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Effects of open sky or flowing water on children - Page 2

post #21 of 29

I would rather not live near a highway either.  I like neighborhoods where children can safely play outdoors with intermittent adult supervision after the age of not-knowing-how-to-cross-streets (around 8 or so).  I have lived near a highway, and on busy streets, but I prefer neighborhoods with low traffic and safe play areas.  Proximity to large rivers would make me feel less mellow about unsupervised 3rd graders wandering between yards. 

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

I would rather not live near a highway either.  I like neighborhoods where children can safely play outdoors with intermittent adult supervision after the age of not-knowing-how-to-cross-streets (around 8 or so).  I have lived near a highway, and on busy streets, but I prefer neighborhoods with low traffic and safe play areas.  Proximity to large rivers would make me feel less mellow about unsupervised 3rd graders wandering between yards. 



i think everybody wishes they lived in places like that where children could play merrily outdoors with no hazards, don't you? 

 

 

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

 

 Proximity to large rivers would make me feel less mellow about unsupervised 3rd graders wandering between yards. 

For me I feel it really depends on the child. dd is the kind of child who listened - even at 10 months old. the stove is HOT. dont go near it. never once did she go near it. street is busy. one time she ran out and i freaked on her. never again has she ever ventured out on the street (though we did a lot of walking and public transportation then).

 

even at 3 having a boat ramp and rocks i still did not ever feel uneasy about dd being unsupervised on land. i'd go and get something or she'd be left for a few moments. but she knew the water was dangerous and no getting into it without a life jacket. she also knew the property was a fast water flow area and that we'd have to go a couple of blocks to actually get into the water.

 

i think children born with water around them and having been taught water safety see water differently than those who were introduced later on. dd was born around a swimming pool and so for her water safety was a no brainer. street safety was a no brainer. just like when u live on a busy street or water you are careful you do the same - be more cautious. however for me it did not make me that worried enough to want to change residences. interestingly enough almost all of dd's dc kids grew up around water (swimming pool) and could swim like a fish by the time they were 3.

 

honestly for me water or trees, a creek or a forest to explore around - is such a privilege - such a rare opportunity for city people that that would not be the part where i'd place my focus on to see which one works. i'd look at other things because for me both those options are equal. if after looking at all other practical factor it came down to water or sky, i'd look at myself and see where i'd make a better parent and choose that. if you are constantly going to be freaked out about water then obviously no matter what your child likes, water is not good for YOU.

 

coincidentally dd's dad grew up a block away from the river. one day his mom woke up to find him and his little brother gone. ended up calling the police and they found those boys had picked the lock, walked down a block, climbed down a long flight of stairs from a bridge adn were calmly playing in the water. her dad was 3 and his brother was 2. the only reason why the police found them because they had gotten hungry and had climbed up the stairs heading home for a snack. no one ever thought they would have taken that route and were playing on the beach.

 

post #24 of 29

I'm saddened by the near hysterical fear some people seem to have of water...yikes! I mean I get a comment like "yeah, waters cool, but remember to talk about and be mindful of water safety, etc" - but a few posters seem REALLY negative about water. Well, "different strokes...etc" I guess.

 

 

 

OP, I totally get what you are asking.

 

 

We live on a granite ledge, that puts us about 50' above a beautiful, mid-sized lake. It takes about two minutes to walk down the trail behind our house to our dock and kayaking is one of our favorite family past times. Being close to and on the water is so completely soothing for us. What's nice about our location, is that across the lake from us there is only Boy Scout and Conservation land...so we can't see any houses and don't really get boats and things like that down here....all we see from the back of the house and back porch, is the lake and then, on the other side of it, rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Being relatively high up on a ledge, looking out the back of the house through any windows or from the back porch, all the trees you see, you can only see from half way up the tree and beyond, you can't see the bottoms of the trees and this makes the home feel like it's a tree house. We actually call it The Tree House. It feels fun, tucked away and safe....the feeling of safety, feeling tucked up and away is really nice. At the same time, the fact that there is SOOOO much sky, over the lake and all around us, means BIG "star factor"....the night sky here, because we are so far from anything, is CRAZY awesome and my daughters love for an curiosity about the stars and the whole universe have budded from a very small age because of our long evenings spent outdoors, looking up at the sky, while we lay in each others arms.

