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I made a large sign with those words and posted them in my front window yesterday. I want everyone to know that my family are prisoners in our own home.

 

I live on a military post. Nice home, typical neighborhood yard, fenced-in back yard, playgrounds on every block, military police constantly patroling the roads to keep it safe, kids ride their bikes to school just down the road, crazy-slow speed limit post-wide. In the evening when all the kids get home from school they play out front in eachother's yards, or in the back where the playground is. My two oldest daughters have about 13 children their age that they play with outside every afternoon. It is wonderful.

 

Then... someone called the military police yesterday and reported my children, ages 6 & 7, to be at the park (which is directly behind my neighbors house and about 100 feet from my back door) unattended. It must be said that there are at least 20 kids at any given time playing on the park or running down the street to other kid's front yards who are all unattended by their parents, all under-age. In fact, I hardly ever see a parent outside. Ever.

 

The RULE that no one follows is that children ages 0-10 must be in the sight of their parents at all times.

 

Thankfully we just bought a house, but we can't move in until mid march.

 

So the military police park in front of my house, an investigator and a cop intimidate my children while they are at the park, then come and get me and intimidate me, get my information, tell me I have to come to the police station to sign a statement (meanwhile under-age children are running by unattended by their parents... it doesn't make any sense).

 

No charges were pressed. It became a warning. But now I can't let my kids outside to play unless I am physically with them, because if I'm caught again, charges will be pressed. Meanwhile all their friends are free to roam where they want.

 

I just posted about how my ds2 escaped yesterday while the door was open, only to be found by a cop in the road riding his trike. The next day my dd3 ran outside while I was cooking lunch. About 1 minute later I go to get her from the neighbors yard and find ds2 there as well. Apparently he woke up from his nap, saw the front door open, and took off.

Accidents happen constantly. I'm busy. I have a lot of kids. I take precausions but stuff happens anyway.

The kicker: if an accident happens again and I'm caught, I'm in big trouble.

 

So I'm getting high locks installed on my doors. My kids can't play outside except when I can bring all 5 children out at the same time, and not for very long because I have a baby to nurse and put to sleep and diapers to change.

 

I just feel trapped. We are prisoners!!!!! I'm depressed today. I'm so sad for my children.

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The playground is 100 feet from your door. Sit in your yard and watch them from there.

 

Putting high locks on the doors is a good idea. Little ones escape all the time, and that can be dangerous.

 

Just last week my 3 yr went over to my neighbor's house by himself, and none of us knew. DH was doing homework on the couch, I was in the laundry room, and the older boys were upstairs. Thankfully, my neighbor sent him back home, and watched him until he saw that my ds was back in the house. My middle ds had forgotten to lock the door.

 

I grew up on military bases all over. I ran around all the time, everywhere. However, if one person makes a complaint....it has to be dealt with. Oh, and I was over the age of 10 while I did this running around. :)

Edited by Kleine Hexe
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Of course the rules should be the same for everyone. You shouldn't be singled out while others are violating the rule in plain sight, but:

 

I don't understand why you don't feel responsible for keeping toddlers out of the road. You didn't know your 2yo was missing and the policeman found him in the road? They shouldn't be biking in the road, or playing at the park, or playing in the neighbor's yard without your supervision. They are too little for that.

 

Lots of people are busy and have lots of children. We just watch them. I certainly did my years of high locks on the doors to keep escapers from running away. I had to go to pretty extreme lengths to keep my #2 son from disappearing. He was relentless. Still, it was my job, so I installed the locks, had him sleep with me, whatever it took to keep him safe until we got through that phase.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, that is not my intent, but yes, you should be the one responsible for your two and three-year-olds.

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I made a large sign with those words and posted them in my front window yesterday. I want everyone to know that my family are prisoners in our own home.

 

I live on a military post. Nice home, typical neighborhood yard, fenced-in back yard, playgrounds on every block, military police constantly patroling the roads to keep it safe, kids ride their bikes to school just down the road, crazy-slow speed limit post-wide. In the evening when all the kids get home from school they play out front in eachother's yards, or in the back where the playground is. My two oldest daughters have about 13 children their age that they play with outside every afternoon. It is wonderful.

 

Then... someone called the military police yesterday and reported my children, ages 6 & 7, to be at the park (which is directly behind my neighbors house and about 100 feet from my back door) unattended. It must be said that there are at least 20 kids at any given time playing on the park or running down the street to other kid's front yards who are all unattended by their parents, all under-age. In fact, I hardly ever see a parent outside. Ever.

 

The RULE that no one follows is that children ages 0-10 must be in the sight of their parents at all times.

 

Thankfully we just bought a house, but we can't move in until mid march.

 

So the military police park in front of my house, an investigator and a cop intimidate my children while they are at the park, then come and get me and intimidate me, get my information, tell me I have to come to the police station to sign a statement (meanwhile under-age children are running by unattended by their parents... it doesn't make any sense).

