We’d like to think that The Extraction List could never happen, but that may not necessarily be true.
Recently I was reading an article in Parents Magazine that, quite honestly, terrified me. In an age where we’ve decided everything from what we had for breakfast to a traumatic disease diagnosis is everyone else’s business, it seems there’s a new way that we can butt into other people’s lives. It was talking about the new, trendy practice of being a “parental vigilante.” Basically, instead of talking to each other like adult-type people, people are calling the police on each other if they see someone making what they would consider a parenting mistake. In the article, many a mother made a split second decision and found a police officer knocking on her door as a result. Of course, there are definitely situations where the police should be called, but as a society, do we really want to, for example, risk a child being separated from his/her mother because she left him in a car for fifteen seconds to put her cart away at the grocery store? Because yes, sending the kid into a broken foster care system is soooo much better (read thick sarcasm here) than him being in his car seat well within his parent’s sightline for a couple seconds. As I said, of course there’s a line where it’s appropriate to call the police, but how hard would it have been to just keep an eye out and let the parent be on her way? There has to be some balance. No one likes to think that there are children out there being abused, and we know that some children do need our help. But can we all agree to sprinkle a little sense into the situation and not make it worse?
What about you? Have you ever experienced a parental vigilante? Or have you been the vigilante? What made you decide to act? Would love to hear from both!