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sheryl

Flustered neighbor kids walking home at 9:30 pm!!!

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20 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I was babysitting at 11 too, and see no problem with the girls walking home as described in the OP. 

Me, too, on both of these. Of course, my mom left my 3 or 4 yr old brother home while she went on a Parade of Homes (way before cell phones). She justified it by saying she'd left the phone numbers of the houses on the route for him.

My kids aren't as free roaming as some, but OP might be worried about mine sometimes with what I allow them to do in our small town.

@sheryl I'm glad you are concerned about the kids in your neighborhood. But, your actions would have freaked my kids out more than walking home in the dark a handful of familiar blocks ever could.

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24 minutes ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

 

I wonder if this happens sometimes out of habit. You've always had to get a babysitter, and you fail to realize there's a point you don't need to do that any longer. 

Exactly. I also think it was the excuse they used when they didn’t want to really go and don’t realize it doesn’t work anymore.

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9 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

I absolutely believe whole-heartedly that this is the case. From a counseling perspective, the "good enough parent"( i.e. the one who doesn't over or under worry about their kids by over catastrophizing every event or the other side, setting no boundaries) end up with the most well-adjusted and capable kids. It also results in kids with more confidence, more socially adjusted, better problem solving, less anxiety and depression...the list goes on. If I feel anxious about my kids doing a low risk event that is on me and not them. I need to find a way to deal with my anxiousness and not create it in them. 

I'm thinking that what may look like a parent passing anxiety to their kid because of the parent's words and actions may actually be a case of anxious tendencies being passed down genetically.

I'm a pretty low anxiety person and a fairly laid back but consistent parent. I also do 99.9% of the parenting in this household; if anxiety or lack of anxiety in children were predominantly a matter of nurture my children ought to be low anxiety kids.

But they're not; six of my seven kids have significant anxiety. Their dad has anxiety. Most of dad's siblings and some of my siblings struggle with anxiety. There is some kind of very strong genetic predisposition towards anxiety going on in this family.

Edited by maize
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1 hour ago, maize said:

I'm thinking that what may look like a parent passing anxiety to their kid because of the parent's words and actions may actually be a case of anxious tendencies being passed down genetically.

I'm a pretty low anxiety person and a fairly laid back but consistent parent. I also do 99.9% of the parenting in this household; if anxiety or lack of anxiety in children were predominantly a matter of nurture my children ought to be low anxiety kids.

But they're not; six of my seven kids have significant anxiety. Their dad has anxiety. Most of dad's siblings and some of my siblings struggle with anxiety. There is some kind of very strong genetic predisposition towards anxiety going on in this family.

Of course. It is never nature or nurture. It always falls somewhere in between. If you think of genetics as a predisposition or resiliency factor you could say that your consistent and calm parenting has probably led to your predisposed kids being less anxious than they may have been otherwise. For those not predisposed to anxiety but also without any genetic resilience towards it, certain parenting can create it. We truly are a balance of our genes and what our parents do with those genes.

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I agree with the general opinion of the thread.  I would have been (as kid or parent) WAY more freaked out by a car slowing down and stopping by the kids while they walked.  

I have to fight hard against irrational fears when it comes to child safety, but I do fight, because I know it is healthier for my kids to be given reasonable freedom in the reasonably safe area where we live.  It helps that culturally, this is the norm here.  

 

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On 2/2/2019 at 10:03 AM, SKL said:

Around that age I told my kids to walk home from sports practice on a summer afternoon. They got to the corner leaving the rec center when a man pulled up and told them he thought it was unsafe for them to walk home.  I don't remember if he offered them a ride or not, but they did not accept if he did.  The whole incident bugged them so much that they refused to walk home after that.  And that's just one example of healthy things my kids stopped doing because of other people's comments or looks.

 

If a strange man had pulled up next to my young daughters, I would have been more creeped out about it than they were!  

Our local police want people to contact them if a stranger in a car approaches their children.

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22 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Exactly. I also think it was the excuse they used when they didn’t want to really go and don’t realize it doesn’t work anymore.

 

Also, some kids have special needs or impulse control issues, and they really might need supervision later than is average. No big deal.

But don't assume MY child is the same way.

I had a lady freak out in the grocery store parking lot at me a couple weeks ago because I left the kids alone in the car to bring the cart to the cart corral. Three cars away. They were buckled in and my older dd is ten and looks fourteen. She actually clutched her nonexistent pearls and gasped. It was ridiculous.

Edited by Mergath
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29 minutes ago, Mergath said:

 

Also, some kids have special needs or impulse control issues, and they really might need supervision later than is average. No big deal.

