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#61 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 09:50 AM
 
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Gaialice, you're probably right.

For us, though, supervised does not mean "directed". I just sit out back with a book or crossword puzzle and barely even look up from it. If dd wants to go to the side yard, I just grab my book and move to the swing on that side. We can be outside for 2 hours and dd will have said only a couple of words to me or asked me for something (like a drink of water). I'm really there like a lifeguard is at the pool. I don't often get involved more than just looking up from my book as I turn pages and showing whomever might be walking by that my daughter is supervised and not an easy target.

Marsupial mom, your statistics support what I have found.

1 in 180 chance of getting abducted by family

1 in 560 chance of getting abducted by stranger.

Yet, as I said in my last post, there is only a 1 in 8 MILLION chance for anyone (adults and children included) to be injured in an airplane... yet we are all nearly pathological about keeping our kids safe in a plane!
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#62 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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i was going to mention Last Child In The Woods, too, but trinity beat me to it. i've only read about 50 pages of it so far, too, but like what i've read.

i am probably older than a lot of y'all (43 this month) and my mom was older when she had me (38) and she grew up on a farm and really i don't think she gave it a second thought about letting me run loose around our suburban middle class neighborhood. i think her experience of growing up on the farm in the 20s-40s probably greatly influenced the freedom she gave me.

we had a big backyard and i loved to climb trees. i'd go way up to the very very very top of a huge maple and a huge white pine that towered over our 1 story 50s ranch house. thinking about that now and imagining my girls doing the same gives me a little bit of the heebie jeebies, but i was a confident climber and i think my mom could see that it was something i did well so she didn't freak about it. i did fall one time, but it wasn't from the top of a tree, but just from trying to jump for a lower branch from a metal lawn chair with a friend. i was maybe 9 or 10. got a mild fracture of my arm, but that didn't even faze me.

she used to let me wander for hours in the woods behind our house. i remember i had a neighbor girl a few months older (with older brothers and a sister, too) who wasn't allowed to go in the woods (although she snuck out with me occasionally). my dh talks about how when he was little he heard about the "dirty hippies" who might be in the woods. his mom was a bit of a worry wart (seriously -- that's a mild example).

for me, i let my kids play outside in our yard all the time and have for years (they're 6 and 3), but my kids aren't like me. they're actually much more cautious and i've never had them try to walk down the street alone or anything. we live in a very safe neighborhood. we do have a fenced backyard, but have a second story deck off the kitchen (it's a sloping backyard and the deck comes off the kitchen, but that side of the house is effectively two stories since the daylight basement is underneath). they never go down the deck stairs and always stay on the deck. it would be fine with me if they did want to at this age although i would have been worried about dd2 negotiating the stairs by herself when she was younger, but at 3.5 it would be fine with me.

i let them play in the front yard (unfenced, but again on a steep sloping lot so we have to go uphill to get to the street) with me in the house all the time. they're super cautious kids, though and rarely roam from right in front of the house. if we lived on acreage in the mountains (we've talked about it) i would be happy to let them roam in field and wood.

we live right near a park and the ballfield backs up to our yard. when dd2 is a little older i think i would let them play there by themselves. i wouldn't let them cross the road to the rest of park or play there by themselves because i can't see all the way over there from our deck like i can see the ball field and because a wider variety of people frequent there. there are woods behind the park that are fun to explore, but i have seen some homeless type looking men in the woods on occasion so i would hesitate about that, but if the girls were in a group with a lot of other kids and the moms were all at the park i'd consider it. not saying if i would or wouldn't, but i'd think about it. i wouldn't let them at this age, though.

that's my 2 cents.

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#63 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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Ok so throw the tomatoes... : But I think it is very sad how many people are so afraid. I mean really alot of you sound so fearful. I think our media has done the job that they set out to do, make us afraid of our own shadows. Thowing out stats and not really putting them in context. We give away our rights, our childrens rights, so easily. And yes I do think living without fear and being able to play in your own yard is a right.
My goodness I was at home babysitting my brother from age 9 on (until he was old enought to do that himself at about age 10).

I truly think it does a major disservice to our children to never let them have their own time, their own space to learn and deal with the world. They never get to have an adventure, see things for themselves, get into minor trouble, learn from mistakes, get hurt (and I am not talking about killed or mamed but minor childhood injuries that gives them great stories to tell), get messy, without mom or dad hovering near by saying "no, watch out, don't, be careful, agh get down, stop that, don't yell, don't touch that..." Kids are not complete idiots, they do learn from their mistakes and most will easily follow rules if they do get some space. (I know someone will tell how their child doesn't but oh well).
Think about your own childhood with out your adventures, without your stories... would it be sad, depressing? The world has changed, but not that much... we have just become more afraid.

