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#121 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
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
All of these things did not happen to kids in their own yard, I would point out, but in public places. Also, they did in fact happen 40 years ago -- the Univ of TExas shootings were about 40 years ago. The NY Times did a media search in 2000 of mass rampage killings and found results that went back a century. When I read "A Midwife's Tale" about an 18th century midwife in Maine it included her entry and reaction to a man who went crazy and killed his wife and almost all of his children on a rampage-- that was of course not a stranger killing rampage, but the sort of thing nontheless we think didn't used to happen. The rate of rampage killings is up somewhat from 20 or 30 years ago but still very rare and definitely not something that didn't used to happen, just something we know a lot more about. At any rate, since they tend to happen in public places (unless they are perpetrated by the victim's own relative), then having kids playing in their own yard is not really relevant. The kidnapping risk by a stranger is more relevant, although I would think still relatively a small risk in one's yard (more of a risk in a public place also).
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#122 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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All of these things did not happen to kids in their own yard, I would point out, but in public places. Also, they did in fact happen 40 years ago -- the Univ of TExas shootings were about 40 years ago. The NY Times did a media search in 2000 of mass rampage killings and found results that went back a century. When I read "A Midwife's Tale" about an 18th century midwife in Maine it included her entry and reaction to a man who went crazy and killed his wife and almost all of his children on a rampage-- that was of course not a stranger killing rampage, but the sort of thing nontheless we think didn't used to happen. The rate of rampage killings is up somewhat from 20 or 30 years ago but still very rare and definitely not something that didn't used to happen, just something we know a lot more about. At any rate, since they tend to happen in public places (unless they are perpetrated by the victim's own relative), then having kids playing in their own yard is not really relevant. The kidnapping risk by a stranger is more relevant, although I would think still relatively a small risk in one's yard (more of a risk in a public place also).
AMEN.

YES, these things absolutely happened! It's just that there weren't 6 million paparazzi and media mongers to be there to show us all the images, AND there were only about 3 hours of news on a day!!! There wasn't 24 hour news stations.

It is a FACT that violent crime is at it's lowest since 1974. I love that we live in such a wonderful safe society, and I can't believe this thread is still debating that... more power to mamas that don't wanna believe it, but I do, and my kids are benefitting from the freedoms the safety in our society affords them.

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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#123 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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I do think it's up to a parent how safe they feel and I understand that on busy streets, in more urban areas there are different circumstances. I also think it's a far different thing to consider whether to allow a 4 year old outside in a fenced yard than a 10 year old. Nonetheless, if we want to talk about whether life is more dangerous now than it was 25-30 years ago-- based on known statistics -- I think it's pretty clearly not in most places in the US.
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#124 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Our last house had a wild boar problem. Those scared the CRAP out of me. A trip to the compost bin was an adrenaline rush.

Anyway, I refuse to allow the media to make me afraid of EVERYTHING. I walk alone after dark, I let dd run with the pack of kids at the community potluck, we go camping in a TENT (in the backcountry even), and I let her play alone on our unfenced deck that opens up onto the road. She knows she is not allowed to go in the road. She knows to call for me if anyone approaches her. I check on her frequently. She climbs the outside of our deck and I cannot watch. She has not gotten a single splinter yet somehow broke her leg tripping over her own feet in the kitchen with 4 adult eyeballs glued to her. She is on the verge of being trusted in the backyard alone. The unfenced backyard. I still supervise her but by next summer she will be able to go out there alone. I loved the time I spent outside unsupervised as a kid, starting around age 3. I do not think my parents were neglectful. I really believe kid sthat have time on thier own figure out their limits quite well.

I do have a solution to the fear thing though. I do not watch the news (or any TV for that matter). I do not read news websites. I read my local paper and skip the "here is what we are all suppose to be afraid of this week" section. I get my world/national news from npr which does a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective. It did not even occur to be to be afraid of kidnapping out of my backyard until reading this thread.
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#125 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 11:03 AM
 
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I would like to add that I do understand that situations change things. Live on a highway? Of course 3 yo cannot be playing next to it alone. Really bad neighborhood? I get it. Apartment with no yard? Of course! It is the completely fenced in yards in Safeville, USA that boggles me.
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#126 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 11:08 AM
 
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It's really shocking to me how many of you are afraid of letting your kids be outside alone. I think this issue is a huge contributor to our obese kids. They just don't get outside as much as they should, and parents feel like they need to hover every second.

