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I woke up early this morning and decided to take the dog for a quick walk by myself. The kiddos were still sleeping but I have an almost 13yo ds so it should have been fine! I left breakfast on the table and a note that I was walking the dog.<br><br>
5yo ds woke first and decided to go find me. I clean the post office 2 blocks from our house and that's where he went. He was wearing his mis-matched PJs and rubber boots. He looked at the post office and then the bank and then started home. I should also mention that he was sick when born and is small and looks about 3, maybe 4yo.<br><br>
An elderly couple stopped him and asked him if he wanted to go to church with them.(I assume they were kidding). He said he wanted to go home so they brought him. Ds 12 was awake by then and vouched that, yes, he belonged here. Ds12 thought ds5 was still asleep. Normally, ds5 would have woken ds12 up when he saw I wasn't in bed with him.<br><br>
Ds5 has never gone anywhere alone, we just don't trust his street crossing abilities, plus he is so young. I guess it's nice he feels ready but still!<br><br>
I'm so glad he is OK and I am having a guilty moment!!
 

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Don't feel bad, just hold a family meeting and explain to the kids that if it ever happens again, the oldest child is in charge and you should not leave the house without permission.
 

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wow that your child would get in the car with strangers.<br>
wow that he was brought home<br>
wow, just wow.<br><br>
I would be freaking out like crazy as I am sure you are.
 

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I am freaking!! It could have been horrid! And we might still have police or CFS show up.<br><br>
He KNOWS ds is in charge, he KNOWS not to go anywhere, He KNOWS the no talking to strangers thing but he is 5 and lives in his own little world. Plus I have raised my kids to be very independent thinkers!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I'm not sure what the answer is besides taking him everywhere with me.(which is what will happen for quite a while). I'm not getting through to him with talking. He doesn't get why it was a big deal to me, why the whole thought scares me and I can't be SURE it would never happen again!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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Mama, things happen. He is okay and he didn't get hurt. Please don't beat yourself up. Just tell him that it's not okay to leave the house without a grown up (or older brother) and explain that you would be very sad if he did it again.
 

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That sounds so scary! Can you lock the doors with the boltlocks and hide the key where only your 12 yo knows where to find? That would leave you free to take a quick walk without worrying about relying on your 5 yo to go wake up the 12 yo. I'm glad everyone's okay.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>daniedb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7985356"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That sounds so scary! Can you lock the doors with the boltlocks and hide the key where only your 12 yo knows where to find? That would leave you free to take a quick walk without worrying about relying on your 5 yo to go wake up the 12 yo. I'm glad everyone's okay.</div>
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I wouldn't do that, personally, but I guess fires aren't very common so pick your fear.<br><br>
The OP's family had a Good Stranger Experience. It's starting to be lost truth, but the reality is that even in the age of a TV watching, disconnected society, the vast majority of people either mean you and your child no harm or will actually go out of their way to help you. Getting help from a stranger is a very useful tool in the child and adult toolbox. I get help from strangers very commonly. People are just wonderful and life is terrific, almost all the time. Doesn't mean I want a five year old of mine to be somewhere other than where I think she is, and so forth, but I don't think it's necessary to run all the what-if scenarios and ruin a perfectly nice day.
 

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Not that a 5 yr old should be out alone, but I agree that most strangers are good people.<br><br>
My mom recalls walking her sister and herself everywhere in NYC in the 60s. I wish I could feel that safe. BUT I also don't live in a walking city.<br><br>
I assumed, speaking of walking, that the elderly couple was walking too, not that he got into a car.
 

