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My worst-ever day of parenting - Page 2

post #21 of 35

I was gonna say I kinda saw the other moms hesitations about walking even 5 mins from home to school, until I saw your childrens ages.  MY WORD.  I thought you were gonna say they were second graders or something.  Even that age can be muddied, but TEENAGERS?  lord.


Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


Opinions vary widely. I had another mother at a swim meet this summer go off on me because I let my kids walk back and forth to school without me. It's a 5 minute walk and doesn't cross any major streets. It's so close that it should measured in yards, not miles. It's a nice neighborhood, and one of our older neighbors who walks his toy poodle at the same time so sees them a lot, jokes with them about how they are "off to the salt mines." 


My kids are 13 and 14.




One is starting high school this year and some people think she still isn't old enough to walk for 5 minutes without me. dizzy.gif


It's odd to me that amount of precautions we take with even big kids and teens. The school will call me if my kids are even a minute late because with kids who travel on their own, it's considered a safety issue. Most of the kids who travel on their own have a cell phone in case there is an emergency. If they leave the school more than 5 minutes late, they have to sign at the office so if their parent calls worried about them, there is a record of exactly when they left.


This is a nice neighborhood in the burbs of a not very big city.


Did I mention that my kids are teenagers?


I think our society is a little crazy.


post #22 of 35

Thanks makes me laugh!  NO WIRE HANGERS!

post #23 of 35

"Yes, mommy dearest." 


Whenever my mom was in a bad mood, I would call her that if she hollered to me to do something.  I swear she really DID turn into Joan when I said that.  LMAO!  "MOmmy dearest?!?!?!  I'll show you mommy dearest......."  Of course we were both kidding.  Its still a standing joke between the two of us. 

post #24 of 35

I'm so sorry this happened to you.  I'm a cop, and I think those cops were out of line too.  I subscribe to a pretty free-range approach to child-rearing, and even though my DS is only 22 months right now, I don't see it being a problem for him to go two houses away in a few years.  Even now I don't watch him every single second or hover over him when we're outside.  And walking a 6-year-old two houses away seems like serious overkill, unless you live in the absolute worst part of town.


The crazy amount of precautions most parents take with their kids is ridiculous, and is often misplaced.  They worry about their kids being "snatched" by some random wacko, but almost all abductions are by family or acquaintances.  I've been an officer for 4 years and have heard of ZERO cases in our area of a child being abducted by a stranger, and only one possible attempt.  And we're in a pretty populous county with a decent-sized metro area.  Being a cop has taught me that most people are decent, not the opposite.  Granted, we seem to focus more on the not-so-decent crowd, and we often get sucked into thinking that the entire population consists of idiots, but still...  


You seem like you were taking reasonable precautions, you thought you had an arrangement with the neighbor, and a mistake happened.  It's not like you were neglecting your child.  She wasn't wandering around in the middle of the night.  She was clothed, you weren't drunk or high, and there were no signs that pointed to you being a bad parent.  Your daughter is safe, and that's the most important thing.  The cops should have been focused on that, not unfairly criticizing your parenting.

post #25 of 35
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

That being said, maybe a little different system might help avoid this in the future? (And no, I don't mean never let them out of your sight!) What if she were to call when she was leaving the first house to go somewhere else? What if the neighbors were in agreement to call you when the kids leave/arrive at their houses, so everyone knows where everyone's kids are? What about setting up a "time" to check in, like two hours after she leaves the house, or by 3 every day? Just a thought.


I agree with this. My neighbor's son used to wander a bit at that age. Like one time he left my house and I thought he was going home but he heard some boys down the street and ended up down there. The neighbor called me later asking me to send him home and I already thought he was at home. After that, she asked me to call her when her son left my house. Then she knew that if he wasn't home in a few minutes, she needed to go out and see where he ended up. Maybe you can work something like that out with your neighbors? 



post #26 of 35

I think it would totally depend on the neighborhood and the child's personality whether they were ok to go down the street a couple of houses or not.


I know in my case, my kids won't be walking anywhere by themselves for a few years and they're 6 and 4! 

My reasons are this...

We live on a busy road and we don't have a sidewalk on our side of the road.  Its not unusual for cars to be going 40-50km/hr down our residential street, even though the limit I believe is 20 or 30km/hr.


We also live in bear/coyote/cougar/raccoon country. Yes, its a suburb but we get weekly sightings of animals in our backyards.  In fact, I have a panel of my backyard fence knocked down by a black bear a couple of weeks ago.  My kids would be terrified if they were alone, face to face with any animal bigger than a cat.


Aside from all that, my 6 yo is relatively impulse controlled but my 4yo wouldn't hesitate to go rushing into traffic if she thought she saw something interesting across the road.  She's given me a number of hear attacks over the years...


