Do you think it is okay for kids to play outside unsupervised, and if so at what age.

Kristy - posted on 05/20/2010 ( 45 moms have responded )

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Okay, there are two little girls that live on my street, both little girls are four, and they are allowed to play outside --in front of their house -- unsupervised. On top of that there is another little girl down the street who comes over - unsupervised -- and plays with them; she is about five. These girls are allowed to play until dark and beyond sometimes -- did I mention unsupervised. When I say unsupervised I mean that their moms don't even come out to check on them. These girls could get kidnapped and no one would know for hours. They are always knocking on my door to get my little girl to come out and play -- which is fine -- but I don't let my daughter go outside in front of my house and play unsupervised. During the week we are busy as a family. My kids have activities, homework, bedtimes etc., so most of the time the answer is "No sorry girls not today." It has become a nuisance. I mean I don't want to be a mean mom, but these girls have really become a nuisance on me. They knock on my door all day after constantly being told, "No, not today girls." They get into my flower beds, neighbors rock garden and so forth. We had dirt out front of our house to move to the backyard; we left the dirt "unsupervised" and they thought it was their own personal sand box -- dirt everywhere when we got home, oh and with our neighbors rocks in it. Today they came running when they saw me pull up to the house, and my daughter played with them for a second and then it was time to go inside. The girls tried to force themselves in my house and when I said no they acted like they couldn't hear me, so I said no a little sterner and they left. Upon closing my door though I hear, "YOU ARE MEAN!" Really, and I hate to admit this but it kind of hurt my feelings.



Back to my original question of this post. Do you think it is okay to let kids play outside unsupervised, and if so at what age? I think four is too young personally. I mean you can't leave you kids at home alone because that would be considered neglect; however, you can let them play outside unsupervised for hours at a time...please someone tell me how the even remotely makes sense? Looking for feedback. What do you think? What would you do?

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Diana - posted on 04/16/2013

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Ask a parent whose child has been murdered, molested, raped or abused by someone they knew or didn't know because they were sent "outside to play." When my children were small, and even up until they were 18, they were supervised outside. Overprotective? No. I am the one responsible, therefore, I agreed to parent them. Parents have got to stop sending their children outside expecting the world to raise them. Last week, a 5 year old was standing next to a car alongside a highly traveled road, periodically bending down to pick up rocks and threw them at oncoming/going vehicles. She hit my car (that made an extremely loud sound) which alarmed me and I lost control of my vehicle. I ended up hitting the car she was bending down behind. Luckily, she survived. I filed a police report and the parent received a citation for neglect. I did not yell at the little girl but explained to her how dangerous it was for her to be throwing objects at cars and asked her to show me where she lived. I then called 911 and took the little girl home to show the mother what just took place. I explained to her mother I was only 4 feet from running over her daughter and she needs to keep a better eye on her. Yes, I told a mother to parent her child. All of you who send your children out to sharks need to expect that they may not come home. Shame on all of you. The world is not one big playground....where kids roam unsupervised.

D. - posted on 11/18/2012

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Had I replied to this topic when it was originally started, I would have been up on my high horse, criticizing everything the other parents are doing is wrong. Now? Not so much.



No parent wants to be judged on their parenting by other parents.



My boundary with regard to my interactions with the neighborhood kids is a pretty simple one. It becomes my business when their actions has a direct effect on my family. So, from the original post in this thread, that would be messing around in my flower garden, messing up the dirt, bringing rocks over from another property, and ganging up on my son. The bickering and making up every ten minutes is normal for that age. Knocking on the door repeatedly is also normal. The rest is, frankly, none of your business. Just as it s none of your neighbor's business how you raise your children.



I also want to caution you that how you del with these kids can set up how your children develop socially. Remember, they are watching you.