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I once found my 3 yo neighbor outside in diapers shouting "Mommy!" She had left him asleep to drive her mother to senior daycare and he went looking for her when he woke up. Anyway, your ds probably could tell the couple were nice people. I'm always surprised at how picky my ds is about who he is willing to interact with (and how much I agree with his assessments). I also know my ds is much more cautious about streets when he isn't walking with an adult. So it was a scary experience that warrants talking about but everything is fine so don't beat yourself up. Maybe you can make a note with pictures if your ds is a nonreader, next time.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pigpokey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7985463"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wouldn't do that, personally, but I guess fires aren't very common so pick your fear.<br><br>
The OP's family had a Good Stranger Experience. It's starting to be lost truth, but the reality is that even in the age of a TV watching, disconnected society, the vast majority of people either mean you and your child no harm or will actually go out of their way to help you. Getting help from a stranger is a very useful tool in the child and adult toolbox. I get help from strangers very commonly. People are just wonderful and life is terrific, almost all the time. Doesn't mean I want a five year old of mine to be somewhere other than where I think she is, and so forth, but I don't think it's necessary to run all the what-if scenarios and ruin a perfectly nice day.</div>
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<br>
And I wouldn't agrue against this point, but, you don't know who the "good" strangers are or the "bad" ones, so why take that risk?
 

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How very, very scary. So glad it has a happy ending!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Rascally little guy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Next time, i agree with PP, make sure you wake up the 13 yo and let him know he is babysitting.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momazon4</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7985222"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
He KNOWS ds is in charge, he KNOWS not to go anywhere, He KNOWS the no talking to strangers thing but he is 5 and lives in his own little world. Plus I have raised my kids to be very independent thinkers!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
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About this, have you read Gavin DeBecker's "Protecting the Gift"??<br><br>
One of the things he recommends is teaching kids to actively seek out and find an adult if they are lost, not just 'don't talk to strangers'. If a kid picks out a mommy with kids, he'll probably be fine. Where as an adult picking HIM out, might be a problem.
 

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Wow how scary.<br><br>
You know, kids do stupid things sometimes. I remember in Kindergarten, I decided one day to go with C, rather than walking straight to my house. My mom showed up an hour or two later and was LIVID. At the time, I was really mystified as to why she was so upset. Of course with my adult brain, I understand that she was incredibly worried about me when I didn't come home. And she didn't know where I was, because I hadn't told her before hand. I just didn't come home from school.<br><br>
I was (and still am) a very responsible person. I was the kind of kid that my parents never had to worry about. (I remember telling my mom when I was in high school "You know, I could get away with doing some really bad stuff because everyone trusts me!" She responded "Yes, but then we wouldn't trust you, would we?")<br><br>
Except for that one day. I'm sure I freaked my mother out because I didn't get why it was such a big deal. I was fine, why was she worried? That's the developmental stage kids this age are in.<br><br>
I guess my point is don't view this as a failure of parenting. Your idea of taking him with you is a good one. He'll learn. He's probably learned a lot by your reaction.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Potty Diva</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7986102"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And I wouldn't agrue against this point, but, you don't know who the "good" strangers are or the "bad" ones, so why take that risk?</div>
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Some believe we have a natural gift for detecting harmful intent, that can be stifled if it is not protected.
 

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Wow, glad everything turned out okay.<br><br>
I know my parents may have been overprotective, but when I was 12, I still *HAD* a babysitter.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pigpokey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7987435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some believe we have a natural gift for detecting harmful intent, that can be stifled if it is not protected.</div>
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I'm not one of those people.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The OP's family had a Good Stranger Experience. It's starting to be lost truth, but the reality is that even in the age of a TV watching, disconnected society, the vast majority of people either mean you and your child no harm or will actually go out of their way to help you. Getting help from a stranger is a very useful tool in the child and adult toolbox. I get help from strangers very commonly. People are just wonderful and life is terrific, almost all the time. Doesn't mean I want a five year old of mine to be somewhere other than where I think she is, and so forth, but I don't think it's necessary to run all the what-if scenarios and ruin a perfectly nice day.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Wow. I am so glad everything worked out. I would have been so scared. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
This is the exact reason we got security doors. They keep "bad" people out, and they keep my kids in. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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