But don't assume MY child is the same way.

I had a lady freak out in the grocery story parking lot at me a couple weeks ago because I left the kids alone in the car to bring the cart to the cart corral. Three cars away. They were buckled in and my older dd is ten and looks fourteen. She actually clutched her nonexistent pearls and gasped. It was ridiculous.

Nevermind that they were much safer in a parked car for those few seconds (a car which you probably locked so no one could snatch them in while you were 100 feet away) rather than the little one sitting in the cart that could roll while Mom is putting heavy bags in the car or hit by an errant driver who wasn't paying attention.

Sometimes you can't win public opinion no matter what you do.

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23 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

I absolutely believe whole-heartedly that this is the case. From a counseling perspective, the "good enough parent"( i.e. the one who doesn't over or under worry about their kids by over catastrophizing every event or the other side, setting no boundaries) end up with the most well-adjusted and capable kids. It also results in kids with more confidence, more socially adjusted, better problem solving, less anxiety and depression...the list goes on. If I feel anxious about my kids doing a low risk event that is on me and not them. I need to find a way to deal with my anxiousness and not create it in them. 

 

Yeah, this is what I think.  I don't think it''s mainly the specific skills the kids learn - like using the bus, or making a meal, or whatever.  It's the experience of autonomy and having to solve problems alone and managing, even if it doesn't turn out perfectly.  Like, you get lost or get on the wrong bus, or lose your bus ticket - so what do you do?  Or the supper doesn't work out, or......

I kind of think the cell phone has also had a negative effect on this kind of experience for young people.  

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5 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I agree with the general opinion of the thread.  I would have been (as kid or parent) WAY more freaked out by a car slowing down and stopping by the kids while they walked.  

I have to fight hard against irrational fears when it comes to child safety, but I do fight, because I know it is healthier for my kids to be given reasonable freedom in the reasonably safe area where we live.  It helps that culturally, this is the norm here.  

 

 

This is important I think, because while it is true that it is ok for people to have different thresholds for their own kids, and that will in part depend on the kids themselves who may be quite different from each other, if the whole culture becomes overly anxious or restrictive, that affects how everyone feels.  In a super-controlled culture, which seems common now in North America, even the more flexible parents may be very strict, and it affects the kids.

I think many parents have fear or are nervous when their oldest child starts to do new things alone.  It's really helpful to see other kids doing those things, to have it generally accepted that other adults won't think it is weird or bad.  

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8 hours ago, Valley Girl said:

Nevermind that they were much safer in a parked car for those few seconds (a car which you probably locked so no one could snatch them in while you were 100 feet away) rather than the little one sitting in the cart that could roll while Mom is putting heavy bags in the car or hit by an errant driver who wasn't paying attention.

Sometimes you can't win public opinion no matter what you do.

 

Not even a hundred feet. Maybe twenty. And I could see my kids in the car the whole way.

That woman seriously needs to unclench her butt.  

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10 hours ago, Mergath said:

 

Also, some kids have special needs or impulse control issues, and they really might need supervision later than is average. No big deal.

But don't assume MY child is the same way.

I had a lady freak out in the grocery store parking lot at me a couple weeks ago because I left the kids alone in the car to bring the cart to the cart corral. Three cars away. They were buckled in and my older dd is ten and looks fourteen. She actually clutched her nonexistent pearls and gasped. It was ridiculous.

What!?! It makes more sense to keep kids in a car instead of managing them in a parking lot with moving cars just to return the cart for 15 seconds! 

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When DS was 11 years old, we had a boy scout meeting out our house on the day of the town's holiday parade which would pass on the cross street which we were five houses down from.  Traffic was closed on the busy cross street with a barricade up and police officers at the corner.  We were getting ready to head off to the parade when one of the mothers started running through my dining room screaming, "They went out without an adult!!!"  Yes, the boys had walked out onto the porch (along with my 14 year old daughter) while the closest parent was still in the house  about 10 feet from the open front door.  The mother could not believe that an 11 year old boy would be able to step outside without an adult in the lead!!!  

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On 2/2/2019 at 6:17 PM, Frances said:

Many 12 year old are paid babysitters, so they are being left alone to care for other kids.

Were they walking on the road or the grass? 

It is illegal here under 14 but there is no way I would leave a 12 or 14 year old in charge of kids unless I was within walking distance.  One of my friends put a pillow over a toddlers face to shut them up when she was 13 and baby sitting and my nearly 12 year old is dead and blind when watching YouTube.  Also if something did happen and the babysitter mishandled it because they were not mature enough they would possibly be damaged emotionally for life.