I know that while this may come across harsh, it is well-intentioned. :)

Marycles1025 - posted on 08/22/2012

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When I was reading your post, I thought you were writing about two little girls who live down the street from me. Since they were 4 (now they are 6), they go around unsupervised, barefoot, doing this and that. I remember thinking how odd that was that the parents didn't come out to check on them, wondering if I was some kind of overprotective mom or something. I just don't think that age age 4, 5, 6, and maybe even 7, it is safe to have kids just wander around outside no matter what kind of neighborhood you live in. Crazy people come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and salary ranges.

Sandra - posted on 11/24/2013

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My son started playing outside unsupervised when he was 7. At the time we lived in a very safe, very nice neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. Sorry to say Moms, my son and 2 other neighbor boys ran the streets. They were out like wild men, hiding in bushes, climbing trees etc. That being said, none of the boys ever left our little area. Ever. I didn't always see them but I knew they were either in my yard or one of the other boy's yards.

Now that my son is 10 and we live in a different neighborhood - one that isn't as nice as our old one - I give him even more freedom. Playing outside is one of my very fondest memories. That freedom of being on my bike I wouldn't dare take that from my son. I stay at home so he has plenty of time to be outside. That being said, I never let him walk very far. I make him take his bike. I've also talked about stranger danger to, possibly, a paranoid degree. You see.....with all the freedom I had as a child when I was in 6th grade a man tried to kidnap my best friend and me, right off the street. He had a hunting knife and pulled his car over. It changed my life forever. We both got away (Thank you God.). So I know what can happen. But I still think kids should be free to roam and run. They just need to be aware.

When my son was four would have I let him play outside in the front yard unsupervised? H&ll no, I wouldn't. But I also think there's a point when you need to let go a little.

Lena - posted on 11/19/2012

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I have a 4yo and a 9yo. My 9yo only recently started getting to play outside unsupervised. I'm extremely paranoid when it comes to my kids tho. My 4yo will occasionally go out with his brother but it's never for berti long and I have a long lost of rules that, if broken, results in neither one of them being able to play outside for awhile. I live on an air force base and some of these parents let their 3-4yo kids play outside all day long by themselves and never check on them. There has been many times that I've almost hit these kids because they think it's funny to run and play in the street when they see cars. Anyway, I really don't trust people and if we didnt live on base neither of my kids would play outside unsupervised. It's really up to u and what u are comfortable with. Always trust ur instincts.

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Sarah - posted on 04/09/2014

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Playing "unsupervised" is natural. Playing "supervised" is for weirdos. Who needs to "supervise" play. That does not sound fun. What are they going to do? Climb a tree? Heaven forbid. Maybe they will even fall out of it and break a bone!!! Oh no!!!

Sarah - posted on 04/09/2014

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Did I just get transported to crazy land? Playing with other children outside is normal, healthy, and natural. "Supervised" play is for weirdos. This is a result of innumeracy and watching CNN. The chance of anything bad happening is so remote it should not figure in to this decision, unless you don't understand statistics and you think what is on the news represents the real probability of something bad happening.

People, stop living in fear. Its far more likely (orders of magnitude) more likely that a child playing outside dies in a car accident than gets abducted by a stranger. Every time that happens is a tragedy, but if you have not stopped using your car there is no reason not to let kids do what is natural - play UNSUPERVISED! Thats normal and healthy. Be normal. Be healthy.

Jeannie - posted on 02/18/2014

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You have two issues here: Playing unsupervised and disrespectful children. The two are not the same.

Playing unsupervised is wonderful for your children and research is showing how going back to that "70's approach" is only helpful for your children. Children need risk. My 10 year old is allowed to go out doors to play with his watch and told when to come home. He learns to explore and I think this is wonderful. Then again, I am researching play at the moment so he is benefiting. ;)

As for the girls behavior and disrespect to you and others property...not allowed. I would contact their mother on this issue privately. If I ever heard that my son was disrespecting someones property, he would be the first one to go clean it, fix it, say sorry and repair any damages.

