“I feel ill. Kids at the beach by themselves at that age makes me feel physically ill."
This world is a cruel place, seemingly crueler everyday, with opinions hewn into instruments of torture and used, mercilessly to flog those with wrong thinking or actions in the public square. Brutal flicks of the lash meant to leave deep scars and also scare others away from similar wrong thinking or actions. And let us travel, together, to Australia where two parents, Jason and Sammy, are currently tied to the sawhorse, backs exposed, for daring let their young children swim unsupervised in the ocean.
The revelation was made on the reality program Parental Guidance in which parents share tricks of the trade and brutalize each other when tactics diverge. The two engage in what they call “lighthouse parenting” in which they allow their oldest two children, Pepper, 10, and Jude, 6, go to the beach all by their big selves and splash splash away.
“It’s an opportunity for them to showcase how independent they can be, and give them some trust as well,” Sammy declared.
Well, people were not pleased, no not at all.
“I feel ill. Kids at the beach by themselves at that age makes me feel physically ill,” one mother spat.
“That water can change in an instant and from where you are and where the kids are, they’re gone,” another added.
Sammy, though, stuck to her guns, responding, “The thing with our parenting style is the children to be aware of their own limitations,” which brought out the big guns from World Surf League CEO Erik Logan who in an open letter stated:
To the WSL community,
I want to address the conversation that happened in our community following the recent Championship Tour event at the Surf Ranch. As you likely know, a small number of athletes made statements questioning the judging of the competition and the final results.
I want to respond directly to those statements, however, we first need to address a much more important issue. In recent days, a number of surfers, WSL judges, and employees have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence, including death threats, as a direct result of those statements. Those things should never happen in our sport or any sport, and we’re devastated that members of our community have been subject to them. It is an important reminder to us all that words have consequences. We hope the entire WSL community stands with us in rejecting all forms of harassment and intimidation.
Back to Jason, Sammy and their crazy ways, do you stand with them, thinking that today’s children are over-coddled and need a little bit more freedom or are we not doing enough to keep them safe?
Do you let your own little ones swim or surf alone?
Do you dare utter if you do?