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12 minutes ago, kiwik said:

It is illegal here under 14 but there is no way I would leave a 12 or 14 year old in charge of kids unless I was within walking distance.  One of my friends put a pillow over a toddlers face to shut them up when she was 13 and baby sitting and my nearly 12 year old is dead and blind when watching YouTube.  Also if something did happen and the babysitter mishandled it because they were not mature enough they would possibly be damaged emotionally for life.

 

I think this is more about knowing your child than 13-14yos in general. We 'recruited' a child last summer for DD to 'babysit', in our home, while I was present, because we had none in our immediate circle for her to work with. While she had questions about exactly HOW to get a 2yo down for a nap, she did great! She's also CPR trained/certified. We typically follow military rules which are fairly conservative but also slow to change, meaning they represent a long-term constant. https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/404075.pdf

Edited by Sneezyone
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My girls were Red Cross certified to babysit when they were 11 years old. This included a week of training, a written test and a cpr/heimlich test.

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15 hours ago, Bootsie said:

When DS was 11 years old, we had a boy scout meeting out our house on the day of the town's holiday parade which would pass on the cross street which we were five houses down from.  Traffic was closed on the busy cross street with a barricade up and police officers at the corner.  We were getting ready to head off to the parade when one of the mothers started running through my dining room screaming, "They went out without an adult!!!"  Yes, the boys had walked out onto the porch (along with my 14 year old daughter) while the closest parent was still in the house  about 10 feet from the open front door.  The mother could not believe that an 11 year old boy would be able to step outside without an adult in the lead!!!  

 

Speaking of scouts, my ds9 is a cub scout, and I so wish that they would let the kids walk to and from meetings.  It's a 7 min walk from our house, and most days he goes right to that building and back for a jog at some point anyway - he is totally capable of getting there and home.  As it is, when dh is away I have to pack up the baby in the cold to pick him up - I can't even wait in the car, I have to go in and get him.

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Nothing I see in your post would raise red flags.  DD was allowed to stay at home at 10; it was no biggie.  And 9:30 PM isn't exactly 2 AM.  I think it is one of those MYOB type situations, honestly.

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11 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Speaking of scouts, my ds9 is a cub scout, and I so wish that they would let the kids walk to and from meetings.  It's a 7 min walk from our house, and most days he goes right to that building and back for a jog at some point anyway - he is totally capable of getting there and home.  As it is, when dh is away I have to pack up the baby in the cold to pick him up - I can't even wait in the car, I have to go in and get him.

I used to drop my kids off, but that is frowned on.

But - the thing that bothers me most is the scout rule that girls can't go to the toilet without a "buddy."  Not even 17yos.  Really?  We need a serious sanity check.

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You overreacted. That is a perfectly reasonable age for a pair of kids to walk home to check on the dog.

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19 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Speaking of scouts, my ds9 is a cub scout, and I so wish that they would let the kids walk to and from meetings.  It's a 7 min walk from our house, and most days he goes right to that building and back for a jog at some point anyway - he is totally capable of getting there and home.  As it is, when dh is away I have to pack up the baby in the cold to pick him up - I can't even wait in the car, I have to go in and get him.

 

Honestly? I would let him walk to the meeting with a letter stating that he has parental permission to walk home after the meeting, that he can sign the attendance sheet for himself, and that if there is any information they need to provide to you, the parent, they have your email and phone number. The scout leaders are simply NOT responsible for him after the meeting is over. That is ridiculous.

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On 2/3/2019 at 8:03 PM, Bootsie said:

When DS was 11 years old, we had a boy scout meeting out our house on the day of the town's holiday parade which would pass on the cross street which we were five houses down from.  Traffic was closed on the busy cross street with a barricade up and police officers at the corner.  We were getting ready to head off to the parade when one of the mothers started running through my dining room screaming, "They went out without an adult!!!"  Yes, the boys had walked out onto the porch (along with my 14 year old daughter) while the closest parent was still in the house  about 10 feet from the open front door.  The mother could not believe that an 11 year old boy would be able to step outside without an adult in the lead!!!  

 

She'd have lost her mind on one of our pack's family campouts. The boys are required to have buddies, but are told how far they are allowed to roam in the area around the campsite...and then they do! Near a river, a cliff, or possibly hazardous wildlife, depending on the location. And IIRC, Boy Scouts work their way up to doing a solo hike at some point. Overnight.

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re: Scouts for the young ones they are expected to have a parent present to help, so even if they walk to and from on their own you would have to be there.

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17 minutes ago, soror said:

re: Scouts for the young ones they are expected to have a parent present to help, so even if they walk to and from on their own you would have to be there.

