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how many times before you'd call the police? little league - Page 4

post #61 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I know a few coaches who would be very happy if parents just dropped their kids off and drove away, and let the kids have their fun.
Agreed. I have dropped my kids at a gymnastics class at 3-4 yrs old and then left the building for 40 min to run an errand (they had my cell # in case there was a problem), and at karate at 6 and wandered around the area while he was in class...but I'm back at the location *10 minutes before the end time* to pick them up. IMO, that's the problem - not dropping the kid off, which I agree with you can be a good thing - the problem is not picking the kid up on time.

At a soccer rec league the kids are in now, I am constantly amazed at how up their butts some people are with their kids - jeepers, let them just PLAY without you being on the flipping field with them. It's a rec league, not the World Cup.
post #62 of 163
think of it this way - it's legal for you to leave your child in your car for a few moments while you run groceries into your house or if you leave your sleeping toddler in the car when you stop at a tag sale. however, it's illegal for a school bus driver to leave your child for even one second by themselves on the bus. same idea that you can leave your child home alone for 15 minutes to run to the store, but a daycare provider would be shut down if they left your child alone. it's a quirk of the law, not that it always makes sense.

This is true if nothing happens but parents are often being held criminally responsible if something does go wrong. I remember a time when a little girl got outside and almost got hurt while her parents were sleeping and they were arrested. So, if the "responsible adult" is not the parent the issue becomes more of a problem.

Hopefully the league will step in here. There needs to be more support for the volunteers if we want people to continue to do so. So sad that parents would do this.
post #63 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
These days there are very few. Our society is becoming very fear centered and concerns over liability are huge.

However, 30 years ago no one would have thought twice about it. Back then parents just said to their kids "go out and play." The kids went out and played. If they wanted to go to the park, they opened the door yelled in to mom (this was also a time when mom was typically still a SAHM just b/c that's what is done) "Can I go to the park?" and mom usually yelled back "be home by dinner time/before it gets dark/etc."
post #64 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
In some ways, I think it depends on the relation of the public space to the home.

By 6, I was going to the park by myself or taking my younger sibs. The park was two blocks from the house. 7ish, I was taking myself/younger sibs to the library which was 4 blocks away from the house. Around 7/8 I was also walking or biking myself/younger sibs to-and-from school, which was 1 mile away from the house.

My mom would drop me off at gymnastics/dance practice around those ages, and might also not make it back "on time" to pick me up. But the coach's responsibilities, at least then (1980s) ended when they released us to the locker room. I'd change, pack up my bag, and head over to the playground to play and wait for my mom.

But, if necessary, I could have even made it back home from the gym safely by walking (it was about 2 miles to my house, 1 mile down the road from my school) on neighborhood streets. That you don't really have to the same degree in suburbs. We have a park the kid will be able to walk to when he's mature enough to go there on his own, and he can play around our subdivision, but we don't have a library, a store, or a school in walking distance. Supposedly, there's the intent to incorporate a walking path over the expressway when they rebuild the road bridge, which would allow him to walk to-and-from his elementary school safely, if the thing is built by the time he's in elementary (doubting that; the bridge is currently scheduled to be rebuilt in 2015, already having been delayed from 2009).