 

No charges were pressed. It became a warning. But now I can't let my kids outside to play unless I am physically with them, because if I'm caught again, charges will be pressed. Meanwhile all their friends are free to roam where they want.

 

I just posted about how my ds2 escaped yesterday while the door was open, only to be found by a cop in the road riding his trike. The next day my dd3 ran outside while I was cooking lunch. About 1 minute later I go to get her from the neighbors yard and find ds2 there as well. Apparently he woke up from his nap, saw the front door open, and took off.

Accidents happen constantly. I'm busy. I have a lot of kids. I take precausions but stuff happens anyway.

The kicker: if an accident happens again and I'm caught, I'm in big trouble.

 

So I'm getting high locks installed on my doors. My kids can't play outside except when I can bring all 5 children out at the same time, and not for very long because I have a baby to nurse and put to sleep and diapers to change.

 

I just feel trapped. We are prisoners!!!!! I'm depressed today. I'm so sad for my children.

 

I forgot to add that you are not prisoners in your home.

 

You could go outside with your own children in your own yard, or at the park, and watch them play. When you are tired of watching them play you bring them back indoors until you are able to go out with them again.

 

You can nurse a baby outdoors. You can put the baby in bed just inside the door where you are watching your other kids from. Utilize a swing or a portable crib so baby can go where you go. Put the baby in a sling or backpack while you are at the park.

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Of course the rules should be the same for everyone. You shouldn't be singled out while others are violating the rule in plain sight, but:

 

I don't understand why you don't feel responsible for keeping toddlers out of the road. You didn't know your 2yo was missing and the policeman found him in the road? They shouldn't be biking in the road, or playing at the park, or playing in the neighbor's yard without your supervision. They are too little for that.

 

Lots of people are busy and have lots of children. We just watch them. I certainly did my years of high locks on the doors to keep escapers from running away. I had to go to pretty extreme lengths to keep my #2 son from disappearing. He was relentless. Still, it was my job, so I installed the locks, had him sleep with me, whatever it took to keep him safe until we got through that phase.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, that is not my intent, but yes, you should be the one responsible for your two and three-year-olds.

 

:iagree: Sorry, but there is clearly a problem if your toddlers are escaping multiple times a day. That being said, it would annoy me that my elementary age kids are not able to play at the park alone when all their friends of the same age are playing (also unattended).

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Okay - I may be the odd man out, but their rules sound appropriate to me. A 2 or 3 year old outside without adult supervision isn't safe. I wouldn't allow my under 10 kids at a playground without me at all. My kids (5,7,9) are allowed to go into our fenced backyard unsupervised. The 2 (almost 3) year old must have an older sibling with him if mom and dad are not available. I don't let any of my children out front without me being outside. We live in a ultra safe gated/guarded community, too. I don't understand about toddler escaping. The first thing we did when our oldest started walking was to put high locks/latches on all the doors so she couldn't get out. I am sorry you feel trapped, but honestly it sounds like you need to be more vigilant if you have a toddler in the middle of the street.

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I agree, if they enforce the rules on one person, they should enforce them for all.

 

That said, whenever we live on post my children never go to the playgrounds by themselves. They are allowed to go to the (fenced in) backyard alone, but that's it.

 

I believe children do need to be accompanied by their parents at the playgrounds/parks, especially when they are under 12. It's uncomfortable being out there as the only parent because then you start feeling like you're responsible for all of them (at least I do).

 

I do understand it's hard to get out there with the dc when you have littles as well.

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I agree with the others. I might be mistaken here but I think with that sign you might cause some problems for your DH.

 

This. You're dealing with the military. Anything you do, or your children do, will affect him. Everything gets back to his CO. My dad was a First Sergent so ask me how well behaved *I* had to be.

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I think calling yourself a prisoner because you are expected to keep an eye on your kids is pretty dramatic.

 

We've lived on military bases off and on since my kids were born. When my kids were under 10, I just took a blanket or lawn-chair out to the playground and read a book or chatted with the other moms while the kids ran around.

 

All of my kids now are 10 and up. I actually don't let my 10 year old play outside without one of his older siblings keeping an eye on him because our neighborhood boys can get out of control. But, there are always 2 or more parents sitting in their driveway or in a chair/on a bench near their front door because they do have younger kids.

 

It doesn't seem like a huge burden to me.

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I agree with the others. I think the rules should be equally enforced. However if the toddlers are out unattended and in some cases, you don' t know it, then there is a problem. That seems very dangerous to me. I wouldn't allow a 6 or 7 yr old to play at a park out of my sight either. I hate to say it because you sound very overwhelmed, but those things should be reported. :grouphug: I like that someone put the safety of the kids over an adult's feelings. I'm not trying to be harsh, but what happened (the reporting, the police visit) seems appropriate.

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As a military wife of 24 years and having lived in base housing for half of that, I can pretty much assure you that sign is going to get your husband in trouble with his command. Yes, you put it up, but you (and the rest of the family) are his responsibility and he will be held accountable for your behavior.