H

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#64 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
Ok so throw the tomatoes... : But I think it is very sad how many people are so afraid. I mean really alot of you sound so fearful. I think our media has done the job that they set out to do, make us afraid of our own shadows. Thowing out stats and not really putting them in context. We give away our rights, our childrens rights, so easily. And yes I do think living without fear and being able to play in your own yard is a right.
My goodness I was at home babysitting my brother from age 9 on (until he was old enought to do that himself at about age 10).

I truly think it does a major disservice to our children to never let them have their own time, their own space to learn and deal with the world. They never get to have an adventure, see things for themselves, get into minor trouble, learn from mistakes, get hurt (and I am not talking about killed or mamed but minor childhood injuries that gives them great stories to tell), get messy, without mom or dad hovering near by saying "no, watch out, don't, be careful, agh get down, stop that, don't yell, don't touch that..." Kids are not complete idiots, they do learn from their mistakes and most will easily follow rules if they do get some space. (I know someone will tell how their child doesn't but oh well).
Think about your own childhood with out your adventures, without your stories... would it be sad, depressing? The world has changed, but not that much... we have just become more afraid.

H
No tomatos from me. Everyone seems to forget that violent crime is at it's lowest since 1974. And back 20+ years ago, there was only 3 news stations, only broadcasting 1/2 hour of news three times a day. Now that we have 24/7 news, media sensationalism, etc. etc... happy doesn't sell, so every single horror story is broadcast, making you believe every other home on your street houses a rapist or murderer. It's simply not true. We live in such a safe society, I'm thrilled that my kids have the opportunity to play safely in our yard, my older ones can ride their bikes alone safely thru the entire neighborhood, etc... What a wonderful world we have right now!!!

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#65 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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Freerange Mama, I'm sorry I don't agree...(but to each her own opinion!) climbing too high in a tree...my son fell off a jungle gym because he climbed too high- broke both bones in his arm...I would NEVER let my kids play outside alone and they are now 7 and 4.....we lived in an almost zero-crime area with a fenced yard and TWO German Shepherds! Call me paranoid but I'm sorry, unsupervised kids are the ones who get hurt, get snatched, or a million other scary scenerios. How can you trust a curious and resourceful kid to NEVER go out of the gate, when they 'are in their own imaginary world' half the time? I don't trust them like that- it's not possible. They know the rules, but do they follow them ALL the time? of course not. I may be crazy but the sickos in the world are reason enough for me to keep BOTH eyes open, all the time. Anything can happen, and while we can't live in fear, we certainly should live on the side of caution..just my opinion
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#66 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Mine play in our backyard. I leave the windows on the back side of the house open, and keep an eye on them thru the windows while I get the schoolwork ready, or cook or do laundry. I can see and hear most of the yard. If somebody approached from the front, I would see them long before they got to the back gate.

We have 1/2 acre in a quiet city neighborhood. We know the neighbors, we have a fence, and the 10 year old and 8 year olds are very responsible.

They play in the front yard only if Dh or I are out there, because we have large yards here, no sidewalks, and lots of thru traffic. But the backyard is their "free zone" where they aren't micromanaged by me.

They don't even know that I'm watching and listening, most of the time. Unsupervised play is so different and exciting for them. I'm so glad they get to use our big backyard this way.

I had a whole town to be free in (1980's) but my boys at least get their 1/2 acre with 26 trees.
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#67 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 01:56 PM
 
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I also agree with the paranoid over-protectors. I do that in public. When I take my 4 boys anywhere, I don't even blink and I make them stay close.

That's the main reason we worked so hard to move to a good neighborhood. I wanted home to be the place where we all let our hair down and just play.
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#68 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Here's why I disagree with what you said.

1. As others have said, a 3-year-old can hurt him/herself while alone in a yard by eating rocks or poison plants, or by falling.

2. Aside from that problem, she or he can wander out of the yard.

3. Strangers can come into the yard.

4. A child of three is utterly unable to defend her/himself. A preteen or teen is far more able to defend her/himself, and in addition, a preteen or teen has a wealth of knowledge of how the world works -- how to use a phone, how to find a police station, how to call 911, and so on -- far more than a three-year-old. One would hope that they would also have better judgment about the safety of strangers and situations than a three-year-old.
Here's why I disagree with your disagreement.

