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Am I to cautious? - Page 3

post #41 of 71
My kids are 5 and 6 and are free range within an area I specify. So yes I think you are too protective but I also don't think "better safe than sorry." I think what happens if I DON'T let them do it.
post #42 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
I still wont let my dd go any distance from home without me being able to lay eyes on her and there is no way my ds could be trusted to go anywhere. He wouldnt think twice about running into the road or talking to someone he dosnt know.
Perhaps your 6yo wouldn't think twice about running into the road because he has never had the freedom or opportunity to learn? I'd say a 2yo may not be able to handle that, but 6yo should have been out and about enough, first with you, then with big sister, then with friends.... to learn basic road safety. You start out small - outside for a minute or two, to outside for 5 minutes, to outside 15 minutes... from staying in the backyard to being able to walk next door, to being able to bike to best friends house 4 doors down... OP seems like you started with a minute or two but have never progressed past that. YOur stuck in neutral, and your kids, having never had the opportunity to learn, are stuck in neutral as well.

Your 10yo will be able to get a drivers permit in 5 years, but at the moment can't be out of eyesight? That seems like a HUGE amount of learning in a very short time.
post #43 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
I wish I could be more laid back but better safe than sorry is what I always think. If something where to happen to one of them because I didnt watch them I would never be able to forgive myself.
And what if something happens to them because you didn't prepare them to make their own decisions and look out for themselves? It's much much safer for kids to practice safe decision making with minor things (like walking over to a neighbor's house) when the consequences for 'failing' are pretty minor. Some day, your 10 year old will be 16. And she will not want you to watch her every move. She is going to be going off with her friends. Do you want her going off with friends alone after having been checked on you every 10 minutes? When between 10 and 16 is she going to learn the skills she needs to be responsible? (She may already be the world's most responsible child, but you've not given her a chance to demonstrate that!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
To me the world is far from a safe place and to have the kids think otherwise to me wouldnt be right. I am always aware of my surroundings and what can happen at any given moment and until they can do that they are not safe without being watched.
Again, how will they learn that.

AND what evidence do you have that the world is far from a safe place? As someone else noted, stranger abduction is quite rare. Molestation is much more likely to be perpetrated by a familiar face than by a random stranger. You don't need to be 'always aware' of your surroundings to protect against that -- you need confidence in your own ability and your own self worth. Is watching your kids all the time going to give them that?

I'm going to gently suggest that you may want to look into counseling for your anxiety about your kids. You are definitely teaching them that the world is a dangerous place and that no one is to be trusted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
The murders, molestations, abductions, etc, of children by strangers are incredibly, incredibly rare. We hear about them on the news because it pays to frighten people. We hear about mine cave-ins, but we don't hear the news every single day when thousands of mines worldwide DON'T cave in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
"Better safe than sorry" is an excellent philosophy for things like car/ bike/ pool safety, but is doing more harm than good to your kids when it comes to helping them live in the world. A 10-year-old who doesn't have special needs is more than capable of taking care of themselves in the yard for an hour, and to teach him or her otherwise *is* dangerous. Thinking that the world is a scary place where dangers lurk around every corner, and not having any coping skills to deal with said world isn't going to help a child who not so long ago would be ready to start apprenticing at the career of his or her choosing/ birthright.
Yes, and to that I would add: It's also dangerous for a child who in a few short years will demand separation from you whether you are ready to give it or not. Please do what you can to give your daughter and son good skills in taking care of themselves before then.