 

As for the rules, you knew what they were and chose not to follow them. Sure, you (and everyone else) got away with it, but now you've been singled out and have to toe the line. It's not fair, but that excuse never flies with the military anyway. How you handle this will reflect on your husband - if you chose to play dirty, he will be called into account for it.

 

It's not easy having a houseful of young children and trying to find time for everyone to get what they need. But babies can be nursed and changed at the park, and carried in a sling so you can supervise the youngest ones while the older ones play with their friends. Or you can invite a few of their friends to play in your fenced-in back yard. Schedule outside time so that the older ones know when they'll be meeting with their friends and how much time they'll have.

 

Second thing you should consider doing (the first is removing the sign) is putting locks on the doors - or at least all of those that don't lead to your fenced-in backyard. That way, when you get distracted, you won't have your escape artists making a break for it. :)

Edited by runamuk
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I think 10 is a bit old, maybe if they had 8 and under it would make more sense. I mean - it is legal for them to walk home, unattended, from school in the normal world.... The problem is, they had to draw the line somewhere, and in their experience, 9 year old kids can be a problem unsupervised. Not all of them, and many may be just fine, but there are enough out there they had to make it 10 and under.

Having lived on base multiple times when my sons were under 10 - we hardly ever saw kids unattended. At times we would "tag team parent" - one or two moms would take a shift, and then we would switch out.

I wouldn't have batted an eye at an 8 or 9 yo, personally, but younger than that? I would expect the parents to be close.

Being so close to a park is sorta a catch 22. Kids can see the park from the house and always want to go, but even though you can see the park from your house, you still have to sit out there with them :)

Take down the sign. I know you're frustrated, but your DH's CO is going to hear about it.....

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I think calling yourself a prisoner because you are expected to keep an eye on your kids is pretty dramatic.

:iagree:

None of my children play at any park unattended. My 6 and 8 year old play outside in our own yard by themselves but I check them often. I'm sorry you are having a bad day though.

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I'm sorry you're feeling harassed. I know it can be really trying to have many children under 5 all at once. Especially in the midst of buying a house and planning a move, which is its own kind of special stress (even when you're happy about it).

 

That said, I think it's reasonable that the MPs were giving extra attention to your family after two toddlers were found outside unattended in two days. The 6 & 7 year olds in the park was probably just the last straw and they felt you needed a wake up call.

 

Honestly, if I were your neighbor, I'd be relieved that the MPs were taking the matter seriously. I'd rather not have a child injured or killed in my neighborhood because no one wanted to speak up. I'd also roll my eyes at your window sign and think you're being a bit dramatic.

 

I'm not being judgmental here. I have a two year old Houdini myself, who has been found outside in the street TWICE by one of my neighbors. Both times were on my husband's watch and it was a HUGE wake up call for him. If a police officer had found our child and wanted to sit down and speak to us about it, I would have been beyond embarrassed, but I would not have blamed them in the least. After these incidents, we installed high locks and keep the deadbolt thrown at all times. We also moved, and the house we're in now offers fewer opportunities for escape, so that helps too.

 

I think you've gotten some great advice about how to manage some outside time for your younger kids while still tending to the baby. I'd just focus on this being a short term issue since you get to move soon (to that dreamy sounding land!) and try not to antagonize the situation any further. The sign may have made you feel a bit better, but I'd be concerned about the ramifications for my military husband if a neighbor is offended enough to mention it to his superiors.

Edited by scrappyhappymama
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I think calling yourself a prisoner because you are expected to keep an eye on your kids is pretty dramatic.

 

:iagree: I can't imagine my dd ever getting out the door and into the street without me noticing. I certainly wouldn't blame the police if they found my child in that situation. I think the op here needs a reality check.

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Of course the rules should be the same for everyone. You shouldn't be singled out while others are violating the rule in plain sight, but:

 

I don't understand why you don't feel responsible for keeping toddlers out of the road. You didn't know your 2yo was missing and the policeman found him in the road? They shouldn't be biking in the road, or playing at the park, or playing in the neighbor's yard without your supervision. They are too little for that.

 

Lots of people are busy and have lots of children. We just watch them. I certainly did my years of high locks on the doors to keep escapers from running away. I had to go to pretty extreme lengths to keep my #2 son from disappearing. He was relentless. Still, it was my job, so I installed the locks, had him sleep with me, whatever it took to keep him safe until we got through that phase.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, that is not my intent, but yes, you should be the one responsible for your two and three-year-olds.

 

 

:iagree: I have a houdini child. I had windows nailed shut, alarms and deadbolts that needed keys inside and I wore the key on my body at all times etc. When it comes to teh little ones claiming you have too many kids to keep track is not acceptable at all and charges should be pressed if they are found by some other adult unattended. As for the other 2 at the park, even with the park that close they are still very very young and should have you there. My 8 yr old is allowed now to play in our front yard without me IF and only IF I have all curtains etc open to that whole area of the yard to watch him while I tend to other needs, otherwise he has to wait for me. He is not allowed to go to the park alone etc. I am not overly protective, when they get a bit bigger they have a ton of freedom to roam without me but under the age of 10 no way. YOu knew the rules of the base and now you are po'd that you got caught and in trouble by the MPs for breaking those rules.