If you look at statistics about which kids are actually abducted, it seems that the older the child, the more at risk she is. According to this report:
Quote:
However, young children, despite the publicity accorded their abduction,
are not the most frequent victims of nonfamily abduction. Eighty-one percent of nonfamily abducted children and 58 percent of stereotypical kidnapping victims were age 12 or older (table 2). Nonfamily abduction victims overall were particularly concentrated among the oldest groups, with 59 percent being 15–17 years old.
As kids outgrow eating rocks, they just come up with new risky things to try, like dangerous stunts on a skateboard, or hitchhiking, or experimenting with alcohol. There's never an age when it will be absolutely safe for them to be unsupervised, and I don't think it's even realistic to say that it gets safer and safer each year as they get older.

I suppose most parents eventually decide their kids are old enough that the benefits of unsupervised activities outweigh the risks. We just make different judgments about what that "old enough" age is.
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#69 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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OMGosh... Riding skateboards... are you serious?! I guess I will not get this. Kids need to climb trees, ride bikes and skateboards, explore open spaces, dig in the dirt... heck EAT DIRT!, get completely nasty.
Do some kids drink and do drugs... yes they do. And lot of those kids have parents who are not present and I don't mean hovering, I mean emotionally not there. And again I know someone will come up with a stat that says otherwsie and I can go find one that says I am right... but if you talk to your kids, and there for them with out being always in their space you find they actually make pretty wise choices even at young ages. Do they get stuck in trees? Yes. Do they fall and get hurt? Yes. But they also learn from that... even my 2 1/2 year old has learned how high he can climb after getting stuck in a tree. He only goes so high. I have seen my 9 year old son 60 feet in the air in a tree, did it scare me? Hell Yes! But I kept my mouth shut and man oh man, was he proud, his eyes were shining it was beautiful. I could have been there saying no, get down or never once let him do that for fear,... which would have been MY fear, not his. I could have planted the seed of fear and then he would have never tried it, never would have felt that pride that joy.
We have the power to empower our kids instead of instilling fear. Our fears. My dd is horribly afraid of heights... not because she had a bad experience, but because I instilled that in her, and now there are things she won't even try because I gave her that fear. I feel really bad about that. We don't have to do that. We have the power to give our children space and not be afraid of everything under the sun.

H

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#70 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I hope the OP is seeing by the responses that there are a lot of different reasons why someone might not let their child be alone outside even in a fenced yard.

I'm not really afraid of my dd being kidnapped or molested. It didn't even make my list of reasons in my first post to this thread. Dh and I agree that dd is not ready to be outside alone (no adult, no other kids, no protective dog) based on her as an individual and the environment.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#71 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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OMGosh... Riding skateboards... are you serious?! I guess I will not get this. Kids need to climb trees, ride bikes and skateboards, explore open spaces, dig in the dirt... heck EAT DIRT!, get completely nasty.

We have the power to empower our kids instead of instilling fear. Our fears. ........ We have the power to give our children space and not be afraid of everything under the sun.
LMAO on the skateboards...

My boys think bruises are cool. Broken bones are a rite of passage. I do not bubble wrap my kids. The way society is going, a scar will be a novelty that will only be seen on the internet, because no one has been allowed to play on a playground that's actually on cement, or fall off a bike without wearing elbow guards, etc. etc... and trust me, these are not my boys!!! Gasp - we even have a trampoline WITHOUT a net!!!!! The horror!

LOL...

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#72 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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I think a lot of the disagreements in this thread would disappear if we had a common definition of what we are talking about. "Unsuperivsed" does not necessarily mean ignored - for some poeple it means that you aren't right there within arm's reach, but you are listening and checking out the window frequently - and that how much supervision is going on is different for a 3 year old than a 9 year old.

When my forst two children were under 3, we lived in a house that had a fenced in back yard that they coudn't open the gate and the whole back wall of this house was window - so I was either at the sink looking out, or sitting where I could see/hear out of the window at all times. As far as my kids were concerend, I was there if they needed me but I wasn't "with" them the same way I would be on a walk or at the park.. So yeah, I let them play outside alone, but I was watching them the whole time. We have moved a couple of times since then and the set up of our yard has always determined what I was comfortable with or not. Now they are older and have more freedom to do their own thing, but there are still parameters.

