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A mom commented in the other thread about "thanks for reminding me not to leave my 11 year old home alone"........

 

This hit a nerve and pet peeve for me.

 

Finding a stranger in your home is an exceedingly rare situation. The 11 year old made a mistake; so did his grown DAD!

 

I'm not defending what the 11 year old did or making a case for all 11 year olds being left unsupervised. But leaving an average 11 year old alone is a reasonable consideration. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. It's not a fair or reasonable "reminder" that this family had trouble; it's not proof that tweens can't be alone. It's proof that things happen and even adults make mistakes.

 

But I *am* saying that I've observed parenting decisions based on skewed perceptions rather than reality. Our news media deliberately focuses on certain stories to the degree that it seems more common, more risky, more likely than it is. It also seems more prevalent, but real numbers do not back that up. It's just more reported.

 

"I won't let my kids play outside"........because of the fear of stranger abuduction. The chances of your kids being abducted by strangers are miniscule. They might *seem* larger due to how pretty, white, middle to upper class females are highlighted when they are abducted. But the reality? Protect your kids from abduction but not marrying and divorcing a person from another country, or with known to be boundaryless relatives, known mental illness.

 

"My kids can't use a public bathroom by themselves"......because of fear of molestation or murder. When this one comes up, someone enivitably knows someone who was hurt, killed or molested in a public restroom. In reality, the risk is minimal.

 

"That is another reason I homeschool" ......... because of Columbine type school shootings. While I'll rally against the social quagmire and under responsiveness of parents and administration that create a Columbine, the chances of a public school shooting are tiny.

 

The real risks to our children are usually known to us; they are at our Thanksgiving Tables, leading our Youth Groups, teaching our kids in public school, Coaching our Little League. People who for whatever sick reason want to hurt your kids usually *build relationshp* with us and the kids, are known by us.

 

"Stranger danger" is counter productive. Teach kids how to protect themselves fully by honoring their "ick factor", by not making them interact with and especially touch or be touched by ANYONE against their preferences. And by teaching them the signs of people who are a risk.

 

And also do your part by reporting to authorities, even and especially when the perpetrator is in your family. Usually by the time a child molestor is caught, many unreported incidents have already occured.

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Your last few sentences are key I think: no matter what we do to 'protect' our kids it is always the unexpected that will bite us in the rear.

 

I do think there are plenty of times that we should NOT rely on statistics to protect our children tho.

 

For every one of your samples there are valid times and scenarios where it simply isn't WORTH the risk when that little step of safety would save so much trouble. The fact that my neighbor's son who was molested at the pool changing rooms by an older kid was a "low statistical risk" isn't very comforting. And there are MANY school districts where violence at the school is a DAILY problem --school shootings may not be widespread, but violence is. There's a bigger picture to "keeping kids safe" than focussing on the incidents that make the news.

 

i do agree that many people make skewed decisions w/ little information about the actual facts, but when there are enough *actual facts* to warrant concern, then i hope parents act with that knowledge to keep their kids safe *where they can*. Of course you can't keep them in a bubble! But i cringe when i hear grown women whine about a 10yo boy in the womens bathroom at WalMart/mall when the place is crowded -oh puhLEEZE! you are an ADULT. Get over it. A mom keeping a kid safe w/ her vs your short term discomfort?......no contest.

 

I also agree that most "stranger danger" classes ARE counter productive --if in fact they are teaching to be wary of each and every stranger. That hasn't been my experience.

but a good class that helps keep parents and kids aware of their surroundings, gives them an INKLING into what to be observing, warns about exactly what you described [as the Scouts do] and gives them the opportunity to role play how to react is invaluable [esp if it is followed up w/ parents on a regular basis].

 

i truly understand what prompted your post --I too would likely still leave my 10 yo at home for certain things. But I am a stickler for making sure there is backup nearby and we have a great network of neighbors :-) If my son made such a life-threatening mistake as the OP I would NOT be continuing the action: mistakes garner consequences.

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Joanne I'm with you on this one. Particularly as our kids get older we have to let them go a bit and they will make mistakes. Overwhelmingly they will be ok. I don't think I could live my life thinking otherwise. We don't take foolish risks, but we do have to let our kids grow up. Things happen that are not in our control and to try to live your life around those things seems counter-productive to me.

 

A couple of weeks ago I had breakfast with my mom and cousin at a popular restaurant. It was busy, but not overwhelmingly so. I was horrifed when I witnessed (I tend to stare at other tables in restaurants) a mom (about my age) shake her head furiously when her son said something. She then grabbed the boy (I'm guessing 12-14) by the wrist and dragged him to the ladies room. The boy was horrified and I was horrified for him. It was even worse when they finally left the ladies room. If I could have opened up the floor to swallow him (as I'm sure he was wishing) I would have. This is pretty extreme, but it illustrates your point, I think.

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The inverse dangers are also not discussed: certainly in the UK, there is a whole generation of children growing up without experience of independence: mentally cramped and physically inactive due to excessive fear over their safety.

 

For every child damaged or murdered by a stranger, how many will not reach their potential due to cosseting, or will die early from an obesity-related disease?

 

For the record: I have personal reasons that might make me want to lock my children away from contact with strangers. Nevertheless, Calvin stays home alone while I take Hobbes to Karate, and he goes alone, by public transport, to have lunch with his father.