 

I highly recommend SKY....we can think better on the lake, with all that sky above us. We get so many awesome birds, hawks and bald eagles floating around in lazy circles...and the sunsets, sun rises and snow, etc are amazing here. Sky makes us feel very energized and happy...it's funny, but this patch of sky we have above us, because there is no one else around us that we can see, only woods, really feels  like OURS...it feels like it is looking down on us, it's a part of our story here.

 

 

But that's the back of the house....off the ledge..overlooking the lake...that's the BIG OPEN SKY side. Out the front of our house is a different story entirely!

 

The front is flat, if not slightly sloping land....as we sit in a clearing, the dirrent surroundings for about 50 feet is "forest floor-ish"...but then it's woods. Deep, beautiful, old woods. Trees, trees trees......all tall and skinny, because there are so many of them, that in competing for light, they had to shoot up so tall....but mixed into all these tall, skinny trees...when you go deeper, are beautiful, twisted, huge old trees. The kinds of trees you could go into with a good book and rest in, comfortably, for hours. Pine needles litter the ground, there is so much moss that you don't need shoes. The reason for the moss, is the series of small brooks that serve as run-off for higher ground...drier times of year, they are smaller, but they become much larger (though never dangerously fast or deep or anything) during times of year that are wetter, or when spring comes and snow melts. The woods being so nice and fertile, they are an awesome place for foraging different edibles from fiddle heads, to autumn olives and a range of herbs. We have SO many newts here, because of the water, and our chickens make some of the finest eggs I've ever seen for all the newts, frogs and other such things that they consume. We love being out in our woods....which spread out around us for miles (again, lots of conservation land, cliff trails, etc) and find great comfort in laying on our backs, looking up at light filtering through trees.

 

 

So out the back of the house we have big sky and stars, birds and views of rolling hills and clouds. Out the front of the house, the nestling coverage of trees, the beauty of flowing brooks and all the life that springs up around them.

 

If I had to do away with one....geesh, that would be hard....but if I had to choose, I'd choose the front. I'd choose thick trees, deep woods and brooks. But I'm SO glad I don't have to make that choice.

 

Here is a list of things about our property that I couldn't live without:

 

- Our floor plan: house begins with kitchen, which is open to a huge living room...that whole side of the house is open from floor to ceiling and the second story is a huge loft that opens to that space. I don't know how I ever had a single clear thought in a more closed off floor plan. This floor plan allows for our entire "family" space, to be open and means that our relatively small house feels HUGE.

 

- Privacy. This has come to mean more to us than perhaps anything else. We cannot see anyone elses house and no one else can see us. We live at the very end of a long dirt road....that is connected to a series of long, dirt private roads. When we are home, we are alone. There is no noise that is not ours. We can do whatever we'd like in our yard and play silly games and the kids have whatever magical kingdom they can imagine outside. We have wild bonfires and just look at the stars and the kids can run around in the yard chasing firebugs and it feels really idyllic because we're alone.

 

- The lake. It doesn't matter how stressful a day my DH has had at the shop....when he comes home and we take some food down to the dock and then hop into the kayaks and go silently sailing, fishing and relaxing past the singing loons (our pair for this lake had a baby this year, AMAZING!) and the silent, waiting herons....well, it's hard to be very stressed about anything at all. The quiet lapping of water on the deck poles is enough to lull us to sleep, when I take the kids down to read books on blankets and pillows near the water. The kids absolutely love the kayaks...and nothing is more beautiful than being out on the ice in the winter time. The end of the lake we live on, gets very shallow during the winter, only about three feet deep at most parts, with sand bard and everything near the marshy end...and it's so much fun to skate and explore out there without worry about crashing through the ice. Any time of year, the lake is freaking awesome. We dont have to worry about flooding, because we're raised up on a ledge above it...and I highly recommend seeking out a situation like that, raised up above a body of water.