OP: I'm so sorry about the passing of your mom.  My thoughts go out to you.

post #27 of 35

sorry mama that happened to you. esp. reeling so soon after your mama. 


the police were wrong. its so obvious. but i can also understand their point of view - esp. if you live in a big city. i have a friend that teaches continuation HS and a friend who is a nurse (both dont have children) and oh my they sooo hover around my dd. waaay too much. but they see too much of the bad stuff and it makes them overprotective towards dd. i can tell they struggle with my supervision of my almost 9 year old.


also its almost the end of summer right? do you think your dd has learnt her lesson? by seeing the police and your concern? so this time she will listen and follow guidelines when you ask her too?

post #28 of 35

I think if this is your "Worst Ever Day of Parenting" you are an AWESOME mom.  I let my 7 year old walk to school on his own.  He is now 8 and he bikes around the neighbourhood knowing he needs to check in every 30 minutes.  I know it depends on your neighbourhood, but I am sure that YOU know the climate of your own neighbourhood.  The police overreacted. 


I know a lady whose grandaughter spilled hot coffee on her foot.  The mother felt SOOOO guilty.  Grandma (mother's mom), said, "Honey, you are going to do much worse than this as a mother.  Forgive yourself and move on!" 


I think this was a minor incident.  Getting her to call when she arrives or leaves somewhere is a great idea. 


So sorry about your mom.  I'm sure she's so proud of you and her little grandaughters.



post #29 of 35

Oh, no, mama! It's okay. You are doing a great job. I think the police were just irritated at being called out, especially for nothing (though you'd think they would be so happy to find DD at the neighbors!) I'm sorry you had a bad day. hug2.gif


I don't think you're inattentive, but for my own kids, I do watch every minute that they are outside. When I was seven years old, I was playing in our front yard with a group of my friends. Two men drove up in a blue car and tried to kidnap me. It would only have taken about five seconds. Literally. I was almost gone.


My mother was at the back of the house and just suddenly had a bad feeling. As she was walking to the front of the house, she saw the blue car, ran to the front door and into the yard and literally saved me by seconds. It was horrifying and to this day, I remember it as if it happened yesterday. Because of it, I never let DSD or DD play outside alone, even in our fenced backyard. I am always near a window at the very least.


I think I'm like this just because of my horrifying brush with danger and I don't think every parent necessarily needs to be that watchful, but really, it's worth it. Do you remember the terror you felt when you couldn't find DD? DSD ran off once and we couldn't find her and I don't EVER want to go through that again. So yeah, just to save my sanity (and possibly my kiddoes), I always keep a close eye on them.


Have you read "Protecting the Gift?" It's a great book on how to keep your kids safe and teach them to keep themselves safe as well.

post #30 of 35

I love the Free Range Kids sight.  I am all over that in a heart beat.  I know that it's upsetting to get an ear full from the police (I've had my time or two)....you ARE ding the best you can and really, you have to give your child SOME level of independence to instill some form of self confidence.  I wouldn't stress over the crappy attitude of the cops either.  You're a great mom and sometimes things just get a little crossed.

post #31 of 35
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

Um, hi, my name is AverysMomma and I'm sick of the damn police. I know us northern, middle class, non-criminal farmer type ladies don't often make it to the top of the list of people you might think of when you imagine what a "cop hater" looks like....but I do. I hate seeing them, I hate it when they pull me over for a license plate bulb being out, I hate it when they try to tell me what I should be doing or why what I'm doing is wrong. I absolutely cannot stand law enforcement.


My problem is not so much with individual police, it's with what Law Enforcement has become. Cops are like plumbers. There are good plumbers and bad ones. There are bad plumbers who are good people....and good plumbers who are bad people....just as there are cops who are great and cops who aren't so great as HUMAN BEINGS.


A cop is not a cop because they are some super brilliant, super human...they are cops because they made a career choice. COP is a job, not a human characteristic that makes a person more qualified at life. You don't even have to be that smart to be a police officer. There are some BRILLIANT cops out there....but there are also some DUMB AS ROCKS cops out there. Just like bankers and mechanics and roofers and politicians. My favorite, is when fresh faced dude who looks like he's been old enough to shave for about 12 minutes, who doesn't have any kids, thinks he can tell people all about what they should be doing with their kids because he's in "The Uniform". It's disgusting.


Don't ever, ever sit in front of an officer of the law and let them counsel you in any way that does not feel good. Don't let them make you feel like you are failing as a parent, don't let them make you feel like they know about some scary dangers that "if you could only see what they've seen" you'd do things differently. You know what you feel comfortable with, you know that the world is nuts....you make the choices you make based on a balanced view of your neighborhood and you have a right to have a different view of parenting than Johnny Law.


You didn't call the cops for parenting advice....and as much as so many cops loooove to play "morality police" - the fact is they are not. You called them, because you imagined there was an emergency. As a tax payer, you have a right to call and receive the service of the police any time you feel there is an emergent situation that you cannot handle.