Kathleen - posted on 02/16/2014

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Those kids sound like brats. They need to learn some respect. Don't let them cover over anymore if they are going to say things like that to you.

Sonya - posted on 11/11/2013

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I am a single mom of twin 9 yr old boys. I live in a condo ccomplex. I do allow my boys to
play with the agreement of trust. They're fully aware that if and only if I can trust them, will they be allowed to play outside. They're not allowed in anyone's house. That is the reason for playing outside no inside play. I communicate with the other parents in the complex, wherever the kids play, there is always someone watching. I have explained to my children about the dangers that await them when walking out the door as well as the danger of abduction standing two feet away from me. We have sat down together and watched movies, read books and had long discussions about abduction. The sad part of this whole thing is that, there have always been bad men and women in the world and will be, we as parents have to educate our kids on what to do. Most kids freeze instead of being proactive in the face of danger. How many stories have there been where the kid (s) were right by mom dad or another adult and still got abducted. I try not to be a Helocopter parent, but a free range parent. I was able play unsupervised only the understanding of trust and awarness. I didn't allow my boys out to play until they were 8. I must also add that some neighborhood kids are out of control and there is no communication with regard to their parents. There are some kids in the complex that think that I am mean and that is because i'm nota friend to my boys, but a parent. There are clear boundaries there. I will not allow my sons to be disrespectful to other parents snd I will not tolerate children being disrespectful to me in any shape or form. And if that means that I have the title of being the mean mom than so be it. There is nothing that I wouldn't to help any child but stick to your guns, so there is not a soceity of disrespectful children that grow to be disrespectful adults. Bottom line, whatever works in your household should be fine.

Stephanie - posted on 10/15/2013

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This makes me sad. Maybe four is a little young, but when I was not too much older than that, I had the run of the neighborhood with my cousin and our friends. We climbed on dirt piles and got into places we probably shouldn't have gotten into and had adventures and those are some of the best memories of my childhood, not adult-supervised activities. Let your kid play outside with her friends FCS.

Alejandra - posted on 08/28/2013

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Thar is the worst thing a parent could do "YOU CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT LET YOUR KIDS PLAY OUTSIDE UNSUPERVISED" kids can get kidnapped or worst killed by getting hit by a car if they decide to go play in the street and you should not feel bad for not letting them in your house becouse if they do something and get hurt or if something happens to them you are the one thats going to be blamed for it all and plus you shouldnt be taking care of other peoples kids !! And also dont feel bad for not letting your kids play with them, your just looking out for your children and doing whats right for them :-)

Lena - posted on 08/27/2013

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My boys play outside alone (9,4) but my 4 year old isn't allowed out without his brother. We live on base tho and that is the ONLY reason they're allowed, if we lived off base in a regular city no way. And even being on base I'm still paranoid and they have a million rules any of which are broken result in not going out again. Two 4 year olds is just insane to let them play alone IMO. I've had to get mean with neighbor kids that are allowed to roam more freely also. Sometimes you just have to.

Jess - posted on 08/26/2013

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I no how you feel, I'm 22, a single mum to a 2year old and 3year old, we moved into a lovely new house a few months ago, but since moving in we have spent more time at my mums ( I no running away isn't the answer) but the children on our street aged between 5-13 are a nightmare! They knock on my door all day everyday asking if my boys can play out, I always say no as I feel my children are too young, but now they have started climbing a tree on my driveway and look straight through my bedroom window. Everytime my kitchen window is open they all crowd around the window trying to climb in, I've even found them playin with my kids toys in the street that iv left in the garden. Police and housing officials are always at certain houses but nothing ever seems to be done!

Krysti - posted on 05/16/2013

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Julie,

I spoke with our property manager and she said to have the police talk to the kids (and possibly their parents). It seems harsh to me since most of the kids seem like good kids, but just don't understand boundaries. In your case though, going into other people's garages and taking things is criminal (even if they are too young to understand that). I would definitely have the police come out and talk to them. I'm sure they don't need to say who called them.

