Dear Abby Says Never Take Your Eyes Off Your Kids Till They Are Old Enough To “Fight Off a Predator”


From last week’s Dear Abby comes this pointless fear-mongering:

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I disagree about how to handle taking our children shopping with us. I believe that, especially while our children are small (they are 3 and 5), the adult with them should keep them in sight at all times, or at least the majority of the time. If a child moves out of eyesight, the adult should find them within a minute. Are there guidelines on what is appropriate by age or developmental stage on this issue? — HELICOPTER MOM AND FREE RANGE DAD

DEAR HELICOPTER MOM: Your husband is an optimist, while you are a realist. Common sense should prevail. When you take your children to a public place, they should remain under your or your husband’s supervision at all times until they are aware enough that they can’t be lured away by a stranger, and big enough to fight off a predator.

According to this, I should go dig up my mom if I want to go to a public place, as I remain not “big enough to fight off a predator.” If you’re determined to snatch me and over 5’6″, I’m sunk.

Read more


Related posts

Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...


  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t
  4. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  5. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  6. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  7. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  8. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  9. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  10. Please do not post in all Caps.
  11. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  12. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  13. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  14. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people
  15. Please do not solicit funds
  16. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), or any others, the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  17. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  18. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  19. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m actually totally ok with this response. When my children were 3 and 5, there was no way I was letting them out of my site. Sorry, but that’s how it is. If you have kids, it’s just instinct to not want them out of your site at that age. I’m not sure what the issue is here with this.

Aren’t parents legally responsible for their children until they are of legal age? I believe they are and if this was practiced, they would be a lot less children in jail and more parents in jail.

I watched my kids like a hawk. What dummy would let them wander around in a crowd unsupervised? My dad allowed me to just do whatever unsupervised and it led to me being molested by a predator, so I would have to say this is sage advice.

Apparently Dear Abby does not know that 68% of abusers are immediate family members and 90% are abused by someone in their circle. It may be that one day they’ll be fighting off the one of the people she say’s should remain under their supervision “until they are aware enough that they can’t be lured away by a stranger” who isn’t luring them away.


I have a 9 and 6 year old and dispatch them as a team for this and that at the supermarket. If it’s just me and the 9 year old and she’s taking too long to choose a cereal box, I’ll tell her to meet me in the bread aisle. 6 year old is not ready for that yet. They work well together. It gives them a sense of independence, strengthens their bond and it is fun for them. However, the neighborhood Ralph’s is pretty much the only place I’d feel safe doing this and, while predators cross my mind, statistically they’re more likely to be harmed by another shopper’s cart, or worse, run over in the parking lot. Indeed, parking lots are where we all hold hands, not to protect from bogeyman, but idiotic drivers.
I support Dear Abby on this one.