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#181 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
As I have said in my prior replied in this thread I don't wish to take away anybodies choice.
I myself feel very comfortable allowing my dd to play outside unsupervised. I do support all of our rights to make choices for our kids and trusting our instincts. I wouldn't tell another parent that they should be allowing their child unsupervised play if they aren't comfortable with that.
Agreed

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Originally Posted by trinity6232000
That said I'm (for the first time reading this entire thread) offended when I read your reply "The kind of adult that's alive? Not raped, kidnapped, murdered, run over by a car."Maybe I am just ignorant but when my dd is playing outside having the time of her life the last thing I am thinking is any of the issues you list off. I take from your post that if I am that kind of ignorant parent that I am allowing for my dd to never make it to adulthood.
I think the list above stems from several factors from the area someone lives in to what their background experiences are. I think of factors likes raping/kidnapping/murder (though just thing in the back of my head) b/c I am from a law enforcement/Criminal Justice background. That is my field, so it makes sense for me to see those scenarios. I don't project that to me children past the basic lessons I think we all teach our kids about not going with someone they don't know, etc. As far as the fun over by a car...our road dead-ends into apartments. Those apartments have a majority of younger residents with no children who seem to think that a straight stretch of road means put the pedal to the medal. They like to see how fast they can get before they get to the apartments. It is an on-going issue, so my kids (as well as myself) are very aware that these people pay very little attention to kids coming from behind a parked car. Several of the kids on my street have been close to getting hit and one has actually been hit by a car. Again, experience. I don't think someone in an area where these things are uncommon would automatically jump to them.

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Originally Posted by trinity6232000
Have you ever considered that the females you see not paying attention to their surroundings aren't used to paying attention cause they always had somebody looking out for them?
I would say this could be the case for some people, but not all. I think it really has to do with women being taught to ignore their instincts to avoid looking weak. Gavin DeBecker's books (The Gift of Fear/Protecting the Gift) are amazing books to read all about the subject.

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Originally Posted by trinity6232000
That those of us who allow our children to play without a watchful eye could be raising children who feel confident to look out for themselves? Why does unsupervised play also mean that we aren't teaching our children to be safe?
I don't think it's about confidence to look out for themselves, as much as it is teaching children to trust their instincts. To follow that gut feeling in all situations. My older three children (11.5, 10, 9) are just now being allowed to play outside as a group without direct supervision and my youngest (5.5) goes with them sometimes in the yard with us checking frequently or out with them. They are being taught to trust their instincts and are very confident in their abilities to look out for themselves. My oldest son will be twelve in June and has expressed to us that he wants a bit more freedom. We discussed it with him and opted to get a cell phone that he can take with him when we are out. He can go to another area of the store or another store in the mall or exhibit at the science center (wherever we are) and he knows to call us if he is moving from his original destination. He opts to call us when he arrives at the destination, when he leaves, and if he is going somewhere else.

I don't think unsupervised play equals not teaching a child to be safe. For our family and neighborhood, it isn't the right choice. I also wonder if it sometimes puts too much pressure (for lack of a better word) on kids to make sure they look out for each other. What if something happened to one of the kids? Would the sibling feel they were at fault? I really don't know if that is the case, but we have tried really hard to avoid the "watch out for your sibling" line of talk with our kids. They are responsible for themselves and know to be there if their sibling needs them, but ultimately they aren't watching each other. It isn't their job to watch their siblings, it's our job.

I realize this example probably doesn't apply to people on MDC, but my neighbor's kids are always watching the younger siblings. I feel bad for them. They are shooed outside with the older kids (13, 11, 9) watching/entertaining the younger kids (4, 3, 3). They get to play with the neighbor kids some, but I don't understand why the parents don't just go out with the kids and let the older three be kids too. They do have an enclosed front yard, so the little ones will be out there without supervision sometimes.

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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#182 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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I also wonder if it sometimes puts too much pressure (for lack of a better word) on kids to make sure they look out for each other. What if something happened to one of the kids? Would the sibling feel they were at fault? I really don't know if that is the case, but we have tried really hard to avoid the "watch out for your sibling" line of talk with our kids. They are responsible for themselves and know to be there if their sibling needs them, but ultimately they aren't watching each other. It isn't their job to watch their siblings, it's our job.
We have really tried to impress upon our eldest that she is not emotionally responsible for her younger sister. She takes responsibility for her on herself and we have had many conversations about how different a sister relationship is from a parental one, and that we are ultimately responsible for our youngest, though we think her concern for her sisters well being is beautiful. It's difficult to balance, but we really try to make sure our eldest feels the freedom to just be a kid and a sister, not a responsible parent to her sibling.