One of the great gifts my parents gave their children was their confidence in our ability to solve problems and make the right decisions.
post #44 of 71
I am of the better safe than sorry mindset, but I am fine with my dd playing by herself in the front yard or playing in a neighbors yard with their kids (as long as I know the neighbor). Our neighborhood is in a nice area, but there are condos across the street that are rented out to a wide variety of people and until recently one of our neighbors held drinking parties on a regular basis. There are also a few kids who rent in the condos that I don't want my dd around, one because he was expelled for setting something on school grounds on fire.
post #45 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
It's really good for kids to play outside, and lots. More time than I could possibly afford to spend outside. And the risks are really incredibly small that she will be abducted. Outside active play reduces the chances of obesity, diabetes, etc., and is just good for them from a mental health and happiness standpoint as well. It isn't a "reduce this risk and there are no other consequences" thing. You reduce the risk of a risk that is already incredibly small, but you increase the risk of other issues that are much more likely. The law of unintended consequences.
Yes this about children not playing outside enough or getting enough exercise. I had an overprotective mom and the rules for playing outside by myself became so stringent (though she let me...) that it was easier to stay home and read a book. That's what I did, while eating chips/ice cream. No good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post
I truly believe the media drives this kind of desperate fear. Most children who are kidnapped are kidnapped by non custodial parents or relatives. Most other children listed as missing are runaways. While these are sad cases that deserve attention, they are not the huge, sensational, and tragic cases the media needs to drive ratings and garner advertising dollars.

What does drive the ratings is planting the idea through ceasless media coverage of stranger abductions that all our children are at risk. I mean after all, you don't want what happened to little Joan Smith to happen to your kids so stay tuned through the next commerical break to learn how to protect your kids.

I believe this kind of 24/7 info drives up our stress levels so that we lose our ability to think rationally about how rare stranger abduction is. I believe we mistake the unending coverage about 1 or 2 cases and extropolate that it is happening everywhere, every day, as soon as your back is turned. It makes us believe that the only thing that exists beyond the safety of our front door is danger.

I for one am not willing or able to live under that kind of stress and fear. There is a world of difference between teaching my child common sense safety tips and teaching him to live in terror of being snatched out of his bed in the dark of night or grabbed off the street. There is a world of difference in setting age appropriate limits on freedom based on my child's level of ability, and not on my level of fear.

It is like the Google phenomenon. Whenever you are sick, you look up stomach ache and the search comes back as OMG!!! cancer. The media does the same thing because the worst news is what sells. Fear sells.
I find that, now that I don't own a tv and I don't watch the evening news, I think a lot less about the horrible things that might happen to me or my family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiflywaif View Post
So do I, and to me it's always felt much safer than quieter suburban or rural neighborhoods. There are lots of "good" people, lots of witnesses, lots of places to get help.
Yes, I personally much prefer urban areas, for this and other reasons. In my "perfect" suburban neighborhood, growing up, there was never anyone anywhere. It was like a supremely planned waste land. At least it's normal to be outside, doing whatever, in an urban setting. The older I got, if I was just hanging anywhere, as a teenager, I got dirty looks from everyone, like I might be the one to abduct a child or something. These neighborhoods always bred suspicion, in my mind. Of course, this is just *my* neighborhood we are talking about. Others are different, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I'm going to gently suggest that you may want to look into counseling for your anxiety about your kids. You are definitely teaching them that the world is a dangerous place and that no one is to be trusted.
This is my prime point, OP. I am like you... I would prefer to watch my child and make sure he's okay, rather than be guessing while he's out, although I do want him to have fun and play outside. I have struggled with anxiety and control issues my whole life, and this thread has kind of been a wake up call to me. I could easily be you, doing what you do when supervising a 10 and 6 yo.

But I am beginning to re-evaluate what is taught by constant supervision into the double digits. It's not really about independence, it's more about opportunities for decision making and consequences that are real but safe, before they hit the real world. Regardless of the relative safety of the real world, unless you plan on your 40yo son living with you, he's got to go out there and make it on his own sometime, right?

I think you wrote the post expecting more responses that you were right, and have been met with the reality that most parents don't supervise to the extent that you do. My heart goes out to you, because you are asking a good question but might not like the answer.

