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I saw a 3 year old walking up the street today - ALONE! - Page 5

post #81 of 156
Those things are in the norm where I live too (europe). My son has played outside unsupervised with the neighborhood kids since he was 4.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I
Oh, and in my little part of America, letting a 3 year old walk to a neighbor's house isn't considered neglectful. It's the norm here in my neighborhood. And none of the kids in my little neighborhood has been abducted for as long as I've been here.
Additional things that are the NORM in my neighborhood that many people here at MDC have issues with:

Letting kids play in their yards (front and back) without direct supervision
5 year olds riding bikes in the streets with just older kids supervising
6 year olds and up crossing streets and walking to the library
sorry my 2yo was editing...
post #82 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds View Post
Those things are in the norm where I live too (europe). My son has played outside unsupervised with the neighborhood kids since he was 4.
See, I don't have a problem with that at all. How is that parallel to what the OP described?
post #83 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar View Post
You just don't know what that family has done to teach their child to be safe.
Well, we know the child is willing to talk to strangers. That's a big red flag right there.
post #84 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
Well, we know the child is willing to talk to strangers. That's a big red flag right there.
Many of us here don't teach your conventional "stranger danger." We teach children that some strangers are more likely to be safe than others. For example, a woman with children is more likely to be safe than a man without children. And some kids have amazing instincts about such things, believe it or not.
post #85 of 156
Honestly the whole idea of "I taught my child never to talk to, go with, pick the mommy only, etc..." is about as beneficial as "My child can swim unsupervised b/c they took lessons and know how to do it."

Teaching your child the proper response in a situation in no way means they will follow that lesson. I say all kinds of things to my oldest and, in the end, he is one who learns best by experience.

I have seen more than one show where it was a hidden camera thing set up to see if kids would go with strangers. Almost all the parents said no way my kid would go. The result a majority went.
post #86 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
Well, we know the child is willing to talk to strangers. That's a big red flag right there.

Not for me.
post #87 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
I think in some cases it is the parent's fault.
Well, if it makes you feel better to think that, go ahead.
post #88 of 156
I really think what each parent decides is safe is a personaly decision, and that decision can change with time. Familiarity with an area and one's neighbors, age of children, siblings around, danger on the road, difference in individual children's personalities. I don't think that blanket statements can really cover what is and isn't safe for individual an individual child, or what a parent is comfortable with.

For myself, what I have thought as safe has changed many different times. When we lived in an apartment complex, I was actually more protective of my children, because I didn't know who else was living on different floor, they were younger, ds1 can be a bit flighty and unaware of his surroundings, etc. When we moved to our house, I was a lot more lax in them playing outside without me. Granted we had a big yard, far away from the road and other neighbors, with a huge driveway that we put stuff up in when they were outside playing...and a really big protective dog! Now that they are even older, I let them play outside without feeling like I have to check on them continually. I also let my 3 year old play outside with his older brothers long before I'd let the other two play outside without me. But we do have a really ideal situation.
post #89 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
Well, we know the child is willing to talk to strangers. That's a big red flag right there.
It is? My child talks to strangers all of the time! In the store, in the playground, on the street. I watch and listen.

A question for LionTigerBear, and not a sarcastic one. When do you feel a child can be unsupervised outside of your house? Or in your house for that matter?
post #90 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post
I really think what each parent decides is safe is a personaly decision, and that decision can change with time. Familiarity with an area and one's neighbors, age of children, siblings around, danger on the road, difference in individual children's personalities. I don't think that blanket statements can really cover what is and isn't safe for individual an individual child, or what a parent is comfortable with.
I think this statement is the bottom line.
post #91 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticMomma View Post
What would you do about this? I was driving out of my neighborhood this afternoon and I saw my neighbor's three year old daughter wandering up the street today alone. I've lived in this neighborhood for about 6 months, and while I recognize the little girl, I'd be mighty surprised if she recognized me. I stopped my van, rolled down the window and we had the following conversation:

"Honey, does your mommy know you're outside?"

"Noooo."

"What are you doing out here alone?"

"I want to play."

"Where is your mommy?"

"She's putting the babies to bed." (she has twin 18 month old sisters)

"Did you tell her you were leaving the house?"