This comes from my own experiences with a younger brother, and remembering instances where I was put in charge of him and frightened because I did not feel qualified. We have some neighbors who we get along with very well. They have three children who all recently celebrated birthdays. One 11, 10 and 5. Last summer the then 10 year old was in charge of the youngest (then 4) outside without parental supervision (very safe neigbhorhood fwiw). The youngest would come down to play with our then 5 year old and the oldest would leave him with us, I would accept responsibility for the child directly to the oldest and call the mom to let her know we had him (6 houses away). The eldest would come down every 5 minutes to see if his brother was ok, stopping his play to ease his concerns. There were a couple times then that the youngest went missing when the eldest was in charge of him and the oldest would come do our door asking for him in tears and panic worrying if he was lost in the woods, or down by the creek, or snatched or, or, or (they found him playing in their car)....

Recently, a year later the eldest is suffering from a general anxiety disorder to the point where he has frequent panic attacks. He is going to start professional treatment soon but he suffers little things daily, and takes on burdens when they are not his to take with many fears. There's a lot that goes into GAD and I'm not saying watching his younger brother was the only cause as much of it has to do with his sensitive personality overall but it could be somewhat of a catalyst. Twice this week already their youngest child left his house without telling his parents and the eldest son took on the responsiblity and went immediatly to a panic that his brother had been abducted and it was his fault. Nothing the mom said could ease him.

There definitly is such a thing as too much fear and too much responsibility in children.
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#183 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post

That said I'm (for the first time reading this entire thread) offended when I read your reply
"The kind of adult that's alive? Not raped, kidnapped, murdered, run over by a car."
Maybe I am just ignorant but when my dd is playing outside having the time of her life the
last thing I am thinking is any of the issues you list off. I take from your post that if I am
that kind of ignorant parent that I am allowing for my dd to never make it to adulthood.

Have you ever considered that the females you see not paying attention to their surroundings
aren't used to paying attention cause they always had somebody looking out for them?
That those of us who allow our children to play without a watchful eye could be raising children
who feel confident to look out for themselves? Why does unsupervised play also mean that we
aren't teaching our children to be safe?

Be offended if you must, however the reality is I find it completely unreasonable to expect a young child (mine are 5y7m and 4y6m) to protect themselves from being kidnapped, raped, murdered, and/or run over by a car.

While I absolutely expect to raise children who feel confident in their ability to look out for themselves, protect themselves, not get themselves into situations they cannot handle, etc....that's a learning process that simply is nowhere near complete enough at such a young age to allow completely unsupervised play in our front yard and/or neighborhood.

I will not have to live with myself knowing I was inside doing whatever was more important at the moment while my child was snatched from the front yard. It's not a chance I'm willing to take. I don't expect others to do the same, but I also don't believe it makes me overprotective either.

Of course, even if it DOES make me overprotective, so be it. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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#184 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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There's a HUGE difference between letting your kids out in the back yard to play and
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allowing their children to roam freely with no adult supervision.
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#185 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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Yes.

Also, where do you all live that you worry about children being raped and murdered (or even kidnapped)? Bad bike accident? Run over by a car? Yes, I do worry about those, and so we have rules for bike helmets and safe crossing, but the others? Not even worth a second of real worry. I worry more about sunburn and excessive sun exposure, or food poisoning, or car accidents, because those are the dangers that are statistically most likely to affect us.
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#186 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
I will not have to live with myself knowing I was inside doing whatever was more important at the moment while my child was snatched from the front yard. It's not a chance I'm willing to take. I don't expect others to do the same, but I also don't believe it makes me overprotective either.
This seems to stray rather a bit from the OP, which specifically asked about a fenced yard. Ditto for the comments about getting run over by a car. Roaming loose is different in my mind than playing in a completely fenced yard.
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#187 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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We live in a very safe neighborhood, but we don't have a fenced in yard. We will not let our kids play outside alone (they are 2.5 and 4.5). I will run into the house to get something if I need to, but I am only gone for a few seconds. Even when I do that, I make sure I can hear them or see them.

