmoozing events here in town and we traveled a good deal - both on family vacations all over the world, and as tag-alongs on business trips.

    It wasn't always easy to find childcare. During the course of my children's childhoods, I used mom-to-mom babysitting coops, teenage sitters, and, on occasion professional companies hiring bonded sitters. If we couldn't find a suitable sitter, one or both of us stayed home. That simple.

    I do fault the McCanns for leaving their child alone. My personal theory is that she died in the apartment, possibly from doing some kind of activity while under the influence of sedatives that were supposed to have knocked her out. But, whether she was kidnapped or died as a result of an accident, the McCanns are responsible for leaving her in a position for harm to come to her.

    We have a pool in our backyard. For that reason alone, I would never have left my children alone, even to go across the street, and even with every door in the house locked and the pool alarms operating on the doors and outside at the pool site. The McCanns however, felt free to leave their three babies unattended, with the doors supposedly unlocked and an enticing pool just steps away. That alone constitutes criminal negligence in the state of California.

    As the initial post on this thread points out - mothers with less political and economic clout do get brought up for prosecution when they leave their children unattended. Lucky for the well-connected McCanns that they were able to place calls to just the right people to suppress being hauled to jail for leaving their three children alone.

    I find everyone on this board to be good and sincere people but how anyone can defend the McCanns' leaving three babies alone is beyond my ability to comprehend. These weren't school-age children. They were toddlers with absolutely no ability to discern safe behavior.

    Jayelles, you can label me "self-righteous" but those are my honest opinions. I've lived motherhood for 27 years and I believe my opinions are valid by virtue of experience on the "field" and by virtue of comparison with the many other mothers I have known over the years who also did not leave their toddlers alone.

    (This post doesn't even take into account the particular callousness it would take for a parent to disregard completely that their child cried for them in night's previous and clearly did not want to be left alone in a strange country and a strange bedroom. That part of this story makes me cry every time I think of Madeline being left by herself when she was so clearly scared/lonely/upset....whatever.)

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Near the ocean.
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    67
    I'm in my first year of college. I had a chance to talk to a girl in my math class yesterday who is from London England and we decided to go out for sodas afterwards. On a hunch I asked her about the Madeleine case and if she'd ever heard of the McCanns. She rolled her eyes and said how many people in her country used to think how sad it was for their little daughter to be kidnapped but now many think Gerry and Kate did something to her.
    As for the leaving children alone to go out on a lark, as she put it, she says it used to be common but not anymore. Most parents frown on children being left to themselves on vacation. You either bring a nanny with you or you hire a nanny at the resort or you don't bring them at all.
    If I don't link it, it's only my opinion.

  3. #48
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    Aug 2008
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    France
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    There is actually a law in the UK regarding leaving children alone, the 1993 childrens act states that parents could be charged with neglect if they are found to have left a child alone " in a manner in a manner which is likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health", no age is specified.

  4. #49
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by anne11 View Post
    There is actually a law in the UK regarding leaving children alone, the 1993 childrens act states that parents could be charged with neglect if they are found to have left a child alone " in a manner in a manner which is likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health", no age is specified.
    Thats what i thought however a petition was done by some people about this matter and received a reply from Gordons Browns office ( i did pm some on here with it) and basically it said it was up to the parents how they looked after there children in this country
    LEE: When I say I know my sister, I can
    say that because I know how I would react. I'm a lot
    like my sister as far as how we would react.


    John Morgan: I can tell.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabella View Post
    Thats what i thought however a petition was done by some people about this matter and received a reply from Gordons Browns office ( i did pm some on here with it) and basically it said it was up to the parents how they looked after there children in this country
    I've just read an article on BBC-i warning parents about leaving their children alone during the summer holidays, the risk is a large fine or jail time. But with that being the word from "on high" I despair, remember baby P

  6. #51
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    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by anne11 View Post
    I've just read an article on BBC-i warning parents about leaving their children alone during the summer holidays, the risk is a large fine or jail time. But with that being the word from "on high" I despair, remember baby P
    It sounds like one of those laws vague enough to enforce when authorities want to make a point, but broad enough in wording that they can ignore as well when they don't want to be bothered making a case.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texana View Post
    It sounds like one of those laws vague enough to enforce when authorities want to make a point, but broad enough in wording that they can ignore as well when they don't want to be bothered making a case.
    Mitchell has said if they show Amarals documentary here he will sue whatever channel its on but...to be honest i seriously wonder about that. Because if he sued the channel all they have to do is take Amaral to the court hearing..and..well..Bobs your uncle so to speak. Im sure Amaral would be up for it ; )
    LEE: When I say I know my sister, I can
    say that because I know how I would react. I'm a lot
    like my sister as far as how we would react.


    John Morgan: I can tell.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    575
    If the McCanns were convicted of child neglect/abuse or involuntarily manslaughter, what happens to their medical license? In the US, the doctor could potentially lose their medical license. At they very least, the doctor would be limited to the places s/he can practice. And if a doctor loses his or her license, what other career options are available? Especially career options that allow one to pay off high students loans, etc.