I feel like this a lot, and growth is hard. Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, because I do nothing but give up control to my child, bit by bit, and control is how I manage my anxiety. It's rough, but for my son, I have to do it.
post #46 of 71
Thread Starter 
I thank you all for your input and it has made me think. I do believe that I am doing what is best for my kids to keep them safe. I dont know when I will be ready to not supervise so much but like everything else I will go with my heart and my gut since they havnt lead me wrong yet.
post #47 of 71
We live on a very busy suburban road. Our yard is 1/2 acre with a big backyard and big front yard. There are fences along one side yard and the back lot line, with shrubs on the other 2 sides. I have let my son play outside in the yard alone since he was 5. I peek out a window every 10-15 minutes but frankly I can't always spot him. He knows to stay away from the street and to stay in the yard. He is 7 now. But this street is too busy for him to walk or bike unsupervised because there are no sidewalks.

We are building a house on a somewhat quieter street. The neighbors have 2 boys, 5 and 8. We let them run around our lots and 2 neighboring empty lots (a total of 4 acres wooded on a lake). They are often out of sight but they know they are absolutely not allowed to go out on any of the docks without an adult. We can usually hear where they are but not always. We check on them every 20-30 minutes.

Part of my comfort with this comes from my own upbringing. When I was 8 (siblings 4 and 6) my family moved to a 3 acre wooded lot that was adjacent to huge tracts of public park land with a creek and a major river. The 3 of us would be gone all day following deer trails and exploring, building forts, etc. My mom would call us back with a Japanese horn. We had some crazy adventures (almost had the dog drown, lost new shoes wading in the creek, etc.) but we learned valuable lessons and self-sufficiency. I think every parent has their own comfort level. I was also the parent that let my kid climb things when they were little so they could learn their limits before they were capable of climbing high enough to really hurt themselves badly. I think my son generally makes very good choices and we continue to talk about choices as he grows older and faces new ones. I think independence to make choices is critical to developing common sense.
post #48 of 71
Some of the rest depends on environment but checking on 6 & 10 year olds every 2 minutes in their own yard is absolutely too cautious IMO.

What do you think could happen? What senario are you envisioning, exactly?

Sorry; I get the impression you're not getting the answers you wanted but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around a developmentally typical 10 yo needing the constant vigilance you describe.
post #49 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by straighthaircurly View Post
Part of my comfort with this comes from my own upbringing. When I was 8 (siblings 4 and 6) my family moved to a 3 acre wooded lot that was adjacent to huge tracts of public park land with a creek and a major river. The 3 of us would be gone all day following deer trails and exploring, building forts, etc. My mom would call us back with a Japanese horn. We had some crazy adventures (almost had the dog drown, lost new shoes wading in the creek, etc.) but we learned valuable lessons and self-sufficiency. I think every parent has their own comfort level. I was also the parent that let my kid climb things when they were little so they could learn their limits before they were capable of climbing high enough to really hurt themselves badly. I think my son generally makes very good choices and we continue to talk about choices as he grows older and faces new ones. I think independence to make choices is critical to developing common sense.
Sounds like a rich upbringing straighthaircurly! Those were the days. My mom used to have a cow bell for the same purpose of calling us home to dinner. I found this memory so wonderful that I bought 3 cow bells, so I could do this with my DS and DD. Getting the little cuts and scrapes and problem solving at this age is exactly what gives people the life experiences, so they can solve the even more complex problems later.
post #50 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post
Some of the rest depends on environment but checking on 6 & 10 year olds every 2 minutes in their own yard is absolutely too cautious IMO.

What do you think could happen? What senario are you envisioning, exactly?

Sorry; I get the impression you're not getting the answers you wanted but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around a developmentally typical 10 yo needing the constant vigilance you describe.
To many to describe and if I think about it to much I will not be in a good place mentally. But it ranges from getting lost in the woods to bears/dogs to abduction. Basically what runs through my head is every possible thing that could go wrong.

I honestly think by watching them and keeping them safe they will never have to deal with something like that at least not until they are grown and by then they will have the mental and physical means to deal with things. I know that is how it has been for me.
post #51 of 71
My kids have played outside in the backyard by themselves since age 3.

They played unsupervised in the front yard and began walking alone to their friends up the block at 5 or 6.

I started letting my son play afterschool at the park on school property when he was 9. He had a watch and a set time to be home by. We live 3 blocks from school and there is one busy street with a traffic light.