 

The rule is in place for the safety of the children and not even necessarily from "bad guys". What happens if you lo falls off the equipment and gets hurt and you are not there to do anything? What if they get hit by a car? (yes there is very slow posted limits, but like you people think the rules don't apply to them and therefore someone might speed through there etc) and even at slow speeds the damages done to a toddler can be devestating.

 

SO go ahead and feel like a prisoner for being told to be a good mother and properly supervise your chidren. I have no sympathy for that, sorry.

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Just to clarify, I don't let my 2 & 3 yr old go unattended outside on purpose. I've also never had a kid like ds2. My daughters never escaped all the time! Is this a boy thing? I AM being over-dramatic, but I also hate rules, my older daughters are used to being outside all day, and I did take the sign down, but only at my husband's request:tongue_smilie:

im still reeling from the emotion of it all. I know it will be ok, but right now it feels horrible. Im singled out. I wouldn't rat on other kids though. I don't desire for them to be stuck inside. I don't think the rules are fair.

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Just to clarify, I don't let my 2 & 3 yr old go unattended outside on purpose. I've also never had a kid like ds2. My daughters never escaped all the time! Is this a boy thing? I AM being over-dramatic, but I also hate rules, my older daughters are used to being outside all day, and I did take the sign down, but only at my husband's request:tongue_smilie:

im still reeling from the emotion of it all. I know it will be ok, but right now it feels horrible. Im singled out. I wouldn't rat on other kids though. I don't desire for them to be stuck inside. I don't think the rules are fair.

My oldest ds ran outside a few times at that age so we put up a chain. ;)

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Okay - I may be the odd man out, but their rules sound appropriate to me. A 2 or 3 year old outside without adult supervision isn't safe.

...I am sorry you feel trapped, but honestly it sounds like you need to be more vigilant if you have a toddler in the middle of the street.

 

:iagree: We live in a rural area, not a neighborhood, and we are very secluded (can't see our house from the road) and I did not let my dc go outside to play unsupervised until they were at least 10. Even then, I was peeping out the door to check on them at least every 15 minutes.

 

I also agree with those who said that your sign is likely to cause trouble for your dh.

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Sorry OP, I agree with the others.

 

You have a fenced in back yard you said. I assume that means that your children can play in your back yard without you directly having your eyes on them, right? They just can't be out of the house/yard if they're under 10 without a parent? That sounds totally reasonable to me.

 

Yes, it stinks you got singled out. But, well, I dunno, you shouldn't have been doing anything to be single out FOR, iykwim.

 

Yes, you could go the route of beginning to report every single other child you see without supervision. But honestly, that seems revengeful and petty. Or, if you weren't moving off base, you might look into just how to get the age limit changed, seeing as it appears most parents on the base would be supportive of that. I don't know ANYTHING about military life however, so I've no idea if that's a laughable idea or not.

 

And again, I have no experience with the military, but I'd tend to agree that your sign just may cause trouble for your dh. I'd take it down right now if I were you.

 

Besides, it's not true, and it's overly dramatic. You're not prisioners. You're just being expected to supervise your children according to the rules of where you live. Like all of us are. We may not have the same 'rules' as a military base. But I'm rather sure that, in my neighborhood, if I let my six year old run down to the park by himself, someone very well may call the police because they were concerned that he was too young to be unsupervised. I dunno what the police would do, but it wouldn't surprise me if I got some sort of 'warning' once they found out he hadn't escaped, but rather had my PERMISSION to go by himself. That wouldn't be looked on very well, I wouldn't think.

 

Now, we live in a nice suburb, but we're close to a very dangerous large city. People 'round here are more safety concerned than other places, I admit.

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I think you will not be happy that most of us are NOT taking your side in this...but I agree with the others here. You sound over-whelmed, you need to take the sign down asap - and are there any older teens around to be a Mother's Helper for you at times?

 

I used to nurse one kid while sitting outside watching twin toddlers play. Not ideal, but it can be done.

 

:grouphug: and know this - someday they will all be older kids and teens. This too shall pass.

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I am sorry to say this, but I have to agree with everyone else who said that the police (or whomever called them to report you) are not the problem here, nor are the rules. IMO, your kids are all too young to be left completely unattended in the park, or even in your own yard.

 

Frankly, I would be willing to bet that one of your neighbors complained because they are concerned for the safety of your children, and view you as being neglectful. I'm sure they didn't report you out of vindictiveness, but rather to give you a wake-up call that you are unintentionally placing your children in danger by not properly supervising them.

 

I would be mortified if I ever saw a neighbor's two year old riding his tricycle in the street while his mom was in the house. :eek: I know it was only for a short time, but do you have any clue as to how much danger he was in out there? I'm not even thinking of predators; I'm thinking of CARS.

