In the studio, Lori tells Dr. Phil that she was shocked when the cop came up to her. "I just listened to him as he lectured me and told me, â€˜Ma'am, this is the city. We have 25,000 people in our city, and it's not safe for your child to be out on the street,' and let him speak his peace," she says. When she went home, she questioned her judgment, so she decided to call the police chief to obtain safety information. "He was very straightforward. He said, â€˜I can give you all the crime stats if you'd like, or I can tell you that you made the right decision, and you were fine, and your neighborhood is safe.'"
"I've got a problem with both those points of view," Dr. Phil says. "I don't want the city, I don't want the police in my parenting decisions."
Lori says that her children also have free range of the neighborhood. "We know most of the neighbors, and they're allowed to visit several homes on their own and play in the yard as they wish," she says.
Lori shares a story about her 6-year-old daughter's independence.
"We want our kids to learn, but the steps need to be very small, because if you get them beyond their capabilities, beyond their reasoning, beyond their skill sets, then that's when they can get in trouble," Dr. Phil says. He shares that when he was growing up, he was home alone often without supervision. "I think about the judgments I made at the time, that if I thought my kids were making some of those judgments, I would just be horrified."
[AD]"But you still turned out OK," Lori says. "We all make bad choices as children, but the point is we need to be able to make them."
"You want to have the mistake within the realm of reason, so the penalty is not too great," Dr. Phil says.