 

That is for Lions and Tigers. I.e., Kindergarten and first graders. The PP said her son was 9.

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8 hours ago, SKL said:

I used to drop my kids off, but that is frowned on.

But - the thing that bothers me most is the scout rule that girls can't go to the toilet without a "buddy."  Not even 17yos.  Really?  We need a serious sanity check.

 

That does sound lame, but it's good practice so that the buddy system is ingrained once they go on camp outs and such. It can be implemented in an unfair way...my DD was forced to go on a hike on her first encampment, when she really needed to rest, because none of the other girls were willing to be her buddy in the cabin during "free time." That was only one of the problems she had in that troop, though.

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Yeah I'm on the side of being much more worried about "concerned" neighbors than about what might happen to my child during five minutes unattended. And I would be weirded out if a neighbor stopped by for a "friendly chat" to tell me that my kids were safe, when they were only a couple minutes behind them.

The other day I stopped off at the UPS store to drop off an Amazon return. I parked right outside the front, and the whole thing is glass windows, and my five year old has a cold and isn't feeling well, and it was below freezing outside. I knew it would literally take less than a minute. Walk in, drop off the box, they ask "Do you want a receipt?" and I say, "No thanks!" and walk back out to the car. But I made her come in with me anyway. Not because I thought there was a chance of anything at all happening to her. But I thought there was a chance that someone might see her in there in the less than a minute I was outside, and call the police. I hate making decisions based on what people will think of me instead of what is actually best for my kid. (Snuggled up under her blanket in her car seat in a cold-but-recently-heated car was definitely better than getting out from under said blanket and walking inside.)

Even if the OP had no intention of calling the police or family services or whatever, those fears that you might do so would probably have occurred to the mom had you be able to have your "friendly chat." It's insane to me that parents have to live in fear of other people's fear of what "might have happened" but actually didn't.

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On 2/1/2019 at 10:00 PM, MistyMountain said:

Crime is actually down from when we were kids but the 24/7 media just does not make it seem that way. Sure we all heard of stories but statistically it is very rare for a stranger abduction to happen. There is no need for you to worry about those kids. It is your own worry and they are not yours to raise. The parents are not doing anything concerning.

 

In fact, I wonder if Dad was giving them deliberate independence in a controlled environment.  Send them together home then he'll follow a few minutes later.

 

We used extended care for our kids after school through 5th grade for my son. But I know kids that went home to an empty house starting 4th grade so their parents could save the cost.  (Older siblings got home later. But they were coming home alone to begin with)

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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This would be a non-issue in our neighborhood (and seriously, if this was bad to you, you'd be horrified of my own childhood :-D), but if I was super concerned, I'd have walked with the girls instead of driving ahead and showing up at their house to chat with their mom. That, to me, doesn't show worry for their well-being and safety on their walk home. 

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2 hours ago, Ravin said:

 

Honestly? I would let him walk to the meeting with a letter stating that he has parental permission to walk home after the meeting, that he can sign the attendance sheet for himself, and that if there is any information they need to provide to you, the parent, they have your email and phone number. The scout leaders are simply NOT responsible for him after the meeting is over. That is ridiculous.

 

I might ask them about it.  I don't want to put too much pressure on them - the scouting organisation here is really anal about that stuff, and the leaders can end up wearing it.  O the other hand, they have done better than the Guides 9girl scouts) in trying to keep the program challenging.  I think a lot of organisations find it a difficult line to walk, it's like you can't win either way.

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When my kids were little (from 8 years old up), I would rip the shopping list in half (or thirds) and we each had items to find and bring to the cart. I had to firmly but nicely educate store employees to keep them from freaking out and to give them proper customer service at places like the deli counter. We are a small city. Everyone knew whose kids they were. And everyone knew that I was only one or two aisles over. The kids  were well behaved and were doing a good job. 

Customers however were amazed and 90% complimentary. To the point where I had people with college aged kids seriously asking me how to teach their kids how to grocery shop. 

I only had one busybody that I had to watch out for. Ironically her son was my son’s best friend from age 8 to 10. But she obliquely threatened to call CPS on me because I wasn’t directly at my son’s side.  (Oblique because it wasn’t a direct “I am going to call CPS” but a threat because it was a “are you sure the authorities would allow such a thing?” with continued questioning about how much I supervised my kids.) I deflected her nicely (didn’t want to antagonize her) but I was super wary of her. 