My kids play outside without me every day. We live on a busy road, but have a huge back yard (not fenced, but naturally fenced with lilac bushes & pine trees). All the neighbors know my kids, and if they wander into the neighbors yard, that's okay. When I say they're outside without me, that doesn't mean they're totally unsupervised. I'm usually in the kitchen cooking, cleaning the house, doing this or that, in & out of the house. I check on them out the window every few minutes & if I don't see them, I go looking. My nearly 5yr old is totally fine alone outside. I never worry about her. My 2yr old is another story. I do have to keep a close eye on him, mostly because he has a tendency to run to the neighbors yard, but even that is okay because they also have a 2yr old & the dad is a sahd, so they're nearly always out there too.

It would never occur to me to worry about someone kidnapping them out of the yard. That's just crazy. They are much more likely to be injured falling off the playscape.

I love the fact that my kids are free to play, explore, wander, dig, run, jump without me. They're so imaginative, and I think that's because I've always encouraged them to entertain themselves (as I feel like I'm they're mom, not their playmates). Just my 2 cents.
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#127 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ctdoula View Post
It's really shocking to me how many of you are afraid of letting your kids be outside alone. I think this issue is a huge contributor to our obese kids. They just don't get outside as much as they should, and parents feel like they need to hover every second.
Are you serious? : The obesity epidemic is a product of our fast-food, soda pop, computer/video game/television society. It has nothing to do with parents who go outside with their kids or not.

As I've said above. Being outside with dd allows her *more* freedom. She can run around anywhere knowing that she has no boundaries whatsoever. I can't imagine keeping my dd restricted to a certain area because I think I have something more important to do inside the house. I don't restrict her play inside and I don't restrict her play outside. If I'm out there, she can do whatever she wants and doesn't have to worry about "staying on the deck" or "inside the fence". And as I said in my other posts - I often never even interact with her as she does her explorations. We might be outside for 2 or 3 hours and the only interaction we have is getting a drink of water. I don't think any of the parents who said that they go outside with their kids "hover".

I am actually completely and thoroughly *amazed* at this kind of attitude from APers. We defend wearing our kids to form an attachment when they are infants, and yet just a couple of years later, we're on the other end of the spectrum? It just boggles the mind, IMHO.
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#128 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ctdoula View Post
It's really shocking to me how many of you are afraid of letting your kids be outside alone. I think this issue is a huge contributor to our obese kids. They just don't get outside as much as they should, and parents feel like they need to hover every second.
I don't see the correlation between not allowing kids outside alone and them being obese. I do agree that they are kids that aren't as active, though I don't think it has to do with fear of letting them outside alone. My kids are outside quite frequently. They are far from obese. I think those kids have a few more factors mixed in for their obesity problems. The fact that my kids aren't outside unsupervised (which as I said before is changing in our house) doesn't translate into they are never outside.

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Originally Posted by ctdoula
It would never occur to me to worry about someone kidnapping them out of the yard. That's just crazy. They are much more likely to be injured falling off the playscape.
I am not so worried about them being kidnapped. It isn't a crazy notion in our town though b/c it has happened. It was a stranger abduction. It isn't a daily/monthly occurrence, but I think the fact that is happened in my own town opened my eyes a bit more than they would have been otherwise. I do agree though injuries are far more likely.

I guess I am baffled by the concern for kids who have a parent outside watching them play. It really doesn't seem any different to go to the window every few minutes to check on them. It is easier for me to just be outside, than to stop an activity to go check on them.

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Originally Posted by ctdoula
I love the fact that my kids are free to play, explore, wander, dig, run, jump without me. They're so imaginative, and I think that's because I've always encouraged them to entertain themselves (as I feel like I'm they're mom, not their playmates). Just my 2 cents.
See, this is where the translation is lost IMO. My supervision of my children doesn't hinder their ability to be free to play, explore, wander, dig, run, or jump. I am just nearby to watch it all happen. My crew are also very imaginative and they are very capable of entertaining themselves. I don't interact with them the entire time they are outside...I am just there observing.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#129 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 11:46 AM
 
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Maybe we should clarify where the disagreement is mostly coming in -- I think it's what's appropriate for say 3-8 year olds. Not 10+

I also think the obesity epidemic is more the result of bad habits than not going outside, though going outside I think moderates the effect of the bad habits for those who have them. So for some kids, they get a double whammy, not going outside plus bad habits (bad food, too much TV) inherited from their parents. This is not of course relevant typically to people on this board (or we wouldn't be here).
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#130 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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I really don't get it either. I mean, no one is saying to let your kid play on the busy road, or to let them out in an unprotected yard in a dangerous neighborhood with no fence while you take a nap, and I think velochic has made it pretty clear that her dd gets plenty of free exploration BUT kids need nature. Period. Kids need time to be away from their parents watchful eye. Kids need to run, jump, climb, get dirty, play imaginative games (that are not based on tv even), and to do a million other things that they are all too often not afforded in our modern society.