 

 

 

So, yeah. That is a description of our location. I looked for......EVER.....for our house. It was, almost literally, my full time occupation. We waited, waited, looked and looked....we passed up so many houses that I was like "man, that was the one...we shouldn't have passed, that was THE house for us" - but I knew in my heart there was another place, some other house that we would just "know" when we walked into it.

 

I didn't even see the inside of the house, before I call my husband and said "I found it"...and I was right. I drove up....and it actually felt like I was driving home. In m very bones, I could feel the thousands of times I would drive up to this same house. It was a foreclosure property, that last sold (five years ago, maybe six now) for close to $300,000.....we bought it for $100,000 and the bank paid the $5,000 in closing costs. We stole this house. It was just meant to be.  I had to work my butt off to get this loan approved...the private roads, the bank that owned the home...so many things caused hiccups and problems and more than once (or twice, or four time) our mortgage broker (a family friend) said "I don't know that underwriting is gonna be able to make this happen guys" and I was like "yeah, whatever Jay, what do I have to do, what do they need" - the hoops I jumped through were crazy....June 18th, I drove up to this house and said "we're putting in an offer today" - it was almost October before our closing date.

 

My DD was a baby when we moved here and has only known this place. My son was born here, in the kitchen. It's just our house. Like it was always our house. We found our corner of the universe.

 

So, OP, I tell you all of that....because of all of the perfect houses that I walked from, that I realize now where not perfect. Decide what you want, build your ideal home in your head.....and then find that house and freaking make it happen. If you find yourself torn between SKY and WATER...like I definitely was in different ways...scrap both houses and find the house with BOTH.

 

I didn't think this house existed outside of my dreams. It's just a little 1450 sq ft house...but it holds all of our dreams and wishes and there isn't a thing about it we would change. FIND YOUR HOUSE! I'm so excited for you!!

 

Unedited post, sorry.

 

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

For me I feel it really depends on the child. dd is the kind of child who listened - even at 10 months old. the stove is HOT. dont go near it. never once did she go near it. street is busy. one time she ran out and i freaked on her. never again has she ever ventured out on the street (though we did a lot of walking and public transportation then).

 

even at 3 having a boat ramp and rocks i still did not ever feel uneasy about dd being unsupervised on land. i'd go and get something or she'd be left for a few moments. but she knew the water was dangerous and no getting into it without a life jacket. she also knew the property was a fast water flow area and that we'd have to go a couple of blocks to actually get into the water.

 

i think children born with water around them and having been taught water safety see water differently than those who were introduced later on. dd was born around a swimming pool and so for her water safety was a no brainer. street safety was a no brainer. just like when u live on a busy street or water you are careful you do the same - be more cautious. however for me it did not make me that worried enough to want to change residences. interestingly enough almost all of dd's dc kids grew up around water (swimming pool) and could swim like a fish by the time they were 3.

 

honestly for me water or trees, a creek or a forest to explore around - is such a privilege - such a rare opportunity for city people that that would not be the part where i'd place my focus on to see which one works. i'd look at other things because for me both those options are equal. if after looking at all other practical factor it came down to water or sky, i'd look at myself and see where i'd make a better parent and choose that. if you are constantly going to be freaked out about water then obviously no matter what your child likes, water is not good for YOU.

 

coincidentally dd's dad grew up a block away from the river. one day his mom woke up to find him and his little brother gone. ended up calling the police and they found those boys had picked the lock, walked down a block, climbed down a long flight of stairs from a bridge adn were calmly playing in the water. her dad was 3 and his brother was 2. the only reason why the police found them because they had gotten hungry and had climbed up the stairs heading home for a snack. no one ever thought they would have taken that route and were playing on the beach.

 

 

^This.

