Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

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There are some things that are illegal in America but totally fine in other countries throughout the world.

We all try and be the best parents we can be. But don’t even THINK about trying these things in 2023. While they may seem fine and dandy in other countries, in America these are a “no-go.” In fact, in some cases can get the cops called on you, or even worse, Child Protective Services could take your kids away. So before you leave your kids home alone, or outside unattended, or smoke around them, know the consequences!

The “Good Old Days” Are Not The “New Days”

Do you remember when your parents would tell you to “go outside and play and don’t come home until supper time!” Many of us were raised that way. We went outside when we came home from school, played with the other kids in the neighborhood, maybe rode our bikes to the park, and came back right in time for dinner. That wasn’t weird. That was a part of life.

Or, remember when it was acceptable to smoke cigarettes inside your own car, even if your kids were inside of it? Many people did that. I mean, people smoked on airplanes for goodness sake. It wasn’t weird at the time, but now it is.

Oh, what about spanking your child when they behaved poorly? That was totally normal. Everyone I knew had been spanked by their parents with either a belt, a paddle, or their open hand. If you were a child, it was almost expected, especially if you were caught doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing. (One time I even got my mouth washed out with soap!)

Here Are Things That Are Illegal In America But Totally Fine In Other Countries

  • 10. Leaving Kids Home Alone

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    It might be considered normal to leave your kids alone for an extended period of time in Europe. But in America this is illegal. The minimum age to leave a child home alone varies state to state. A couple in Arizona was arrested for leaving their 11-year-old son home alone for an extended period of time.

  • 9. Leaving Kids Outside

    kids outside

    (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

    It’s quite common to leave children outside in European countries, but here in America, that would be unheard of! In New Zealand, the parenting style is very different. The parents let them have a very “un-parented” approach on the playgrounds. They let kids explore without constant monitoring. But in South Carolina, a mother was arrested for leaving her kid alone at a park for too long.

  • 8. Smoking Cigarettes In The Car


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    There are 10 states/US territories that have laws against smoking with children in the car. Two of those states are in New England. In the state of Maine, you can’t smoke with someone under the age of 16 years old. “1st year after enactment there is a written warning; thereafter, $50 fine or warning.” In Vermont, you can’t smoke with a child in the car under 8 years old. Maximum fine is $100. But smoking around children in other countries is quite common.

  • 7. Not Wearing A Seatbelt


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    There have been many arrests of parents in the US not wearing their seatbelts, and not fastening their children in the car. The google results were scary. But, in other countries, some of the cars don’t even have seatbelts! Or of course, if you live in NH. “With the exception of New Hampshire, all states and the District of Columbia require adult front-seat occupants to use seat belts.”

  • 6. Beating Children


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    I know it may sound shocking, but beating children is common in other countries. And while spanking is not illegal in America, it is very frowned upon. In MA, you can use corporal punishment with your child unless you are a foster parent or have adopted a kid. But would you spank them in 2023? Studies have shown that spanking hurts the self-esteem of a child.

  • 5. Marrying Children

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    (Photo by Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

    “In 37 countries, the minimum age for women is less than the minimum age requirement for men. In Sudan for instance, boys are allowed to marry at 15, while girls can marry at 10 by law. In India and Bangladesh, the minimum age for men is 21, while women can be married at 18. Six countries–South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Somalia and Yemen–have no legal restrictions on a minimum age for marriage.” –

  • 4. Nap Outside

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    (Photo by Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

    This one might sound crazy because here in America we would never do it, but in Nordic countries like Denmark and Finland, parents leave their kids outside to nap, starting at around 2-weeks old. They believe that it helps them sleep longer and deeper.

  • 3. Underage Drinking

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    For better or for worse, the drinking age is 21 in America. In Antigua and Barbuda, there is no minimum age to pick up an alcoholic beverage. Most countries though, the legal age to consume alcohol is 18 years old.


  • 2. Naming Children Ridiculous Things

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    “While these differ from state to state, having a numeral in your name is mostly not allowed…Some states also limit the number of characters that can be used, as well as the inclusion of pictograms, obscenity, foreign characters, symbols, emojis, or any offensive language. Certain states also forbid the use of accents and/or non-English letters, which is oftentimes due to the inability of their information systems to process vital records including these characters.”


  • 1. Prostitution

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    One illegal activity many people find surprising is prostitution. While prostitution is illegal in the U.S., most European countries have legalized it and heavily regulate it. Those countries view prostitution as a viable job option, so they ensure that all workers are protected and safe in their occupations.

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