Why can't I allow my eight year old to be unsupervised like other Moms?

Lori - posted on 06/26/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have always been extra careful with my kids but when it comes to my eight year old daughter I am extra protective. My son is 13 now but I allowed him to walk to school by himself when he was around nine and then when he was 10-11 he was allowed to go on short bike rides around the block and then to his friends houses as long as he called me when he got there. My daughter is a whole different ball game for some reason. I just have a sickening feeling whenever she is out of my sight, even if it's just for a short period. I let her play outside in the backyard by herself but I make sure the fence door is shut and go check on her every ten minutes or so. I don't allow her to go bike riding by herself or walk around the neighbourhood without me. I see other kids her age roaming around and going on their bikes by themselves and I wonder if I'm just being over protective and harming my kid. I am just scared that she will be abducted or hit by a car or some crazy thing. Anyway, today her friend came over from down the street and after a while he decided to go home to get his ds game. She begged me to go along with him to get the game and that they would come straight back home. I felt sick to my stomach but I decided to let them go as long as they promised to come back right away...then I watched from the driveway (I could see his house) and let her go. It was heaven for her and they were back in a flash but I was sweating the whole time...lol...it was a big step for me but I know to most other moms that must sound absurd. Anyhow, any advice or help with this would be kindly appreciated. Thanks! Lori.

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Pamela - posted on 06/28/2012

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You are basing your concern in FEAR!!!!!!! FEAR Is: F alse E vidence A ppearing R real!
You also need to remember that FEAR attracts the very thing you are afraid of, so your fearing that she will be abducted, etc, DRAWS THAT ENERGY TO YOU AND HER!!!!!!!

Stop it already. Say a prayer that you can heal your fears and then do something about it. I recommend you check out the following websites: http://www.selfworthsummit.com; http://www.thetappingsolution.com; and email info@projecttapping.com because they just sent out a 3 day program on healing FEAR!

The highest and best to you! Worry is based in FEAR. FEAR SUCKS!!!

Alyeene - posted on 06/28/2012

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Lori, each child is different even when raised in the same house. Maybe your son exhibited a more mature personality than your daughter at the same age? Also, size can factor... Is your daughter small for her age or your son taller or larger than average? My son is nine and we are now just letting him venture out slowly with "bumpers" but he has always demonstrated a mature personality but small build, tall frame. He has always been in the 25% range for weight but 95% for height. At age 9 he is only 60lbs and wears size 6 slim but the same height a 12 yr. old. Dr. says he is healthy and can and just has a high metabolism. As he has started to fill out, he looks more mature and I have less fear of someone trying to mess with him. Don't get me wrong, I still worry very much about him but I know he needs to learn to be aware of his surroundings and how to handle emergencies. I really don't think you are being over protective. 9-10 seems to be the common age when we as parents start letting go a little. Unlike when we were young, society is not the safe place it used to be. Many of us don't even know the person across the hall or in the house next door. If your daughter is 8 and you started with your son at 9, I think you are right on schedule. Now if she was 13 and you were still feeling this way, I would recommend talking to someone but right now I think you are ok.

Dove - posted on 06/27/2012

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Didn't you say that you started allowing your son to walk to school at 9 and then biking around at 10-11? Your daughter is only 8, so... it sounds like your being LESS 'protective' of her since you let her go to the friend's house already. Not saying that less or more protective is better... just not sure of your problem unless you were allowing your son freedoms at 8 that you haven't mentioned.

I'm pretty overprotective as well and I don't have a problem with it. My kids are my business. ;)

Michelle - posted on 06/26/2012

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I would relax a little or your daughter will start to feel like the world around her is not safe. Yes there are definitely bad people out there that can do bad things but at some point you have to let go and let her spread her wings and fly even just down the block. My son is now 11 and goes to the store on his bike, takes himself to soccer, and rides the city transit on his own to school, we have had lots of talks about strangers and the dangers of taking things or going anywhere with strangers but I trust him do what needs to be done. This all being said I have an extremely responsible child who was very reliable even at a young age.

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Personally, I don't think parents allow their children enough freedom these days, but I would say that generally 8 year olds are NOT wandering around alone, so I don't think you're that strange.