 

Laura

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Leaving an 11 yo alone for a short period of time does not seem unreasonable. Here's a site that gives some guidelines for leaving kids alone. http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/poptopics/homealone.html#statelaws

 

If you want to get technical and do risk assessment you might compare the likelihood that the child would be harmed at home alone to the chance that they would be harmed in a car acident when driven around. It's not pleasant to think about, but about 40,000 people die in car wrecks a year. So driving you kids around is not a risk free activity.

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If you want to get technical and do risk assessment you might compare the likelihood that the child would be harmed at home alone to the chance that they would be harmed in a car acident when driven around. It's not pleasant to think about, but about 40,000 people die in car wrecks a year. So driving you kids around is not a risk free activity.

 

I think it comes down to perceptions of control. People feel in control when they are driving, even though they are entirely at the mercy of the drunk in the on-coming car. When they feel in control, they assess the activity as less risky.

 

When they leave an 11yo on his own, or let him out the door to play with friends on the sidewalk, they don't feel in control and therefore assess the activity as more risky.

 

These perceptions of control and risk have nothing to do with the real danger of the activity.

 

Laura

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For every child damaged or murdered by a stranger, how many will not reach their potential due to cosseting, or will die early from an obesity-related disease?

 

For the record: I have personal reasons that might make me want to lock my children away from contact with strangers. Nevertheless, Calvin stays home alone while I take Hobbes to Karate, and he goes alone, by public transport, to have lunch with his father.

 

Laura

 

I completely agree with this. In the States, my kids are the only ones who freely ride their bikes (together) to the park to play, which is a mere block away. I really don't think it's necessary that I sit at the park with 10yos! They literally play outside for 3-5 hours every day, either on the street somewhere, at the park, or in the yard.

 

Here in Hong Kong it's even better for them--safer in almost every way. In fact, that will be one of the hardest adjustments to make when we move back. I love not having to worry, and the kids have sure gotten used to freedom and responsibility.

 

As to leaving them home alone, at this point I'd rather leave just one of them--together they cook up more mischief! ;)

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I agree that perception can play a big part of why some people are OVERprotective. And idiots that don't know how to parent or communicate w/ their kids ABOUND whether they be overprotective or ridiculously permissive. But i still maintain there's a huge difference between minimizing risks and "cosseting" till your kid is unable to ACT. And a lot of whether an activity is safe for one and unsafe for another really does boil down to the area and kid involved.

 

Blanket statements are a pet peeve of *mine* lol.

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We've done some things to help keep the odds a bit more in our favor.

 

Last Christmas we bought my ds10 a set of Uniden two-way walkie-talkies (or are they radios? I'm a bit fuzzy on what they are technically). Anyway, my ds10 takes one with him and I keep one on at home when he rides his bike to the store (it has about a 2 - 3 mile range - or at least that's as far as I'll let my son go by himself!). He takes one if he and his sister go to the park at the end of the block. He even takes one if we're all riding bikes because he likes to ride on ahead so far that he is not in visual range.

 

We've also talked about what to do if there was a problem. We have neighbors who are "on-call" to help in the event there is a problem and I'm not home (usually only 30 - 45 min. max.)

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I'm old fashioned. My mother wouldn't have (she used to say "the fridge could fall on you"), and thus I won't. Mistakes the kid could make having to do with *things* like gas, electricity, etc are far more common than stranger danger.

 

When ever I can't think of a good reason to counter my mother's path, I follow it. It is my form of "conservatism".

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You have got to know the kid. I have kids that I left home alone at 10 for brief periods of time. I have kids that were still too squirrelly at 13 for me to leave them alone without at least an older sibling. I have two kids close in age and when I left them alone, I went over the rules and what-to-dos with the younger one because I KNEW that if anything happened the older one would be helpless and the younger one would be handling it!!!

 

I just got to the point, very recently, that I will leave my almost 13 year old alone for very brief trips out. I will leave his 8 year old brother in his care if I can be sure that they will be alone for no more 15 minutes or so. Until now the almost 13 year old was just too squirrelly!

 

There is no absolute here, you have got to know the kid.

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You can't short-circuit every risk in life. I probably would have done something similar with a child at home.

 

I am extra-careful though in certain cases. We have a neighbor who periodically leaves their child in the care of a brother-in-law that I don't like, so when our children play, I'm out in the yard "busy." When my son need to go to the restroom at the park, I let him use the men's room, but he makes sure that no one is in there first and knows to come right out if someone is. I'm involved in every activity that they're involved in so that I know the adults, the hangers-on, and what the tone is, even if it means that I sit and read a book. Because of this policy we've actually dropped out of some activities that others thought were "great" because I knew that the adults were not in control and things were going on that were red flags.

 

You can't do it perfectly, but as an adult you do need to intervene at times.

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My 11 yo frequently stays at home by himself for up to two hours and does well. I would worry more if I felt like I couldn't trust him to know the right things to do (and not do). We're big on teamwork in our family and this is another way we let him know we depend on him, which makes him take his responsibilities/privileges v-e-r-y seriously.