He is 10 now and walks 8 blocks to and from his guitar lesson by himself. He walked 6 blocks to the bookstore yesterday to buy a book.

We live in an old, residential city neighborhood.

My ds is mature and dependable. It would never occur to him to run out into the street.

I don't think it is doing a 10yo any favors not to allow her out of doors without being checked on every 2-3 minutes (unless she has developmental issues you haven't mentioned?)
post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
To many to describe and if I think about it to much I will not be in a good place mentally. But it ranges from getting lost in the woods to bears/dogs to abduction. Basically what runs through my head is every possible thing that could go wrong.

I honestly think by watching them and keeping them safe they will never have to deal with something like that at least not until they are grown and by then they will have the mental and physical means to deal with things. I know that is how it has been for me.
Bolding mine. This makes no sense. You are not able to deal with "things". You are worried about getting lost in the woods and bears and dogs and abductions. Sounds like a life of fear. Please do not pass this on to your children. Please find someone you can talk with, a counselor, a support group, a dear friend, so you can learn to let go a bit and give your children a drop of independence. They will need it, and it will be a wonderful gift to them.
post #53 of 71
Thread Starter 
I have talked to people about this my dh and my parents specifically and they agree with me actually. Of course it is easier to explain when you are talking IRL than it is trying to get points across online.

I got pretty much the responses I was expecting when I posted. Some agree with me about things some do not. I did get things to think about like I said and I am sure that I will know when the time is right to loosen up more just like I have in the past as the kids have gotten older.

Without knowing the personalities of my kids I realize that those online cant understand totally and really there is no way for me to describe them. DD is less mature than a lot of her peers yet more mature than others. Same goes for ds.

Thanks again for all your thoughts
post #54 of 71
After reading through the whole post, I have to agree with most of the PPs, I think you are over cautious. I also think that maybe you should look into talking with someone about your fears because you are invisioning every possible horrid scenerio-I have no idea where you live but to me is seems contradictory to be worried about a random stranger abducting your kids and bear attacks. If you have a true worry for bear attacks, wouldn't you be pretty far away from most people and therefor the likeliness of someone coming all the way to where you are just to kidnap a kid seems low. And if you are the one worrying about everything, how is your DD or DS going to learn what to worry about? You said you are constantly aware of your surroundings. If you always are for you/your kids, how will they learn to be aware of their surroundings? If you are watching out for them so nothing ever happens to them, how will they ever be able to truly nurture their ability to deal with situations?

I don't know your kids and, as I previously said, I don't know where you are. But I do know that kids need some trust and independence to be able to foster their own self esteem and instincts. And I do know that living in a perpetual state of fear about every little thing that could ever happen-no matter how unlikely-is not healthy for anyone. Just my honest opinion.
post #55 of 71
By keeping a close eye on them 24/7 you may very well be able to shield them from the world. Till they're 18. Then what happens? They've grown up not being allowed to make tough decions. Not really knowing how to tell who's "good" or "bad" on their own. Not knowing how to navigate in the world w/o mom or dad right there beside them. And now, all of a sudden, they're on their own. And they either have to sink or swim. With zero 'life skills'. Because *you* were always their to make those decisions for them.

I went to college. I knew those kids. And you know what? They were the ones taken advantage of. They were the ones who got soo wasted at parties that they got hurt or in trouble. Cause' they didn't know how to handle themselves.

I travelled (by *myself*) all around europe. I got lost *by myself* in Lima, Peru, when I didn't speak a lick of spanish. I hitchhiked up and down Andros Island with my now-DH and a couple other friends. And you know what I learned in all of that time? That the vast, vast, vast majority of people on this planet are *GOOD PEOPLE*. Yes, there are some creepy wierdos out there - of *both* sexes. But, they are few and far between. And if you can learn to tell the difference, your golden.

I honestly hope someday that we live in town (we currently are the last ones on a dead end road), or better yet in a big city, where my kids can learn to cross streets, hang out w/ friends w/o mom & dad, and just be kids. And learn the difference between the very, very few wierdos and the vast, vast, vast majority of the population. Who are just like me & you - generally good, honest people, who are willing to help.
post #56 of 71
Hello! I've read the entire thread and have thought a bit about what you have said.