We need these things for our development. We need these things to grow into healthy adults. Can we grow into healthy adults without them? Maybe. But I think something crucial will be lacking in the next generation (who really is better versed in popular culture than species of bugs).

I actually heard my neighbor call in her 6 and 9 year old because it was "time to watch a movie". The kids were so disappointed, they just wanted to be outside playing yet their mom wouldn't let them. She had them inside watching a movie on the most BEAUTIFUL day. : It is no coincidence that they shriek in disgust when my kids show them a new bug they found.

And yes, we should model a love of outdoors. I spend a ton of time outside with them (usually I am building or doing yardwork). I welcome their help in hammering, drilling, measuring, etc. But they are out the door by 7:30 am most nice days which is great because then I can get some housework done before I join them.

The biggest thing dh and I noticed when we got rid of our tv (3 years ago now?) was that OUR perception of the world changed. We only had 3 channels and not a whole lot of news, but we now see the world with so much more optimism. We don't hear the sensational perspective on world events, just the facts. We don't see the glorification of every tragedy (including bloody photos). We judge the world by our community. We have become connected to our neighbors (after all, we don't see them as the statistic that there is a predator/murderer on every street).

And our children aren't growing up in a culture of paranoia and fear. They are physically fit, creative, curious, amazing little people. I have a hard time picturing them as incapable to be outside alone for another 5 years : I think I wouldn't be doing my job as their mama if they weren't capable of functioning without me hovering.

And just to be clear, I am not picking on anyone here. This thread troubles me because of the countless examples in my own life. Situations where I know the families, the kids in question, the yards and their safety standards, and the detrimental effect it is having on the real life children. I just can't believe how many kids we know who have NEVER touched a worm!!


 

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#131 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 12:07 PM
 
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I posted this thread about the book and my thoughts about it http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=397036
a little over a year ago.
thanks for the linky to your old thread michelle. i enjoyed reading it.

i've got to find time to read the rest of the book. better get off MDC i guess...

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#132 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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Just b/c I don't let my not-even-two year-old and four year-old play in an insecure yard unsupervised doesn't mean I'm never letting them get exericise or play on their own. That's just silly. With their ages and our yard (even in a safe neighborhood) I think I'd be irresponsible to leave them out alone, no matter how much I romanticized it as roaming free and gaining independence.
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#133 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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Again, I think we need not compare the restrictions on 2 and 4 year olds to criticisms of restrictions on 9 year olds -- two totally different things IMHO.

I personally think up to 8 it could go either way. After that, I think unsupervised play (perhaps with walkie talkies if that gives peace of mind) is better unless the neighborhood is unsafe.
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#134 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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And our children aren't growing up in a culture of paranoia and fear. They are physically fit, creative, curious, amazing little people. I have a hard time picturing them as incapable to be outside alone for another 5 years : I think I wouldn't be doing my job as their mama if they weren't capable of functioning without me hovering.

And just to be clear, I am not picking on anyone here. This thread troubles me because of the countless examples in my own life. Situations where I know the families, the kids in question, the yards and their safety standards, and the detrimental effect it is having on the real life children. I just can't believe how many kids we know who have NEVER touched a worm!!
Trying to figure out why a child who is out supervised would never have the opportunity to touch a worm. I am confused why supervision is lumped together with not being allowed to explore and get dirty.

I am also wondering how my being outside equals hovering. I am not on top of my kids, they are not right beside me at all times. They are in my view, but they are definately not being hovered over.

I know you weren't talking about a specific person, but I wanted to address it anyway. My kids are in no way growing up paranoid or fearful of the world. They have the knowledge we feel they need to be safe in their surroundings. It is no different to us than teaching them to care for their bodies properly or any number of informative teachings they have had over the years. My kids are also creative, fit, curious, and amazing. Why would my being outside at the same time as them hinder those qualities?