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It has absolutely nothing to do with stranger-danger, though. It has everything to do with the fact that this kid doesn't THINK and obeys every impulse he has. He'd burn the house down, I'm sure.

 

I was leaving my ten year olds alone for quick trips - like I would run one to his swim team practice and come right back so the other would be there for 20 minutes or so alone. And I felt fine with that - my sons are reasonable calm and I feel like I can count on them to follow rules.

 

However, there have been several break-ins in my neighborhood recently - mostly into garages and cars. I do worry that I will leave and one of the many workmen in the area (people tending lawns, blowing leaves, doing repairs - it seems like there is a constant stream of them in this neighborhood because apparently we are the only people who will cut their own lawn or rake their own leaves) and attempt to get into the garage. I just don't want to take the risk that that will happen to our house when a kid is here alone.

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I've never understood why most parents think an 8 year old can ride around the neighborhood on a bike, but that an 11 year old is not considered old enough to stay at home alone.

 

I also think it's unwise to tell another family how old someone should be before staying home alone. Each family raises children differently. I read once on a forum where a woman was shocked that a 16 year old was allowed to be alone while her mother was out of town and Dad worked the night shift.

 

I think many parents are raising irresponsible teens who still act more like children (and so they assume other teens are as their own), but let's remember that there was a time when women commonly married at 16 -- or before. Some parents raise their children to be more mature and responsible at a younger age.

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If we shouldn't leave our children alone until ??? age how come places like the Red Cross offer babysitting classes to 12 year olds? I would certainly hope that a 12 year old babysitter has had some experience being left alone first.

 

In our state there is no clear law as to what age you can leave your child home. I based it on the maturity of my child. It's been my experience that if a child is uneasy being left at home alone, or even with an older sibling, they will let you know.

 

I'm in agreement with others who say we need to let our kids go into the world at some point. It's a very difficult thing to do as we spend their whole lives protecting them - and now they want to go/do what??? It's our job as parents to teach our children how to venture out safely, or stay at home safely, knowing that we can't guard against every little thing. I can't even do that for myself, how can I do it for my child?

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If you want to get technical and do risk assessment you might compare the likelihood that the child would be harmed at home alone to the chance that they would be harmed in a car acident when driven around. It's not pleasant to think about, but about 40,000 people die in car wrecks a year. So driving you kids around is not a risk free activity.

 

...and how many accidents happen in the home? :)

or "within three miles of home"? heh heh....

 

NOTHING is risk free. There are pros and cons to every scenario.

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You just knew I would pipe up in this one and for what it's worth--I completely agree with Joanne. But using her post, I'm going to expand on some things. And yes, fair warning--I am sure to say something to tick someone off.

 

"I won't let my kids play outside"........because of the fear of stranger abuduction. The chances of your kids being abducted by strangers are miniscule. They might *seem* larger due to how pretty, white, middle to upper class females are highlighted when they are abducted. But the reality? Protect your kids from abduction but not marrying and divorcing a person from another country, or with known to be boundaryless relatives, known mental illness.

 

 

Not only that, your chances of being struck by lighting are greater than being abducted (at least here). Everywhere else, your chances of your kid being abducted are less than your chances of being in a car accident. The statistics just do NOT match the fear. I am sure we are going to get some posts that say "Well, I'm not going to take the chance" or "better safe than sorry"--but I wonder if you realize how much damage you are doing to your child by constantly "locking them up" "just in case". We here all the time that homeschoolers are socially retarded (and please, no one attack me for using that word, ok), I wonder if you actually realize that your child is going to be a basket case by the time you get them out in the real world with all the "better safe than sorry'ing" you do to them.

 

"My kids can't use a public bathroom by themselves"......because of fear of molestation or murder. When this one comes up, someone enivitably knows someone who was hurt, killed or molested in a public restroom. In reality, the risk is minimal.

 

 

This peeves me. It really does. See above. And to be quite honest with you, an 8 year old boy is TOO OLD to be in the ladies room!! Six, I can understand. But 8? Please. Let that kid go to the bathroom on his own. I am so tired of shooing boys away from the stall because mommy couldn't let her baby boy go potty in the big boys bathroom because of her "fear". That's sure to peeve someone off, but I know I'm not the only one who is thinking it. Keep the 8 year olds OUT of the ladies room, it is unneccessary and RUDE!

 

"That is another reason I homeschool" ......... because of Columbine type school shootings. While I'll rally against the social quagmire and under responsiveness of parents and administration that create a Columbine, the chances of a public school shooting are tiny.

 

 

Bullhockey, baloney and bah humbug (since I can't what I'm really thinking). Columbine happened because two kids were bullied to live a painful existence in a school system were adminstrators didn't do their freaking job. In fact, read the stats and you will find out that MOST if not all of the situations like Columbine happened because of bullying and nothing being done about it! No, you don't homeschool because of Columbine, you homeschool because you CHOSE to keep your kids home and give them what you feel is a superior education. That has nothing to do with Columbine (or anything like it).

 

And while I am on this rant: Back off of us weirdos! Trench coats don't mean your kid is going to shoot up the school and being "goth" doesn't either. I'm tired of the stereotyping that occurs when these things happen. Why not try looking at the REAL problem or cause instead of "OMGZ A TRENCHCOAT WE's ALL GONNA DIEZ!!"

