Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rich lawyer charged with endangering a child

AP reports:
WHITE PLAINS, NY -- (04/23/09) -- Usually, it's an empty threat: "If you kids don't stop fighting, I'm going to stop this car right now and leave you here!"

But a mother from an upper-crust New York suburb went through with it, ordering her battling 10- and 12-year-old daughters out of her car in White Plains' business district and driving off, police said Tuesday.

Madlyn Primoff, 45, a partner in a Manhattan law firm, pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of endangering a child. A temporary order of protection was issued, barring her from contact with the children, who were physically unharmed. ...

The report does not say whether the girls had cell phones. ...

Dr. Richard Gersh, director of psychiatric services at the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in Manhattan, said Primoff's behavior was not appropriate.

"It is a traumatic situation for a child to be abandoned by a parent like that. You can imagine what emotional issues might arise," he said.
I saw this on Fox News, and their experts said that the cops were right to arrest and charge the mom, but that the charges ought to be dropped after CPS completes its investigation. I got the impression that they thought that it would be okay for the mom to threaten to kick the kids out of the car, but not okay to carry out the threat.

This WSJ blogger says that the mom's action would have been acceptable, maybe even a positive and constructive parenting practice, if only the mom acted deliberately after some consideration. Lenore Skenazy wrote a whole book on why it is good for parents to do things like this, and comments on the story here. But he thinks that she acted suddenly and angrily, and that is not acceptable.

The cops only found out because the mom asked for their help in finding one of the kids. She only had trouble finding one of the kids because some busybody had already intervened.

I think that it is pretty crazy to criminalize a trivial incident like this.


Kyra Moulton said...

I'm a mother currently dealing with PAS and the placing of custody of my 5 children from me to my exhusband.
I was admonished by the court and chastised for my 'innappopriate discipline" for placing my nearly 7 year old daughter on the front porch for a brief time out. this was done with the approval of the parenting coach to curb the childs destructive indoor behavior during time out. ..... so i believe the placing the children out of the car would be construed as 'abusive'

George said...

Inappropriate discipline? I think that the should only be able to punish you if there is some solid evidence that the discipline is harmful.