Krysti

Julie - posted on 05/15/2013

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I need help with this situation too. I I am in charge of a Homes Assn and has had so many complaints I don't know what to do. The builder has leased a number of homes in the neighborhood.

A new family moved into our neighborhood with 10 children. The children range from 3 or 4 t0 teen. The youngest ones are constantly unsupervised. Last week two of then where drinking water out of a muddy puddle in the street and spat it on each other. They go into open garages and get into things, stand on porches and scream at each other. Not their porch mind you, but the neighbors.

One of the pre-teens beat up the child across the street "because they don't like black people.". We are afraid to confront the parents because the father cursed out a construction worker who asked them to keep the children off the heavy equipment.

It has gone BEYOND playing to negligent parenting. I can't let my grandchild play outside as it is an open invitation to destruction.

Any ideas?

Krysti - posted on 05/14/2013

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I saw this discussion and was hoping I can ask a question...

I am not a parent, but need some advice on how to handle a situation with other peoples' kids. I live in a Townhouse and there are continually kids hanging right outside our back door and kitchen/living room windows. There are a bunch of them, ages about 7-11 I'd say. None of them live in our building, in fact, I believe they are from a different neighborhood altogether. They scream and cuss (sometimes), knock on our door and windows to scare our cats, peek in our back door and windows, ride their bikes in the grass and once some were even lighting fires back there. At times, we have told them they need to leave, but they always return (sometimes even within the hour). I don't want to be the mean old lady (I'm 40), but they are driving me crazy!! I can't even open my blinds and windows because they are RIGHT there. One time they even sat down in the chairs on our patio. Argh! Anyone have any advice???

Thanks,

Krysti

Lila - posted on 05/08/2013

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No way would I let my four year outside alone. That is not very smart nor is it safe for children that small. Those girls parents should be ashamed to think that's ok! Smh

Geri - posted on 05/01/2013

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I let my kids play outside when they were around 8 and 5. It might've looked like they were outside on their own, but i was watching very closely from inside. It's hard to say that the parents aren't doing the same.

COLLET MARIE - posted on 11/16/2012

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I WOULD GET MAD AND CALL THE POLICE AND THE KIDS WILL GET TAKEN AWAY TO A FAMILY THAT WILL WATCH THEM OUTSIDE.

Wendolyn - posted on 08/05/2012

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I think it is ok for kids to play by them self but not at the age that you are saying. That is way to young and they need an adult. I have 4 kids and with my oldest I let him play out side by himself at the age of 8 and for that matter it was in the backyard. My oldest is 12 now and I have a 8yr old,a 7yr old, and a 4yr old, My oldest is the one that watches them but only in the back yard. There is too much risk now a days with crazy people to leave them unsupervised and not at 4 and 5 years old. Some people are not such good parents.

AMY - posted on 07/26/2012

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That is entirely too young. The people across the street from me let their 8 year old drive the 7 year old around on an adult 4-wheeler around the yard. I get so nervous I can't even watch them.. Some people just do not have all their marbles.

Tameka - posted on 07/03/2012

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Well all I have to say is Nancy Grace. Yes 4 is to young for them to be outside unsupervied. Shame on their mother's, my son is six and he can't go outside unsupervised. There is too much going on in the world today for ppl to let their kids finn for themselves and be alone. Me personally I would go crazy if my child was alone. Also you you did the right thing by being stern with them.

