Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What?! "Poll: Most Americans Want to Criminalize Pre-Teens Playing Unsupervised"

Okay, so the other day I saw this article :


I just had to click on it and read it.  The attack on parents actually letting their kids be kids has been popping up here and there in the news.  So, just how much of our population thinks we should nanny state our children?  I had to find out.

Ugh!  Sixty-eight percent of adults feel that children under the age of nine and under should not be allowed to play outside in a park unsupervised!

Now, my mother was one that didn't allow us to roam all over.  However, we played outdoors after breakfast until lunch and then back out we went until supper.   We lived on a dead end street and could go up and down it to friends houses.  She checked on us periodically and guess what, I am here as an adult writing about it.

I had the most freedom at my grandparents' house.  I could walk up and down the street or play in the huge city block field behind their house.  I walked a little over half a mile from school everyday to their house.  It seemed much farther back then.  I was a latchkey kid and it was just what pretty much all kids did.  I never remember being afraid to be out and about like that.  I don't want my kids to fear it either.  They are armed with self defense and common sense. 

I feel that parents should use common sense and what seems right for one child or family may not be for another.  A mature six year old vs an immature nine year old will have different needs.  Would I send my six year old out to play unsupervised in a public park?  No.  That is just me and my feelings.  Mainly because we live to far away from a public park to allow this.  If the park was right down the street, it would depend on a host of circumstances.  However, I am not going to judge the actions of another family.

I have had to come to terms with allowing my children to play in our neighborhood.  I put my trust in them and if they break the trust they are restricted.  Little Man has taught me much of this.  He is a social butterfly to find friends to play with in the neighborhood.  This last year and  a half, I have freed the reigns and allowed him to go here and there in the neighborhood.  He has to let me know where he is headed and report home at given intervals.  He has enjoyed his freedom.  Thank goodness we live in a neighborhood with common sense!

I allow the children to go to the neighborhood lake and fish.  I check on them periodically from our  backyard and they are happily fishing the afternoon away.  I am far enough away, yet close enough if needed.  Most of the neighbors are familiar with the different children in the neighborhood and keep an eye out for them.  Many children ride their bikes or walk here and there to friends houses. It is nice to see kids outside and playing.

I hope that the pendulum swings back to the days that kids could be kids and all adults kept a watchful eye on them.  Adults that won't mettle into other's affairs and will quit micromanaging kids and the parent.  If they see a child out having a good time and they don't see the parent, oh well.  If the child needs help, then step in and help them.  Be a good neighbor, not a nosy one.   

With the 24 hour news cycle, most people have become paranoid of every little what if.  Kids are just as safe now as they were years ago.  In fact, now most kids have a cell phone and can access their parents within seconds.  No need to run home.  So, if a parent isn't visible it doesn't mean they aren't close in touch with their child.  Let's all use common sense and our children will be better off.