 

The real risks to our children are usually known to us; they are at our Thanksgiving Tables, leading our Youth Groups, teaching our kids in public school, Coaching our Little League. People who for whatever sick reason want to hurt your kids usually *build relationshp* with us and the kids, are known by us.

 

 

I just read a Dear Abbey today about a 16 yr old girl pregnant by her PASTOR!! A married, 45 yr old grandfather!! And **she** is afraid to tell because she "loves" him. Yes, nearly all perps are known to the victim and most are related in one way or another!!!!! Your kid has more of a chance being molested by Uncle Tim, than he does being abducted by a stranger, shot up at a school or Kidnapped at a Target bathroom!!

"Stranger danger" is counter productive. Teach kids how to protect themselves fully by honoring their "ick factor", by not making them interact with and especially touch or be touched by ANYONE against their preferences. And by teaching them the signs of people who are a risk.

 

 

"Stranger Danger" is stupid and an oxymoron! Most people, including some family, are strangers! And not only that, you teach the kid to avoid strangers, but it's ok to go to a Policeman or someone like that. HUH? Contradictory. "Stranger Danger" is an old, contradictory, and counter productive method of teaching your kids to be safe. Don't use it. Teach them common sense instead.

 

And also do your part by reporting to authorities, even and especially when the perpetrator is in your family. Usually by the time a child molestor is caught, many unreported incidents have already occured.

 

Exactly!! How many families lives have been ruined because no one wants to "upset" the family dynamic? Bullspit. Report Uncle Tim's rear end and pronto. I don't care if he is the Pastor of your "small town" church and you are afraid of the "gossip". Grow some **AHEMS** and tell those busy bodies to "sod off".

 

:)

 

And for the record, I leave both my 15 yr old and my 11 yr old home alone all the time. I'm not saying I am immune to anything happening, but we don't practice "stranger danger" either, we practice common sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(and for the record, this isn't a knock on the orignal discussion this jumped from. this is just me spouting off of Joanne's post and nothing more. So if you want to leave me a negative, at least have the guts to sign your name. I'll have more respect for you then)

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hee hee-- I'm not one for anonymity :-)-- can i rant too?

 

i will absolutely take exception to your call that a boy in the women's bathroom is RUDE-- I certainly don't think so. Of course, i don't think it's rude for boys to wear hats inside either --i think that "rule" shoulda gone the way of the arranged marriages.

 

you simply never know what situation or instincts arise to have a mom decide to keep her kids together in the bathroom. Again --a blanket rule on a scenario simply strikes me as wrong altogether. The rude part is when adults won't consider that each family may have very different values, rules, or situations at varying moments. So if you don't want us stereotyping your goth look, back off on your own stereotypes of what is rude and what isn't when it comes to a mom's decisions on how best her children should be cared for in any given instance :D

 

Just because a BOY happens to be in the women's bathroom w/ his FAMILY doesn't mean he will never be able to use the bathroom by himself. Surely you know that:rolleyes: i don't really expect any sane person to assume as much either --we're all too smart to fall prey to the extreme sweeping generalization based on our disagreement w/ ONE course of action.

 

You *know* that a mom who won't let her kids play outside unsupervised is not necessarily "locking them up". And if you don't know that, then you need to watch your assumptions.

 

And I for one DO homeschool for social reasons --not academic. It is absolutely not the publicized school shootings that I'm avoiding. If those were the only thing to worry about then I'd probably send them to school! No- it is the other 50 thousand negative social factors that i don't want my kids pummeled with on a daily basis.

 

For every scenario that is presented to us, we can practice being alert and defensive. No, not "see the whites of our eyes" freaked out defensive, but alert and defensive like a trained black belt who has practiced under close supervison to make sure their actions are true and strong. There are times when I happily send my 6yo into the bathroom alone. There are times when the hair on the back of my neck is standing up and everyone stays together. On one hand you want us to trust those instincts, and on the other hand you only want us to trust them *as far as YOU think reasonable* --you simply can't have both.

 

Again -- I do not make my decisions based on statistics, but on facts. as i mentioned previously, all those scenarios are simply *factual*. If you want to rely on statistics, that's fine! If you don't think your situations warrant the extra care- great!! Some of us see greater value for our own families in following a different course of action. Thank God this is still America and we HAVE the freedom to make those choices.

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one more:

 

" How many families lives have been ruined because no one wants to "upset" the family dynamic? Bullspit. Report Uncle Tim's rear end and pronto. I don't care if he is the Pastor of your "small town" church and you are afraid of the "gossip". Grow some **AHEMS** and tell those busy bodies to "sod off". "

 

AMEN. also-- There are a lot of unreported molestations because the families don't want to put their child through teh trauma of testifying. They are all too willing to put ANOTHER DOZEN KIDS through the TRAUMA of EXPERIENCING that molestation though. Now THAT pisses me off. Sorry --I would absolutely make my child testify --they would need counseling anyway, and at least by testifying SOME good can come from the horrible experience.

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Well since neither you nor I mince words, :), I'll see your cat claws with my fangs:

 

i will absolutely take exception to your call that a boy in the women's bathroom is RUDE-- I certainly don't think so. Of course, i don't think it's rude for boys to wear hats inside either --i think that "rule" shoulda gone the way of the arranged marriages.

