R. Star wrote:
Last I checked, Seung-Hui Cho isn’t on the Enterprise.
The risk that Romulan warbirds present to a teenager on the Enterprise isn’t affected at all by whether or not his mother is on the ship.
So you'd be perfectly fine leaving your 15 year old kid alone with a few people you've just served with on a military base under threat of attack while you're posted back in the States just because he enjoys the experience there? That's pretty much what this is.
If it weren’t a safe place, I don’t think I’d have moved my kid there in the first place. You’re arguing against families being on the Enterprise in the first place, not against allowing them to stay when the parents leave. The people who actually live in the universe under discussion consider the Enterprise to be a safe enough environment for children.
And it’s not “just because he enjoys” the experience.” Wesley’s interest in serving on the Enterprise isn’t hedonistic.
As for me, if my son were 18 and qualified to serve, I would certainly allow him to do so. I might or might not be comfortable with it, but if serving in the military or Starfleet is what he wants to do with his life, of course I would allow him to pursue it. Wesley is about 17 years old at this point—Memory Alpha places his birth in 2348 and S2 in 2365—and physical durability isn’t as much of a requirement on the Ent-D as it is in present-day armed forces, so the situation is basically the same.
Oh because 17 is so much better. But the if your son was 18 argument is meaningless as it doesn't fit the premise of the question or situation. He's still legally a child no matter how you cut it.
Crusher did abandon Wesley, a legal child on the Enterprise, a place with known dangers. Season 2 had Romulans, Ferengi, and the Borg alone among antagonists for example. Utopia view of the future or not, that's an irresponsible position to put any civilians in, nonetheless leave your child in while you're sitting at a cozy desk job far behind the lines.
I always figured the families on ships thing faded away because of the danger and casualties taken among them. You see zero reference of them in Voyager, they fade quickly on DS9 and that's even a space station generally away from danger, and by the time the TNG movies come out the Enterprise E has no civilians. A good thought, but not realistic in a ship that's exploring the unknown. Columbus didn't take his family with him sailing to the New World for a damn good reason after all.
Either way, back to Crusher, leaving her kid on the ship was grossly irresponsible. But the issue just got shoved into the corner and no one talked about it because we don't want a main character to look bad, while keeping Roddenberry's Mary Sue version of himself around, even though it makes zero sense.