What can possibly go wrong with being overprotective? Well, not much if you are talking about a 2 year old playing ouside alone, but someday, they will be grown and need to have their own skills and instincts developed. I have a couple of friends who are university professors who are stunned at how many overprotected kids are turning up at schools these days - 19 year olds whose parents phone and request the prof to reschedule night classes so that their daughters won't ever have to go out after dark, parents who are still helping their kids with homework when they are 20 years old becasue they don't want their kids to get too stressed. I know that thiose examples don't fit pefectly here, but they go hand in hand with the mentality that it is a good thing to be overprotective. Along the way we need to give our children the skills and opportunities to use them so that they will be confident and capable adults when they are grown - but every family's situation will be different and so when and how they learn those skills will vary from family to family. What is appropriate in my situation would be overprotective in another situation and neglectful in yet another situation. There is no one right answer.

Same thing for leaving our childern with other adults. Would I ever leave my children with unknown babysitters in a place I didn't know? Never. But if I attend the same church for years and know the nursery attendants and my child feels happy and safe there, would I be foolish to leave my 3 year old happily playing with one of the church grannies I have known for a long time? Of course not. And more and more churches ARE running background checks on all of their nursery attendants and Sunday School teachers - and making sure that there are windows in doors to nurseries and classrooms so that it is possible to see what is happening in the rooms at all times. Churches can be hiding places for molesters, but many church communities are adopting policies that make churches safe for the children who go there, NOT safe for the predators to hind behind their church going mask.
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#73 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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OMGosh... Riding skateboards... are you serious?! I guess I will not get this. Kids need to climb trees, ride bikes and skateboards, explore open spaces, dig in the dirt... heck EAT DIRT!, get completely nasty.
I agree. My point about it being just as dangerous for kids to be unsupervised as they get older is NOT that parents should keep watching their kids their whole lives. It's that if we're ever going to let them be unsupervised (and hopefully all of us are), we might as well start young, because it's not any more dangerous then than it will be later. (As long as they're past the stage where they eat random stuff and run into the street without thinking.)
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#74 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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unsupervised kids are the ones who get hurt, get snatched, or a million other scary scenerios.
Just last week 2 Toddlers (Ages 3 and 4) were found dead in the family pool because they were unsupervised.

The Adults were in the living room watching TV.

I also disagree that the Media is instilling fear. They are just reporting a story. I look at the 6 o'clock news every day and sure there are always some story about a person shot dead or what have you...but I personally like to be aware of what's going on around me.

Just because my DH and I choose to not to let DS play alone does NOT mean we live our lives in fear. I just really don't see how someone can draw that conclusion.

And those "stastics"....well, if I go on the word of "stastics" and let my guard down and something happens to my child because I was in the kitchen doing my thing then who's to blame??

I am.

I can't tell the police, "But Officer, statistics said...."

To each his own...I feel GOOD about not allowing DS play outside alone. And that's really all that matters.
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#75 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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When I take my 4 boys anywhere, I don't even blink and I make them stay close.
Me too. Especially in Public. DS will run away from you in a hot second so DH and I have to be like Hawks on him.
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#76 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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So, I guess what I am saying is that there is nothing important enough to me to *not* be out there with her, so why stay in the house just to "give her independence". Especially among APers... why give the independence at such a young age? I'm sure by the time dd is old enough to go off to college, I won't be going outside with her.
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For us, though, supervised does not mean "directed". I just sit out back with a book or crossword puzzle and barely even look up from it. If dd wants to go to the side yard, I just grab my book and move to the swing on that side. We can be outside for 2 hours and dd will have said only a couple of words to me or asked me for something (like a drink of water). I'm really there like a lifeguard is at the pool. I don't often get involved more than just looking up from my book as I turn pages and showing whomever might be walking by that my daughter is supervised and not an easy target.
: to all of the above, velochic. I'm also not comfortable with DS playing outside alone yet; he's not able to accurately relay events to me still....either by timeline or whether or not something actually happened. For me, that's a BIG deal. I want him to be able to accurately tell me about anything that happened, whether it's him hurting himself, there being a dispute with a playmate, or a stranger approaching him. Even at 3, he's still pretty freeking defenseless. I don't hover, half the time I'm on the deck on the phone with someone or reading, but I'm "there".



And I find these interesting, as it speaks to the differences between children:
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Originally Posted by trinity6232000
I do personally believe that I would be doing my dd a disservice if I didn't allow her some without me play outside. She is a different child without me. When I'm outside she is showing off her skills on the play ground. Without me I watch her walking along small paths, making up stories, picking flowers.
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I have the same experience. When I am in the backyard, the children want to play with me. When they're on their own, they play with one another. Also, when I go down, they want to play ball in a rather organized way (their rules but rules nonetheless). On their own, I see a lot of purely purposeless play - touching dirt, smelling flowers, picking grass. Oh, for those moments, for those precious moments, they really are little kids.
Apparently my son is used to my benign neglect , because when I'm "there" hanging out on the porch, he wanders around getting into things, exploring, discovering...not needing me to play with him, and not showing off for me either.

