Originally Posted by GoBecGo
I'd like to know how many of the parents with 9 year olds have a nine year old who would actually run away in the dark when not going to their own home address because they didn't get ice cream?
It's all very well to assume that those of us who would use this measure have never met or experienced a 9 year old, but i wonder how many of you have normal 9 year olds who actually behave like this, and how you expect others to care for them in this sort of situation?
I don't have a 9 year old, but i know and have cared for plenty and NONE of them acted like this, they were all very mature individuals by comparison with this standard. If they had acted like the child as described i would have met as i found.
I have a ten y.o. and spend significant time with many 9-11 year olds through Girl Scouts, playdates, hanging around my dd's school and going on field trips as a chaperone, have lots of nieces and nephews and adult cousins who have kids in this age group, am a volunteer camp counselor at the local Girls Rock camp, ride public transportation everyday to and from school with my daughter and several kiddos in her age group, etc. My daughter is and always has been really calm and not hard to handle...I don't think she would have run off at 3, much less 9.
As for higher spirited, but still considered "normal" or neurotypical kids....I can't think of ever being in a situation like this where I felt like everything was so out of control. I tend to think I am pretty great with kids, but I think a thoughtful conversation could have diffused the situation pretty well. I can think of a few really high-spirited kiddos that are just really independent and I know their mom's let them roam a bit more than I am comfortable in really crowded, high traffic type areas (I live in a big city) but I can usually level with them and say "So,I am feeling neurotic here, it is so crowded and I just really need you to make sure I can see you and you can see me at all times." There are times when they are distracted and move out of my field of vision but not too far and they are usually checking back with me within 30seconds or so. If I need kids of this age to stay closer I have said so, and made it clear that this is a non-negotiable moment and they get it and stay close until we have crossed the street or passed into a safer-feeling area.
I just think the best way to deal with kids in this age group is to try to respect their need for autonomy while setting limits in situations where their safety may be compromised. It is pretty easy to reason with kids in this age group, you just may have to be thoughtful in the way you go about it as the grownup in the situation.