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hmsmith: My two oldest daughters have about 13 children their age that they play with outside every afternoon. It is wonderful.

 

Then... someone called the military police yesterday and reported my children, ages 6 & 7, to be at the park (which is directly behind my neighbors house and about 100 feet from my back door) unattended. It must be said that there are at least 20 kids at any given time playing on the park or running down the street to other kid's front yards who are all unattended by their parents, all under-age. In fact, I hardly ever see a parent outside. Ever.

 

The RULE that no one follows is that children ages 0-10 must be in the sight of their parents at all times.

 

 

If this is the rule, then you should follow it. I can't imagine allowing my kids to go unattended through the neighborhood at ages 6 and 7.

 

 

So the military police park in front of my house, an investigator and a cop intimidate my children while they are at the park, then come and get me and intimidate me, get my information, tell me I have to come to the police station to sign a statement (meanwhile under-age children are running by unattended by their parents... it doesn't make any sense).

 

No charges were pressed. It became a warning.

 

Seems a bit strong, but it sounds like they are serious. YOURS just got caught. If they are serious, they will be following up with other parents who are not watching their kids.

 

 

But now I can't let my kids outside to play unless I am physically with them, because if I'm caught again, charges will be pressed. Meanwhile all their friends are free to roam where they want.

 

But it doesn't matter. This is like arguing, "Officer, yes, I know I was going 75 in a 65 mph area, but everyone else was going faster!" That won't get you anywhere! Everyone tries it, though, and it is generally true. But it doesn't mean that your violation is acceptable just because others have not yet been caught.

 

I just posted about how my ds2 escaped yesterday while the door was open, only to be found by a cop in the road riding his trike. The next day my dd3 ran outside while I was cooking lunch. About 1 minute later I go to get her from the neighbors yard and find ds2 there as well. Apparently he woke up from his nap, saw the front door open, and took off.

Accidents happen constantly. I'm busy. I have a lot of kids. I take precausions but stuff happens anyway.

 

I had a 3 year old who escaped once and took off to a neighbor's while my husband was napping, thinking SHE was napping. All turned out ok - BUT we installed high locks on the doors and watched her closer afterward and she never did it again.

 

Sounds like you need some additional locks on the doors. Two and three year olds can't just take off. That's really dangerous. 99% of the time, they might be fine, but that one time is all it takes.

 

 

The kicker: if an accident happens again and I'm caught, I'm in big trouble.

 

 

Or worse.

 

So I'm getting high locks installed on my doors. My kids can't play outside except when I can bring all 5 children out at the same time, and not for very long because I have a baby to nurse and put to sleep and diapers to change.

 

Good. Should have read on. Glad you are getting the locks installed. I realize you are moving, but could you have installed a fence to keep them in your yard? Or was that prohbited.

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Just to clarify, I don't let my 2 & 3 yr old go unattended outside on purpose. I've also never had a kid like ds2. My daughters never escaped all the time! Is this a boy thing? I AM being over-dramatic, but I also hate rules, my older daughters are used to being outside all day, and I did take the sign down, but only at my husband's request:tongue_smilie:

im still reeling from the emotion of it all. I know it will be ok, but right now it feels horrible. Im singled out. I wouldn't rat on other kids though. I don't desire for them to be stuck inside. I don't think the rules are fair.

 

 

There is probably a reason you are being singled out and I would guess that not watching your children closely enough could be it.

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The RULE that no one follows is that children ages 0-10 must be in the sight of their parents at all times.

 

Can you clarify this? Does that mean your children under ten cannot play outside IN your fenced in backyard without you watching them every second?

 

If so, how in the world would anyone know if you could see them or not. I mean, if a neighbor called the MP because they saw your kids in the backyard, but you weren't out there, would you get in trouble? How would the MP know if you were watching them from inside or not?

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Please take down your sign. I also think that your kids don't have to be stuck inside. Just take them all out into your fenced yard, you sit on a blanket or lawn chair, and watch them. it sounds like you're tired and we all understand how it is when kids are so young and busy, but supervise them for a set time like 30 minutes, then they all come back in and get ready for a nap. :)

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I agree with the others. I think the rules should be equally enforced. However if the toddlers are out unattended and in some cases, you don' t know it, then there is a problem. That seems very dangerous to me. I wouldn't allow a 6 or 7 yr old to play at a park out of my sight either. I hate to say it because you sound very overwhelmed, but those things should be reported. :grouphug: I like that someone put the safety of the kids over an adult's feelings. I'm not trying to be harsh, but what happened (the reporting, the police visit) seems appropriate.

 

I am a very free-range parent. My 12yo and 9.5yo are walking alone to different destinations as I type this. So please try to hear when I tell you that you are off on this. Truly, you are completely responsible for the two youngers escaping and that is not okay. Of course you have to install locks on the doors. That's really normal toddler-proofing. My front door still has a mark from the "top lock" as we called it, and my youngest is almost 7.

 

I'm sorry you feel singled out. That is painful. :grouphug: You might just discover that you are the first, not the only, family in this position. Just the first to get corrected, as it were.