I was able to let my kids have freedom because we had a nice “village “ to look after them. There was no danger of someone trying to take them out of the store when all store employees knew that they were my kids. The kids were comfortable asking employees for help at the deli counter because they knew the employees and were comfortable talking to them. They were safe walking down the block because they knew who lived in every house and while we had a policy not to go into houses, they could have knocked on any door for help. Having a village to watch out for them didn’t mean having a village to judge them and me and to hobble our attempts at learning independence. 

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

 

In fact, I wonder if Dad was giving them deliberate independence in a controlled environment.  Send them together home then he'll follow a few minutes later.

 

We used extended care for our kids after school through 5th grade for my son. But I know kids that went home to an empty house starting 4th grade so their parents could save the cost.  (Older siblings got home later. But they were coming home alone to begin with)

 

 

This is absolutely a matter of "know your kid." I was a summer "latchkey" kid from age 10 onward. My mom continued to put my younger sisters in child care over the summer and didn't routinely let them be home alone for long at all until they were in their upper teens. Especially together and without an older sibling around. The way she put her reasoning was, with me (her firstborn), her biggest worry with me home alone (while my sisters were at daycare) was that the house would burn down around me and I wouldn't notice because I had my nose in a book. With my sisters, the concern was more that they'd set the fire. 😋

Also, at 10 I was NOT cooped up in the house alone all day. As long as I called my mom to let her know where I'd be and called to check in when I got home again, I could go play at one of several friends' houses (one friend had a nanny, the other's mom was a teacher so home in summer), or go to the park or city pool a few blocks away (with friends or alone, I had a summer pass),  or go to the library (in which case I'd park my bicycle in the back of the print shop where my mom worked, which was across the street and half a block up an alley from the library), or go to the grocery store to buy candy (usually with friends, but sometimes alone). My boundaries were the 4-lane roads through town; I was not allowed to cross 23rd street, and could cross 4th only to go to the print shop/library. Other than that, I could also go for a bike ride and wander where I willed.

My kids will regularly go places together on public transit, and have since DD was about 12. DD started riding public transit to and from school alone at just shy of 11, in 6th grade. DS has been walking to school on his own since halfway through K, and home again on his own since the start of 1st grade. He has to go through our condo complex, cross 1 street,  and walk a block to get there. There's a park next to the school, and he started going there by himself occasionally when he was 5 1/2, until some nosy parker called the cops on him. Now, he's afraid to set foot outside our complex by himself because he's worried about being harassed by police. If not for his anxiety over this, he'd be allowed to roam anywhere within the 1/2-square mile bounds of 4-lane roads where our neighborhood is situated. By this coming summer I'd be encouraging him to go to the library on his own, if not for the policy that doesn't allow children under 12 to be in the library unaccompanied by an adult (his sister can't even take him to the library), since he'll be old enough to ride public transit independently at 8.

 

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 8:58 PM, sheryl said:

...I went to the house and knocked on the door thinking the mom was home b/c I didn't know it at the time.  The girls come down the street and said their mom is at work and their dad would be home in 5 min. I told them to go inside and lock the door.....

 

This is the only part that was the problem.   What did expect to accomplish by this?   I can't think of anything except to make yourself feel sanctimonious.  


 

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I have read many but not all replies due to redundancy.  The insults/snarky remarks, etc couched in personal opinion really does not ruffle my feathers at all.  If anything I'm more confident I made the right choice and would gladly do it again.  So, go ahead and throw those remarks around.  Each one confirms my decision! 🙂 

This thread is closed to me - content, motives, and everything pertaining to the original post were distorted.  I like to read threads where assumptions are NOT made about the post and the person is NOT misrepresented by other posters. Hmmm, talk about hypocrisy or sanctimony!  

My goodness, for those interested in character assassination, I care not and am done with this thread BUT I feel sorry for you.  I can only imagine what remarks this will get but I'm just.not.interested.    

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I don't recall seeing JAWM in the thread title.

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I don't quite understand why a whole bunch of people disagreeing with your actions would make you more confident in your decision, but ok. Character assassination seems way to dramatic for this conversation.

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My goodness, for those interested in character assassination, I care not and am done with this thread BUT I feel sorry for you.  I can only imagine what remarks this will get but I'm just.not.interested.    

 

Good to know...?

Piece of advice - the very best way to pull out of an unpleasant conversation is to do a fade, not to dramatically flounce. When you make a big stinky GOOD BYE everybody secretly suspects you're still reading along and care deeply, but if you just disappear than you and they can pretend something just came up and you couldn't be bothered anymore.