"Yeesss."

"Where are you going?"

She points to a neighbor's house. So, I say I'll stay right there and watch while she knocks on the door. The neighbor answers, and says she can't come in and play because it's naptime. Maybe later. And, she shuts the door. On the little girl. Standing alone on her porch. With no mommy watching anywhere in sight. While I'm in my van across the street observing the whole thing. And, I'm betting she has no idea who I am.

The little girl bounces down the steps and skips back to her house going in the garage. I sit there stunned for a minute, and then decide that if my FIVE year old tried something like this, and I was upstairs putting a baby down for a nap, I'd want to know so we can talk about safety issues. So, I go knock on the door.

The mom comes down after a few minutes, all smiles and says "Oh, yes, I know she was going down the street. She's only allowed to go that far and no more. She was fine." and laughs off my concern.

I'm stunned. Is this typical behavior? Am I totally overreacting here thinking that this borders on neglect? I mean, a three year old girl skipping down the street ALONE and nobody is watching out for her. The mother didn't even bother to call the neighbor to tell her to watch for her daughter. If I had been an evil sort of person, I could have easily scooped up her daughter and disappeared, and she wouldn't have noticed the absence for hours most likely. The little girl was more than happy to chat with me, and I'm sure I could have convinced her to get in my car with the right enticements.

I just don't even know what to think. My neighbors have been encouraging me to join them in the afternoon when they all hang out near the street, but I'm telling you, they are the LAST people I'd want to hang around.

Oh, and this is not an isolated event. Nightly I see several very small children jumping on my next door neighbor's trampoline with no supervision. And, there was another occasion where this very same mother was at something without her young twins, and when I asked where they were, she said at home napping. We were 2 blocks away from her house, and her husband and 3 year old were with her. She didn't say "napping at home with my visiting mother" she said "at home napping" which could only mean "at home napping and no adult is in the house".

Okay, I'm clearly quite upset about this. I just can't believe this is what substitutes for parenting just two houses down from me.
Wow that is unbelievable!! I can't believe she doesn't mind.
post #92 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by blsilva View Post
Oh, wow, that's bad. People in our neighborhood do that, too. THey think nothing of their 2-3yo's wandering around by themselves. It scares the crap outta me.
A lady in a playgroup I use to belong to got the police called on her because her 1yo ( was wandering around outside with only his 3yo sister for supervision. As she related the story to us, she told us that she and her dh "didn't care" that he got out, "after all, it is a cul-de-sac!" But she had to start keeping him inside since her neighbors apparently cared. All I could do was try to pick my jaw up off the floor and leave without blasting her.
That is so sad!! I just can't fathom this.
post #93 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
Well, right before New Years, I was *that* mom.

I have 3 boys, ages 1 (almost 2), 7 and 9. It was about 9 am, and we were still all in PJs. I had been doing laundry and went into my bedroom, which is RIGHT NEXT to the livingroom and front door. (small house) I was checking my work email and my oldest came in and yelled DS3 is gone!

The front door was wide open and the baby was nowhere to be seen. I freaked. Got my shoes on fast and started looking and yelling for Baby. My oldest got on his bike to look for his brother. My middle son, who happens to have Autism, was freaking out. I ended up calling 911. My oldest found Baby at the end of the street and two ladies had him. He was in a onsie and barefoot. He decided to play in a mud puddle. All of this was in a 20 minute span.

The ladies decided to lecture me about how I need to watch my kids, etc, and were not very nice about it, either. But, I just took my child back, said thank you and I am sorry and that I would be sure to be more watchful. Then, 3 police crusiers and 2 fire rescue units pull up.

The officer who questioned me was actually very kind. I was in my ratty PJs, sneakers, and carrying a dirty toddler. I can imagine what I looked like~yikes. I also was crying my eyes out. I was sure I was going to be investigated by CPS. The officer told me that I don't have a record of this kind of thing, and as long as I promised to put a lock in at the top of the door, he would let it go. But cautioned me to not let it be a habit. As if.

I shook for 2 hours. It didn't really hit me for two days. I had a mini breakdown when I realized what COULD have happened.

