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8 Year old outside alone? - Page 5

post #81 of 96
It would be much easier to send my kids out unsupervised than create situations with them to play safely with peers.

I agree with a pp - my husband was undersupervised as a child and got to have terrible experiences at the cost of older children without ever actually being kidnapped.

I don't breathe down my kids neck every minute, but I will not leave my little little kids well-being in the hands of kids whose judgement is still unfinished as well.
post #82 of 96
There's a big difference between a child roaming the neighborhood alone, going into people's homes without parent's knowledge or approval - and a child playing outside in a neighbor's front yard, calling to you to ask if they can play in sammy's basement, walking up to the corner store, building tree forts in the woods, riding bikes together, going to the park, etc.

I don't have any desire for my kids to feel comfortable enough to go into my neighbors homes, really ever, but I do want them to talk with our neighbors, help them with their lawns when their out, pet their dog's and ask them about their day and be social and friendly with them. My main goal in this, however, is for my child to have the freedom to play as he likes and learn to be safe. it's not safe to put yourself in a position where you'd be alone with an adult that you and your parents don't trust, but it's plenty safe to ride your bike around the block, knock on your friend's door and ask if he can go with you to the park and the store to buy Popsicles. All the kids in my neighborhood do this and it's one of the thigns I love most about where we live.
post #83 of 96
My kids are still young but I'd definately let them play in the yard by themselves by 8. My son is 5 and I recently started letting him play in the unfenced backyard by himself without watching him - but with a window or door open so I could hear him. Though, I admit to checking up on him more than I'm willing to admit!

At 8, I wouldn't let my kids roam the neighborhood. We occassionally get neighborhood kids asking if they can come in our house and play. (Boys ages 7-10). I have a rule that they must ask their parents before they come into our house. I wouldn't allow my kids to play in other's houses if I don't know them but kids seem surprised when I tell them my rule that they have to ask. I figure I'm making certain that the parents know where their kids are. Plus, I feel like I need to do that to protect us as well.
post #84 of 96
All 3 of my kids play outside by themselves (well, if "by themselves" that includes together, lol) . I work at home fulltime and I can't be outside all day. My office overlooks the backyard and neighborhood, I can hear them and peek in on them. My oldest wants to walk to school this year ( about 5 blocks from home), and as long as weather permits I'm going to let her. She is also allowed to walk to the library by herself and to the little mom and pop corner store.
post #85 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
To me, it's easier to supervise a child than to teach the skills needed to interact with the world in an age appropriate way, and to trust the child to be able to use those skills.
You are assuming the "overprotective" parent is doing it out of laziness when that's not really reality- at least in my house. Trust me it's much more trying and stressful to have them in my hair almost 24/7 then say "Go out and play."

My kids are given ample age appropriate opportunities to flex their worldy muscles. We also discuss in age appropriate detail why our family chooses not to allow what the "Jone's" allow their kids to do. We have calm rational worldy discussions.

IMO an 8 year old child shouldn't be interacting with the world at large alone. I trust my child to make good decisions, and they trust me to be their mother, and in our house that means I am in charge of their safety.

I have no issue with what other families choose for their children- I trust their judgment. These are my kids though, and I have to follow my heart and gut.
post #86 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
You are assuming the "overprotective" parent is doing it out of laziness when that's not really reality- at least in my house. Trust me it's much more trying and stressful to have them in my hair almost 24/7 then say "Go out and play."

My kids are given ample age appropriate opportunities to flex their worldy muscles. We also discuss in age appropriate detail why our family chooses not to allow what the "Jone's" allow their kids to do. We have calm rational worldy discussions.

IMO an 8 year old child shouldn't be interacting with the world at large alone. I trust my child to make good decisions, and they trust me to be their mother, and in our house that means I am in charge of their safety.

I have no issue with what other families choose for their children- I trust their judgment. These are my kids though, and I have to follow my heart and gut.
I think each family needs to do what is right for their family and children. children mature at different ages and can handle responsibilities at different ages.

My only hope is that families that choose to parent differently don't judge my parenting methods only because they don't agree with them for their families. I'd also hope that they don't put me down when discussing our choices to their children, because that is judgment as well.
post #87 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine233 View Post
I think each family needs to do what is right for their family and children. children mature at different ages and can handle responsibilities at different ages.

My only hope is that families that choose to parent differently don't judge my parenting methods only because they don't agree with them for their families. I'd also hope that they don't put me down when discussing our choices to their children, because that is judgment as well.

I can tell you what I tell my kids. It goes something like this:

Movies:

12 yo DD "Mom can I go see the new batman movie? Please please please ALL my friends are going."

Me "No it's not appropriate and I don't want you watching it."

12 yo DD "Mom, everyone's mom is letting them go."

Me "That's fine for them, their parents get to make those choices, and I get to make the choices for my kids and you aren't going."

12 yo DD "OK."

Privledges:

12 yo DD "Mom can I walk home with Julie after school and then take her dog to the park that's a mile away?"

Me "No, I don't think that's safe."

12 yo DD "But her mom said it's ok, and she's letting her, please mom?"

Me "Her mom feels safe with that, and that is her decision, I am not ok with it, so the answer is no."

12 yo DD "OK I'll tell her, maybe we'll just do something else."

Me "I would be okay with you walking the dog if you stay in Julie's cul de sac."

12 yo DD "Okay well we'll just do that."

And the talks we have about other kids out after dark etc, like 8 years olds that we don't even know whom we frequently see out after 9 pm in the streets have been like this:

12 yo DD "Mom there is a kid alone outside right now on the street out front."

Me "Well either their parent is ok with that, or they maybe don't know their child is out there."