My kids are both very responsible and do not run in the street. My 4 yo son would scream bloody murder if anyone tried to hurt him, but there is no way I feel comfortable not being there when they are outside. Plus, we enjoy being outside as well. They get their space to do what they want and explore. The only rule is that we have to be able to see them.
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#188 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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This seems to stray rather a bit from the OP, which specifically asked about a fenced yard. Ditto for the comments about getting run over by a car. Roaming loose is different in my mind than playing in a completely fenced yard.
I posted exactly what the parameters were that work for our family. Most of the posts I saw discussed children playing in the front yard (which I'm assuming is unfenced), riding bikes down x number of houses, etc. THAT is what isn't going to happen with my children.
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#189 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 03:58 PM
 
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Also, where do you all live that you worry about children being raped and murdered (or even kidnapped)? Bad bike accident? Run over by a car? Yes, I do worry about those, and so we have rules for bike helmets and safe crossing, but the others? Not even worth a second of real worry. I worry more about sunburn and excessive sun exposure, or food poisoning, or car accidents, because those are the dangers that are statistically most likely to affect us.
I would venture to guess that parents who have had a child kidnapped, raped, and/or murdered would say those situations ARE worth at least 'a real second of worry'.

And perhaps by considering those situations, even though the thought is horrifying, it will limit even the smallest chance of it happening to one of my children. It's certainly worth the 'effort' of sitting in the front yard while they play, as there is nothing more pressing than their safety.
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#190 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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WRT to the whole kidnapping thing. I agree that that is overplayed in the media, and that the chance is still small. Yet I don't really think that makes me paranoid to take it into account, as long as I'm not duping myself into thinking it's super likely. However small that chance is, I still want to be able to reduce the likelihood. I'm not just going to assume it could never happen simply because statistically it is not likely. They're my kids.
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#191 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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I feel pretty blessed to live in a small town in HOlland right now. My 7yo and 3yo can roam in the neighborhood (till about 100 yards from home, including a large playground not accessible by car and viewed from about 40 houses). everybody knows them, there are virtually no cars (and they can't go faster than 5mph), there are dozens of kids to play with....

The 3yo doesn't go totally without supervision except in the little "alley cul de sac' behind the house (where there's other kids of the same age doing the same);however, often the kids will be in groups and the older ones watch the young ones.

There is no way for me to do it different. All the kids do this. When I secretly follow them around, they send me back

They designed the area so kids can grow up in freedom, and it actually works quite well. Kids everywhere deserve this.
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#192 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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Oh and about sibling watching: we have the rule that if a responsibility is such the small child could get hurt without you being able to prevent it, it's too big a responsibility. Big kids don't have to watch small ones, not in a public space. But I see every day that when they go in groups, they are so excited by being responsible, they choose to watch them (this is just "watching" as in "hold their hand while crossing the big-kid soccer zone in the playground and when crossing behind the swings")
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#193 of 196 Old 05-09-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
I will not have to live with myself knowing I was inside doing whatever was more important at the moment while my child was snatched from the front yard. It's not a chance I'm willing to take. I don't expect others to do the same, but I also don't believe it makes me overprotective either.

Of course, even if it DOES make me overprotective, so be it. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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#194 of 196 Old 05-10-2007, 08:36 AM
 
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I don't have a fenced yard but even if i did my sone is VERY verbal but would not because....

The area we live in is not always the nicest and there are 2 registared sex affenders on the next street over

Erin Mama to thing 1 and 2 WAH with CELIAC?! Living and Learning
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#195 of 196 Old 05-10-2007, 10:14 AM
 
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I don't have a fenced yard but even if i did my sone is VERY verbal but would not because....

The area we live in is not always the nicest and there are 2 registared sex affenders on the next street over
We have the same issue, though I am honestly more worried about the ones I don't know about or haven't been caught than I am the registered ones.

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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#196 of 196 Old 05-10-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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I don't have a fenced yard but even if i did my sone is VERY verbal but would not because....

The area we live in is not always the nicest and there are 2 registared sex affenders on the next street over
I have no idea what your particular area is like, but I FREAKED when MIL told me she had looked up our neighborhood to discover that we had THREE registered sex offenders within two blocks of our house. But then I looked them up myself. In my state, they list what the offense is. All three were cases of 18-20 yo boyfriend dating a 16-17 yo girl with angry parents. Of course, I do not know the actual details, but these were not lurking rapists or child molesters. Turned out one guy is someone I know the wife of. The "victim" was her and they have now been married for 8 years....and her parents are still mad......

I also try to remember that MOST offenders never make it to those lists. I try to act as though any unknown person could be on the list. But my dd is allowed to play outside alone in slowly increasing amounts of time in my unfenced, small city, yard. We have very specific rules that dd has yet to violate. One is to yell for me if anyone comes into the yard. She scared the crap out of our poor electric meter reader last month. She yells even when it is someone we know well. The post man, the elderly lady across the street, daddy........
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