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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see other parents walking the sidewalks with a parent and if the child trys to touch anything like the bike rack , they lightly yanked their arm . Meanwhile I was there just trying to get some sunshine not really expecting any problems until they arose. So when my almost 2yr old went with a pair 6, 8 yr old girls, I let it be. I just stayed nearby. I wasnt sure what to do but was basically tired and observing . I see the other parents saying things like dont go between the cars which happends over and over . I followed my child there first and found someone who was cleaning their car being friendly. So I am just wondering if im setting myself up for a child that runs all over. Sometimes we hold hands but it seems to be her lead on that. Then I see her taking off her hat and I did nothing and she put it back on once and another ttime the girls put it on for her. I let my child take a few tumbles and get up again without saying much and even run down the road, when I knew noone was coming on the one way street, & she ran back to me. Then theres when another chikd has a toy, I dont know what to do. Theres hardly anywhere with much grass and its full of poop. Besides getting to the park, how have others taught outside manners? I worry as my child gets older it will be hard to stop the free reign style. And I dont know how to deal with the road and car, I feel shes too young. The others seem to yell car!!&everyone moves. So then I am swooping aftrr her wondering if I should pick her up. And what to do when she might bolt. We also tend to go out when no one is here so it is usually quiet and feels safer . But when she sees other people, she goes to them. It makes me wonder if I taught her that by not intervenning the first time. Or if the other parents and children felt intruded upon. I think it will be hard until shes really talking to communicate the safety rules or maybe its hard no matter. Does anyone find it easy?? Please share:)
 

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Hi HereWeAre, there are different approaches to this issue, I was strict about outdoor and social freedoms, gradually allowing more freedom as I saw my child learning to be responsible for herself without my intervention and also what was appropriate to the situation. This included her safety, such as talking to strangers, and also her social skills, such as not touching other people's things or going into private spaces.

I wanted to protect my child, not just from the usual badness like cars and kidnappers, but also from the humiliation of being scolded by a stranger, the pressure or allure of being drawn into play with children I didn't know, the terror of getting lost on the way home. I wouldn't have done it differently despite people criticizing me and they did. I had confidence in my decisions.

There has been a lot in the news recently about children's freedom outdoors and I generally do not agree with what is called "free range parenting" but there are many who think it is OK.

I think that you should think about what YOU are comfortable with. Not what other people think about you or your child, your behavior, your parenting style, etc. Know your own mind on this and then stick to it with the option of flexibility and growth. Ultimately YOU are responsible for your child's well-being. Make a plan for how you are going to handle it - now at 2, at 5, at 12, at 16, and beyond - a plan that you can live with, that meets your goals, and that promotes the well-being of your child.

Because of your living arrangements it sounds as though you will have to put some thought and effort into providing options. However, that, to me, is better than just letting children "run loose" since you will have to organize this and can get a lot of value out of cultivating playdates and spending time together at parks and recreational activities whether in groups or as a family.
 

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Many different takes on this. I, personally, do not appreciate being stepped on, run into or run over by kids when out and about, and yes, it does happen. I do not believe that children easily learn social skills and behavior at younger ages, if left to figure it out on their own..but that's why we all get our own crack at parenting. :thumb

When we walk, we all hold hands. No one runs off. If we are exploring things-nature, etc., we do so in an area where I let my children know what the boundaries are. Then, they can roam safely and look at things, collect stuff, etc. Since we have a lot of children, and many young ones, the older children have a little one that they help me oversee.

When we go shopping, children are either in a cart, or being worn or holding a hand of someone older. I do not want my children "ruining" the experience of other shoppers by running around, stepping on them, getting in their way, etc. I believe in manners and not being in the way of adults in public out of respect.

If you start out when they are young, by showing them what you expect of them on walks, it is no trouble at all to continue that way. I've never needed to use any discipline with this method, other than reminding that if we are going to walk/shop/eat at a restaurant, that x, y, z is expected of them, and I've never used a leash/harness, etc.

I would be worried sick if my kids were running every which way. There are just too many variables, and it simply isn't necessary for my children to be well-adjusted and educated and happy, to run without restraint.

I do respect that other parents may see it differently and use different methods, but I do find that in public it is quite safe and enjoyable when we have an expectation in place that keeps things out of other people's space.
 
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here we are;18701386 It makes me wonder if I taught her that by not intervenning the first time. Or if the other parents and children felt intruded upon. I think it will be hard until shes really talking to communicate the safety rules or maybe its hard no matter. Does anyone find it easy?? Please share:)[/QUOTE said:
If someone feels like you intruded they will let you know. One way of learning to be friendly is to interact with people.