I did ask my almost 12 year old (bday in June) if he thought I was too overprotective. His response was, "Yea, sometimes...but then I tell you and we work out a compromise." Then he shrugged his shoulders and walked away. We have been giving him more freedom as he asks for it and have allowed him to do things with us not right there a bit more lately. He is getting old enough that he needs that freedom. The first 11 years of supervision has not hindered him at all as far as I can see.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#135 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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I agree. Although I don't have kids that age yet. I'm still not entirely sure which way I would go. Depends on my kids and the neighborhood I guess.
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#136 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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As I've said above. Being outside with dd allows her *more* freedom. She can run around anywhere knowing that she has no boundaries whatsoever. I can't imagine keeping my dd restricted to a certain area because I think I have something more important to do inside the house. I don't restrict her play inside and I don't restrict her play outside. If I'm out there, she can do whatever she wants and doesn't have to worry about "staying on the deck" or "inside the fence".
I had written a post earlier agreeing with your previously expressed statement but my internet was down.

Anyway, this is totally our experience. Ds can go on a bike ride anywhere he wants because I'm there to follow him, help him negotiate street crossings, and keep a police officer from picking him up thinking he is lost. I don't hover at parks and playgrounds. He has all the privacy he wants with the security of knowing I'm available if he wants me. I don't have to have consequences if he doesn't remember a rule about a boundary.

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#137 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 01:56 PM
 
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I am actually completely and thoroughly *amazed* at this kind of attitude from APers. We defend wearing our kids to form an attachment when they are infants, and yet just a couple of years later, we're on the other end of the spectrum? It just boggles the mind, IMHO.
I'm sorry you're feeling attacked but it doesn't make sense to continue to try to make a correlation between how AP you are and how much you supervise your kid's play outdoors.

Being more or less supervisory when your kids play outside has nothing to do with adherence to the AP philosophy.

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

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#138 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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I do have a solution to the fear thing though. I do not watch the news (or any TV for that matter). I do not read news websites. I read my local paper and skip the "here is what we are all suppose to be afraid of this week" section. I get my world/national news from npr which does a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective. It did not even occur to be to be afraid of kidnapping out of my backyard until reading this thread.

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

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#139 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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I would and have allowed ds to play in our fenced back yard. Dh is so paranoid that I can't do it when he's there. I have no concerns about my neighbors. It's an unusual situation where we live. We live in a pack of 6 houses in the middle of a cornfield. The houses were originally built by the farmer for his children back in early 1900's. Anyway, dh has lived in our house since he was 5 yrs old. 3 of our neighbors are our age and we have gone through elementary and high school with them. 1 is a cousin of a guy dh knew all through high school. The other people just moved in but I'm not concerned with them stealing ds out of my fenced yard. They have an 8 yr old dd and one on the way.

Plus, ds usually doesn't do ANYTHING without asking my permission. That's just his nature and I always tell him "thank you for asking".
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#140 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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DS (Age 3.75) is outside every single day in some form of fashion. Mostly with DH who is WAHD and is DS's Primary Caregiver... for about 2 hours (weather permitting) in different areas of the city. He travels with my DH on his jobs.

The Nature of DH's job requires him to be outside and DS is exploring, touching, feeling etc. DH doesn't hover. He gives him lots of free rein. He tells DS "As long as I can see you" and that's working for them.

As an Extroverted Kid, DS prefers to be within arm's reach of DH or myself.

That's just who is.

So even if DH and I were the kind of parents who would shoo him out the door to "go play" (which we are not), he would come looking for us within 2 minutes.

Because he needs the interaction with us. And as AP Parents, we aren't going to deny his need.

We don't have a fenced in backyard. But if I did have a fenced in backyard and DS wanted to go play outside, I'd say great idea, grab my folding chair and join him.

If he wants to engage Me (which again as an Extroverted Kid I'd Expect this from HIM), fine no problem.

If he wants to wonder around and explore...again, no problem. I can relax in my folding chair.

As a full time working Mama, DS and I go to the Local Public Playground for 2 hours every Saturday and I go and sit on the bench and watch while he plays and interact with other kids. I like it because there are at least 2 other Mamas there and I get Adult Interaction and some healthy sunlight for myself.

Parents need fresh air and sunlight too. It isn't just for kids. It's healthy for everyone. Fresh air and sunlight makes me feel good, I feel better and my mood is lighter.