I think a lot of this has to do with the individual kid and your yard setup. We have chain link on 3 sides of our small yard, with houses on the sides and in back. I cannot see the yard from the house, there is only the back door to the raised deck, and one regular sized window in the dining room. The driveway is open to the back yard with no enclosure. We live on a fairly busy street just on the outside of a medium-sized city, and our particular street is a connecting street to many neighborhoods in the area. The neighborhood itself is OK - not great, but OK. I have a setup of snow drift screening I pull across the driveway when he's outside and I'm on the deck, because he's FAST and I still (yes, at 3 yrs old STILL ) can't trust him 100% to not bolt down the driveway if he sees a cat or something else interesting on the fairly busy street in front of the house. We plan on getting a privacy fence around 3 sides and a gate across the driveway, and then we will feel safer letting the kids out to play on their own. We hope to do that next year.

So yeah - based on his individual temperament, our current yard setup, and our neighborhood, I'm not planning on letting him be outside alone for a long while. Once I can ask him to tell me about an event and he can actually describe it, then I'll think about it - but not until then. I'll just continue to hang back and observe, and let him do his thing - which he does.

I'm not afraid, in the sense that I'm instilling fear in him about being alone or being kidnapped or anything; I'm just using common sense in our individual living situation. I believe that the world is a wonderful place full of friendly, caring, giving people, and we are friendly with people we encounter together - I model responsible and thoughtful interactions with the strangers we encounter every day when we're out and about. BUT I also know that not all people have my child's best interests at heart, and that accidents of all sorts happen - and I feel like until he is able to be more proactive about his own personal safety, it's my job to be in sight to provide it for him - note I said in sight, not on top of him.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#77 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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nope I don't allow them to play in the backyard alone (they are 20mo and 3yo) the one time I let DS do this, he got out of the backyard! : We also get rattlesnakes and arficanized bee swarms, so no, it's not allowed at my house. it's definitly a safety issue for me. I don't want them out of my sight alone anyway, period. they are way too young. you just never know in this day and age. I don't care if it's the media or not, it's my child's lives and I am the one responsible for them. plain and simple.

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#78 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Do you all remember the Adam Walsh story?

This is just one classic example.
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#79 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Our yard is not fenced at all. Our property abuts a state park with frequent sightings of coyotes and rare but not unheard of sightings of bears. We also have a ramshackle 250+ year old barn with lots of loose boards, the occasional feral cat(s), raccoon and lots of bird nests. With have a back yard play set with slides, swings, fort, etc. My son as been "allowed" to play outside unsupervised since about 3, his is now 5 1/2.

The key to my comfort level is a) my sons temperament and b) spending the first 3 years of his life modelling safe behavior and talking about safety and limits. I trust him to be out there alone. I actually have *more* safety fears with him being 5 1/2 than I did at 3 because now he is popping wheelies on his bike, climbing trees, jumping off the swing-a complete daredevil!

Honestly abduction and molestation never occurred to me (and yes I have read "Protecting the Gift"). First of all it is not like he is out there for hours alone. Second if a stranger really wanted to abduct him they would have to go to a lot of work since you can't see the back of our house from the road and you can't see the backyard form the state park. If someone familiar with my family and routines wanted to abduct him I don't think me being outside while he was playing would stop them-they would just look for another opportunity. The same holds true with molestation.

I guess from a risk/benefit persective I see more benefit in allowing my son the freedom to play outside than the risk of "statistically" rare chance of abduction/molestation during the time he is alone outside.

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#80 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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Do you all remember the Adam Walsh story?

This is just one classic example.
He was abducted from an arcade in a mall, not from his backyard. I allow my son to play alone in our backyard but I would not leave him alone in a mall. I think you are talking apples and oranges depending on the home/yard.

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#81 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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I let some of my children play in the back yard while I am in the kitchen/great room area of the house. It cement block fenced in and has a padlocked gate. No pool. There are large windows and a glass sliding door at the end of the room so i can pretty much see them all of the time. The door is left open so I can also hear them. I do however, go outside with them when my 13 month old decides to join in the fun because of his age. I will leave my 9 year old in charge for 2-3 minutes while I run to use the restroom. If any of their friends come over, I stay outside as well.