As far "free range" I let my children have more and more space as they get older. So my toddler is not to far from me. UNLESS we are in a space that is completely open and safe. Like a park or backyard that is enclosed.

You have to do what works in the situation. Kids are not all the same. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone, each of you. Your words are gold to me.
I am too busy to write now but,,,,

Question popping into my head brought about by

FillingQuiverfull (is that right? ) --

So lets say I try to hold hands with my toddler next time and she breaks off, she remembers the other times.I am trying to understand what it looks like since you have many experiences, when the hand doesn't stay held or perhaps when you had your first few with no older children.

I am so excited to come back and write more soon. I want to really get this figured out , have a sense of it. On the hiking trail our roaming felt a little more right , not like the awful parking lots. So I am thinking to just avoid the parking lots for awhile and when we return to have some ideas planted.

i am realizing this is about so much more .. I yearn for the answers.
 

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Admittedly, I started out always holding the hand of my children, from as soon as they could walk, so they learned that from the beginning..it was just best for us. Again, in "free areas" (safe places to roam for us) I would let them know they could just go.

Perhaps you can tell your toddler simply, "There are safe places for you to run or walk away from mama, and there are unsafe places. We are going to hold hands in unsafe places". Then, take him/her to a place to practice that is safer. Remind him/her that you are going to hold hands when you take walks/shop, etc., because it is safer and it's mama's job to keep you safe, etc. Then, practice holding hands..swinging hands and singing a song..something fun.

Then, stop at a park and say, "you did great holding hands and being safe! Now you can run and play! When mama says it's time to walk home, we'll hold hands and be safe again." It may take some practice, but worth a try.

Best wishes and don't forget to have fun!
 
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I know this isn't always a popular option, but I have a harness for my toddler. I never used one with my older set of kids, but I bring my son to work with me, and some of our work is outside (garden stuff) and I wanted a way to be sure he was "attached" to me yet had some freedom (plus I needed to be hands-free). I have only used it a couple of times for garden work, but it has proved useful in other ways.

I don't use it all the time, but when I do, it is wonderful. For example, we go for weekly walks with one of my elderly clients. She uses a rolling walker, because she's unsteady on her feet. DS (who just turned two) is getting so much better about listening, etc, BUT...if my client were to fall and I had to assist her to her feet, I like that I can let go of my toddler but still keep him safe. Also on these walks there are ponds/bridges that we go over. DS loves to look in the water, and it makes me feel better that he can have a bit of freedom but I could still pull him to safety if need be. This client lives right in a small village with a heavily-trafficked road running through it, so it is nice to have the extra reassurance. :)

I've also used it when he's allowed to walk in a crowded situation or at the store. Festivals, clothes shopping. At the grocery store, he's on my back in the Kinderpack, because I'm moving fast and it is crowded usually.

Also, the harness I got was made in Canada by a woman who started making them for special-needs kids, so they are very sturdy and strong, not those ill-fitting backpack ones, so I trust it more. She makes them in all different sizes.

The other thing I like, is that he can move naturally, without always holding onto someone's hand. I still hold his hand when we cross the street, or are in a parking lot, even if he's wearing the harness, because I think that it is good for him to understand that these are questionable situations.

Another thing I have done with all of my kids, is taught them to stop at the end of our driveway or anywhere near a road, and ask them if they see any cars. Also, I taught them "WAIT!" and that meant that they were to STOP right away. That is a great thing to teach on the harness, too, because if they don't stop, I can enforce it rather than chase them and risk them running out into the road in front of a car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
FillingQuiver- there had to be times you held hands and someone broke away, right? I am interested, because I want to try it but. ...... today my daughter kept breaking off. I explained a little. But chasing to grab her and pick her up and her going to fall harder and faster to avoid me, so tough. I am not looking forward to more of it. Right now all I can think is to be consistent and if she sees I keep picking her up..... .. I dont know.
I will try to only go in the hiking trails from now on, I am thinking. It will just take more planning and time. I haven't been able to fit anything long in between breakfast and lunch. I want to pack lunch after bedtime but there's
already so much to do.
So.. I will keep trying. I see how what I've already done influences her next moves. She goes towards people and today a boy grabbed her for a hug & was teasing-like, it was so stressful for me.
I think its hard to say if someone doesn't like something they'll let you know, because, I feel I am not always able to or dont know how to make changes that work out.

Puma, can you explain more? How did you do it? What can you say about a holding hands rule?