I hope that by the time he's 8, he's proven himself mature enough to walk down to our subdivision park and play on his own. Most kids in our subdivision seem to earn that privilege about age 7/8.
post #65 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
It depends on the situation. If we had a park within walking distance of my house where no major roads would have to be crossed, then my 7 year old would be allowed to go to the park by himself or with friends (depending on the type of park: playground by himself, wooded area or area with water only with friends). If I took my kids to the park, I'd be comfortable with leaving my 7 year old while I took his little brother to the bathroom or to get something from the car. I wouldn't be comfortable with leaving my child at a park for any extended period where he couldn't just walk home, however. Not at 7 or 8. Maybe at 10 or 11 if he had a cell phone so he could call for a ride.
post #66 of 163
Yeah. I think 8 is old enough to go around the neighbourhood alone, or at a park or playground if they have access to help if needed - so near the school or a library that would be open, or close enough to home to walk.
post #67 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
I think it depends on the area. Where I grew up, we had a softball/baseball complex. That's all that was there. It's a small town, so everyone pretty much knew everyone else. No one thought anything of leaving children for practice. The only concern was them getting injured and you not being there. Where we live now I'd be less likely to leave DC for an entire practice because there are more people, most of whom I don't know, and there's a good bit of parking lot traffic. I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all type of answer to whether it's okay to leave children for practice.
post #68 of 163
I didn't see anyone who thought that the parent not staying for the game was a real problem. Maybe a couple said it was too bad, but it seems to me we all agree that it's not a problem. The sole problem is the consistent late pickup and the effect it has on the coach.
post #69 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
Yes, there are many who believe this.
I am not one of them.
That said ~my oldest is 9, very responsible, smart, listens to her instinct, recognizes safe situations versus 'questionable', she has shown all of these attributes to me and dh. However; I would never her leave her somewhere alone like the rec parks etc, not now, probably not even for a few more years. I just wouldn't.
post #70 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
I didn't see anyone who thought that the parent not staying for the game was a real problem. Maybe a couple said it was too bad, but it seems to me we all agree that it's not a problem. The sole problem is the consistent late pickup and the effect it has on the coach.
this... and that no one was assigned responsibility is the biggie for me.
I have brought my friend's dc to games when she was home with sick siblings, but I was the adult responsible for them for the length of time they were in my care at the game. There was noone assigned care for this child. Correct?
post #71 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
I think it's fine, if the park is within walking distance of home and the child knows the way. If it's far enough that the child needs to be dropped by car, then, no. Of course, in the US, "far enough to need to be dropped by car" could be 2 blocks in some peoples' opinion.
post #72 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I think it's fine, if the park is within walking distance of home and the child knows the way. If it's far enough that the child needs to be dropped by car, then, no. Of course, in the US, "far enough to need to be dropped by car" could be 2 blocks in some peoples' opinion.

very true for many. walking distance is next door
we had a neighbor that would drop her son at the school bus and pick him up. 2 HOUSES DOWN FROM THE STOP!! No lie!!!

it wasn't the being with him that was funny but the fact that she didn't just walk with him the 100 yards instead warmed up her car and everything
sorry didn't mean to sidetrack the thread
post #73 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Actually, its probably illegal/against the rules for her brother to be alone with this child - thats one-on-one time spent, alone with a kid. Thats a perfect set up for abuse - or for accusations of abuse - because it becomes kids word against adults, and when your talking abuse, who do you believe??
I'm assuming that the brother has a child on the team, so he would have his own child and the abandoned child with him. Not much protection, but some.
post #74 of 163
Just in case no one said this, I really hope that no matter what OP does or her brother does, I hope SOMEONE has said some reassuring, positive things to this poor child!!!

Imagine how awful it must feel to him to watch all the other kids picked up and his loser dad drives up late and yells and doesn't bother to get out of the car, much less watch him play. And now it's an issue and the boy knows it's an issue.

With a dad like that, the dad is probably making the boy feel bad, making him feel responsible for the ruckus.

So I hope your brother or someone has said something to this boy like "We really hope this can work out so you can be on the team, you're a great kid and we'd be lucky to have you. It would be great for you to be able to participate. I really hope your dad figures it out, it's really something that your parents have to work out."

This boy deserves to know that a) this situation isn't his fault, b) he's valued (no matter what kind of player he is), and c) that he'd be missed if he didn't come anymore.