Just because a BOY happens to be in the women's bathroom w/ his FAMILY doesn't mean he will never be able to use the bathroom by himself. Surely you know that i don't really expect any sane person to assume as much either --we're all too smart to fall prey to the extreme sweeping generalization based on our disagreement w/ ONE course of action.

 

Of course just because a boy is in the female restroom doesn't mean he can't use one by himself or will never learn, but you and I will just have to disagree on this one--it is flat out rude to have that old of a child in a woman's restroom (just as it would be to have a girl that age in a men's). I do NOT want some nosey 8 yr old going "mommy what's she doing in there" or "what's all this bloody stuff" or peeking under the flipping stall just because mommy left him standing outside the stall while she pees. Of course, this does apply to any child whose mother can't teach them to NOT peek under the stalls, but it is just flat out rude. It has nothing to do with family dynamics and you know that. I do not want to walk in to a public restroom and see an 8 yr old boy in there, period.

 

And I'm not talking about the new fandangled Family Restrooms at some malls now. I'm talking a straight forward, good old fashioned, standard public restroom. And to be quite honest with you(when have I ever not been?) I don't give two sods about your family values when I've got to poop. I don't say that to be rude, but c'mon Peek, you cannot honestly expect me to wander in to a non-family restroom, needing to really go and finding an 8 yr old standing there, acceptable. I can't and I won't. There is absolutely zero reason for an 8 yr old or older to be in the ladies room!

 

You *know* that a mom who won't let her kids play outside unsupervised is not necessarily "locking them up". And if you don't know that, then you need to watch your assumptions.

 

If you are speaking of you, then I wouldn't say YOU are locking them up. But I happen to know many, many moms who prefer to keep their kids locked up as opposed to being outside and being a kid. I am sure you know an equal number who don't do this, so it isn't about assumptions either--it's about what we know. And I happen to know at least 300 families that ONLY allow their kids to play with 1) other Christian homeschool kids, 2) Other homeschool kids and NOT the kids in their neighborhood 3) only in supervised, Christian Homeschool activities and nothing else. And yes, that number is accurate. This, too me, gives homeschooling a really bad name and does a disservice to the children. You've got the "leave and cleave" (or something like that) at some point in time.

 

And I for one DO homeschool for social reasons --not academic. It is absolutely not the publicized school shootings that I'm avoiding. If those were the only thing to worry about then I'd probably send them to school! No- it is the other 50 thousand negative social factors that i don't want my kids pummeled with on a daily basis.

 

I can't say I disagree with this or even agree with this. I'm pretty sure homeschoolers, in general, are parted down the middle on this one. *I* homeschool purely for academic reasons, with social only last on the list. For me, what some homeschoolers consider "bad" about the PS, I really don't see as negative. Out of those 300 families, I can tell you that most of them do homeschool for religious, and for the whole "columbine" (that's a general term for anything like that) thing.

 

 

you simply never know what situation or instincts arise to have a mom decide to keep her kids together in the bathroom. Again --a blanket rule on a scenario simply strikes me as wrong altogether. The rude part is when adults won't consider that each family may have very different values, rules, or situations at varying moments. So if you don't want us stereotyping your goth look, back off on your own stereotypes of what is rude and what isn't when it comes to a mom's decisions on how best her children should be cared for in any given instance

 

Here's the kicker: I find this whole "mommy instinct" overrated. And not overrated in the sense that we have a tendency to be able to tell when something bad is about to happen---something truly bad. But overrated in the sense that the media and other "places of interest" have fed into the fear of something bad happening that everyone is on (my favorite word) the "OMGZ" kick. It's reactionary and serves no useful purpose. Put it to you this way, if we were in a crisis situation and I am being faced with someone screaming "OMGZ" all over the place, I'm going to put you out of your (and my) misery. :) Panic, especially needless panic, serves no purpose whatsoever.

 

Do I blame the moms for this? No. Honestly I don't. But I do hold them accountable for their own actions and if their first action is "OMGZ"--I'm shooting ya. :)~~

 

As for the whole Goth thing--Peek you've known me how long now? You should know by now (and I think we were on the boards together when it happened) that I do not like name calling, pigeonholing, or stereotyping. The whole Columbine thing was reacted upon by nothing more than reactionary "OMGZ" behavior. Panic for no reason. Anyone caught wearing a trench coat was automatically assumed to be "armed and dangerous". WRONG. And you know it. Therefore, you can't tell me to back off the assumption of the whole Goth thing by comparing it to an 8 yr old boy using the ladies restroom. That's apples to oranges--one thing has nothing to do with the other.

 

Again--I'm not talking about family restrooms (I've seen them and been in them, they are quite nice, but they are also VERY private), I'm talking about run of the mill bathrooms in public places. Girl or boy--an 8yr old has no place being in a men's/women's restroom (when occupied by that sex--empty is another story).

 

Now, which side of your neck do you want me to sink my fangs in? ;)

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<snip>

This peeves me. It really does. See above. And to be quite honest with you, an 8 year old boy is TOO OLD to be in the ladies room!! Six, I can understand. But 8? Please. Let that kid go to the bathroom on his own. I am so tired of shooing boys away from the stall because mommy couldn't let her baby boy go potty in the big boys bathroom because of her "fear". That's sure to peeve someone off, but I know I'm not the only one who is thinking it. Keep the 8 year olds OUT of the ladies room, it is unneccessary and RUDE!