 

:grouphug:

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I'm sorry OP, but I would have had a chain lock way up high out of reach the first time your toddler escaped. Now you've had them escape at least three times? When Pigby was about 3, he tried escaping once and he wasn't even a Houdini type kid! I'm just lucky that door had a chain lock on it. Digby would try it I think, but we have toddler proof coverings for our door handles at this apartment.

 

Oh, also I know what a pain it is to have to drag kids to the park and supervise the younger ones. I only have three and I stopped going to park days with the homeschool group because it was too difficult to manage baby girl and Digby. He once took off across the field while I was trying to chase him with an 18 pound baby. I get it. But some rules ought to be followed. Ones that ensure your kids' safety fall into that category.

Edited by meggie
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Just to clarify, I don't let my 2 & 3 yr old go unattended outside on purpose. I've also never had a kid like ds2. My daughters never escaped all the time! Is this a boy thing? I AM being over-dramatic, but I also hate rules, my older daughters are used to being outside all day, and I did take the sign down, but only at my husband's request:tongue_smilie:

im still reeling from the emotion of it all. I know it will be ok, but right now it feels horrible. Im singled out. I wouldn't rat on other kids though. I don't desire for them to be stuck inside. I don't think the rules are fair.

 

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

How many days left until you move? Can you arrange with other parents to take turns doing "yard duty" when all the kids are out playing?

 

More :grouphug:

 

My 7 and 8 year old both play outside unsupervised with their friends, and we're all the better for it :)

 

I've also had a certain DD play escape artist. She was so sneaky and quiet, I had no idea until a neighbor brought her home. It's not realistic to watch a child every.single.minute. - especially when you have more than one child. We're all doing our best. You get NO judgment from me!

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If this is the rule, then you should follow it. I can't imagine allowing my kids to go unattended through the neighborhood at ages 6 and 7.

 

:iagree:

 

And I truly suspect the reason your kids were singled out was because an observant neighbor has witnessed all of your children outside unattended on several occasions, and probably saw the tricycle incident.

 

Honestly, I am amazed at how casually you related the story about your 2 year old being found in the street on his tricycle. I would have had nightmares for a week about it, thinking of all of the horrible things that could have happened to him.

 

I really think you need to stop thinking of yourself as a victim here, and start thinking that maybe the rules are in place for a reason, and that maybe a few of your neighbors are worried about your kids. This isn't about you or your convenience; it is about the safety of your children.

Edited by Catwoman
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:party: Congrats on your house!

 

If you live near the largest base in TX pm me and we will work out a playdate where you kids can roam free. ;)

 

My kids have escaped a time or two at Grandma's and Grandpa's and we have had to put up safety locks up high there. Here they can't get out without me hearing them.

 

It is nice that my kids can play outside unattended but really it has only been in the last year or so and my oldest is older than yours. Other than that I was checking constantly or with them.

 

Glad the sign came down and glad you are getting a high locks. This will be just a short time you will see.

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Of course the rules should be the same for everyone. You shouldn't be singled out while others are violating the rule in plain sight, but:

 

I don't understand why you don't feel responsible for keeping toddlers out of the road. You didn't know your 2yo was missing and the policeman found him in the road? They shouldn't be biking in the road, or playing at the park, or playing in the neighbor's yard without your supervision. They are too little for that.

 

Lots of people are busy and have lots of children. We just watch them. I certainly did my years of high locks on the doors to keep escapers from running away. I had to go to pretty extreme lengths to keep my #2 son from disappearing. He was relentless. Still, it was my job, so I installed the locks, had him sleep with me, whatever it took to keep him safe until we got through that phase.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, that is not my intent, but yes, you should be the one responsible for your two and three-year-olds.

:iagree: I let my young children out with older sibling supervision, but we live in a small safe neighborhood and they never leave my yard. I also let my younger kids play at the park across the street with older sibling supervision with no problem. But I can understand why the police are acting that way if that young of a child is regularly escaping or was found in the road! No offense, but unless it was the middle of the night, I just can't imagine not knowing your 2 yo was in the middle of the road down the street. I would do some heavy child-proofing, lots of locks, and try to keep a closer eye out.

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I just posted about how my ds2 escaped yesterday while the door was open, only to be found by a cop in the road riding his trike. The next day my dd3 ran outside while I was cooking lunch. About 1 minute later I go to get her from the neighbors yard and find ds2 there as well. Apparently he woke up from his nap, saw the front door open, and took off.

Accidents happen constantly. I'm busy. I have a lot of kids. I take precausions but stuff happens anyway.

The kicker: if an accident happens again and I'm caught, I'm in big trouble.

 

 

Sorry, if it happens once it's an accident. If it happens "constantly," it's...not good. The first time one of my DC got out of the house was also the last. I was in one room, DH was in another, and we both assumed she was with the other. When I realized she was not with him we both panicked. Fortunately she was just walking up and down our driveway. We were at Home Depot 10 minutes later buying a new lock to put as high as possible so it wouldn't happen again. I still feel terrible that it happened once because when I think of what could have happened, it's more than I can take.