 

It's like growing up in the country around guns and hunting. I know people who think that hunting is horrible and that guns should be outlawed and that they are SO dangerous, etc. Yeah, our guns are out of reach of childrens hands...but even when we're using/cleaning/inspecting them, the kids don't pay them anymore mind than they might if I were using a hammer to nail something up, or cutting some chicken with a knife. They don't see them as killing machines. They are tools that help us live and when you grow up around them, know how to properly handle them and use them...it's just not interesting to you, you're not sneaking into the gun cabinet to get a closer look, you know? My DD shot the smallest rifle (just a little .22) this past summer....I know it makes us sound like some "cultureless hicks"...but we're actually well educated, open minded people and world culture, the arts, music, literature, etc are a big part of our parenting and life, certainly a bigger part of our lives than gun use. But yeah, we're hickish according to a lot of my city and suburb dwelling friends. For a three year old, my DDs a damn fine shot. Under proper guidance and supervision, guns are a safe and a normal part of a country lifestyle. When she's ten, she'll have her own for sport shooting, if she wants it. The reason she wanted to shoot it in the first place, is because she thought she could hit a target better than her dada or her mama....and she wanted to try. Cool with me. She very closely listened to the proper safety and handling speech, wore her safety gear...and handled the weapon, as bulky as it was for her, with respect...because she knows that it is very powerful and to be respected.

 

 

THe lake is the same. They're already learning how to swim at two and three and when they're old enough, they will learn cold water/fully clothed emergency swimming skills. The lake is as dangerous as you let it be. Sport/hunting guns are as dangerous as you let them be. Kitchen knives, medicines, woodstoves, any number of things you may have in your homes....are as dangerous as you let them be.
 

 

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

I'm saddened by the near hysterical fear some people seem to have of water...yikes! I mean I get a comment like "yeah, waters cool, but remember to talk about and be mindful of water safety, etc" - but a few posters seem REALLY negative about water. Well, "different strokes...etc" I guess.


I could do both approaches. Where I was growing up, there were a creek, a river, and a big river near our house. We spent so much time on the water as kids. Rowing, swimming, fishing, playing. The creek and the river were about a 100 yards away. I can't imagine growing up without that. It was happiness. But... we were properly supervised and taught. For a neighbor boy, things ended badly - and his twin brother saw it. I still remember how the whole neighborhood was on the banks, and people were looking for the body in the river. He was five years old, he was throwing sticks off the bridge and fell.

 

So... I don't know. As a kid, river meant "awesome". As a parent, it would mean "vigilance". And "awesome".

post #27 of 29

I didn't see any near hysteria about water.  headscratch.gif  

 

I have some friends who live with their several children in a house with a pool behind it.  All of the doors between the house and pool are always locked and the pool has one of those alarms that goes off if a kid falls into or otherwise gets into the pool.  But, every time they realize they're not sure where one of their kids are one of them goes looking around the house and the other one goes straight back to the pool.  I am pretty sure they'd tell you that it's very safe, they've taken precautions, all of their kids have had lots of swimming lessons, yada yada.  I've never heard them say they wish they didn't have a pool or anything along those lines.  But always, at least once during any visit, there is that look on one of their faces and then straight back to the pool to see if that's where the little one is.  I don't think I could live that way.  I don't think they are doing anything wrong by living that way, but that would just not be comfortable for me.  In fact, I always feel a little uneasy about even having my kids there for the afternoon.  It's not "near hysteria."  It's common sense to be worried about water and if you're near water and your toddler or preschooler goes missing for a minute, it's common sense to check the nearby body of water first.  And you are checking to see if they've drowned or maybe there's still time to save them.  Jeesh.  I just could not go there once a day a few times a week or whatever.  

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

  Thanks for the wonderful, thoughtful replies. I need time

to take it all in; there's so much in them.

 

post #29 of 29

I don't think one type of nature is really better spiritually than the other.

 

When we moved from a place with houses and trees right on top of each other and tiny fenced spaces to a home with lots of sky, few trees and uninterrupted views all around it really felt like my dd had been let out of a cage. She seemed much more energetic and joyful. I think we all felt more peaceful.

There was a creek near our home but we did not spend time there and could not see it from our house.

 

I would vote for the house with lots of sky. You can always go visit a river or lake.

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