 

One thing I do want to say here is that you can't always tell how old kids are just by looking at them. My friend's five year old is bigger than my 9 year old. She's had women gripe at her for having him in the women's room but he's only 5.

I just read a Dear Abbey today about a 16 yr old girl pregnant by her PASTOR!! A married, 45 yr old grandfather!! And **she** is afraid to tell because she "loves" him. Yes, nearly all perps are known to the victim and most are related in one way or another!!!!! Your kid has more of a chance being molested by Uncle Tim, than he does being abducted by a stranger, shot up at a school or Kidnapped at a Target bathroom!!

I wanted to add to this (and I'm not just responding to this post but some of the other posts). I think this is a good point. However, I really think we have to go farther than that (I have a 12 year old girl and haven't done a good enough job, either but it's something I wanted to open for discussion). I have many women friends who have told me the "lost their virginity" as young as 12. *To this day* many of them say they wanted it, they loved the boy, they were slutty, (some have guilt feelings and some don't) and *do not* see it as molestation. It was the post mentioning "icky" touching (or something like that) that made me think of this. Anyone who touches them in that way-even if it feels good (physically or emotionally)-at that age is taking advantage of them and is in the wrong.
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That's apples to oranges--one thing has nothing to do with the other.

 

 

I gotta say, EVERYone claims the apples to oranges thing when they think that THEY are right and the other person is wrong. It always sounds like a cop out to me. :)

Broad generalizations are broad generalizations. Family choices are family choices. I understand being annoyed by boys in the restroom looking under the stalls- but *I* would call the parent on that one, I'd announce LOUDLY :D "Will the mother of the boy who is peeking underneath the stalls PLEASE refrain your child or REMOVE him from the WOMEN'S restroom" :D (uh-oh, I've used three smilies already, Yikes, plus I used a quote- my limit is up)

I would rather assume positive intent with everyone though- instead of automatically being offended (I said I'd *rather*, I didn't say I have been successful at achieving this state of grace LOL). Maybe the mom is out with the kids by herself, and maybe the child has some "problem" and needs help in the restroom, or maybe child is not capable of responsibly waiting outside the restroom while mom pees, or maybe they are having issues with an ex-husband stalking them, or maybe... you get the point.

We shouldn't assume that any person wearing a trench coat will try to kill everyone in the surrounding area LOL, and we shouldn't assume that every 8yob in a woman's restroom is going to be ill-behaved and shouldn't be allowed in there period.

JMNSHO

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Ok, I have to say my ds(now 10) has gone in the men's bathroom either with dh or by himself since about age 7. But about six months ago, he was in there and came flying out. He got "weird vibes" from a man who was in there (though nothing beyond that). I absolutely let him go into the women's with me that one time (he couldn't hold it). I tell him to trust his instincts. It's the same for me if I hesitate to get on an elevator because I have weird vibes from someone in there. I may be reading them totally wrong, but I'd rather be a bit paranoid than a statistic. But the caveat to all this is that common sense still rules. I don't teach my ds to be paranoid and I don't let myself be paranoid either!

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Ok, I have to say my ds(now 10) has gone in the men's bathroom either with dh or by himself since about age 7. But about six months ago, he was in there and came flying out. He got "weird vibes" from a man who was in there (though nothing beyond that). I absolutely let him go into the women's with me that one time (he couldn't hold it). I tell him to trust his instincts. It's the same for me if I hesitate to get on an elevator because I have weird vibes from someone in there. I may be reading them totally wrong, but I'd rather be a bit paranoid than a statistic. But the caveat to all this is that common sense still rules. I don't teach my ds to be paranoid and I don't let myself be paranoid either!

 

I agree with following your instincts as well. I think it's very important not to let your rational side talk you out of your instincts all of the time. Instincts are there for a reason. My mom tells the following story any time this comes up:

 

She was going to visit my grandmother (her MIL) at the hospital. My grandmother collected miniatures and so my mom stopped by this mall on her way that had a miniature store. It was early Sunday afternoon and the mall wasn't open yet. It was full of families and people milling around waiting for the stores to open. Suddenly she thought "DANGER!" Her rational side said: "what? It's Sunday, there are all these families in here, there's no danger." However, her brain kept saying "DANGER! DANGER!" She couldn't get it out of her head so she left. Later that day on the news they talked about a woman who was kidnapped from that mall and murdered. When they showed the guy's picture, my mom recognized him, she had seen him at the mall.

 

Also, my own instincts have *never* been wrong when it comes to thinking people were creepy. So, I will trust my instincts and teach my children to do the same.

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This peeves me. It really does. See above. And to be quite honest with you, an 8 year old boy is TOO OLD to be in the ladies room!! Six, I can understand. But 8? Please. Let that kid go to the bathroom on his own. I am so tired of shooing boys away from the stall because mommy couldn't let her baby boy go potty in the big boys bathroom because of her "fear". That's sure to peeve someone off, but I know I'm not the only one who is thinking it. Keep the 8 year olds OUT of the ladies room, it is unneccessary and RUDE!