You called them. There was no crime to stop. End of police interaction. Next time a cop tries to lecture you on the side of the road, at your own damn house, tell him "Thanks for coming, hero, but your job is done here."  - don't take anything from an officer of the law that you wouldn't take from some stranger passing by.


And for the record, I have a couple of friends who are cops....and they have earned my respect as human beings and I love them. I don't "hate" actual individual cops, because just as I believe you have to earn respect, I'm also not going to preemptive DISlike someone just because of their career choice. My gripe is with this insane twist in law enforcement over the last decade or so. My problem is with the mindless hero worship and god complex that so many cops seem to be walking around with these days. I'm sick of people who are non-criminals having to interact with law enforcement so much and I'm sick of these crazy cops walking around thinking they can just tell me what do to or give me unsolicited advice like they are some morally superior, mentally more capable human being.


Do you know that I recently had a cop, mounted on a horse, yell out to me that I needed to be holding my DDs hand as we walked down a small street with hardly any cars on a lazy afternoon. She was walking perfectly happy right beside me (we were on a raised, paved sidewalk, with a landscaped median strip between our sidewalk and the road)....and he yells out "you really need to be holding her hand so close to the street" - and then looks at me, like he's expecting that I'm going to look apologetic for my "moron parenting" and snatch up her hand as quickly as I could. I'm telling you, that is the kind of crap I'm sick to death of. THe guy is lucky my kids were right with me and I don't believe in making scenes in public...I'm so so so so so sick of cops.


Anyway. Sorry for the rant. Don't you let those idiots make you feel badly, what you were doing is not only okay, but TOTALLY normal. Most people I know with 6 year olds let them walk to a neighbor friends house to play. That's so so so normal.


I'm also really sorry to hear about your mom...that's terrible and I'm so sad for your loss. ::hugs::


post #32 of 35

Yeah, what AverysMomma said!

post #33 of 35


I did not read all posts, as an apology :) 


I am personally worried to death all the time about my kids, but I try not to let them know, and I think I am successful. However, I was kidnapped (for a couple of hours) and molested (is this the right word?) as a child, might be around seven - eight, I am not totally sure, I did not tell anybody than - from a person not close to me, but known. Not a stranger. 

I thought a lot about how I can keep my DD safe without being a "helicopter mom" and I think I am sometimes - I am working on it though (Do you actually know where you can by tiny little gps thingies to implant your children - just kidding Sheepish.gif ) I read about how to keep kids safe all the time without keeping them enclosed somewhere. And what I found the best practical solution for me and my kids is that they are always supervised by somebody, as in somebody (some named person by me or me or daddy) is responsible for them in every given moment. Relocating oneself is obviously allowed, but not without telling the supervising person. 

That means, if DD want to go to the neighbors to play, she is welcome to, but I need to know where she actually is, so she calls them up (or shouts through the garden :) ) asking if it is alright to come, if it is alright, the supervising person is the mommy of her friends. If they decide to go somewhere else or something like that she needs to tell this mom where she is going, and the supervising responsibility needs to go to another (adult) person. that means, she is not allowed to go anywhere with somebody or to somebody without telling the supervising person first. 

(This strategy would even work if a fake police officer would show up and tell her that he needs to get her somewhere - she would always need to tell her supervising person that she´ll be leaving - something like a security net. 

It is necessary that the person who is responsible for them is actually telling the "new" person about the change, otherwise it would not work. And you make sure that you know that she left somewhere, so she cannot really get lost for hours without you knowing it. 

It´s supposed to make sure that you don´t train "stranger anxiety"


I mean, I had a very bad personal experience as a kid, and I really think things can happen to our kids that are not very nice, and they think they act really responsible. You see, I knew the guy, he was an older brother of a friend of mine, I would have never ever believed that somebody like that could actually harm you! 


I hope my whole post is not totally confusing eyesroll.gif

post #34 of 35

OP, why not get a good set of walkie-talkies and let dd go 2 doors down again w/out fear?

post #35 of 35

I just want to add to what appears to be the consensus anyway. The cops were out of line, your daughter is fine (take a deep breath) and I'm so sorry you're dealing with all this on top of losing your mom.


My kids are 6, 4 and 2. The oldest two run all up and down the street without supervision. It's normal. You were not being a bad parent. They have to come home and ask to go in anyone's house (they have three friends houses on the block) but otherwise they roam freely between yards. Your daughter needs a stern reminder of the rules and she will probably NEVER do it again after seeing how much stress she caused. My 6yo is even allowed to cross our street (very quiet) to go a block over to another friends house. He asks before he goes, but, it's part of parenting and letting them have inches of freedom so they can make good choices and explore and have fun. The cops work in worst case scenario and aren't worried about you raising well-rounded, happy children. All they care about is they don't ever get a call for a missing child. 



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