I am not a neglectful person. In fact, I am over-protective, if anything. In fact, when our next-door neighbor found out about it, he was shocked. He said that I was one of the most watchful parents he has ever known. I did not know the baby could undo the deadbolt. My husband installed a slide lock for the top of the front and side doors that night. I double check them constantly.

Only my 9 yr old goes outside without me there constantly. My middle child has to be watched closely and of course the toddler is not allowed outside alone.

I cannot imagine just allowing a toddler to roam the street. I was scared out of my tree and in fact, will still cry over it at night when my mind is racing. I feel so much guilt about not watching as closely as I should have. If anything had happened to my darling baby, it would have been my fault.

The fact that some people are so casual about the well-being of their kids just astounds me.
How scarey! I am so happy that you had a good ending to this.
post #94 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar View Post
It is? My child talks to strangers all of the time! In the store, in the playground, on the street. I watch and listen.

A question for LionTigerBear, and not a sarcastic one. When do you feel a child can be unsupervised outside of your house? Or in your house for that matter?
I would say it is highly variable depending on the child and the situation, but here are a couple of scenarios to give an idea of what I would consider to be reasonable:

a two- or three-year-old playing outside with older siblings, otherwise unsupervised, as long as there is either 1.) a fence or 2.) no traffic nearby.

a child aged three to eight walking to a friend's house alone while being watched by a parent or older child, as long as the neighborhood is reasonably safe.

a child 8 or older walking to a friend's house unsupervised in a reasonably safe neighborhood.

Any of those scenarios seem reasonable to me, but again, to soem degree it depends on the child and the situation. But what the OP described is so far beyond anything reasonable, I think most of us are shocked by it. I had to share the story with my dh before he left for work and he was absolutely shocked by it too.

I have a question of my own:

To those of you who do not see calling CPS as a last resort as a viable option, then if you did see a child in real danger, what would you do? Seriously? If there is a better option that I am not aware of than I would certainly be open to it.
post #95 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
To those of you who do not see calling CPS as a last resort as a viable option, then if you did see a child in real danger, what would you do? Seriously? If there is a better option that I am not aware of than I would certainly be open to it.

I would intervene. My DH would intervene. I have numerous friends and family members who would also intervene. What we might have to do, I can't post here. But, in a case of a child being really and truly in danger, we step up and do what we need to do. Some people may believe that only government henchmen have the right to intervene, but I'm of the belief that we've already given the government far too much power over our lives. I've seen how that power corrupts, and I'm not interested in encouraging such disastrous consequences.
post #96 of 156
My dead-end street (that still has too fast losers driving on it) has a load of families who let their 3 yo kids play unwatched IN THE STREET! And last year, one 2 year old was out there, right in with the other kids. Not a soul watching over him.

Gawd, I need out of here. I can't fix them, can't save the kids, it's just a different perspective than mine. So, GET ME OUT!
post #97 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar View Post
Goo also knows not to go with someone she doesn't know. She knows never to go in a car with someone I haven't approved of even if she does know them.
It's great that she knows the rules as long as she remembers them when put in a bad situation. And even if she does know and follow the rules, is she strong enough to fight off an adult who is determined to put her in their car against her will? Or forced to go with someone she doesn't know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foobar
You just don't know what that family has done to teach their child to be safe.
And you never know what they really know until it has been tested. I wish no child's knowledge of the rules and safety would ever truly be tested, but it does happen. I don't care how rare stranger abduction is; it probably doesn't feel so "rare" to the person who's child is missing.
post #98 of 156
: : : :
post #99 of 156
ok, i just skimmed some of the posts in this thread, and im surprised that so many hold the opinion that this is ok. makes me wonder how many MDC mamas are letting their 3 year olds wander down the street alone.
post #100 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie81 View Post
ok, i just skimmed some of the posts in this thread, and im surprised that so many hold the opinion that this is ok. makes me wonder how many MDC mamas are letting their 3 year olds wander down the street alone.
The 3 yr old in the OP wasn't wandering, she was going to a nearby neighbor's house, and her mother was aware of that. When the neighbor told her she couldn't play, she went home. And yes, I think it's OK, so call CPS on me:
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