 

Huh. Thanks for telling me how to parent. Honestly, you probably wouldn't bat an eye if you ran into my 8.5 year old in the bathroom with me. Because he looks 5. Same for my 7 year old. My 5 year old looks 5, but by 4 year old looks 2. Don't assume you know other people's thoughts and motivations--especially if you've not been in their situation. FWIW, if I have 2 out with me (including one of the older boys), I let them go in the bathroom without me. But I won't let them go alone--they still appear too young. Heh--I imagine any guys in the bathroom who see my very tiny 4 year old that looks 2 come in with his 8 year old brother who looks 5 must wonder why I wouldn't take them into the women's restroom with me.

 

Can't win for losin'.

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I agree with following your instincts as well. I think it's very important not to let your rational side talk you out of your instincts all of the time. Instincts are there for a reason. mall.

 

 

 

The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift deal with that sort of thing.

 

I did not see all the posts but judging by some of the responses I am guessing that the consesus is that 8 year old boys in the ladies room is a no-no.

 

My 8 year old goes in the ladies room with me unless my 12 year old is there to take him in the mens room. If one wanted to make an issue of it they could, he is very tall and he looks like any other kid. But because of his special needs he cannot make good judgements and could be easily led astray or hurt. He behaves, he is no problem, but if anyone ever made an issue of it that would have this Mama Bear to deal with. I am usually a nice person, but....this is my child and I know what is best.

 

And when I see other parents with their kids doing the parenting thing differently than I do, I assume that they know best for their child(ren) too.

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Well, j.griff, MY facts can beat up your facts cuz mine have fangs. :)

 

And you guys are arguing with me as though I'm not taking into consideration things like a child who obviously has problems (and I ain't talking about my kids) cuz I fairly certain my radar for that is pretty keen and I wouldn't complain about a young man in the ladies room who obviously appears to be needing help.

 

And yes, I have spoken up, you think *I* wouldn't? :) One day, I'll tell you about the time I was almost arrested for telling a mother to keep her peeping tom of a child out of my bathroom stall. :)

 

I'd rather not see a child who CAN handle himself in the men's room just fine, be in the ladies room over getting arrested cuz momma thinks her "little one" should get whatevertheheck he wants.

 

And I'm sorry some feel it is appropriate for a perfectly normal 8 yr old boy to be in the ladies room. I don't and I don't apologize for it. I don't agree that a girl should be in the men's room either. And yes, if you bring out "mamma bear" because I'm tired of seeing your kid peeking under my stall, you and me WILL have issues. And only one of us will walk away from it.

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Well, j.griff, MY facts can beat up your facts cuz mine have fangs. :)

 

And you guys are arguing with me as though I'm not taking into consideration things like a child who obviously has problems (and I ain't talking about my kids) cuz I fairly certain my radar for that is pretty keen and I wouldn't complain about a young man in the ladies room who obviously appears to be needing help.

 

And yes, I have spoken up, you think *I* wouldn't? :) One day, I'll tell you about the time I was almost arrested for telling a mother to keep her peeping tom of a child out of my bathroom stall. :)

 

I'd rather not see a child who CAN handle himself in the men's room just fine, be in the ladies room over getting arrested cuz momma thinks her "little one" should get whatevertheheck he wants.

 

And I'm sorry some feel it is appropriate for a perfectly normal 8 yr old boy to be in the ladies room. I don't and I don't apologize for it. I don't agree that a girl should be in the men's room either. And yes, if you bring out "mamma bear" because I'm tired of seeing your kid peeking under my stall, you and me WILL have issues. And only one of us will walk away from it.

 

you're making the assumption that you can judge who is perfectly normal and who isn't. You're assuming you know the parent's motives, you're assuming you know the family's history.

 

That's a lot of assumptions.

 

But I'd Rex-Kwon-Do any of mine who peeked under the stall. Heck, I usually get the handicapped stall and make them all face the wall with their hands in the air (no looking/no touching anything).

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But I'd Rex-Kwon-Do any of mine who peeked under the stall. Heck, I usually get the handicapped stall and make them all face the wall with their hands in the air (no looking/no touching anything).

 

Sorry Peek, someone usurped your "cool mom" thingy.. Rex-Quon-Do, whatever it is, rocks. :)

 

I have no doubts that you would speak up, LOL. But do you honestly have a "radar" for detecting single moms with crazy ex-husband stalkers? Or is it just a general "radar" that can miraculously detect any and all extenuating circumstances?

 

All kidding aside, I am pretty good at "reading" people. I think if I walked in to a bathroom and saw a child who had Down's Syndrome, I'd obviously NOT complain, even if that child was peeking under my stall. LIkewise, if I walk in and see some kid rocking back and forth, Rain Man style, I can safely assume he could be autistic.

 

Even more so, just because the kid doesn't look like that or isn't doing that, doesn't mean nothing is wrong with him. But if I walk in to a bathroom and I see a kid who looks the part and is acting the part and is NOT behaving, I'm not going to be happy.

 

I've got more "get that kid out of here" experiences than I do "he's behaving" ones. And I stand by what I said. If the kid is behaving, it's likely I won't even notice him. But that hasn't ever happened to me, so....

