Our parents' parents used to lock kids outside and tell them not to come home until dark. Our parents used to tell us to go outside and play with the others kids. Now, this mother allowed her 7 year old son to go the park alone. She was then arrested on Felony charges of Child Neglect.
Today, the Legislature has much more to say about what parents can and can't do from disciplining a child, to leaving a child alone, to allowing a child to play at the park without supervision. The police regularly arrest moms and dads for conduct some think is 'just good parenting'. Although the parents are not necessarily found guilty after a trial, parents have been arrested for spanking their child, being at fault when a child disobeys and leaves the home, and here, allowing a 7 year old to go to the park alone.
Sometimes police intervention is warranted, where 2 year olds are starving at home and allowed to roam free in a dangerous neighborhood. Another example is parents who lock their child in a chest and subject the child to extreme torture. But other times, parents make a judgment call for their child's best interest, like allowing them to go a park alone.
The public should be aware of the far-reaching powers of the police and state's attorney to arrest and then prosecute parents for certain conduct. If you are charged unfairly, you should reach out to an attorney immediately for advice.