I'm very upset because obviously no one is thinking about abductions, violence or peer-to-peer molestation and rape. Yes, your son may be more grown, but why do you think he is that way? Some things has happened to him. You should ask him what those things are. I guess hardly anyone has been to the real world where bad things happen? Where 99.99% of the people you meet do not care about your children in any way near the way that you do? Even in the early 90's I was molested and taught sex by my block mates, exposed to sexual activity by my sister and knew a young guy who lived on the block that killed himself playing Russian Roulette. This was a middle class white neighbourhood. I would definitely reconsider what you think is acceptable, even if you live in a small town. If you live in a city, any kind of city, this is a great idea for permanent damage to be done to your children.
[Ooops! It's too late to quote now, but this is in response to MamaRaya's comments about there being laws about leaving children home alone]
I used to think it was illegal to leave my kids home alone. But there was an issue with a neighbor that to handle myself I would have had to leave the house, so I called the police. I asked for their assistance, but they laughed at me! I said, "So I should break the law, leave my baby and 4 year old home alone, and go over there?" And he said there is no law against leaving your children home alone, at any age. I was shocked and said, "Well I won't say it should be a law, since we have too many of them already, but that is something I will not do."
There are also, in many places, no actual laws about leaving children unattended in a vehicle (look for them in your state - I found nothing in MA). These are things that conscientious people do not do, or do very strategically, under only the best conditions. But thinking there should be laws against these things, and them actually existing, are two different things:)
We were intvestigated because someone thought we left a child in our car unattended in a store parking lot and they came to our home and interviewed us and our child in was a very unpleasant experience to say the least .The CPS worker said it was illegal to leave a child 7 yrs old alone anywhere and the older ages there are very specific amounts of time you can leave them .I had a friend you also checked this with the police department in the state we were living in at the time. Don't know about what the police told you but I really don't think there would be no law on leaving them alone.
There are actually very few states that have strict laws on what age a kid can be left alone. But I believe many have guidelines. In the end, I think it's the parents business in most cases to determine the safety. They know their kids, they have an eye on the potential situation. I think I would be disgusted if more states butted in.
Here is the list. Don't know how current it is.
Taking the kids to the park implies that they are reliant on me to get them safely there and back. Leaving them at the park unsupervised is essentially temporarily abandoning them.
If they can get to and from the park on their own, it's a different story. One situation allows for self-regulation. The other does not.
As I was reading through this thread, I was thinking, "what if they decided they were done?" And this was the only post that mentioned it.
My girls like the idea that I am there somewhere. I don't need to be hovering over every move, but I might be that parent drinking coffee on the other side of the park, in case they want me. They would freak out if I left the park.
However, I like that my girls can go outside without supervision. In our house in town, they were able to play up and down our small, quiet street (read: no cars) and now they have a huge area they can range in at our new place, including down the road to their friends' house. But they like me to go with them there. I would not feel so casual about it if I lived in a busier neighborhood, in a busier city.
I think that the issue is more getting kids out, allowing kids some time away from intense adult supervision. But now I am writing that, if adults were less intense with supervision, if kids didn't have to be where their movements and voices were monitored all day, and then have everything monitored at home and in the yard afterwards--if they didn't feel like adults were there to constantly squash their drive and imaginations, maybe needing this time alone at a park or somewhere else wouldn't be such an issue. Currently, that is their typical interaction with adults, and that's sad.
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