But again, being the Extroverted Kid that he is, 60% of the time, HE is hovering around ME.

And aside from the safety issues we've all talked about my child is still going through a bit of Seperation Anxiety and FLIPS if he doesn't see me (inside OR outside). He cries REALLY hard and it breaks my heart.

So, while some Posters allow their 3 or 4 year olds outside alone.. my child simply isn't there (emotionally).

And I don't know about some posters on here, but I LOVE being outside with DS. It's a good feeling. It makes me feel connected with DS. Especially when we are the only ones at the playground, it feels like we are ONE.

I thought as AP'ers one goal is to advocate Family Togetherness/Closeness/sharing that bond.

And just because DH and I are outside with DS, doesn't mean it will lead to obesity

I'm still trying to figure that one out
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#141 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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I am actually completely and thoroughly *amazed* at this kind of attitude from APers. We defend wearing our kids to form an attachment when they are infants, and yet just a couple of years later, we're on the other end of the spectrum? It just boggles the mind, IMHO.
While I understand why some folks are not comfortable allowing their kids outside alone due to whatever circumstances/beliefs they have I guess I am trying to figure out how allowing my son to play outside in a safe and secure environment is anti-AP and by doing so I am suddenly "on the other end of the spectrum??

Its not like anyone said they send their kids outside, lock the door and ignore them for hours. Virtually everyone who was OK with it said they were within earshot, frequently checked on their children and were available for play if the child wanted/needed them. How is that anti-AP? If my son has the "need" to play outdoors and I am in the middle of something that can't be delayed how is making him wait *more* AP?

this is from API http://www.attachmentparenting.com/index.html

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Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in the practice of nurturing parenting practices that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child's emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships.

Even this quote about AP parenting in the later years does not counter allowing a child to play outdoors out of eyesight of their parents. The key to AP parenting is being physically and emotionally *available*. If the parent send their kids out never to checked in on again for hours that's just bad parenting. No one is saying they do that.

Quote:
Be present and available for your children

Children still desire, enjoy and need the presence and availability of their parents.
Being available makes children feel safe, secure and cared for. Parents should remember that being physically present is not enough. Active listening, making eye contact, and knowing your children's friends will help keep the lines of communication open.
Working parents should avoid the 'latch-key' temptation and find appropriate adult supervision for their children after school. Even teenagers need supervision - most teenage pregnancies occur between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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#142 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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The key to AP parenting is being physically and emotionally *available*.
Well isn't that what DH and I are doing when we are outside with DS?
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#143 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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First of all, I just disagree, I’m not saying that I think anybodies feelings are “wrong”. Parental choices are personal choices, I would never tell anybody what I think they should do. BTW I am really enjoying this discussion it’s given me a lot to think about. I’m ending each one of my statements with a * because I’m not in a heated debate over this, just discussing, and sharing my view. -my apologies for such a long post.

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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.
It’s not only unsupervised kids who get hurt or snatched. I know your exaggerating for effect saying “a million other scary scenerios” but that’s what we’re talking about. The fear of “a million other scary scenerios”. I can maybe think off hand of 4-5 things that could happen to my dd while she is playing outside unsupervised. Those 4-5 things (falling, getting hurt, etc.) she will heal and learn from. When other’s here have been thinking about molestation and kidnapping, those two fears have never entered my mind as a real possibility. Not while my dd is playing unsupervised in our yard.
I don’t trust that my curious dd won’t break some rules when she is playing alone outside. I expect that she will, and that IMO is half the fun of being outside alone. I feel that she is testing herself. Feeling the world on her terms. Usually this results in her getting a bruise or a scrape. Then I ask her how it happened, (she doesn’t know I’m usually watching and already know) and I explain that is why Mama had a rule about that. Threw watching dd play I have learned that she does deserve more trust, and I have allowed more unsupervised play because of that.

