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Parenting Positive Kids Parenting Positive Kids

Parents Defend Letting Daughter, 5, Swim With Sharks

What do you think?

 

When Elana and David Barnes posted a home video to YouTube of their 5-year-old daughter swimming in the ocean, they intended to share their vacation memories with friends and family, not the world.

But the video quickly became a viral sensation because it shows their daughter, Anaia, not just frolicking in the water but snorkeling with sharks in the waters off the Bahamas.

“Life is too short to be boring,” Elana Barnes told “Good Morning America” of why she and her husband let their daughter swim with the nurse, lemon and Caribbean reef sharks.

The video of Anaia in the water has proven to be anything but boring, provoking a fiery debate online about whether the Ridgefield, Conn., parents were irresponsible in placing their daughter in a potentially dangerous situation.

“When you are an adult, you are allowed to be as reckless as you want to be,” said Ericka Souter, editor of the The Stir on the Café Mom parenting website. “But as parents, it is our job to protect our kids from reckless and dangerous behavior.”

The Barnes say they researched the risks and decided it was worth it to nurture an adventurous spirit in their daughter. The sharks with which Anaia swam are said by animal experts to be rarely aggressive and she was with an instructor the entire time.

“There’s just always risk assessments in life every day,” David Barnes told “GMA.” “I’m more concerned that they don’t put seatbelts in school buses.”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/07/parents-defend-letting-daughter-5-swim-with-sharks/

 


by on Jul. 6, 2012 at 8:36 AM
Replies (11-20):
brittanyx22
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM
1 mom liked this
I think she had fun! People are so critical of others and their parenting choices these days. She was perfectly safe with an instructor. Her parents did the research ahead of time. I'd love it if my daughter wanted to do something like that when she gets older. I'll have fun taking her to do fun, adventurous things while others can have fun living in their bubbles!
mjimaging
by Bronze Member on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:03 AM
1 mom liked this
I would have let my children do it too. It's not like she was in the middle of no where, with no way out.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
BeAmour
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:07 AM

 I'd so let my DS do it!!

They are nurse sharks and can be very friendly...they remind me of manatee's honestly (by their personality). There were people there if by the off chance things got ugly and it was 100% controlled.

Quite frankly, I'm more terrified of going to the beach with my DS in the waters because who knows where the sharks are...and I live in Florida!

Althought, I do know the signs a shark is near shore but it's because I'm pure Floridan. :)

JocelynsMama1
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:09 AM
1 mom liked this

people need to realize they didnt throw her in the ocean have her surrounded by sharks and just sit back adn laugh doing nothing....they took her to an excursion type place where she was with a guide...the sharks she was swimming with were used to people interacting with them....its not different than taking a 5 yr old to swim with dolphins which i will be doing in the bahamas on our cruise.....accidents happen but we can't all live in a bubble and not experience the world

Shani527
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I think she(the girl) was pretty safe. She was with a trained instructor, with animals that are rarely aggressive.

HeatherM0529
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I don't see anything wrong with it. With all swimming with sharks they feed them VERY well before you get in. If an adult can do it and a child WANTS to do it, then let her!!

sheena696
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:14 AM


Quoting IAMmomtotrips:

I think it's being blown out of portion. The sharks she was snorkeling with we're nurse sharks and are less agressive than dolphins!

She was in a more controlled environment than when the average person swims at the beach!

This 100%! People need to chill!

tmmom2
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:15 AM

  What the signs that a shark is near the shore?  Just curious I am going to the beach next month and am a little freaked about sharks.

Quoting BeAmour:

 I'd so let my DS do it!!

They are nurse sharks and can be very friendly...they remind me of manatee's honestly (by their personality). There were people there if by the off chance things got ugly and it was 100% controlled.

Quite frankly, I'm more terrified of going to the beach with my DS in the waters because who knows where the sharks are...and I live in Florida!

Althought, I do know the signs a shark is near shore but it's because I'm pure Floridan. :)


SimplyEnchanted
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:15 AM
2 moms liked this

Nurse sharks are harmless however lemons have been known to be aggressive before. There have been 6 confirmed lemon shark attacks. But in the scope of things...you're looking at the fact that the child was more likely to be attacked by a monkey in the zoo than such a low statistic for a shark. It's not like they let her get in the water with a bull shark! 

Chillisarah
by on Jul. 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM
2 moms liked this

I wouldn't do it but I don't think the parents were being reckless or putting their child in danger.   When I was 16 I went boating out in the gulf of Mexico with my dad and the waves were getting really high out there.  I mean, they got so high above my head! And when I looked over at the wave on side of me it was a bunch of jellyfish all through the wave.  Freaked me out but man that was cool.  We also saw many dolphins that day (it was mating season for them).  Awesome experience and my dad is far from a bad father for that.  We also went boating in waters where alligators lurked.  Live your life and let other live theirs.

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