Um, hi, my name is AverysMomma and I'm sick of the damn police. I know us northern, middle class, non-criminal farmer type ladies don't often make it to the top of the list of people you might think of when you imagine what a "cop hater" looks like....but I do. I hate seeing them, I hate it when they pull me over for a license plate bulb being out, I hate it when they try to tell me what I should be doing or why what I'm doing is wrong. I absolutely cannot stand law enforcement.
My problem is not so much with individual police, it's with what Law Enforcement has become. Cops are like plumbers. There are good plumbers and bad ones. There are bad plumbers who are good people....and good plumbers who are bad people....just as there are cops who are great and cops who aren't so great as HUMAN BEINGS.
A cop is not a cop because they are some super brilliant, super human...they are cops because they made a career choice. COP is a job, not a human characteristic that makes a person more qualified at life. You don't even have to be that smart to be a police officer. There are some BRILLIANT cops out there....but there are also some DUMB AS ROCKS cops out there. Just like bankers and mechanics and roofers and politicians. My favorite, is when fresh faced dude who looks like he's been old enough to shave for about 12 minutes, who doesn't have any kids, thinks he can tell people all about what they should be doing with their kids because he's in "The Uniform". It's disgusting.
Don't ever, ever sit in front of an officer of the law and let them counsel you in any way that does not feel good. Don't let them make you feel like you are failing as a parent, don't let them make you feel like they know about some scary dangers that "if you could only see what they've seen" you'd do things differently. You know what you feel comfortable with, you know that the world is nuts....you make the choices you make based on a balanced view of your neighborhood and you have a right to have a different view of parenting than Johnny Law.
You didn't call the cops for parenting advice....and as much as so many cops loooove to play "morality police" - the fact is they are not. You called them, because you imagined there was an emergency. As a tax payer, you have a right to call and receive the service of the police any time you feel there is an emergent situation that you cannot handle.
You called them. There was no crime to stop. End of police interaction. Next time a cop tries to lecture you on the side of the road, at your own damn house, tell him "Thanks for coming, hero, but your job is done here." - don't take anything from an officer of the law that you wouldn't take from some stranger passing by.
And for the record, I have a couple of friends who are cops....and they have earned my respect as human beings and I love them. I don't "hate" actual individual cops, because just as I believe you have to earn respect, I'm also not going to preemptive DISlike someone just because of their career choice. My gripe is with this insane twist in law enforcement over the last decade or so. My problem is with the mindless hero worship and god complex that so many cops seem to be walking around with these days. I'm sick of people who are non-criminals having to interact with law enforcement so much and I'm sick of these crazy cops walking around thinking they can just tell me what do to or give me unsolicited advice like they are some morally superior, mentally more capable human being.
Do you know that I recently had a cop, mounted on a horse, yell out to me that I needed to be holding my DDs hand as we walked down a small street with hardly any cars on a lazy afternoon. She was walking perfectly happy right beside me (we were on a raised, paved sidewalk, with a landscaped median strip between our sidewalk and the road)....and he yells out "you really need to be holding her hand so close to the street" - and then looks at me, like he's expecting that I'm going to look apologetic for my "moron parenting" and snatch up her hand as quickly as I could. I'm telling you, that is the kind of crap I'm sick to death of. THe guy is lucky my kids were right with me and I don't believe in making scenes in public...I'm so so so so so sick of cops.
Anyway. Sorry for the rant. Don't you let those idiots make you feel badly, what you were doing is not only okay, but TOTALLY normal. Most people I know with 6 year olds let them walk to a neighbor friends house to play. That's so so so normal.
I'm also really sorry to hear about your mom...that's terrible and I'm so sad for your loss. ::hugs::
Crazy mom of 9. A wife to one.
-Life is a long lesson in humility.-
James M. Barrie
I did not read all posts, as an apology :)
I am personally worried to death all the time about my kids, but I try not to let them know, and I think I am successful. However, I was kidnapped (for a couple of hours) and molested (is this the right word?) as a child, might be around seven - eight, I am not totally sure, I did not tell anybody than - from a person not close to me, but known. Not a stranger.
I thought a lot about how I can keep my DD safe without being a "helicopter mom" and I think I am sometimes - I am working on it though (Do you actually know where you can by tiny little gps thingies to implant your children - just kidding ) I read about how to keep kids safe all the time without keeping them enclosed somewhere. And what I found the best practical solution for me and my kids is that they are always supervised by somebody, as in somebody (some named person by me or me or daddy) is responsible for them in every given moment. Relocating oneself is obviously allowed, but not without telling the supervising person.
That means, if DD want to go to the neighbors to play, she is welcome to, but I need to know where she actually is, so she calls them up (or shouts through the garden :) ) asking if it is alright to come, if it is alright, the supervising person is the mommy of her friends. If they decide to go somewhere else or something like that she needs to tell this mom where she is going, and the supervising responsibility needs to go to another (adult) person. that means, she is not allowed to go anywhere with somebody or to somebody without telling the supervising person first.
(This strategy would even work if a fake police officer would show up and tell her that he needs to get her somewhere - she would always need to tell her supervising person that she´ll be leaving - something like a security net.
It is necessary that the person who is responsible for them is actually telling the "new" person about the change, otherwise it would not work. And you make sure that you know that she left somewhere, so she cannot really get lost for hours without you knowing it.
It´s supposed to make sure that you don´t train "stranger anxiety"
I mean, I had a very bad personal experience as a kid, and I really think things can happen to our kids that are not very nice, and they think they act really responsible. You see, I knew the guy, he was an older brother of a friend of mine, I would have never ever believed that somebody like that could actually harm you!
I hope my whole post is not totally confusing
Trin with DH , DD(7) and DS(5) , DD(2) , ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
I just want to add to what appears to be the consensus anyway. The cops were out of line, your daughter is fine (take a deep breath) and I'm so sorry you're dealing with all this on top of losing your mom.
My kids are 6, 4 and 2. The oldest two run all up and down the street without supervision. It's normal. You were not being a bad parent. They have to come home and ask to go in anyone's house (they have three friends houses on the block) but otherwise they roam freely between yards. Your daughter needs a stern reminder of the rules and she will probably NEVER do it again after seeing how much stress she caused. My 6yo is even allowed to cross our street (very quiet) to go a block over to another friends house. He asks before he goes, but, it's part of parenting and letting them have inches of freedom so they can make good choices and explore and have fun. The cops work in worst case scenario and aren't worried about you raising well-rounded, happy children. All they care about is they don't ever get a call for a missing child.