Madlyn Primoff Kicks Kids to The Curb

Mom kicks kids out of car for fighting

In the News

Madlyn Primoff Kicks Kids Out of Car

Was it really that bad?

-Julie Ryan Evans

“If you don’t stop it, I’m going to pull this car over right now…” An idle threat for most parents, but not for Madlyn Primoff, an Ivy-League-educated New York attorney and mother.

Earlier this week Primoff did, in fact, pull the car over and promptly kicked out her squabbling daughters, 10 and 12, in downtown White Plains, N.Y., three miles from their home.

Somehow the 12-year-old got back into the car after giving chase; the 10-year-old was picked up by a sympathetic motorist and taken for ice cream and to police.

Primoff reportedly circled back a few times looking for the 10-year-old, but didn’t find her so she returned home -to her $2 million home nonetheless – to report her missing. When she arrived at the police station, she was arrested and charged with misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. While it has since been lifted, the original order specified that she couldn’t even see her daughters.

Her actions have sparked a flurry of feedback this week around the world from those outraged by her actions to those shouting “good for you.”

While all of the details aren’t in, from what I’ve read to date, I don’t think what she did so bad. And she certainly doesn’t belong in AOL’s “Parent Criminal Cases” slideshow alongside a man charged with “holding down his 7-year-old son while another man tattooed a dog paw on the child’s belly” or a woman charged with “stabbing her 2-year-old daughter with scissors 100 times and attempting to strangle the toddler with an electrical cord.”

If the girls were 5 and 3, it would be a different story. But 10 and 12, three miles from their home in an upscale part of town? Sure, the world is a scary place, and someone could have abducted her or she could have gotten hit by a car while crossing the street. But those things could happen when any 10-year-old is walking to school or strolling around a mall without a parent. Are you going to arrest their parents too?

So much of parenting is a judgment call. There are parents who let their children do things I would never consider letting mine do, but they’re their children. And while I may consider letting a 5-year-old ride a two-wheel bike in the street without a helmet too dangerous, my neighbor isn’t being arrested for letting hers do so.

Sure Primoff could have/should have tried other discipline tactics. And maybe she did; maybe she didn’t. But the fact is she didn’t hit them; she didn’t intentionally harm them. Maybe she needed to take a break from them so she didn’t reach back there and whack someone. She knew the area she was letting them off in; she knew the maturity of her girls. While she probably made a heated decision, it wasn’t a decision intended to harm them. And if reports are accurate, she did circle back, so she was probably just trying to scare them.

Should the law really get that involved in our parenting decisions? Is making them trek three miles worse than spanking them? What about kids who are sent to bed without any dinner?

Too many parents throw out idle threats and never follow through with them. For police to discipline a mother for her discipline tactics – that aren’t physically harming her children – is, in my book, wrong.

I say good for Madlyn Primoff for making them walk home … instead of all over her.

What do you think?

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0 thoughts on “Madlyn Primoff Kicks Kids to The Curb

  1. I used to tell my kids if they were bad I was going to throw them in the jungle. I remember one breaking point with AJ when he was only like 2 or 3 he was having such a fit, I told my husband to stop the car and I was taking him to the jungle. I got out of the car and started getting him out of the car to “put him in the jungle.”

    Of course, I didn’t do it, but it was a breaking point for me, AND MY HUSBAND was in the car too — heck, he stopped and pulled over. We ALL just had to get our bearings over the tantrum.

    Turns out, I didn’t throw him in the jungle and when we got home, poor AJ took a stellar nap, and everyone was better. He was just an exhausted toddler, and we were exhausted parents.

    After that incident, any time we drove past the “jungle place” we would say, “You don’t want to go in the jungle again!” and laugh about it.

    I don’t really think what this woman did was too crazy. Have you ever been around two tween girls bickering!? I’m sure she was attempting to make a point to her children — a simple threat she actually FOLLOWED through with. So, I’m on the mom’s side on this one. Good article!

