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Need help getting over fear


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We want to start giving our 10 yr dd more responsibility. She's been ready to stay home by herself while we go the store (1 mile down street ) for a while now but we're just now really starting to think about doing it. I have a problem with worrying about what others (in my neigborhood) will think and what their actions will be.

 

When my dds were 3 and 1 we had moved to a new apt. closer to my dh's job in downtown Dallas. A neighbor called the police because she thought I had left them home alone and she heard crying and a "loud thump" and then silence. We only owned one car at the time (but this was a new place and neighbor didn't know or ask) and the crying was me trying to get my 1 year old back on a nap schedule in a new place and it couldn't have been more than 15 minutes. The "thump" could have been anything. I opened the door to a CPS worker and two policeman. They came into my apt., woke my younger dd and asked many questions. It didn't matter that they soon found out we only had one car and you could see my dh's office out of our windows, I felt like I had done something wrong. Nothing came of the visit and we received a letter stating our record was cleared and there was nothing wrong, but I became very aware of what others saw and heard. I started letting the girls get away with things so they wouldn't cry and "alert" neighbors and it took a long while and lots of patience to undo the damage I did during the following year. I have never been more terrified than that day when they walked into my home and held my little girl in their arms. I was so scared they would find fault with something and just walk out with them.

 

If you've read this far, thanks so much. It actually feels good to just get in out there. I know there is nothing wrong with leaving my older dd home for 30 minutes and I know she will be fine. I also know, in my head, that noone will probably care or even notice that we've left her home for such a short period, but I am too fearful to try right now. I also know its not something that has to be done now and have even told her it might not happen until she's 11, but I feel the longer I put if off the more worried I will become.

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Start out small.

 

Drive around the block and then come right back. Do that until you feel comfortable doing it.

 

Then drive to the store and turn around and come immediately back. Do that until you feel comfortable with it.

 

Go to the store, call her on the cellphone, and then shop. Whatever you need to do.

 

I'd just keep working on it, stretching it, until it was second nature.

 

And just as a side, I'd actively work on getting to know your neighbors, if you haven't done that already. I think it is important to build relationships with the people who live around you. Makes it much easier to give each other the benefit of the doubt and makes for a stronger safer community.

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Start out small.

 

Drive around the block and then come right back. Do that until you feel comfortable doing it.

 

Then drive to the store and turn around and come immediately back. Do that until you feel comfortable with it.

 

Go to the store, call her on the cellphone, and then shop. Whatever you need to do.

 

I'd just keep working on it, stretching it, until it was second nature.

 

And just as a side, I'd actively work on getting to know your neighbors, if you haven't done that already. I think it is important to build relationships with the people who live around you. Makes it much easier to give each other the benefit of the doubt and makes for a stronger safer community.

 

Very good advice

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Thanks, Daisy! Those are great ideas and ones I haven't really thought about.:tongue_smilie: I already know my state does not have an age requirement so we're all good there. This is my crazy responsible dd who probably could have been left alone long ago so I'm not worried about her - its really just everyone else. I was roaming my neigborhood alone and for the entire day by the time I was 9 and I don't want to shelter my dds too much. I will probably attempt a few "trial" runs and just go around the block and tell her its to see how comfortable she is - when it really is just to see how I do!

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