That said, I wonder why you are different with your daughter than with your son? Is it because she's a girl? Or because she's your youngest? If you are overprotective for those reasons then I would try to overcome it, because it's probably not healthy for her to be treated differently for those reasons. But maybe you have a better reason. Is your daughter as responsible and mature as your son was at the same age? Does she have friends to walk with rather than walking alone? All kids are not the same, and if there's a legitimate reason why you think she isn't ready, I'd trust your instincts.

When and if you do think she's ready for more independence, work up to it slowly for her sake and yours. A short walk down the block with a friend like you mentioned is a good way to get started, because she's in very little danger. Try short distances, walking with a friend or her older brother, rather than long trips alone. Good luck!

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Dianne - posted on 07/24/2012

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Pamela you are right it is all to do with fear and I know this Lori because I am that fearing person. I have a 13yr old {almost 14} and I am too scared to let her walk the block, let alone go to a friends house. I am so scared of losing her that I know I'm too paranoid and overprotective.
You should not feel bad about about keeping the reins on your 8 yr old because she is still way too young to be out on her own :) I think
My daughter has been asking for more freedom and I know I am going to have to start allowing it but it does not stop me being scared.
The joys of being a parent.........
I am glad to see though that you are the same as me :)

Jolene - posted on 06/28/2012

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I remember a time when I would go out late at night, and my mom never worried. I suppose it all depends on your neighboorhood? How comfortable do you feel letting your child go out? Do you think she/he is responsible enough to call you when she/he gets to their destentation? (sorry if spelling is off) Does she/he have a habit of not reporting home, when told too. I personally don't allow my 8 year out, one I feel she is to young, and 2, She would get scared, being alone, especially when I'm surround by woods. I don't see a harm in having your son watching her, I have a friend who son has to take the responsiblity because of her work hour. So, if your son is old enough to be out, then I think he is able to watch over his sister. Now, another thing i would look up is who are the people in your area? Are there sex offender near by that allowing your child to explored a ride with her bike around the block, would it be safe.. So, I guess its up to you, but get to know the people around you..

Kristin - posted on 06/28/2012

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I was super protective of my oldest son until he became 10 and said he wanted more freedom. it was hard to let go but i am thankful I did as he is 16 now and is super independent. My other son who is 6 is allowed to ride his bike in the neighborhood unsupervised (we live in a quiet court) and I allow him to go to friends houses, and to go to the park one block away. I have met all my sons friends parents and everyone kinda watches out for everyones children. This being said my 6 year old has to report in and let me know where he is at all times and I will routinely check on him, but I want my kids to be independent as well. I think we all find it hard to let out children grow up but we do eventually need to let them be there own people, so we as parents need to guide them and support them into figuring out who they are. I think you should ease up on your daughter a liottle bit and let her walk to a neighbours house, have the friends parent phone you when she gets there and call you when she leaves to go home if that will make you feel better. I worry about my kids to but I also know I need to let them be kids and to learn responsibility and independence.

Lori - posted on 06/27/2012

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Thanks Jennifer and Michelle...I appreciate your insight! And Jen, to answer your question I think I'm more protective of my daughter because she seems alot younger for her age than my son did and she doesn't seem as mature as he was. And I really like your idea of taking small steps to teach her some independence...I will try that, thanks! Michelle...I think you have some really good points and I will try to loosen up on my daughter more with small steps. My 13 year old son is now biking to the park to meet up with friends and has quite a bit of freedom as long as he calls or comes home when he says. So far so good and I hope the same for my daughter when she's that age. :)

Lori - posted on 06/27/2012

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Dove, thanks for your comments...they are true in some respect but to answer your question I only allowed her to go down the street where I could see her where I was standing and they didn't stay and visit...just went quickly inside the house and back out down the street home. I was watching the whole time so not sure if that even counts...lol. But, it was the first time she's ever walked anywhere without her Dad or I...teacher or other family members. And I have this thing where if she wants a playdate I usually arrange it so they come to our house instead of theirs...just so I know there's going to be supervision. My son seemed more ready at that age to start showing me some small steps of independence but with my daughter I find she gets very distracted by her surroundings. Like if there's a butterfly she will run off to chase it or want to go off the path when we have one destination in mind...it just worries me.

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