Kimberly - posted on 08/15/2010

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Wow! Those are some very smart 4 year olds. If their parents feel safe, leave them alone, but I am happy that you aare sticking to your word and keeping your baby safe

Jana - posted on 08/14/2010

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no its not ok to let young kids to play outside by them self , sure i let my 5yrs old boy play outside but i check on him every 5-10 mins

Angela - posted on 08/03/2010

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My daughter is 7 and my son will be 5 tommorrow.. They are not allowed outside alone nor will be allowed in the next couple of years... Even if we have a fence predators, can still see and will learn their playing habits and you know what happens after that...I did not have supervision growing up and at that time I thought it was the best thing in the world I basically lived at friends houses and now looking back I realized I am lucky to still be alive and I miss not having family memories with my OWN family. Back to the girls though there is not much you can do. I would suggest talking to the parents but it will probably end up on a bad note if you come at them like you are trying to tell them how to raise their kids. Maybe approach them and suggest play dates at a local park. That way you can really get an insite of how they are and they wont be tearing up anyones house or dirt.

Holly - posted on 08/01/2010

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yes, that is way to young to be running around the neighborhood at 4 and 5. playing till nightfall! that is scary and also a lot of perverted murderers lurkers about, OMG! 5 yrs ago, where my mother used to live. it was in a bad area, in a trailer park.. there was this women across my mother, she would leave her 2 yr old and 5 yr old out to play.. they were in there yard and it was in open fields.. my younger sister came to me telling me that the 2 yr old had a liter trying to light her and my other youngest sisters hair and cloths, i freaked!!! i ran over to there house snatched the liter out the boys hand and had a nice talk with him about messing with the liters.. he tells me not to tell him what to do he was going to tell his mommy and i said that isnt a bad idea lets talk to your mommy! i go up to there porch the boy and girl started crying saying the front and back doors were locked!!! the mom was home but sleeping. it took a whole hour for her to get up and answer. when she finally did her house smelt very strange like plastic burning.. i told my mother and she told me the mother is a drug head.. after that i kept my daughter away from them. it wasnt only that women that was like that but the whole park was screwed up and it grossed me out and disappointed me! i called DCS and the police on her the next day! i as a mother of two going on the third one, have a hard time letting my 8 yr old out even tho she is smart and knows not to talk to strangers and if someone she dosnt know, an adult walks up to her to talk i told her to run away! i make her stay in our back yard caz its unseen and gated up real high! but i fear and watch my eye on her.. my two year old.. its sad, he barely gets out because im now 38 weeks and my legs are super sore, cant chase after him when its time to go in :( lol.. but maybe those girls are smart and know better.. do they talk to strangers willingly or when the stranger approaches them do they give in to talk? do they run in the middle of the street and not pay attention? do they mess with dangerous things and hurt each other? if they are doing something that little kids shouldnt be doing or not paying attention or bulling then there mothers need to know and maybe give them your advice on how they should be out with them while they are out that young!!! either way tho they are small and weak for 4 to 5 to run or hit a stranger from taking them! that is way to young to be away from home to be honest! calling the police or child services, i dont think is wise but try to talk to there parents and see what happened! if you see something that isnt right or you smell or see something that isnt right like drugs or alcohol then maybe you should take action and call services because who knows, they could be passed out and not knowing there children are out about playing!

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2010

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I have a fenced backyard that the kids are allowed to go and play unsupervised, but since we live across the street from the hospital my boys crave "front yard time". It is always a family activity when we go outside to the front yard. We play ball and ride the bikes, but never are the allowed outside alone. My kids are 6 and under.

Kristy - posted on 07/26/2010

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I know that legally there is nothing that can be done about unsupervised children. I think it is crazy though that if you leave a child home alone you can get in trouble with the law (if you read my original post the youngest of these girls is 4 years old and has been allowed to run free and unsupervised since she was 3 -- for hours at a time); however, you can push your child out the front door to roam the neighborhood unsupervised with no consequences. Is it me, or is that crazy? Maybe it's just me.
I would totally say something to the parents, but in my last neighborhood I did and after that our neighbors hated us, and the situation got worse not better. I don't want the same issues in this neighborhood. Those parents just thought we should stay out of their business -- never mind their two-year-old twins were climbing up the side of our boat.
Just an update though...the neighborbood kids have taken to going and hanging out in our backyard when we aren't home. I guess there is no good answer. Just looking for support, and to see if I was the crazy one. Good to hear of parents who are like me, makes me feel sane. Thanks...
P.s. Just in case you were wondering what kind of crazy neighborhood we live in, we live in an upper-middle-class neighborhood. Not that it should make a difference.

