‘Get your ASS OUT the car, and WALK HOME’

April 29, 2009

I really feel for mothers and fathers like Madeline Primoff, Darlene Ong [1], or even mai Mom and Dad who have felt the need to put an underage child out the car to walk home for misbehavior. I feel for mothers like Primoff who have been JAILED for such action.

First and foremost, DONT MAKE EMPTY THREATS. Do what you say you are going to do, or don’t say it. This is the only way threats like “Don’t make me pull this car over” are ever actually going to be effective. If you’ve set a history with other things that you do what you say.

This issue has come to light in the news recently because Primoff and her mother were in the car when they put out her 10 and 12 year old daughters for ‘acting out’. The mother was trying to teach the girls that if they behave badly, then they will have to suffer in a way that they wont like. Primoff (or her lawyer rather) said that she and her mother dropped the girls off on the street, drove around the block, and when they came back to retrieve them, the older girl was there, but the 10 year old was missing! Apparently, a passerby took the 10 yr old for ice cream and then dropped her off with a police officer. (Thank you passerby for not being a crazy person. I hope Primoff is thanking God for that.) Primoff called to report her daughter missing and when she arrived at the precinct to pick her up, Primoff was arrested and jailed overnight for abandoning the child.

Ok, wow this is ‘Get your ass out the car’ gone WRONG, terribly, terribly wrong. Could I ever image making my child walk home for bad behavior? HELL YEAH! Would I ever make mai child think that I was going to leave them somewhere they didn’t know and where they couldn’t get home from… NO! Inducing abandonment issues shouldn’t be the goal Mom. ABC News didn’t make it clear as to if the girls were dropped off at a place they knew and could possibly get home from.

Factors have to be taken in to consideration to effectively enact ‘Get your ass out the car’. (This tactic was supported by the ‘expert’ on ABC News though she said you should drive alongside the child as they walked.) If you think there’s a possibility you would enact this sort of disciplinary action on your child, why wouldn’t you have a premeditated game plan?

Factor Q: Number of offending children? There is strength in numbers. I’d be more likely to drop off 4 children than 2.

Factor X: Will the children stay with each other if I drop them off? ‘Get your ass out the car and you better not come home without your baby sister or this will seem like a walk in the park!” Obviously Primoff didn’t think that one thru. I can’t believe her 12 year old let the 10 year old go off on her own. I know families, where even if you are fighting, the parents have set up a system whereas the older siblings know they are responsible for the younger ones. I mean lets keep in mind, 12 is babysitting age!

Factor Y: What’s the weather like? What time of day is it? Are the children dressed appropriately?

Factor Z: Do the kids know the area? Do you as a parent know the area? How long will it take them to get home or to their destination? In mai childhood neighborhood I could ride mai bike to the park that was 15min away. I could’ve walked from there if I was interested in exercising. So dropping a 12 yr old there in daylight to walk home could be totally appropriate behavior. Also, I grew up in a rural country community, I wouldn’t drop a kid off on Skid Row in LA even if it was a short 45min walk to mai front door.

I think making children walk home can be a useful tool if it’s not used in the heat of the moment. That’s where this situation went wrong. If Primoff would have thought out the situation she probably wouldn’t be in such hot water. I dont disagree with the practice totally, but I do think the way Primoff went about it was irresponsible. I mean, a passerby picked her child up! Thank God the ice cream wasn’t drugged and she was delivered to an officer… but it could have just as easily gone another way. ‘Get your ass out the car and walk home’ can only be enacted when the risks have been calculated and its used as a teaching and discipline method not as an unthought about whim the parent goes on. Each situation is different, so assess your situation before you enact this, but there IS a place for it. If they piss you off 25 miles from home, wait till you are 4 miles from home, and make em walk if the factors line up. ‘That’s right Billy, you’re ass was made for walkin’, so that just what your bad ass is gonna do. I love you, see you when you get home’

1. ABC News

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