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And I'm sorry some feel it is appropriate for a perfectly normal 8 yr old boy to be in the ladies room. I don't and I don't apologize for it. I don't agree that a girl should be in the men's room either. And yes, if you bring out "mamma bear" because I'm tired of seeing your kid peeking under my stall, you and me WILL have issues. And only one of us will walk away from it.

 

 

Well, someone quoted you and I got curious enough to take you off the ignore list for half a minute because if I line up the above quote and my most recent post I would swear, by the choice of words in the above quote, that you are taking a shot at me.

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And I stand by what I said. If the kid is behaving, it's likely I won't even notice him. But that hasn't ever happened to me, so....

 

But how do you KNOW it "hasn't ever happened" to you? You just said you likely won't even NOTICE him if "he" is behaving, LOL. :p :D ;)

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But how do you KNOW it "hasn't ever happened" to you? You just said you likely won't even NOTICE him if "he" is behaving, LOL. :p :D ;)

Which is why I make perfectly wonderful sense (where's the tongue smilies?)!! I mean, c'mon, I AM genius and going to take over the world some day. ;)

 

Aside----- you are correct, if I don't know he's there, then he likely wasn't, or was and I didn't know it... man, my head hurts... But that's my whole point, if I notice he's there, I'm saying something, then we will end up in the parking lot and someone's gonna get road rash.. and well, it wouldn't be pretty.(darn that 4 smiley rule!)

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Aside----- you are correct, if I don't know he's there, then he likely wasn't, or was and I didn't know it... man, my head hurts... But that's my whole point, if I notice he's there, I'm saying something, then we will end up in the parking lot and someone's gonna get road rash.. and well, it wouldn't be pretty.(darn that 4 smiley rule!)

 

So what you are saying here, is that if you and I ever meet in a ladies room and I have my 8 year old son with me, there is a chance that you are going to confront me. And that when I defend my son and my right to have him with me according to my judgement as his mother, then you are going assault me in the parking lot? Am I reading you correctly?

 

I don't know whether to pray it never happens, or pray that you find your way to Tennessee and need to use the restroom. I don't know Florida law, but in Tennessee that sort of bad behavior is against the law.

 

And this kind of bull is exactly why I was so excited about the ignore function.

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So what you are saying here, is that if you and I ever meet in a ladies room and I have my 8 year old son with me, there is a chance that you are going to confront me. And that when I defend my son and my right to have him with me according to my judgement as his mother, then you are going assault me in the parking lot? Am I reading you correctly?

 

I don't know whether to pray it never happens, or pray that you find your way to Tennessee and need to use the restroom. I don't know Florida law, but in Tennessee that sort of bad behavior is against the law.

 

And this kind of bull is exactly why I was so excited about the ignore function.

If you feel the need to ignore me because my opinion is so vastly different from yours, then please entertain me and do so.

 

Otherwise, what a wonderful way to twist words around. No, what I'm saying is if you bring your perfectly normal 8 yr old into the restroom and I NOTICE him --as in, he is misbehaving, he is looking under stalls, he is ticking me off, YES--you had better believe I'm going to confront you and tell you to take your perfectly capable of using the restroom on his own--OUT. And if you don't, I'll contact a manager. The only way we are going to end up in the parking lot (assault you? HA! What a crock) is if you lay a hand on me first. If you don't, you walk away fine.

 

Otherwise, if your kid is behaving and is NOT doing those things, it's likely I won't ever notice him.

 

You make the first move, Kelli. You want to bring out "mama bear" and defend your son's perceived right to be in the ladies room, and you get wacked out with me, we've got problems.. If you handle like an adult and simply apologize for his behavior and remove yourself, I won't even think twice about you.

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If you feel the need to ignore me because my opinion is so vastly different from yours, then please entertain me and do so.

 

.

 

 

There are many, many people on this board who have opinions vastly different from mine. I enjoy the variety of views, I could easily be friends with any of them because, based on their posting history, they are kind, tolerant, level-headed, and intelligent. I am not bothered by opinions that are different.

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There are many, many people on this board who have opinions vastly different from mine. I enjoy the variety of views, I could easily be friends with any of them because, based on their posting history, they are kind, tolerant, level-headed, and intelligent. I am not bothered by opinions that are different.

And if you dared to know me, I am all of those things as well. I just don't sugar coat anything as I feel it is very delusional to believe in only the sugar coated answers, rather than the truth.

 

And:

YOU sound juvenile all the time.

 

I'm juvenile when you can't even sign your name? HA! Again, it means nothing to me unless you sign your name. Yet another reason the "rep points" are useless.

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Sigh... Kelli, kelli...

 

I quoted you ONCE and only once. If you don't have a guilty conscience, then why would you think I quoted you a second time? There was no name attached to the second quote, and since I mentioned Rep Points, I would think you would have figured out that I wasn't speaking to you on that.

 

If this person had signed their name, of course, the confusion wouldn't have occurred.

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JudoMom- Rex-Kwon-Do, HA!!! That made me laugh. :D

 

Man, I wish I had the ability to guess everyone's cognitive function, IQ, emotional state and age so that I could judge their behavior appropriately. It would make me feel so much less guilty for not giving grace when I know I could and should. ;)

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