12 yo DD "I don't think that's ok."

Me "Well I don't either, which is why you aren't out there. We don't control other people's choices and some people are more relaxed, now stop staring."

I don't judge anyone, if I think something is unsafe I tell my children so- parenting is all about making JUDGMENT calls. If you feel judged by that, well that's not my issue. I feel judged by people who think I'm overprotective, but it doesn't bother me. I'm ok to disagree.
post #88 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
I don't judge anyone, if I think something is unsafe I tell my children so- parenting is all about making JUDGMENT calls. If you feel judged by that, well that's not my issue. I feel judged by people who think I'm overprotective, but it doesn't bother me. I'm ok to disagree.
Well, honestly, I don't think you are overprotective, I think you know whats right for your kids. So, no judgment from me.

I don't think having different opinions is judging, I think making negative assumptions is. So if you aren't making negative assumptions about my parentings style, then I wouldn't feel judged.
post #89 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine233 View Post
Well, honestly, I don't think you are overprotective, I think you know whats right for your kids. So, no judgment from me.

I don't think having different opinions is judging, I think making negative assumptions is. So if you aren't making negative assumptions about my parentings style, then I wouldn't feel judged.
That's awesome. That's exactly how I feel. I just can never tell if someone is going to be thinking I'm making judgment, because I try to give nearly everyone the benefit of the doubt and I do NOT like my children thinking ill of other people, or feeling superior because we do something differently.
post #90 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
That's awesome. That's exactly how I feel. I just can never tell if someone is going to be thinking I'm making judgment, because I try to give nearly everyone the benefit of the doubt and I do NOT like my children thinking ill of other people, or feeling superior because we do something differently.
I think it's important to remember that each of us makes a different risk assessment based on different issues specific to where we live, our families, our neighborhoods, etc. We can't assume what is right or wrong in anyone else's case because we can't know specifically what is happening that caused them to assess risk the way they did.
post #91 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
It would have protected my a lot more if my mother had ever discussed with me what to do in such a situation than if she restricted my from normal childhood neighborhood activity.
Again, it's not one or the other. Why can it not be both?

I teach my children what is wrong/right, bad/good, safe/unsafe but I'm not going to let them go out and trust they'll be perfect in their choices and decision-making, PLUS I still do care about other people and their actions. Watching them and supervising them gives me a much clearer picture on how they are doing with their newly taught skills and allows me the opportunity to help them by knowing their successes or problems.

It's like, if I teach my children to read, I would learn much more about their ability by having them read to me than I would just looking at a graded paper from school about their reading. Ugh, it makes sense in my head, I hope the point came across.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior
Trust me it's much more trying and stressful to have them in my hair almost 24/7 then say "Go out and play."
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee
I think it's important to remember that each of us makes a different risk assessment based on different issues specific to where we live, our families, our neighborhoods, etc.
Not for me. Like I said, I live in a very nice and quiet neighborhood. It's extremely quiet and everyone knows each other. My feelings come more from my personal experiences and DH's occupation.
post #92 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post
Not for me. Like I said, I live in a very nice and quiet neighborhood. It's extremely quiet and everyone knows each other. My feelings come more from my personal experiences and DH's occupation.
The "etc" encompasses your response.... you just confirmed what she said... you make a choice based no all the factors that apply to YOUR family and experiences. As in, we all make our own risk assessment. Your choice is right for you, not for everyone. That's all everyone is saying.

That doesn't mean the risk assessment other families make for their own families are not valid or are any less accurate for them.
post #93 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post
I teach my children what is wrong/right, bad/good, safe/unsafe but I'm not going to let them go out and trust they'll be perfect in their choices and decision-making, PLUS I still do care about other people and their actions. Watching them and supervising them gives me a much clearer picture on how they are doing with their newly taught skills and allows me the opportunity to help them by knowing their successes or problems.

It's like, if I teach my children to read, I would learn much more about their ability by having them read to me than I would just looking at a graded paper from school about their reading. Ugh, it makes sense in my head, I hope the point came across.
It's not like we never supervise our kids. I spend plenty of time watching them, but there are some times when it's ok for a child to not be in the company of their parent, imo.
post #94 of 96
On a related note, I've noticed my ds can be more careful about some things when I'm not with him. For instance, if we are walking together, he trots along without paying much attention to cars (because he feels safe holding my hand and going with the flow). But if we aren't walking together, he is much more careful. Being without me immediately nearby gives him practice with making judgment calls and is a valuable experience. And I'm always available for consultation.
post #95 of 96
We live in a really eclectic urban area, close to downtown. My 8 yr old ds is allowed to roam on his bike within our immediate neighbourhood freely. He's not allowed to cross any really busy streets though, so he has approximately a 5 by 8 block area where he can go wherever he likes. He loves that he can just take his bike for a ride and I know that he would be easy for me to find if I needed to. He has a couple of friends that live within this area too. I'm happy for him to go over there but he has to call me if he's planning to stay. Unfortunately, quite a few of his pals and (both of our favourite parks) do live across busier streets. I think next year we'll let him go that bit farther. I figure he'll also be able to go down to the shops and run errands for us by then too! Yay:
post #96 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I've noticed some very weird attitudes among my RL friends regarding stranger danger and abduction. They really don't like it when you point out that the danger is very small. They react almost by putting their fingers in their ears and saying "LALALA I can't hear you".

It's almost as though they either WANT or NEED to believe that there is a huge danger of stranger abduction.
I know exactly what you mean. I've given up trying to discuss this stuff, just too frustrating.

Obviously with my kids being 3 and 1, they don't have freedom as yet ... but I hope not to restrict them TOO much during childhood/adolesence.
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