  9. #54
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    Apr 2011
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    If someone wants to abduct your child, they are going to do it whether or not you are in the same home. I can think of many cases where a child has been taken from a home where adults are sleeping or awake in the next room. As for the McCann's being negligent or compared to parents who leave their children over night to party, I think that is unfair. The issue with this case is so many people have limited cultural understanding regarding parenting practices in other countries. I am sure, the McCann's suffering and horror over all of this is enough to make them question routine practices of dropping in to check on children. They live with it every day. Checking in on children while dining nearby is a norm in a lot of places where "stranger-danger" hasn't taken over society. Plus, American jurisprudence dictates how we parent in many ways. In reality, if someone wanted Madeline, they would have taken her whether or not her parents were 30 feet away or 3000. Why are we victim blaming the parents here? Does it help solve this crime? Does it make us feel superior? There is no need. Let's focus that on finding some type of resolution for a family who has not only been railroaded by sensational media, but by the language barriers and bizarre legal practices in the country she was abducted in. We simply can't compare across the board the US legal system with how strange the other is, nor parenting practices. This is an awful case and I really think the many misunderstandings caused by culture, language and countries have made this even worse for the parents. I think they are suffering enough and are educated enough to be well aware of the possible outcomes of their daughter's fate without being crucified by the public.

    BTW: As a parent, I personally am obsessive about my children, but I grew up in stranger-danger America. I also have been known to stop the car to check if a sleeping child is breathing...LOL. My oldest daughter got to the point on long trips where she would roll her eyes and say, yes...he's alive...LOL. But, I have traveled many places and know and I have to say what works in our country is not the solution for all. America is not a perfect country, so acting ethnocentric about how this is an abomination is short-sighted. IMOO.


    Here is a recent article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...sappeared.html

    Opinions on the above article?

  10. #55
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    Mar 2009
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    It's not just stranger danger imo, no matter where you live and what the cultural attitudes are, it's just not safe to leave children that young alone. They could wake up, go out in search of the parents and drown in the pool or something. There could be a fire. They could get up and go out and get hit by a car. They could get sick and nobody is there to comfort and take care of them. There are accidents that can happen to unsupervised children even if no strangers are in sight within a ten mile circle.


  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    It's not just stranger danger imo, no matter where you live and what the cultural attitudes are, it's just not safe to leave children that young alone. They could wake up, go out in search of the parents and drown in the pool or something. There could be a fire. They could get up and go out and get hit by a car. They could get sick and nobody is there to comfort and take care of them. There are accidents that can happen to unsupervised children even if no strangers are in sight within a ten mile circle.
    That is true. The thing is there are many historical and mythological reasons why we as Americans tend to be neurotic about safety and what-if's compared with the rest of the world. A lot of that has to do with our view about death and accidents. Many of that has come from jurisprudence. It is media and consumerism playing on our worst fears. Chronic worrying takes it's toll on children and families in America. I just think, since our country is so young, and the UK has been around quite some time as have their parenting techniques, it isn't ok for me to pass judgment on the McCann's. That's all.

  12. #57
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    Mar 2009
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    FWIW, I dont live in America and most of the people here don't think that leaving small children alone is a parenting technique, they think it's negligence and you can actually get charged for it. Just last night my daughter vomited all over the bedroom and her sibling. They were both crying and miserable enough as it was, let alone if they had been all by herself without an adult to comfort and take care of them.

    JMO I don't think it is just American neuroticism. Children need to be taken care of all over the world.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    FWIW, I dont live in America and most of the people here don't think that leaving small children alone is a parenting technique, they think it's negligence and you can actually get charged for it. Just last night my daughter vomited all over the bedroom and her sibling. They were both crying and miserable enough as it was, let alone if they had been all by herself without an adult to comfort and take care of them.

    JMO I don't think it is just American neuroticism. Children need to be taken care of all over the world.
    You are so right. Sorry about the vomit incident, I have been there too. Unfortunately, in some areas of the world, this is kind of parenting is common. right, wrong or indifferent. If there is a silver lining, it is the fact that certain practices may be rethought in certain countries. As with history, this type of incident serves as a catalyst for change. But, I also think American beliefs and cultures effect others. I am an ex-pat right now, so all I can say is, things in other countries are very different!

  14. #59
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    Aug 2003
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    We went around and around with this debate when the McCann story first broke. I think by U.S. standards they (and their friends) would be charged with child negligence for leaving them in an unlocked apartment with stairs and unguarded windows.

    Most of us here had never heard of the method of "checking" the hotel room just hourly, and while it may be an established practice in Portugal, it still seems rather haphazard. Some of the people who supposedly checked Madeleine's room didn't even go inside but apparently just stuck their head in the door and listened.

    Of course accidents can happen whether parents are in the room or not, but often children can be saved from emergencies if someone is close enough to hear a cry for help or the sound of someone falling or the sound of choking. That's one reason why baby monitors were invented.

    People may think Americans are just obsessed with safety, but unfortunately there are still thousands of accidents that kill children every year. I wish more parents were overprotective, actually, or at least more alert.

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
    It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. ~ James Thurber
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
    Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. ~ Mark Twain

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