Jen

Jen

Homeschooling mom to A 14, P 12, S 7, L 5 and new baby S.

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#82 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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I also disagree that the Media is instilling fear. They are just reporting a story.
Honestly, can't you see that the media is all about perpetuating fear? Crime isn't up; kidnapping isn't up; but boy the reporting of it is up. Especially in our era of 24 hour news; the media gets a "sensational" fear story and shakes it and shakes it in its mouth until the next one pops up and then they're off and running again...thus ensuring you will continue to watch the news...

Seriously....half of this thread stems from the culture of fear the media is perpetuating...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#83 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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It depends on the neighborhood for sure, and the child, to some extent (though I do think we underestimate our children's capability). I agree with the PPs that mentioned how kids are so supervised and over-managed.

If it weren't for the crappy schools, we'd live in a rural area. I feel bad for my kids not getting the chance to spend all day wandering the woods.

I remember playing on my own outside as young as 4 in the yard, and just a few years later out in the woods. We had 20 acres, and I think I explored them all I learned so much and had such a great time. Yes, there was wildlife. Rampaging deer and all. JK, I rarely saw a deer that didn't run madly away when it saw me. There were black bears, big cats, coyotes, etc. I never saw any of those closer than the other side of the ravine.

I knew basic safety rules, and to check in during the day, and to come right away if mom yelled for me. Don't wear dark colors during hunting season (we had NO HUNT and NO TRESSPASS signs along the property line, too), only eat berries you know are safe, watch for bees nests before going into thick brush, make sure branches will hold your weight before you climb . . .

Sometimes I got hurt, sometimes I ruined my clothes, often I came back with enough debris in my hair to build two or three birds' nests. So?

Since he reached preschool age, the only time DS1 hasn't been allowed to play alone outside has been when we lived somewhere that traffic was a concern. If there's a backdoor or a window that I can hear him from if he yells for help, he can be outside.
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#84 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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Crime isn't up; kidnapping isn't up;
You really don't think so? I believe it's worse. And it has nothing to do with the Media.

You would not have heard of Gunmans open firing in public places (much less Schools and Malls) 40 years ago.

Columbine Killings
VA Tech Killings
The School in the Amish Communities where the Kids were shot execution style
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#85 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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He was abducted from an arcade in a mall, not from his backyard. I allow my son to play alone in our backyard but I would not leave him alone in a mall. I think you are talking apples and oranges depending on the home/yard.

Well my point was not to have a false sense of security.
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#86 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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Really?

http://elowel.org/peeps/max/pdf/soc/duwe.pdf

I'm really sad about the new expectation that children be CONSTANTLY supervised until they're practically driving age. And then you need the cell-umbilical, of course. Solitude and the freedom to play outdoors allowed me to become an individual, gave me a chance to have an inner life. I don't want to strangle out all the wildflowers of my child's heart, but if I don't, I'll be accused of negligence. I really resent the way our culture coerces us into crushing and overcontrolling our children. How to find a balance without getting turned in to the authorities???
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#87 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Those things simply didn't happen 20-30 years ago.
Um, Brenda Ann Spencer? Charles Whitman? The McDonald's shootings in the mid-'80s?

I mean, for Pete's sake -- Adam Walsh, your own example of the prevalent lurking danger, WAS 20-30 years ago! And yet you still remember his name and some of the details; that should give you some idea of just how reassuringly rare these events actually are. If it happened all the time, none of us would remember Adam, or Polly Klaas or Meghan. These horrible stranger abductions and murders are memorable and so heavily publicized precisely because they hardly ever happen.
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#88 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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The ugly statistics are that 1 in 3 girls is molested.
And the ugly fact is that most of the men doing that are fathers, stepfathers, mom's boyfriend, older brothers, uncles, family friends, teachers, and other trusted adults in the immediate circle.
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#89 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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I'm really sad about the new expectation that children be CONSTANTLY supervised until they're practically driving age.
I'm curious, what age do you allow your kids to play outside alone?
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#90 of 196 Old 05-01-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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You really don't think so? I believe it's worse. And it has nothing to do with the Media.

You would not have heard of Gunmans open firing in public places (much less Schools and Malls) 40 years ago.

Columbine Killings
VA Tech Killings
The School in the Amish Communities where the Kids were shot execution style
But that has nothing to do with letting kids playing in the backyard....

I was referring specifically to things that people here seem worried about that can happen when they let their kids play in the backyard...

This is exactly what I'm talking about with the perpetuation of fear...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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