Edited by Tanaqui
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On 2/5/2019 at 9:07 AM, Jean in Newcastle said:

When my kids were little (from 8 years old up), I would rip the shopping list in half (or thirds) and we each had items to find and bring to the cart. I had to firmly but nicely educate store employees to keep them from freaking out and to give them proper customer service at places like the deli counter. We are a small city. Everyone knew whose kids they were. And everyone knew that I was only one or two aisles over. The kids  were well behaved and were doing a good job. 

Customers however were amazed and 90% complimentary. To the point where I had people with college aged kids seriously asking me how to teach their kids how to grocery shop. 

I only had one busybody that I had to watch out for. Ironically her son was my son’s best friend from age 8 to 10. But she obliquely threatened to call CPS on me because I wasn’t directly at my son’s side.  (Oblique because it wasn’t a direct “I am going to call CPS” but a threat because it was a “are you sure the authorities would allow such a thing?” with continued questioning about how much I supervised my kids.) I deflected her nicely (didn’t want to antagonize her) but I was super wary of her. 

I was able to let my kids have freedom because we had a nice “village “ to look after them. There was no danger of someone trying to take them out of the store when all store employees knew that they were my kids. The kids were comfortable asking employees for help at the deli counter because they knew the employees and were comfortable talking to them. They were safe walking down the block because they knew who lived in every house and while we had a policy not to go into houses, they could have knocked on any door for help. Having a village to watch out for them didn’t mean having a village to judge them and me and to hobble our attempts at learning independence. 

M

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When my little brother was 13/14, my parents lived a mile from the middle school. My mom decided that he was perfectly capable of walking home most days (weather nice, no oversized projects, etc). Plus, he was fairly sedentary so he could use the exercise. Some ladies from our church caught wind of it and thought it was an outrage. They approached my mom who thought they were being silly and refused to back down. The rest of the year, those ladies took turns bringing him home. My mom figured that if they cared that much, they were welcome to. 😏

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I had some people drive my daughter back and forth to her violin lesson for a while.  It was a little annoying - I think they wanted to be helpful and probably thought I was too over-busy with little kids, but it wasn't safe.  Which is nice, but I actually wanted her to walk, at least when the weather was ok - I wanted her to take some responsibility for getting herself there and back, and get some fresh air and exercise.

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10 hours ago, sheryl said:

I have read many but not all replies due to redundancy.  The insults/snarky remarks, etc couched in personal opinion really does not ruffle my feathers at all.  If anything I'm more confident I made the right choice and would gladly do it again.  So, go ahead and throw those remarks around.  Each one confirms my decision! 🙂 

This thread is closed to me - content, motives, and everything pertaining to the original post were distorted.  I like to read threads where assumptions are NOT made about the post and the person is NOT misrepresented by other posters. Hmmm, talk about hypocrisy or sanctimony!  

My goodness, for those interested in character assassination, I care not and am done with this thread BUT I feel sorry for you.  I can only imagine what remarks this will get but I'm just.not.interested.     

Wooooow. And this basically confirmed all my worst assumptions about you. You know, based on actual things you posted.

Also, yeah, you sound super unruffled. 😉

Edited by Mimm

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On 2/2/2019 at 12:01 PM, chocolate-chip chooky said:

Where I live, 12 is the legal age for being alone (home or elsewhere):

Section 364A of the Queensland Criminal Code says: “A person who, having the lawful care or charge of a child under 12 years, leaves the child for an unreasonable time without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child during that time commits a misdemeanour. Maximum Penalty — 3 years imprisonment.”

There's been much discussion in the media here about what 'unreasonable time' means.

 

 

That statute in no way contemplates it being unlawful to ever under any circumstance leave a child under 12 alone. 

 

Edited by Ravin

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On 2/3/2019 at 10:57 AM, Bluegoat said:

 

Yeah, this is what I think.  I don't think it''s mainly the specific skills the kids learn - like using the bus, or making a meal, or whatever.  It's the experience of autonomy and having to solve problems alone and managing, even if it doesn't turn out perfectly.  Like, you get lost or get on the wrong bus, or lose your bus ticket - so what do you do?  Or the supper doesn't work out, or......

I kind of think the cell phone has also had a negative effect on this kind of experience for young people.  

 

Not if the other end of the cell phone has an adult confident in the child's ability to solve their own problems.

Recent text from DD: Mom, is there any money on my lunch account?"

Me: Why?

DD: Because I only packed yogurt and granola and I'm still hungry.

Me: I recall we bought other things. Why didn't you pack more?

DD: I was running late and in a hurry.

Me: You usually get to school an hour early. Next time perhaps you'll remember to put more in your lunch since it only takes 30 seconds even when you are running late. I promise you won't starve before you get home from school. I'm not adding money to your lunch account, that money was already spent on the food we bought that you are supposed to take with you.

