“Today we can relax and all you have is a play date this afternoon. The only thing we have to do is work on Marshy's dog training,” I told my 8-year-old daughter. But it wasn't such a good plan. As this is the norm in my neighborhood for kids, my daughter went to walk her little dog by herself, while I stayed in our yard, from where I could see and hear them most of the time. Then one of our neighbors decided to call the police.

Actually, the neighbor warned the cops that a 5-year-old child was out by herself. After doing some research about our family, the police reported back to the neighbor that we have done nothing wrong with our daughter and were not endangering her for letting her walk her dog. It was however not enough to reassure our zealous guardian.

The neighbor decided to call the Department of Children and Family Services, which launched a long investigation for neglect. Simply because our daughter walked her dog, by day, not by night. This is parenting under nanny-state neighbors in Illinois. It seems that reporting people to the authorities because an onlooker disagrees with their parenting methods is common in the USA.

Corey Sprindis with her daughter in Illinois, 2018