Dear Amy: Seven months ago, my in-laws took my child under five for the night and broke the only rule my wife and I set for our child’s time with them: DO NOT ride their ATVs. .
We don’t think it’s safe, especially on public roads.
We reminded them of this rule as they left for the outing.
Upon his return, our child spontaneously shared that he had done mountain biking, including on the roads.
My in-laws did not apologize or admit wrongdoing. They believe it is safe and within their rights to make this decision.
Another concern I have is that they have unsecured guns in their house and refuse to get a safe to lock their guns.
I believe two cases show very poor judgment on their part and my young child is not safe in their care.
I don’t think my in-laws are trustworthy, they don’t respect us as parents, and they have poor judgment when it comes to safety.
My spouse is more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, despite these and other differences.
Your opinion ?
— Concerned parent
Dear concerned: My view is that these grandparents should not have your child on their property without you or your spouse being physically present.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Annual Report on Fatalities and Injuries (latest statistics) reveals that “There were 81,800 reported ATV-related emergency treated injuries in 2018. More than a quarter of these injuries were sustained by children under the age of 16. old, the highest of all age groups.
The report goes on to say, “Even if a locality allows people to drive off-road vehicles on paved public roads, ATVs are not designed for this purpose. ATVs can be cumbersome on paved surfaces and the risk of collision with a car, truck or other vehicle is significantly higher, increasing the risk of driver injury or death.
Each year in the United States, nearly 350 children under the age of 17 have access to a firearm and unintentionally kill or injure themselves or someone else, according to Everytown.org. Nearly 77% of incidents occur inside the home.
Not only are your in-laws showing extremely poor judgment regarding the safety of your child (or any child), they are blatantly disrespecting your very reasonable demands.
Their behavior also puts your young child in the terrible position of doing things they’re not supposed to do and then risk being scolded by the grandparents when the child tells you about it.
Please educate your child about gun safety!
The NRA guidelines for young children are simple:
“Stop! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell an adult. (Eddieeagle.nra.org)
I live in a rural area where many people own both ATVs and guns. But NO responsible person who cares about children will risk a child’s safety.
And no wise grandparent who wants to spend time with a grandchild will openly challenge that child’s parents.
Dear Amy: I was just reading your “Best of” column from 2012 which deals with political differences between friends.
Part of your response to the writer (“Fed Up”) was, “Sophisticated people living in a country dedicated to free speech should be able to tolerate different – even offensive – perspectives without wanting to leave the country…”.
Even though this advice is 10 years old, it is still (if not more) relevant today.
I have it on my calendar so I can see it every day and hopefully be able to quote it without rushing it.
Dear grateful: I have to admit, when I was reviewing the chronicles from 10 years ago, I was a bit surprised that the political divide discussed even existed.
And then I remembered, as I often do, my own early childhood in the turbulent 60s and 70s.
Now I wonder if turbulence could be the norm, when periods of calm and relative togetherness are rare.
I believe we should all value our freedom to disagree loudly and protest vigorously. There are many places in the world where this is not possible.
Dear Amy: I appreciate your compassion for “Well Read”, the grieving widow who was so offended when her fellow book club members confronted her about her erratic behavior.
After hearing her, “What’s going on with you?” was the perfect question to ask him.
I hope she sees a doctor for a medical evaluation.
Dear concerned: It is difficult to be the subject of an intervention; I hope she can see past her hurt feelings and get some help.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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