 

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From what I have read over the years, most places are very vague about how old is OK to leave a child, and I believe it's because the law recognizes that there is no "one size fits all."  Of course there are "reasonableness" standards, which one hopes are used properly.  Would a normal reasonable person leave this child home alone for x minutes?  There is a range of reasonableness.

In some cases they specify an age range.  I have read that the cutoff age in Chicago is 14 (not to be left alone for more than a "reasonable" time).  I think age 14 in Chicago is pretty ironic, considering that city isn't usually thought of as the safest spot in the USA.  And 14 is IMO ridiculous unless you're talking about being left for days at a time.  But I guess you could interpret it as age 15 is OK to be left forever ....

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1 hour ago, Ravin said:

 

Not if the other end of the cell phone has an adult confident in the child's ability to solve their own problems.

Recent text from DD: Mom, is there any money on my lunch account?"

Me: Why?

DD: Because I only packed yogurt and granola and I'm still hungry.

Me: I recall we bought other things. Why didn't you pack more?

DD: I was running late and in a hurry.

Me: You usually get to school an hour early. Next time perhaps you'll remember to put more in your lunch since it only takes 30 seconds even when you are running late. I promise you won't starve before you get home from school. I'm not adding money to your lunch account, that money was already spent on the food we bought that you are supposed to take with you.

 

 

Maybe.  But that's not particularly the effect I've observe over the population.  Instead, where it used to be normative for kids and young teens to solve these problems on their own, it's no pretty normative for them to call the parent. "Mom, I got on the wrong bus, I don't know what to do." "I'll come and get you", or "here is what you need to do".  

And it seems to correlate with a general feeling that these situations are a serious problem that require that ability to contact the parent for safety.  Even with a less responsive parent, I'm not sure the sense of having to rely on oneself or the people who happen to be around you is acute in the same way.

 

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52 minutes ago, SKL said:

From what I have read over the years, most places are very vague about how old is OK to leave a child, and I believe it's because the law recognizes that there is no "one size fits all."  Of course there are "reasonableness" standards, which one hopes are used properly.  Would a normal reasonable person leave this child home alone for x minutes?  There is a range of reasonableness.

In some cases they specify an age range.  I have read that the cutoff age in Chicago is 14 (not to be left alone for more than a "reasonable" time).  I think age 14 in Chicago is pretty ironic, considering that city isn't usually thought of as the safest spot in the USA.  And 14 is IMO ridiculous unless you're talking about being left for days at a time.  But I guess you could interpret it as age 15 is OK to be left forever ....

I was a “latchkey” kid from about 2nd grade on, as were most of the kids in my neighborhood.  IME, from 8yo through 11ish, kids mostly did fine.  They came home and did exactly what they were supposed to do.  At about age 12, every kid that lives near me was home alone from 3:00pm until about 6:00 (and I remember a lot of “totally checked out in front of the TV with a beer” parents home after that), and that complete lack of supervision was Very Much Not Fine.  I think when you have some kids home alone, but enough parents available in the neighborhood, it works out.  A subdivision or neighborhood full of unsupervised, unstructured young teens and no adults nearby is a recipe for... well, if you can imagine it, it probably happened.  And then some.

Personally, I think I did okay home alone until 6th grade.  But I could have used a LOT more supervision until about 11th grade.

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9 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

I was a “latchkey” kid from about 2nd grade on, as were most of the kids in my neighborhood.  IME, from 8yo through 11ish, kids mostly did fine.  They came home and did exactly what they were supposed to do.  At about age 12, every kid that lives near me was home alone from 3:00pm until about 6:00 (and I remember a lot of “totally checked out in front of the TV with a beer” parents home after that), and that complete lack of supervision was Very Much Not Fine.  I think when you have some kids home alone, but enough parents available in the neighborhood, it works out.  A subdivision or neighborhood full of unsupervised, unstructured young teens and no adults nearby is a recipe for... well, if you can imagine it, it probably happened.  And then some.

Personally, I think I did okay home alone until 6th grade.  But I could have used a LOT more supervision until about 11th grade.

We all made stupid decisions while home without parents.  That is how humans learn to make better decisions when it matters more.

What helped me was having significant responsibilities, including taking care of much younger kids, being responsible to keep the fire in the woodburner going (our main source of heat in winter), keeping the driveway clear of snow, keeping the laundry up to date, cooking, and keeping good grades among other things.  Also having responsibilities out of the house (afternoon paper routes, babysitting, or other part-time jobs, youth group, volunteering, etc.).  An idle mind is the devil's workshop.  Did I still do stupid things, you betcha, but overall it was more than OK for me and my sibs to be latchkey kids.