I guess that for me, I need to avoid other people. There is a fenced in small area with a tree. I guess we could go there and not walk around free among the parking lot. I dont like it up there. But if hiking trails cant fit in that day. And I think I want to carry her up there but I want to practice, its a short walk.
So even when there's not much
happening, should I consider this walk outside an unsafe area? Yes I think. I am probably feeling discouraged. The other childs behaviour really was depressing and scary. I am hoping by 3 yrs old things will make more sense. But that child was 5 and I cant get it out of my head. It takes so much.
 

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Hi hereweare, as this thread develops I can see that I basically didn't go anywhere for play at that age that wasn't fenced in or private and I didn't sort-of "notice" that before this thread. But we lived in a town on a busy street and yes we held hands. My daughter liked to and held hands with all adults such as family friends and relatives. If she was walking with another child they would hold hands with eachother. Looking back on it, we were so engrossed in conversation and sightseeing that she didn't "break away" - but she wasn't in a play area, this was walking on the street together. I also allowed my daughter to ride a trike or rollerskate while I walked. Being raised in a town I drilled into her the rules of traffic and stranger safety. As with anything, I talked with her and modeled the rules of anything and if she couldn't follow the rules then that activity was not repeated until I saw an improvement in the skill areas that were lacking (listening to me on the playground, not "breaking away" while walking, showing independence and cooperation at playdates, etc). There was no opportunity for a battle of wills or continued strain, I always tried to hold the line for both our sanities and keep us "on the same team." My parenting philosophy was and is: learn, practice, perform; this may be a good opportunitiy for you to learn your "parenting style" for now and in the future with other issues as well. Incidentally, I don't see a great need for you to interact with other children at this age, in my thinking it's better for you to use your time with your child to develop your relationship together. Preschools, schools, and community activities will socialize your child and you will be involved, so I don't think you need to prioritize that, especially if you feeling strain.
 

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We have a very small front yard that is mostly plants, then a 5 foot wide sidewalk, then the parking lane of the street and then the driving lane. Our back yard is not great for playing (very steep hill) so when we go outside, it's usually in front. My 13-month-old has some things she likes to do on the porch or in the yard, but she also wants to wander along the sidewalk.

I make sure I know where she is at all times and take a good look at what she's doing at least every 30 seconds or so, but I'm able to chat with a neighbor or do minor garden work. I stay pretty close to her most of the time, but if she is settled in one place and I need to go around the side of the house to dump some pulled weeds, I'll say, "I will be right back," and go as quickly as I can--it's always been fine.

You might be interested in how I'm teaching my toddler to stay out of the street. To my surprise, although I said in that article that this was just the first of many times I'd have to tell her and hold her back...two months later, I haven't repeated this lesson yet! She's simply stayed out of the street!

I would avoid confusing the issue by letting your daughter walk in the street when you can see there are no cars coming. Better to teach her that the street is not a place for walking.

As for the older girls: Do you know them well? I'm wary of letting my toddler, or even preschooler, be "supervised" by kids I don't know, but if I do know them and they're very responsible then it can be okay. I still keep an eye on them from a distance.
 

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I haven't read all the responses but here's my $0.02 : I know it's easier said than done but I've always tried to make sure that my kids knew from the very start that my yes means yes and my no means no. That takes careful thinking when you're not sure you want to say yes or no to something. This method works in pretty much every aspect of child rearing for me. With the hand holding. Boy do those little ones want their I dependence buy I always tell my kids when they don't want to hold hands and that I'm going to let them have a choice. Either they get to hold my hand and walk or I will carry them, push them in the stroller depending on the situation. They usually try to fight it and then I firmly say No. Mommy said to hold hands. If you don't hold hands I will carry you and then if after one warning they refuse to obey the rules. I pick the child up without a word. Usually I only need to do this a few times and they don't fight it anymore and I always make sure to praise them for holding my hand and being safe. Rule changing is not too big a deal as long as you don't do it on a regular basis. Consistency is key to all discipline. 2yrs. is still very young and you have so much time to keep doing your best to raise your little one to be a good citizen. The fact that you are even asking means that you will most likely be or really, already are a wonderful mom.
 

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First time mom here of a 2 year old, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but my understanding is that too much helicopter parenting can lead to a child who doesn't know how to figure things out for themselves. That leads to clumsiness and can actually create a more dangerous environment for a child. Just letting them run off into the wild with the animals to reign free also has a 50-50 chance of causing serious injuries or death though. So try to find a happy median between survival of the fittest and helicopter parenting. Trust your child, but keep an eye on them.
 
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