I really think you would benefit from reading Protecting the Gift. A PP suggested it, I believe.

It is one of my favorite books and it addresses exactly what you have stated in this thread. It goes head to head with the "every situation possible" mindset as well as how to teach your children and teens to stay safe. It also goes into how to keep YOURSELF in a good, healthy mental state about the risks and dangers so that you can protect your children in the best way possible.

I think, if anything, the book will really give you some things to think about as well as help you through the process of protecting your children.

Good luck, Mama!
post #57 of 71
The scariest things happen to adults, stastically.

Heck, we ran around the white mountains of New Hampshire like a small clan of feral children, and never got into any real danger.

I was attacked by a pack of dogs at 22 (inner-city Brooklyn), chased by a moose at 20 (New Hampshire), and physically assaulted a few different times by strangers in my 20s as well mostly in NYC, but in both the nicest and worst parts of the city). I have dealt with strangers flipping their lids at stores, verbally and physically abusing their kids in public, traffic accidents- things all grown-ups need to deal with without shutting down in fear.

I was able to deal with those things because I had a LOT of play-practice being a tough, brave, resourceful little kid. An adult who has never had to deal with being responsible for his/herself in the back yard will NEVER be able to cope with the real world's dangers.

I don't view the world as being all that scary- scary things happen, but I know I can handle them. Training children to believe that death and dismemberment lurk around every turn is doing them a grave disservice. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy- what you believe to be true will become true- the scarier you think life is, the scarier it will be. The less frightening you think life is, the less frightening it is.
post #58 of 71
MC- I say it's good to be cautious and I don't think you too cautious at all. When my son gets to be 10 and if we still live where we live at I wouldn't think I would let him to walk to school on his own but biking is quicker so I might be a little bit more lenient on that but it just depends on his personality .

Right now my son is 6 so he is not allowed to across the parkin lot unless I'm there behind him he can not go pass the playground area without me.

I seen plenty other kids that are around his age go riding down the bike roads w/o their parents like some are maturer and some are less mature like the 4 yr olds who do zooming all over their place where they are not supposed to be then they end up in trouble for doing No No's so I'm like thinking why do they need to get into trouble when the parents were not keeping an eye on them!

Even the manager has a rule as in physical body presence who is an adult needs to be out there watch kids 5 yrs and younger but of course you can see a bunch of 2-4 yrs old roaming around w/o parents.

Also, I seen more incidents with gradeschoolers acting up more than they used to be which is 'sad' that some elementary schools have to get shut down because of bomb threats made from a 4th grader . Even some gradeschoolers bring weapons to school one 10 yr brought a knife to school he ended up killing a 7 yr old over a fight that could have been easily solved .

I say with all the violence lurking around it's best to be open around the world and be aware of others because You may be doing Safe Things but even the safest things may not prevent you from being safe due to other choices that people make around you .
post #59 of 71
http://missingchild.wordpress.com/20...hildhood-cont/

"Or, to put another spin on it, your child is 700 times more likely to get into Harvard than to be the victim of such an abduction."
post #60 of 71
Yikes. Scared of bears and kidnappers in the same neighborhood??? that sounds like a lot of anxiety and I don't think that can be good for your kids.

"honestly think by watching them and keeping them safe they will never have to deal with something like that at least not until they are grown and by then they will have the mental and physical means to deal with things. I know that is how it has been for me"
They need to start learning NOW how to handle themselves. It's supposed to be a gradual thing.

As an example: they say a baby should be able to walk by about 15 months. You wouldn't force your baby to lay down all the time until the day she turned 15 months, then suddenly stand her up and expect her to walk perfectly!!! You would gradually teach her to roll over, sit, stand and eventually walk, bit by bit as she gained confidence. The same goes for your kids learning independence and self reliance. If you shelter them until they are "of age" they won't magically become mature adn self reliant on their 18th birthday. They'll still have to learn it, except they will A) not have you their to help them and B)be years behind their peers.
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