 

Yes, things happen but there are things you can do to prevent the same things from happening over and over again. You are lucky. You are just very lucky.

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Just to clarify, I don't let my 2 & 3 yr old go unattended outside on purpose. I've also never had a kid like ds2. My daughters never escaped all the time! Is this a boy thing? I AM being over-dramatic, but I also hate rules, my older daughters are used to being outside all day, and I did take the sign down, but only at my husband's request:tongue_smilie:

im still reeling from the emotion of it all. I know it will be ok, but right now it feels horrible. Im singled out. I wouldn't rat on other kids though. I don't desire for them to be stuck inside. I don't think the rules are fair.

My DS was a *runner*, still is to some extent. We had to install high locks on the doors and we got an alarm system just for the chimes, so I could hear a door or window being opened.:001_huh: My DD was not like this AT ALL.

 

I don't let *my* kids play outside in the front because I don't trust DS to stay out of the street or even to watch for cars in driveways. But, if both my kids were like DD, I would let them play in front. If I had a playground 100ft from my house (and both my kids were like DD), I would definitely let them play there. :grouphug:

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I'm sorry you were singled out, but they don't have to stay in; they can just play in your back yard.

 

Some toddlers require more attention than others; your new higher locks sound like an excellent idea. A small child was hit and killed near us recently; it was just heartbreaking.

 

I made a large sign with those words and posted them in my front window yesterday. I want everyone to know that my family are prisoners in our own home.

 

I live on a military post. Nice home, typical neighborhood yard, fenced-in back yard, playgrounds on every block, military police constantly patroling the roads to keep it safe, kids ride their bikes to school just down the road, crazy-slow speed limit post-wide. In the evening when all the kids get home from school they play out front in eachother's yards, or in the back where the playground is. My two oldest daughters have about 13 children their age that they play with outside every afternoon. It is wonderful.

 

Then... someone called the military police yesterday and reported my children, ages 6 & 7, to be at the park (which is directly behind my neighbors house and about 100 feet from my back door) unattended. It must be said that there are at least 20 kids at any given time playing on the park or running down the street to other kid's front yards who are all unattended by their parents, all under-age. In fact, I hardly ever see a parent outside. Ever.

 

The RULE that no one follows is that children ages 0-10 must be in the sight of their parents at all times.

 

Thankfully we just bought a house, but we can't move in until mid march.

 

So the military police park in front of my house, an investigator and a cop intimidate my children while they are at the park, then come and get me and intimidate me, get my information, tell me I have to come to the police station to sign a statement (meanwhile under-age children are running by unattended by their parents... it doesn't make any sense).

 

No charges were pressed. It became a warning. But now I can't let my kids outside to play unless I am physically with them, because if I'm caught again, charges will be pressed. Meanwhile all their friends are free to roam where they want.

 

I just posted about how my ds2 escaped yesterday while the door was open, only to be found by a cop in the road riding his trike. The next day my dd3 ran outside while I was cooking lunch. About 1 minute later I go to get her from the neighbors yard and find ds2 there as well. Apparently he woke up from his nap, saw the front door open, and took off.

Accidents happen constantly. I'm busy. I have a lot of kids. I take precausions but stuff happens anyway.

The kicker: if an accident happens again and I'm caught, I'm in big trouble.

 

So I'm getting high locks installed on my doors. My kids can't play outside except when I can bring all 5 children out at the same time, and not for very long because I have a baby to nurse and put to sleep and diapers to change.

 

I just feel trapped. We are prisoners!!!!! I'm depressed today. I'm so sad for my children.

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I grew up on military bases. There is a certain sense of safety and security there. :)

 

Is it possible you were singled out because your toddlers were out and about two days in a row without your knowledge? I would think that a conscientious neighbor would make a call after a few incidents of younger children being unsupervised.

 

:grouphug: The sense of safety on military bases comes with a price - higher scrutiny. That scrutiny is exactly why the bases are a little safer than other neighborhoods.

 

I also totally understand not liking rules. I am a born rule follower who *hates* being told what to do and how to do it. :confused: Yup, a true dichotomy. :D If I don't like a rule, I follow it until I can get it changed! (And yes, I will try to change rules OR opt out of the situations where I can't stomach them.)

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Hi,

 

Home Depot (or Lowe's) sells those child-proof door handle covers. We installed those on every door leading outside a few years ago. I was doing the dishes and the then-4 yro let the 2 yro "outside to play" (in her words). I looked out the window and they were holding hands, walking down the block. For lack of better words, it scared the &^%$ out of me.

 

You could get an alarm system in your new house, too. We have one for this house. It makes a loud announcement when one of the main doors open. Also, you can set the alarm for "stay" and it will go off if a child opened the door leading outside or to the garage. It kind of feels like a mental institution or a nursing home in here...but at least they can't escape (insert evil laugh).