  2. Hmm I don’t know about this. My firt gut reaction is to say WHAT??!! THAT’S TERRIBLE! But — if I have learned one thing being a mom it’s the danger of judging until you’ve been there. But … three miles … that’s pretty far to walk. Did they know they way? And how did they get separated?

    And I have to say, Julie — your neighbor should get a ticket at least for letting her 5-yr-old ride without a helmet!

  3. Give me a ticket for no helmets too then. My thought has always been, “I grew up tearing up the streets in Tampa without a helmet on my banana-seated schwinn, so why can’t my kids?” Has the asphalt gotten harder since I was a kid? I know, bad joke, but really, how come it was not an issue when we were kids?

  4. Amazing story. Not a good way to discipline your kids, but I bet they won’t be giving her any grief in the car any time soon, that’s for sure!!!!!!! Lesson learned. Move on!@

  5. how “original” this happened in like the 1st or 2nd season of deseperate housewives … lynette’s screaming boys were being a pain, so she pulled over and left them for about 5 minutes to teach them a lesson; she comes back, and the boys are gone. some neighbor picked them up and gave them cookies. lynette was accused of being a bad mother.

  6. Hilarious! There’s probably millions of parents out there who have kicked their brats out of the car when they are screaming their heads off and made them walk, I’m sure they won’t pull that crap any time soon.

  7. Sounds like her kids were out of control. She should of pulled over and sat there with them till they chilled out. Making them walk home for 3 miles is a bit much.

  8. A friend of mine were talking the other day about why parenting is SO exhausting these days, and then we compared our generation to our parents. It is no wonder that today’s parents are SO much more exhausted and at their wits ends – we are SO much more engaged with our kids.

    Did your parents ever get on the floor and play with you, or were your parents ever frightened to let you play outside by yourself or at a friend’s house. Did your parents put any bit of effort into thinking what is the best education for you?

    I think it is so much tougher to be a parent these days, and I am sure many more parent’s will admit to wanting to drop their kids off in a place far away.

  9. I side with the mom on this one. Here’s another idea: tell the girls that you don’t want to hear bickering in the car, pull over and park safely, take the keys and tell the kids, “I’m going to walk home. Bye!” Grab your purse and go!

    Seriously! Have you BEEN in a car with two bickering girls?!? There is only so much a mom can take, and right, she didn’t smack them. When do parents get a break?

  10. yay madlyn! about time someone put their foot down on a pair of spoiled little brats and let them know that an attitude of entitlement stops once and for all when your mother tells you it stops. i hope the cops put on their thinking caps and get this sorted out properly. it would have done the silly little twits a world of good to get a few blisters from a good long walk home. you go girl. enough of this bull of others judging parents for having some sense of boundaries with kids.

  11. Bravo Madlyn. As a parent how many tools do we have at our disposal? She was able to set a clear boundary with a natural consequence. Her daughters exercised their choice by continuing with the bickering and she followed through. I wish more parents would do this.

    She didn’t put her children in any danger. We do our kids a great disservice by sheltering them from navigating the world on their own. We convince them that they aren’t capable. The odds of being snatched by a stranger are no greater today then they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago. We just hear about it more often because media is so pervasive in our lives.

    If Madlyn didn’t live in a $2 million home I’d start a defence fund for her, but I don’t think she needs it.

  12. I think it’s dispicable. Whether it causes physical harm or not, it probably caused mental harm. The poor girls were probably scared. The 10-year-old gets picked up by a “friendly motorist” and taken for ice cream and the police?!?! That was unnecessary trauma. It’s just mean and cruel and teaches a horrible lesson about abandoning people when times are less than pleasant.

    She should be sitting in prison.

  13. I like it, but I think she also needs to go to the root of the fighting problem and teach them to respect not only her, but each other.

    And three miles is really not that far at all, especially in an upscale neighborhood. It’s maybe an hour’s walk. Maybe. I’m more creeped out about that motorist picking up the ten-year-old and taking her for ice cream.

