Do you let......

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by stephaniesomewhere, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. My daughter has discovered the back gate of the shopping centre right in front of my house and so when we stop to get a takeaway coffee she normally hams it up for a bit with the guys/gals running the shop then when it is time to pay she blts it for the gate, first she was just playing at the electronic doors, then she was at the gate, now she can open the gate and the other day she opened the gate and bolted round the outside of the centre back to the start point....no problem really and I was feeling happy that she was confident and knew her way around our immediate neighborhood (our actual street) until this happened this week in the city where I am http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1672823.htm
    and all of a sudden I am left with lingering doubts and have started to point out to her that maybe she shouldn't run where I can't see her. What is your feeling about this, not the attack because that goes without saying but rather how far do you think kids should be able or free to go on their own?
    :(
     
  2. hippychickmommy

    hippychickmommy Sugar and Spice

    I think it really depends on the age. My oldest is 6 and my twins are 3 and I always have them within my site while they're playing outside, but fortunately we have a fenced in back yard. They all know how to open the gate, but they know not to do so unless they ask and I'm right there.
     
  3. icedteapriestess

    icedteapriestess linguistic freak

    Wow... that is a truely horrible thing to read about. I can't imagine the pain her family must be going through.

    I think the amount of freedom you can give your child depends a lot of where you live. Right now, I am living in a city/town of 10,000. I know I won't worry about my child nearly as much as I would have if we were still living in Cincinnati. My city is a safe place... the population is low enough that you know almost everyone. Of course, there are areas even within my town that are safer than others...

    Basically, only you can know how much freedom you can give your child. You know where you live, the people, the places, the things... only you can rate it's safetly.
     
  4. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    when out in public, my kids never leave my sight (or my reach, depending on where we are and how many people are around). I've relaxed a little lately, but not much. When we are anywhere near a parking lot or street, they have to hold hands with each other and/or an adult. Every now and then I will leave them in our backyard (not fenced) for no longer than it takes me to go inside to pee. I nearly die of fright every time my two year old bolts from me, but I know it's a stage she will soon outgrow. I have to know exactly where my kids are at all times, but my oldest is only five. Some of the neighbor kids can run around the neighborhood without adult supervision, even little kids my kids' age, and I simply don't understand what their parents are thinking!! Cars go rushing up our street, cutting through from one main road to another, way too fast, and it scares the crap out of me.
     
  5. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

  6. icedteapriestess

    icedteapriestess linguistic freak

    See... thats EXACTLY why I left Cinicinnati.

    When I grew up, we could run and play outside. We could ride our bikes with our friends. In the summer, I left the house at 10am and didn't come back until supper. I had a tree fort down by the river. I had fields to play in. I had berries to pick for lunch if I wanted them.

    The main rules were: Wear a bell if going into the woods. Don't play at the garbage dump. If hungry, come home. Call if you are going to a friends house. Don't talk to strangers (if I saw any, which was very unlikely).

    And its still the same here... obviously not in the "big city" but in the rural areas, its totally the same. I want my kids to be able to ride their bikes to the store to get a bag of chips... i want them to have a tree fort. I don't want them to have to worry about all the scarey stuff....

    maybe its just me being naivee, but I do think there is something to be said for country living.
     
  7. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

  8. icedteapriestess

    icedteapriestess linguistic freak

    New Hampshire: population: 1,309,940
    area: 8,968 sq. miles
    population density: 137.8 people per square mile.

    Saskatchewan: population: 992,995
    area: 251,700 sq. miles
    population density: 3.95 people per square mile.

    I agree with you that the "chance" is there. But you must agree with me that from a purely statistical stand point, the "chance" has to be considerably smaller in Saskatchewan. I believe the last time a child went missing from outside the city, in Saskatchewan, was in 1992... she was 16, and was taken from a busy camping ground.

    Busy camp grounds have strangers, so I wouldn't let my kids run around free there.
     
  9. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

  10. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    I think that where you have has quite a bit to do with it too. In our neighborhood, I don't feel safe letting the kids play IN THEIR OWN YARD without my being physically outside with them, or at least sitting on the sofa where I can see them at all times & am between them and the street. But I live in a neighborhood where the police go by my house at least 4-5 times each week for some sort of domestic dispute, vandalism, or other such problem.

    At my parents house though I feel quite safe letting both kids play in the yard while I am still inside the house, and not exactly keeping an eye on them. It's farther out in the country, and between my parents & the other half-dozen neighbors in the immediate vicinity, someone is always out in their backyard keeping an eye out for any kids that might be out, and everyone knows & trusts everyone else. And when we're on vacation we go to a teensy tiny town where even though we only visit for 2 weeks of every year they know us & the kids by sight... in that town I'll let the kids go up the road to the corner mart on their own & into the Mexican restaurant to pick up sopapillas on their own... something I wouldn't dream of doing where I live.

    As far as public places, I am terribly nervous. I still look for family bathrooms when I'm out with the kids alone... I will NOT send my son into a bathroom on his own unless it's a one-person bathroom, and then I stand guard at the door for him like a vicious watchdog. And I want the kids within visible distance of me at all times - closer if we're somewhere crowded like a mall where we could easily be separated. Yep, I'm paranoid. And I don't feel a bit remorseful about it.
    love,
    mom
     
  11. smiling_mama

    smiling_mama Member

    Me either!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. icedteapriestess

    icedteapriestess linguistic freak

    I agree that DANGEROUS PEOPLE EXIST. I totally agree with that.

    I would let my child run free in my home town, where there are 600 people, more than half of which I am related to in some way. There aren't a lot of people in Saskatchewan... hence the population density stats... so statistically speaking, less people means less dangerous people for my child to run into. There is "country living" and then there is "middle of no where living"... a big differance. I've lived in VT, a farm outside ofHyde Park to be exact... and in that area, country as it was considered by the locals, there are a hell of a lot more people than in the uber-rural areas Saskatchewan.

    I WOULDN'T let my child run free in an area I wasn't 100% comfortable and familar with, like a busy campground. I don't trust strangers... but I do tend to trust people I've known my whole life.

    Wasn't saying that NH or the US in general is a bad place to raise kids... in case that was your inferance. I was just making a arguement for the "depends on the area" side of the "how much freedom do you allow your kids" discussion.
     
  13. barefoot_kirstyn

    barefoot_kirstyn belly flop

    I would be scared shitless to have Leane out of my sight.
    I want her to be able to feel independent enough to go out on her own, but know that I'm always there if she needs me, but that's not until she's MUCH older....I saw this one 13 year old girl on dr phil (there was nothing else on tv) who's mom wouldn't let her go see a movie with her friends...ever. So, he sent her out on a 'date' with her friend on the bus then to the movie theater, calling her mom regularly. But the mom was FREAKING out. i don't want to be that kind of mom. There's always risks, but I can't lock her in a room forever, either.
    But while she's a kid, she's going to be in my sight. Heck, I feel sick right now if I'm not with her, unless its dh.
    when I was little, we lived in an area that icetea is talking about...a little more populated, but we knew ALL our neighbours, often going over to their houses for snacks, etc...the rest of the neighborhood were other kids, which we could go riding our bikes around with. My mom wouldn't let me leave the subdivision (which in the country, is about the size of 10 subdivisions in the city), so I was happy with the area that i had. I had a huge tree fort in the bush where we'd all go hang out, sometimes I'd go and sit and think by myself. If we live in an area like that, then yeah, I'm going to be more relaxed about what she does and how far she goes. But in the city, where we WILL be living for majority of her childhood, she's not going to be able to go too far. there;s just too many weird people out there.
     

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