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30 minutes ago, SKL said:

We all made stupid decisions while home without parents.  That is how humans learn to make better decisions when it matters more.

What helped me was having significant responsibilities, including taking care of much younger kids, being responsible to keep the fire in the woodburner going (our main source of heat in winter), keeping the driveway clear of snow, keeping the laundry up to date, cooking, and keeping good grades among other things.  Also having responsibilities out of the house (afternoon paper routes, babysitting, or other part-time jobs, youth group, volunteering, etc.).  An idle mind is the devil's workshop.  Did I still do stupid things, you betcha, but overall it was more than OK for me and my sibs to be latchkey kids.

“Stupid stuff” = DH almost setting the field on fire across from his house with fireworks while his dad and stepmom weren’t home.  He still had the sandals (!!!) from stomping out that fire a few years ago.  I finally made him throw them out.  It’s a bit funny now though.

What I’m talking about though is 12-13yos, 7th and 8th graders, dealing with drugs, guns, sexual assault, and property crime when parents aren’t home (there was a homicide in my neighborhood too with 13-14yo culprits, rare in some places but not in others).  And honestly, most parents weren’t exactly doing much parenting when they WERE home.  They existed in the same house as their kids but that’s about it.  Lots of adults just completely checked out mentally, especially older fathers/stepfathers and single parents.  Laws with extreme rules about kids left alone are trying to keep middle schoolers from ruining their lives by getting involved in this crap.  Functional, stable neighborhoods and households aren’t the target audience.

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Maybe.  But that's not particularly the effect I've observe over the population.  Instead, where it used to be normative for kids and young teens to solve these problems on their own, it's no pretty normative for them to call the parent. "Mom, I got on the wrong bus, I don't know what to do." "I'll come and get you", or "here is what you need to do".  

And it seems to correlate with a general feeling that these situations are a serious problem that require that ability to contact the parent for safety.  Even with a less responsive parent, I'm not sure the sense of having to rely on oneself or the people who happen to be around you is acute in the same way.

 

I don't exactly disagree with you, but most kids are going to learn from those experiences.  Or at least, they should, and their need to call for help will lessen.

When my kid was a new-ish driver, he was supposed to meet some coworkers at a particular restaurant.  He plugged the name of the place into his phone GPS and headed out. He didn't notice that there were multiple locations, and he picked the wrong one.  It took him an hour to get to the place and of course he discovered that his party was not there. His phone battery died (no charger in the car), and he didn't know how to get home without the GPS. He saw a YMCA and stopped in to ask if he could use the phone, and called me.  I helped him figure out how to get to the highway from there, and he was all set. 

So, he didn't have the use of his phone for all of it, and if he had, he wouldn't have needed to call me. But there was no harm in him calling for a little help, and to let me know what happened. He learned a ton of lessons from that trip, and he won't make the same mistakes again. (He'll make others.) Next time a lunch came around, he verified the location. He keeps a phone charger in the car.  He's more confident in his ability to handle situations himself now.  It was a great experience for him and I don't think he was harmed by being able to call on Mom for a little help.

ETA: And I was just thinking... I'm old, but when I was a teen, there were pay phones, and they took dimes and they worked. And within a group of kids, there was at least one mom home to dispense advice or come to assistance.  And we all had dimes with us at all times.  :-)    

 

 

Edited by marbel

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19 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

“Stupid stuff” = DH almost setting the field on fire across from his house with fireworks while his dad and stepmom weren’t home.  He still had the sandals (!!!) from stomping out that fire a few years ago.  I finally made him throw them out.  It’s a bit funny now though.

What I’m talking about though is 12-13yos, 7th and 8th graders, dealing with drugs, guns, sexual assault, and property crime when parents aren’t home (there was a homicide in my neighborhood too with 13-14yo culprits, rare in some places but not in others).  And honestly, most parents weren’t exactly doing much parenting when they WERE home.  They existed in the same house as their kids but that’s about it.  Lots of adults just completely checked out mentally, especially older fathers/stepfathers and single parents.  Laws with extreme rules about kids left alone are trying to keep middle schoolers from ruining their lives by getting involved in this crap.  Functional, stable neighborhoods and households aren’t the target audience.

Yeah - and what are the parents of kids at risk going to do to follow the law?  Send their young teens to hang out with older teens in the neighborhood?

As you noted, having an older person in the house doesn't necessarily change the risk profile, especially for a teen.

Criminalizing a normal everyday parenting decision isn't going to change the risk profile for those kids.

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