I read in the paper today about a couple who left their five and nine year-olds alone at home for four days while they went to vacation in Las Vegas. Every once in a while, these sorts of stories pop up, which naturally means that it happens a lot more frequently than we know. That being the case, what does the phrase, "common sense" really mean? How often do all of us see people lacking in "common sense?"
Common Sense, as I understand it, represents the basic unwritten rules of behavior that define so-called "civilized" society: Protect your kids, wear clothes in public, don't walk in front of a speeding semi-truck. How could a couple be so lacking in common sense that they believe that there would be no problem leaving their small children alone for days? Perhaps they believed the nine year old was brilliant and gifted, and would know exactly what to do in an emergency. Of course, if I had such a talented kid, I would want to make sure he and his talents were carefully protected. It would seem to be common sense that even the most brilliant child isn't emotionally mature. Regardless of his intellectual abilities, that nine year-old's repsonse in an emergency situation is unpredictable. All this assumes, of course, that the nine year-old is brilliant. If he's of average intelliegence, the dangers are even greater. Either way, it's impossible to understand how two parents could convince themselves that they were doing the right thing. Let's consider thier possible reasons:
1 - The kids will learn valuable lessons in independence.
2 - They play with their XBOX all the time anyway; they won't know we're gone.
3 - They know how to use the microwave.
4 - It's a good opportunity for the kids to build their problem-solving skills
5 - There hasn't been a fire here for ages.
Police are investigating. Nobody has been arrested. After all, you don't need a license....