Hope someone tells him something good to counteract the negative it sounds like he has in his life!
post #75 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
I've read the entire thread and I don't know what the solution is for the coach. I'm just curious-are there really people out there who think 8 is an acceptiable age to be left alone in a public space like a park?
Well, yes. My oldest is 5 and he runs around the neighborhood unsupervised everyday. He has boundaries - he can't go off our street, not in anyone's home, etc.) but he is often out of sight. Very few people have fences here and they are very friendly about neighbor kids. My 3 yo also goes out and plays around the neighborhood. I only let him go when his brother is with him because I know he follows rules better when his big bro is watching. I'm sure by 8 I will let them walk to the park alone. I certainly did when I was that age and, contrary to popular belief, it is not more dangerous now.
post #76 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
Well, yes. My oldest is 5 and he runs around the neighborhood unsupervised everyday. He has boundaries - he can't go off our street, not in anyone's home, etc.) but he is often out of sight. Very few people have fences here and they are very friendly about neighbor kids. My 3 yo also goes out and plays around the neighborhood. I only let him go when his brother is with him because I know he follows rules better when his big bro is watching. I'm sure by 8 I will let them walk to the park alone. I certainly did when I was that age and, contrary to popular belief, it is not more dangerous now.
Aww, I wanna move to your neighborhood! Sounds like how we grew up. We lived at the end of a cul-du-sac, and our backyard neighbors and side neighbors had girls our age, and none of our yards were fenced, so we pretty much had the run of a big three-yard area. When we were younger, if we wanted to cross our backyard neighbor's street, we had to ask specific permission, but as we got older (maybe by the time I was 8-ish?), we could walk to the park (across that street, down a block, up a little path through the woods) as long as we told one parent. Freedom, with rules and responsibility. My best childhood friend lived in the house behind me, we played together nearly every day, and I'm not sure I remember what the inside of her house looked like.

As to the OP, I think that leaving a kid of that age at a supervised athletic event is fine. My parents often had THREE kids playing soccer games at the same time. As the oldest, I'd often get dropped off and left by myself while my parents attended my younger sisters' games... sometimes at the same field facility, and sometimes at the field across town. They'd tell the coach that I'd be sticking around a little late, that I had permission to be by myself and watch the later games or help clean up if it was the last game, and then they'd high-tail it out of my sisters' games as soon as they were done (like... grab the treat and eat it in the car kind of high-tailing it)

But I can say that having been a coach and a teacher for a good while now... it is a very hard situation to be in when parents are just late with no warning. You have all the responsibility and no real authority. So you sit, eating up time you could be spending with your own family. You ask, "Are you SURE your dad doesn't have a cell phone? Was someone else going to come get you today? Is there someone else I can call?" You see a kid who feels forgotten and dejected... or a kid who is so used to it that they don't even realize that they SHOULDN'T be the only kid left on the field, for an extra half hour, with no explanation, week after week.

I realize that punctuality isn't a priority for everyone, but... things like this bug me to no end.
post #77 of 163
If the league doesn't have a protocol to follow for situations like this (where no one comes to pick up a child after practice/game) then they need to write one, ASAP. Any situation involving any type of drop-off activity should have a clearly written protocol for what to do if no one comes to pick a child up by X time after the end of the practice/game, etc. That could involve charging the parent for childcare, calling the police...etc., but the policy needs to be written and all the parents and coaches made aware of it.
post #78 of 163
OP, I hope you keep us updated on this, I'm really curious now what's going to happen.
post #79 of 163
He isn't the first kid to be late. Check with the org to see what the rules are. Contacting the police is too much.
post #80 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
OP, I hope you keep us updated on this, I'm really curious now what's going to happen.
I will try to update once I talk to my brother again, assuming he's been able to get a hold of the guy he needs to talk to. my guess would be that he's calling the guy often

in one way, it is interesting to me that it's happening because he's been a coach for literally dozens of teams over the last 11 or 12 years and he's not had this problem before. he coaches or ass't coaches at least 4 teams a year between all his kids.

he's had invididual incidents i.e. - a mom was in a minor car accident and didn't get back to a game, and a dad got caught up in another of his childrens' games and simply forgot to go back, normal stuff like that. but never a parent who's done it 3 times in a row and for such extended periods of time.

a few more things -

as was mentioned by a PP - the look in the kid's eyes when the game ended and he was scanning the parking lot for his dad was enough to break your heart. i think he's very aware that he's the only one who it's happening to.

my brother is not alone with the kid. it's him, my nephew (and one of the times also one of my nieces) and the kid.
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