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Author Topic: Am I being over protective?  (Read 5148 times)

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Offline Foggy

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Am I being over protective?
« on: October 17, 2014, 04:20:20 PM »
My son, O, is just a couple months short of 8 years old. He is a great kid, very sensible, but also very naive and also very eager to form friendships with anybody (of any age or gender) who talks to him.

He plays a lot with friends in the street, both inside and outside the various homes, and, as long as they are in my home, or I know which one they are in I am happy with that.  I am not happy with him playing out of sight or earshot.

I have noted that one of his friends, 9 and a half years of age, is allowed to stray quite far on his bike. This guy is probably not as sensible as O, but is more wary of strangers.

Am I being over protective, is the other lads mum being over optimistic or is there a mid line to follow ????

Offline Ms_wormwood

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 06:23:04 PM »
I'm seen as very overprotective. Of course I live in a country where children are expected to walk to school and back alone from the age of five. Which actually works because all the kids are on the street so they have a herd safety from strangers, and all the drivers and locals know that there will be dozens of kids around so look out for them.
I'd be more worried about cars than strangers.... But that's because M is not allowed to walk to breakfast/lunch/afterschool club because it's the other side of a dangerous road. At least, she won't be until she is 7.
But you know your area and your child better than anyone else.
It's weird to think that my grandfather and a friend decided to cycle from London to Brighton one day when he was around 12...... They missed their dinner so got told off. Plus, couldn't move for a week, I think they forgot about the downs. Lol
Onwards and upwards.

Offline Foggy

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 06:36:23 PM »
It was definitely a different world when I was young and even more so in grand parents days. I got myself to school at 7 onwards. At 7 it was a penny ha'penny bus ride (yes the internal combustion engine had been invented!) --- however, I deemed it preferable to walk and spend my bus fare on sweets in the shop we just happened to pass every day!

At 11 it was a two bus ride, right across town.  A tanner (sixpence .... 2 and a half new pence) .... which bought a whole bag of yesterdays buns in the bakers  ::)

Offline Tulip

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 07:27:42 PM »
Depends on so many things.  My youngest was about 9 when he started getting more freedom although he was allowed to play out the front from about 6 or 7 as I live in a small cul-d-sac with a very small park opposite my house.  From 9 upwards he could walk to the shop with a friend and that sort of thing.  I didn't let him actually go to the main village park until about 10.  Very hard to say what is right or wrong.  I was playing out by 5 and we all say it was different then but actually statistics show nothing is different, we are just more aware of the horrible things that can happen.  I firmly believe under 5's should stay inside.  I equally believe we must let our children go out.  As well as feeding our children, we have to give and allow them to have life skills and be happy, well rounded individuals.  I know a family whos 14 year old isn't allowed out and I can't get my head around that.  I would think 8 is just about borderline ok for him to go out for a short while.  Out for hours no but starting slowly with boundaries and time scales you could slowly introduce it.  Depends too what your area is like, how busy, fast roads, that type of thing.  A small village then I would say just about ok.

Offline Tulip

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 07:29:36 PM »
You also mention his friend who is nine and a half.  There is a world of difference between a boy of seven years and 10 months and one of nine and a half. 

Offline Deborah43

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 09:13:10 PM »
We have to give them a bit of space.  I think I was eight and my sister was 4 when my mum used to let me take her up to the park (this was 40 years ago) and she was happy to do that because the park was on the same side of the road that our house was, and that at the entrance area of the park was someone she knew.  As it turns out, the woman my mum knew was of no use whatsoever on the day I needed her.  However, 99% of my experiences in that park were based on freedom and "Blimey the moon looks big, I better go back home."

My kids?  Live opposite a park on a not very busy but occasionally mental suburban road.  Some folks love to speed along our road for no reason at all (to my mind anyway,  to them it's a place they can speed up and show off).  I occasionally let my kids both go over to the park (oldest is 10 and youngest is 6) and then follow them and see what's going on if they're not back in about 30 minutes.  They have instructions that they should come back if they feel unhappy, uncomfortable or bored.  And sometimes a friend will call for the older one and I let her go over with her friend - they're often back before I think, "I should go over and have a look..."

Most of the children my kids come into contact with have elements about them that I'd not like my kids to have but in all honesty they need to develop (a bit of quick thinking, being properly streetwise, character judgement will serve them better than following my rules to the letter etc.....).  You don't get that latter stuff unless you're able to push it a little as the child who needs to grow. 

Damn hard as the parent though.  Although to be fair to myself I learned most things on school holidays when I was supposed to toe-the-line and didn't. 

When it comes to saying, "Go on then, come back in xx minutes," you have to have a bit of trust and a bit of optimism.  Anything after that is hard work and good luck to us all if we want to bring up well rounded and savvy children.
"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

Offline Sqizzer

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2014, 06:47:08 PM »
You know your child best - his pitfalls and strengths. Trust your instincts and judgements as you can only really do what you both feel comfortable with and what you know is best for you and yours. It's hard to not compare but what works for one child may not be the best for another. Trust yourself - you've been doing right by your son all this time x
be KIND... for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about!

Offline mumtoattitude

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 01:45:25 PM »
Where i live they change schools from year 5, and move to middle school until year 8.  It is widely accepted and expected that kids walk to school for the start of the first day of middle school.  They have a practice day in July, where parents are advised to allow their kids to walk to school with friends.  For many it is necessary, as they cannot be at two schools at the same time if they have younger children.  This is often the age where they gain more independence to play out and cycle and things.  Mine played out from very young, but it was a cul de sac with a green behind, and was relatively safe.  These decisions get worse.  I allowed my just 14 year old to go to a book signing in London a few weeks ago.  Her best friend's Mum wouldn't allow her, so my daughter did it alone.  I worried all day, but felt I should let her for her sake.  she is very sensible, and we worked out the route before she went.  In the event, 8000 people  turned up, she had a bit of a panic, and one of the tube lines closed so she had to rethink her route.  I was having a heart attack.  She did and her self-esteem rose from achieving this.  It was the right decision I think, but did go against my protective instincts.  You have to do what you believe is best for them. 

Offline Purplejay

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 07:17:12 PM »
I don't let M play out the front but we live on a busy road. I might if we were in a cul de sac but only within sight of the house. He plays at friends houses often and them at ours but none are less than a 5 min walk and all patents drop off and pick up. One friend allows then to play out front at a tiny park on a cul de sac which is at the end of their drive. She watches them from the kitchen window. No roads involved.

I don't know anyone who lets their kids walk to school on their own currently until they were year 5 or 6. There is a gradual increase in freedom from juniors though. I still walk M at the school gate but some parents watch from nearest parking space, top of the channel etc. A hundred yards tops and in plain sight.

At SWK camp I let M play out of sight with other kids but set him boundaries as to where and how far so I can find him. I usually check on him in secret at least 3 times for every once he touches base with me! It feels ok though so it is mainly about the environment. I always tell him that if he sticks to the boundaries and I can trust him then they will get bigger. If he breaks the rules they will get smaller. He is pretty sensible. Cars play a big part in the danger for kids playing out these days.

In answer to your question sound like you are doing fine. No you are not being over protective IMO.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline annie10

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Re: Am I being over protective?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 09:16:10 AM »
Hi,

Of course most of the time children will be okay playing out but there is the danger that dangerous people are on the lookout for opportunities. Even in area deemed safe, affluent so on you still need to take care of your children.

Children are safer in their own gardens or accompanied by parents. I would also only let them visit their friends if I know the friend's parents.

A

 

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