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Legally in the United States there is nothing anyone can do about irresponsible parents. Personally I let all of my kids outside and yes they can be unsupervised for up to 10 min at a time. :) ha ha got ya. We have a 6 foot high fence around our backyard and my oldest 2 are 14 and 7. They all stay in the backyard and they HATE the consequences if they don't. If you don't like what the other childs parents are doing then mention it to them.

Kristy - posted on 07/26/2010

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I thought this post was dead in the water. I am really surprised more moms didn't respond to this post; I was hoping to get more feedback. To those of you who did respond though, thank you. It is nice to know I am not mean, lol. I appreciate all of your support, and I wish you all lived in my neighborhood. Responsible moms who care about their children's safety and well being; it is refreshing.

Carla - posted on 07/24/2010

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I have a five year old and have just started to let him go to his swing set out side without me outside with him but I can see him from in side at all times which I do. He check in with me every five minutes a demand that I make him do. I let him think he a little bit by himself for independence but never with out me watching him .

Fredricka - posted on 05/27/2010

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NO! I don't think little girls should be left unsupervise.especially @ their age,my daughter is 11yrs n I am very protective of her.I don't pass 7pm.n im always checkin on her,or sittin right there until its time.But NO I disgree,that shouldn't be happening at all.....point.They should be supervise at all times>>> ms.fredricker taylor

Bridget - posted on 05/26/2010

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hi kristy i also have deal with a very simulair neightborhood my daughter is 8 and we have several kids that are aloud to run all over the nieghborhood and also have no respect for others property but my big one was my daughter was playing with one of the few nice girls and i went inside to change the baby and a couple of boys from the other side of the neighborhood where playing with the little boy next door ( age 7-12) decided to throw rocks at the girl and my daughter who came screaming inside being the mother hen i am i went outside pissed and yelling as they all went running. prob not the best way to handle it but hey. anyways ive been lucky for there is a land lord for many of the houses in my nieghborhood and i can approach him for madders as i told you above but did you ever approach the parent about any of the problems you are having with the kids? i have found that some of the parents in my area dont want you tell them about the kids but some time if you talk to the older brother or sisters the parents will responed to them better then the neighbors but your not being mean if you are looking out for your own kids and unforntatlly sometime it take something bad to happen to get the attention of lazy parents!

Marcella - posted on 05/24/2010

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Yes! I agreed w you, kids that age shouldn't be left alone unsupervised. So far, I didn't see any young kids left alone by themselves around my neighbourhood. I don't have any solution to this issue but I understand how you feel. I have experienced it once near the water sport community club (near my neighbourhood) and I saw a 4 yo girl wandering on her own...I followed her for almost 45mins until her parents came.A few minutes after that I saw her alone at the poolside. I guess, they expect other parents to mend their kid. So irresponsible type.

Kristy - posted on 05/24/2010

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Yes Ateh, I totally agree and I spoiled or not they need loving parents that can provide them with lots of love, structure, boundaries, and discipline. I feel kids need and crave all these things. I agee with everything you have said, and I plan to join you in that prayer...absolutely...Amen.

Ateh - posted on 05/24/2010

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Kristy,

Now I understand... Still... a credit for you! It's so scary to read what you wrote about those girls. Anything can happen when they are outside the house without supervision! I also just couldn't imagine what will happened when they grow older (become teenagers) if they are spoiled at a very young age. I'm so sorry for them to have such a parents! I pray may they always get protected by the mighty God! Ameen...