  14. I find it very troublesome that parents in America have to live in fear of their children. It’s neighbors like the woman who picked up the girl and took her to the police station that give children too much power over their parents. If anyone should be charged, why isn’t this woman charged with kidnapping?

  15. It amazes me how much we baby our children. Last year I had a 12 year old Mexican boy staying in my home who washed and IRONED his own clothes and kept a spotless room – including vacuuming at least once per week without my telling him to, he cleaned the bathroom everytime he had a shower, and he cooked a couple of excellent and complicated Mexican meals (without a recipe) that took a couple of hours to prepare – I was his sous chef I was so amazed. He travelled all over our city of 3 million by bus and even booked and went on a 3 day tour excursion to the Rocky Mountains. He knew how to read maps, how to determine who to ask if in trouble, etc. AND HE WAS THE HAPPIEST PERSON I HAVE EVER MET!!! I asked his mother what prompted her to raise such an independent and competent child so young. She replied that we never know how long we are on this earth and the kindest thing we can do is prepare them as early as possible to feed themselves and take care of themselves in the event we are no longer around. She also said 100 years ago 12 year olds were adults getting married and having children but that now most people are raising children to remain children who don’t want children. We have become too protective and too fearful and are crippling our children. I used to walk 4 miles to and from school each day – it took me one hour each way. My friend won’t let her son walk 15 minutes to school! I shake my head evertime she says she must go and pick him up.

  16. Oh boy, I don’t even know if I want to bother weighing in on this, because it makes me sick to my stomach to think that the government has gotten their nose this far into our business and there are STILL actually people ignorant enough to applaud them for doing so. Why in the world is a mom letting a TWELVE year old and a TEN year old off three miles from their home in an upscale neighborhood news, much less reason for police interference? If this is such a big deal, why isn’t there charges pending for the creepy driver who took the ten year old for ice cream before heading to the police then? Good Lord!

  17. I agree wholeheartedly. Those girls are old enough to go to the mall by themselves, and three miles really isn’t all that far (at least not to me). My real concern is this: what ever happened to ‘never get a ride with strangers’? If my mom had left me on the road to walk home, I would never have taken a ride with a ‘sympathetic motorist’. I’m 26 years old now and I *still* won’t take rides from strangers. Anyway, this is yet another example of the police sticking their noses in where they do not belong. Yes, they certainly belong in cases of actual abuse, but this does not qualify. Good for you Ms. Primoff!

  18. Are you serious!?!?! They are 10 and 12….when I was 12 years old I would walk all over town!!! If they were 4 years old and dropped in the middle of a city…yes. But whats the problem I see kids that age out all over my town on their own!!!!

  19. I am glad to see the Mother stood her ground. This is NY area believe me that 10 year old had a cellphone that she didn’t follow standard safety rules and followed a stranger into an Ice Cream Shop is more of a red light to me than all the screaming folks are doing. This is a child that is in mid rebellion and the poor mother is being arrested. I see several safety things this kid did not do. One she should of stayed in spot or with sibling, used cell called apologized, etc.

    I have thrown a kid out on a deserted road and went down the road to the end. I waited took him a half hour to walk it but he never abused his brothers again over trival crap while I was driving. I have 3 boys and believe me they know I will pull over and throw their fannies to the curb and drive down the road waiting for them just out of reach. Till they have learned a lesson and I have calmed down.

    All this situation has done is empowered this little girl to control her parents and not follow orders. And children given this type of control never follow the rules or laws for the rest of their lives. Since most children up to a few years ago walked 3 miles to and from school everyday. I also concider this a mountain out of a mole hill. If the child was under 10 I would of been a little harsher on the Mother but she wasn’t and the child should know better than what she did.

    Remember there are cultures out there where children are considered responsible for their actions. Unfortunately not in the US.

  20. North American children are pampered,spoiled,chauffeured around all over the place.Walking 3 miles is a bit much?
    The youngsters were together,they are 10 & 12, they’d probably been warned many times.Who decides on standards of behaviour,the kids or the parents?

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