 

As far as playing outside...when you have a big family, it feels like the older kids get the short end of the stick sometimes. They have to wait until EVERYONE can go out. :glare: We have friends/neighbors with a couple of older kids who don't really understand that policy. When you move, just make good use of your backyard.

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Can you clarify this? Does that mean your children under ten cannot play outside IN your fenced in backyard without you watching them every second?

 

If so, how in the world would anyone know if you could see them or not. I mean, if a neighbor called the MP because they saw your kids in the backyard, but you weren't out there, would you get in trouble? How would the MP know if you were watching them from inside or not?

 

The rule says that children 0 to 5 cannot be in my fenced in backyard without me physically outside with them. Ages 6 to 10 can be in the backyard w/o me physically outside with them, but I have to be able to see and hear them. My 6 & 7 year old were caught at the playground just outside our fence where I couldnt see them from inside my house.

 

I was hoping for hugs and sympathy, but that's ok, I understand. My post friends are outraged and I must live around an abnormal number of neglectful parents. All well.

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I was hoping for hugs and sympathy, but that's ok, I understand. My post friends are outraged and I must live around an abnormal number of neglectful parents. All well.

 

I don't think it's an issue of us not being sympathetic; I think it is an issue of you not realizing or accepting the fact that you were at fault, and that there seems to have been a valid reason why you were reported.

 

I do sympathize with the idea that you and your kids were the only ones the police approached, but i really think it all stems from the incident where the policeman found your 2 year old riding his tricycle in the street while you were in the house. Perhaps your neighbors or the police think they are seeing a potentially dangerous pattern here, and want you to recognize that fact.

 

I'm sorry I sound so harsh, but I truly do not think you recognize how incredibly lucky you have been that none of your children were hurt (or worse) when they slipped out of the house alone.

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The rule says that children 0 to 5 cannot be in my fenced in backyard without me physically outside with them. Ages 6 to 10 can be in the backyard w/o me physically outside with them, but I have to be able to see and hear them. My 6 & 7 year old were caught at the playground just outside our fence where I couldnt see them from inside my house.

 

I was hoping for hugs and sympathy, but that's ok, I understand. My post friends are outraged and I must live around an abnormal number of neglectful parents. All well.

 

Here is a hug.... :grouphug:

 

I had a 4 year old that we couldn't keep inside the house at night. And a neighbor who sent us a registered letter threatening to call the authorities over it. What I felt was....outrage that at a time in my life when I already was struggling....a neighbor decided to pile it on. I 'got' that *I* was responsible for keeping my 4 yo safe. (and I did eventually figure out a way....I reversed his door handle and locked him in his room at night. ) But it feels....like a stab to have people turn on you at a time like that.

 

:grouphug:

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:grouphug: Okay, my first child locked me out on our 2nd story balcony when he was about 18 months maybe. I had to climb/jump/fall down, then wait for maintenance to bring a key to let me back into my locked apartment and my baby. :glare:

 

Child #2 ran outside once with nothing but her diaper on. I saw her running around the backyard with her arms spread wide and a huge grin on her face.:glare::glare:

 

Child#3 got out a few months ago (also around 18 months) when I was cooking dinner. The older kids were coming in and out and forgot to lock the door when they came in. A few minutes later, I realized he was gone and run outside yelling for him. A neighbor was walking with him outside because they didn't know who he belonged to. :glare::glare::glare:

 

I get it, and I'm really sorry. Small kids are overwhelming at times! At least you don't have too much longer until you can move.

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I do have to say I feel somewhat cheered by everyone's dose of reality though. It really isn't a big deal is it? :)

 

I'm glad to hear that you took the sign out of the window (and I am sure your dh is, too ;)) I'm also happy to know that you're taking active steps to ensure that your kids will be safe and accounted-for in the future. I know how irritating it must be to wonder who reported you to the police instead of just walking over and talking to you first, too, so I'm not totally unsympathetic.

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The rule says that children 0 to 5 cannot be in my fenced in backyard without me physically outside with them. Ages 6 to 10 can be in the backyard w/o me physically outside with them, but I have to be able to see and hear them. My 6 & 7 year old were caught at the playground just outside our fence where I couldnt see them from inside my house.

 

I was hoping for hugs and sympathy, but that's ok, I understand. My post friends are outraged and I must live around an abnormal number of neglectful parents. All well.

 

I think on Military posts there is a sense of responsibility for everything that happens on post being on the back of the post leadership. At our last post there was an incident of a child getting hit by a car--only minor injuries, fortunately, but it was a HUGE incident on post and reflects negatively on the post commander, the post itself, and the military in general. I believe that is behind the strict safety and child supervision rules--it's not just your responsibility what happens to your children, but theirs as well.

That being said, when we lived on post most people did not follow the child supervision rules at all, and I can see how very, very frustrating it would be to be singled out when no one else is.

:grouphug: for the frustration, at least you know it's temporary. I've lived many places where my children could not be outside at all without my supervision. It's not fun, but survivable, and really you can deal with anything for a month or two.

 

--Sarah

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