Originally Posted by AladdinsLamp
Wow, I think it is weird that so many think it is okay for children to be out in a front yard WITHOUT a parent out there. Not a single one of my friends - whose kids range in age from 13 yrs down to 6 mo EVER let their kids play in the front yard without a parent RIGHT there. And these are people spread all across my state, not just in my city or neighborhood.
Yeah, it was safe for me to do that as a kid (although dh says it wasn't safe then either, but people didn't realize it) but not now at all. As a preteen and teenage I lived in Europe and my younger brother and I took streetcars, buses, subways all over our city without any fear. But that was 20 years ago too, and US-type-random-crimes-against-strangers has been successfully exported to Europe so my ds won't be going all over London by himself at 12 like I did.
Sorry, I think you all are naive. Yeah, the chances are low that someone will swipe your child from your front stoop, but that won't be much consolation if it were your child who IS stolen. ESPECIALLY since you know how to prevent it. Seriously, watching out the window? Give me a break, they would be gone before you got out your front door.
My kids are 11, 9, 8, 5. We just in the last year allow our older kids to be outside in our backyard without supervision. They are only allowed out as a group and must stay together. I still check frequently out the window to ensure they are doing fine. If they are in the front yard we are typically out with them. We live in a residential area. My youngest is occassionally allowed out with the older kids, but I usually watch from the window with him and they stay in the backyard. The only exception we have made is too allow our daughter to walk the dogs up and down the sidewalk. That makes me nervous enough, but I am lucky enough to live in an area where few cars that don't live on our street travel and all the neighbors are keening aware of unfamiliar cars showing up.