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No it doesn't. We were disagreeing on whether or not the Crime rate is up.
And I stand firm on my opinion. The crime rate IS up. But that doesn't mean, I live my life in a state of "fear". I don't live life looking over my shoulder for lurking danger to happen.
I live life with the Good and the Bad.
DS is simply too young to be oustide playing without Adult supervision. Period.
I'm really sorry the Parents who do allow their kids to play alone outside have a hard time understanding this. Especially on an AP board.
I understand your fears, your child is 3. At age 3 I had only begun trusting my dd to play on the deck unsupervised, and only for a few minutes at a time (like to run to the bathroom).
I don’t have a hard time understanding that other’s aren’t comfortable with their children playing outside unsupervised, I totally get it. I just don’t have the same rule in our home. Attachment parenting IMO doesn’t always mean being attached. It’s also about listening to our child’s cues and needs. One of my dd’s needs is to play outside from morning till night in the summer, and no I don’t have the time to be with her 100% of that time. I do spend maybe 60% with her, gardening, or taking walks, but I also need to make dinner and other things. So I’ll make dinner at the window, while I watch her playing outside. Some of that time she might go out of my sight, and might get hurt, and I think she’ll live threw that.
I’m not advocating letting my 6yo run wild without looking outside every so often, or letting her out to play after breakfast and not checking on her till dinner. I don’t see how on a AP board we can’t have different views on this subject.
About the crime rate, and the media. Does anybody else remember a few summer’s ago when all the news channels were calling it “The summer of the shark”? That was totally fear based, AND there were actually LESS shark attacks that year than the year before. As for a higher rate in molestation's I believe the higher rate is due to victims speaking up and being heard and reported, not that it’s happening more now then ever before. Kidnappings I blame on a higher rate of divorce, since the majority of kidnappings is by a parent. It’s been written about time and time again that the media fuels a fear in us. That we believe that we’re not as safe as we used to be, when we are safer. The statistics on crime show us that we are safer. I’m not saying we’re “safe” many bad things can happen to anyone of us. It’s just those things that could happen don’t dictate the rules I have in my home.

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Originally Posted by aprilushka View Post
Again, I think we need not compare the restrictions on 2 and 4 year olds to criticisms of restrictions on 9 year olds -- two totally different things IMHO.
I personally think up to 8 it could go either way. After that, I think unsupervised play (perhaps with walkie talkies if that gives peace of mind) is better unless the neighborhood is unsafe.
I agree we’re not talking about letting preschooler’s run loose outside. We’re talking about kids being kids. My opinion is, in a normally safe neighborhood, after age 8 kids should be allowed to play outside unsupervised. My dd is 6 and is allowed to play unsupervised. I have friends with children the same age and if they we’re my child I wouldn’t allow them as much time alone as I do my dd. Different kids, different neighborhoods. It’s a personal choice, I don’t think anybody is “wrong”, just different than myself.

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Nonetheless, if we want to talk about whether life is more dangerous now than it was 25-30 years ago-- based on known statistics -- I think it's pretty clearly not in most places in the US.
Can we start a thread on this subject? I would love to be apart of that discussion.

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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Are you serious? : The obesity epidemic is a product of our fast-food, soda pop, computer/video game/television society. It has nothing to do with parents who go outside with their kids or not.
Maybe not in your home because it sounds like your family is active, but in most homes I do think the obesity happening with kids does have to do with unsupervised play. My dd wouldn’t get as much time outside as she does now if she had to be with me at all times. I think many kids wouldn’t get any time outside without a parent. I do blame food choices as a larger evil over less activity, but to say that it plays no part at all I personally think isn’t true.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#144 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're feeling attacked but it doesn't make sense to continue to try to make a correlation between how AP you are and how much you supervise your kid's play outdoors.

Being more or less supervisory when your kids play outside has nothing to do with adherence to the AP philosophy.
Well I certainly don't feel attacked at all. Goodness gracious, no. I don't know what I've said to even come close to appearing to be attacked. I'm just trying to get people to think about different situations and I, myself, am learning about different situations. I'm actually quite enjoying the discussion.

As far as AP goes, what I am saying is that children have an innate need to be with their parents. By being near their parents, they have a greater sense of confidence. We move away from our kids at *their* pace, which is what makes us AP. But to tell a 3 year old to go outside because *you* can see him/her... it makes me wonder what the 3 year old is thinking when they are outside and can't see mommy or daddy. Sounds like for most kids it's not a problem. It would have been a serious problem for my dd. It would be now, too. Not because she's scared, but because knowing I'm there, she has the whole world to explore. Without me there, she would have to question what she is doing and it would stifle her creativity and sense of adventure. She's known at school as "The Daredevil" and I feel that she is able to be devilish because she feels secure.

All of these discussions have been about "I can see them out my window" and what my argument is, is that "yeah, but they can't see you". I know when I'm out on the deck grilling and someone asks me a question from the kitchen, I have no idea where they are.