Kristy - posted on 05/23/2010

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Oh no, I am not doing anything noble. I feel for the little boy in your story though Ateh; I was that little boy. When I was a girl growing up my mom worked all the time and I craved attention so my heart goes out to the little boy who lives next to you. What bugs me about the sitation with the kids in my neighborhood is that becuase the parents think it is okay to kick their kids outside the roam the neighborhood they then become kids for the neighborhood to raise. These little girls are not humble or sweet; they are mean for their age. When they come over, once they don't get what they want -- whether it be a barbie, or to be the leader in whatever game they are playing --they will throw a fit and decide to leave, only to be back 10 minutes later. They will gang up on my son and are just mean to him. They say the ruddest things that really catch me off guard; I mean my daugher isn't an angel but really. The little girl next door has every toy in the world in her backyard but has no desire to play with them. The other little girl always has some new toy...yesterday it was a DSI, and she is 4. The girls down the street they take the cake. They get 10 dollars a day for the icecream man (I am not joking), and they have had motorized scooters -- like vespas -- since they were 4 and 7. They ride them all over the neighborhood without a helmet and shoes, and we do not have a small neighborhood. I have seen them almost get hit a couple of times by vehicles because these girls just pull out in front of cars, jump off curbs into the street without warning. They do not hurt for material things. I don't know I just don't think your little boy and these little girls are in the same boat or neglected in the same manner. See when I say neglected, I just feel it is neglectful to let you little kids roam the neighborhood unsupervised at any age really, but I don't think they are neglected. Really I think they are just pretty spoiled and left to do as they please.

Ateh - posted on 05/22/2010

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Hi Kristy,
You are doing something noble!
I do have the similar experience like yours. There is a boy always come to my house to play with my eldest son. One day, I heard him telling my son that my son is lucky to have a mom because his mom always away... My tears drop...
He also told me that he never had experience making cookies with his mom but he got it at my house ( sometimes I have cooking activities with my children during week ends)... what a pity boy... Well, children need love and care in order to develop their self esteem.

Kristy - posted on 05/21/2010

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I do let the girls come in occasionally and play inside with my daughter. When I do, I end up with five littles girls running rampid in my house. They all gang up on my son, and they are disruptive. After awhile I feel like I am babysitting while their parents are probably at home relaxing.

Ateh - posted on 05/21/2010

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As long as there are called kid, they are not allowed to play without any supervision from an adult. I only let my elders son to play outside without any supervision when he was 12 but still, my husband will check on him especially when he went for riding (rides bicycle with his friends). I always put a time limit for him to play with his friends.
You made a right action... Being mean is also very subjective... I do let my neighbours' children to play in my house but with my supervision... sometimes you could got tired too :D

Kristy - posted on 05/20/2010

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Thank you Brandi, it's nice to know I am not a mean mom, and that I am not just being way overprotective and crazy.

Brandi - posted on 05/20/2010

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I totally agree with you on this one. We live DIRECTLY next door to a family with a young boy my daughter's age. (they are also both 4). Since he was 3 or so, he has been left to wander in his yard (which is ONLY partially fenced in) with his mother SELDOM coming out to check on him (I suppose she can see him from almost every window in their house, but still). I have NEVER allowed my kids to play outside unsupervised for longer than it takes to run into the kitchen (which is the entrance to my home and has 2 large windows that give me a good view of my WHOLE yard) for a drink of water or something (3 mins tops). However, the neighbor boy asks EVERY day if he can come over to play. I don't necessarily mind, but I babysit 3 children besides my own 2, so many days I am supervising 5 kids' playtime outdoors. I, too, feel like I OFTEN say not right now, or maybe after the other kids' mommies come to get them or after dinner, whatever. I suspect the neighbor's do drugs (which I have not confirmed) so I do NOT allow my kids to play in their yard (even if I'm outside to supervise). But I can understand the "guilt" you feel for saying not now. I don't really have any solutions for you (as I haven't really found any for myself) but i agree that 4 is far too young to be left outdoors unsupervised. ESPECIALLY since I checked the sex offender map for my own area. SCARY!!!!

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