Neighbors Send Unbelievable Invoice to Toddler Who Scratched Their Car (PHOTO)

Everyone would agree that kids should be allowed to be kids, at least in theory. However, society seems divided on what that means in 2015. Far from the days when kids were expected to be seen and not heard, the hilarious tyranny of the Honest Toddler on Twitter or the impeccable fashion sense of 3-year old Rylee on Instagram are followed by parents and non-parents alike. We want to see and hear everything that little kids are doing, and social media makes that possible. Cue the backlash. One look at the news tell us that the everyday general public seems less tolerant of typical kid behavior than ever. Which is why this gracious couple is being called "amazing" for forgiving a major toddler blunder.

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A 3-year-old put a nasty dent in his neighbor's car after swinging his own car door open. A common mistake; I've seen adults unwittingly do it in the grocery store parking lot. But these parents felt so bad that they fessed up to the neighbor couple and agreed to pay for the damage. That was the right thing to do, and, as expected, they received a "bill" from the couple. That's where the story took a different turn.

If their estimates are accurate, this was a generous notion in any decade. But it carries even more weight in a time when the general public seems less tolerant of children than ever. Parents are forced to bring cookies or other goodies to placate other passengers on a flight with their kids. To alleviate the effects of normal infant crying or typical toddler jitters on grown adults? Nursing mothers are given side-eye glances -- or worse! -- out in public. Signs ask them to drape a blanket over their eating infants, no matter how hot or suffocating the weather.

Even in my apartment building, management recently posted new rules for the roof deck. No kids under the age of 12 can be present while the residents drink margaritas and gossip about coworkers and gush over reality television. How does that make any sense? It's not a library or a church (by the way, places where most kids have no problem following the rules and being well behaved), it's an open space for people to enjoy the summer sun. But not with the hassle of kids around, apparently.

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It's important progress that children have more influence over their lives than ever, bending gender norms and notions of age-appropriateness with their parents' consent -- or even encouragement. And this "anything goes" treatment isn't reserved for celebrities or the most progressive of families. Head to your own local restaurant where toddlers are encouraged to order from the regular menu, and their parents turn their noses up at the standard "kids' menu" fare. This generation of children are given a higher level of autonomy to weigh in on decisions that affect their lives than any before it. As far as parents are concerned, kids have free reign.

But they are still kids. Growing children are still learning to navigate physical coordination and can easily trip, bump, or drop things. Most haven't mastered social graces either, and might say something rude or offensive. And when kids are put into adult situations, it can be harder for adults to brush off their behavior as "kids being kids."

That's exactly what makes this story make us feel warm inside. Finally, someone who gets it.

Would you make these parents pay for the damage caused by their toddler?


Image via Facebook

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