So what I'm saying in regards to AP, is that by giving kids the reassurance that you are there, it gives them a greater sense of confidence. When you're in the house, they don't know where you are. You could still be in the kitchen or you could be upstairs using the restroom.

Everyone keeps saying that by "letting them outside on their own", it's giving them a sense of independence. I'm saying (and of course these are general terms and I'm using a very small population sample for reference) that by being within eyesight gives them them the courage to do things they might not do if they looked around and didn't see an adult that could bail them out if needed.

I dare say my dd would have never climbed so high in that tree the other day if I hadn't been there. She probably wouldn't have climbed it at all wondering if it was okay or not.

Some kids have a need for their parents to be visible to them when they are playing in order to be more brave about their playing. That is 100% AP IMHO.
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#145 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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I'm still trying to figure that one out
Your child is younger than most of the children we're talking about. I don't think anybody is
telling you that your wrong. (Actually I think this discussion is staying at a very adult level
I'm very proud of all of us. Now watch the thread get closed. ) There isn't anything to
figure out. I'm comfortable allowing my child to play outside alone, and your not. That's okay.

My parenting disagrees with people all the time, we're all different. Different neighborhoods,
different parts of the world, different lifestyles. I'm not trying to convince anybody to change
their view or be more like me. Just talking about the differences between us all.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#146 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Well isn't that what DH and I are doing when we are outside with DS?

And the opposite of that would be DS playing outside while DH and I are inside doing our own thing?
Wow. Really? So if I'm standing in the kitchen washing the dishes, and DD is playing in the yard directly below me, where I can hear her if she needs and wants me to come down and play, I am unavailable for her? If she's in her bedroom playing with her dollhouse and I'm in my office room working, does that also make me physically and emotionally unavailable? I had no idea. What a bummer.

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#147 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
As far as AP goes, what I am saying is that children have an innate need to be with their parents. By being near their parents, they have a greater sense of confidence....

Everyone keeps saying that by "letting them outside on their own", it's giving them a sense of independence. I'm saying (and of course these are general terms and I'm using a very small population sample for reference) that by being within eyesight gives them them the courage to do things they might not do if they looked around and didn't see an adult that could bail them out if needed.

I dare say my dd would have never climbed so high in that tree the other day if I hadn't been there. She probably wouldn't have climbed it at all wondering if it was okay or not.
I also think children have a very strong, innate need for independent play and alone time, and I don't think satisfying that need is anti-AP. Frequently my DD1 will go down to her room or the bathroom and close the door and do her thing (well, DD2 does too, but that usually means trouble of some kind ). I don't think that means that she has no attachment to me, or feeling of security, or sense of confidence.

And there have been many times when my DD has wanted to do something and wanted my presence. She called, I looked out the window, she told me what she wanted to do, I went down immediately. I think that's plenty of confidence!

And darn, the girl has broken two bones while I was standing right in front of her. Sometimes I wonder if she couldn't do with a little LESS confidence!

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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#148 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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Well isn't that what DH and I are doing when we are outside with DS?

And the opposite of that would be DS playing outside while DH and I are inside doing our own thing?

I am not sure if you are being deliberately obtuse or if my questions just was really not clear. The question was [QUOTE]I guess I am trying to figure out how allowing my son to play outside in a safe and secure environment is anti-AP /QUOTE] as well as
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Virtually everyone who was OK with it said they were within earshot, frequently checked on their children and were available for play if the child wanted/needed them. How is that anti-AP? If my son has the "need" to play outdoors and I am in the middle of something that can't be delayed how is making him wait *more* AP?
His needs are met, and I emotionally and physically available to him if he needs me. He is happy, content, safe and secure while outside. How is all that "the other end of the spectrum" from AP?

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#149 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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Wow. Really? So if I'm standing in the kitchen washing the dishes, and DD is playing in the yard directly below me, where I can hear her if she needs and wants me to come down and play, I am unavailable for her? If she's in her bedroom playing with her dollhouse and I'm in my office room working, does that also make me physically and emotionally unavailable? I had no idea. What a bummer.
I didn't mean it the way you put it (and I amended my post). I am sure you are an AP mom whether you were in/out of the house no matter what.
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#150 of 196 Old 05-02-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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Please please let's not turn this into a more-AP-than-thou discussion.

I really find those tiring
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