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To let my toddler play in a graveyard

(163 Posts)
RegencyRomanceReader Sat 19-Nov-16 16:19:05

Just seen a house that we might buy. It has no garden but backs on to a large old cemetary. We went for a walk around it before the viewing and my toddler was in love! obviously I stopped him climbing on the graves (most are raised stone with statues, huge crossed etc from 18th century onwards) and made him keep to the paths. He was running round pretending to see the gruffallo, pointing out squirrels, birds etc and jumping in puddles. He was not standing on graves but he was loud and excited and pointing out angels and authors and things. There was no one around and no fresh graves (not that old graves deserved less respect). As I one off I'm confident we didn't upset anyone or intrude on anyone's grief but if we bought the house this could become a regular thing (its a city so green space like this without cars is good dust). Wibu to take him for runs here regularly?

sonlypuppyfat Sat 19-Nov-16 16:22:13

I see no problem but old graveyards can be dangerous, headstones etc can topple the grave tend to sink and become unstable

HairyScaryMonster Sat 19-Nov-16 16:24:05

Assuming no one is there to pay respects it's fine. Teach him about death at the same time.

ThatStewie Sat 19-Nov-16 16:24:40

Graveyard near us is always full of small children: feeding squirrels & birds, looking out for foxes, sometimes even planting flowers. My only concern would be the issue of falling headstones & sink holes.

icy121 Sat 19-Nov-16 16:25:27

Don't see a problem - just make sure to keep him far away from any areas for little ones who have passed away. It would be hard for a grieving parent to see your son.

Sparlklesilverglitter Sat 19-Nov-16 16:25:29

you must make sure your child never jumps/stands etc on a grave as that is very disrespectful.
it might be ok to some but not something I would do

If you crave green space then is there nowhere you could move to with better access to green space?

Yes, I think you would be. Not a not in sent disrespectful to the perplexed buried there, but it is also not a safe nvironment for playing in.

There is a case going through the courts in Scotland at the moment - a young lad was crushed by a falling gravestone whilst playing in a churchyard - the case hinges on whether the council did enough/took the right precautions to prevent someone being hurt by a falling gravestone.

Graveyards are not intended to be children's play spaces, so are not maintained or safety checked as if they were.

ShoesieQ Sat 19-Nov-16 16:26:09

If most of the graves didn't have fresh flowers then you'd hope that it doesn't get too many visitors - in which case YANBU

bellabelly Sat 19-Nov-16 16:26:27

When we lived in London, we often took our toddler twins to a local cemetery. It was huge and lots of people, including other families, would be there at weekends. Never thought anything of it. Obviously don't let him pester anyone visiting a grave or mourning but am sure children in graveyard is not a problem. Circle of life innit?

neonrainbow Sat 19-Nov-16 16:26:57

Graveyards are not appropriate places for kids to play imo. Just seems disrespectful to me.

RegencyRomanceReader Sat 19-Nov-16 16:27:10

Worth noting puppy to be honest my son could injury himself in a padded room full or fairy dust and fluffy kittens but I will add falling gravestones to my risk assessment.
Its a proper buffy the vampire style graveyard (showing my age) full of large sarcophagi and little mausaleaums and stuff!

Sorry - autocorrect messed up my second sentence - it should read 'Not only is it disrespectful to the people buried there...'. Not sure where autocorrect got perplexed from!

EatTheCake Sat 19-Nov-16 16:27:20

Old graves deserve just as much respect as a new one so I would expect you to make sure your child never stands on a grave.

Provided you do that then it's up to you where you take him but I personally wouldn't do it!

Have you really look at all options of where you could live if you want green space?

NoahVale Sat 19-Nov-16 16:27:30

no it is disrespectful
fair enough to walk through but to play. how ridiculous.
how could you even ask?
<<does incredulous shake of head>>

sodabreadjam Sat 19-Nov-16 16:29:02

An eight-year old boy was killed in a graveyard in Scotland recently. He went there and climbed on a gravestone despite being told not to by his mother.

Would be up to you whether or not you could live with the danger.

Pinkheart5915 Sat 19-Nov-16 16:29:28

As long as you don't let your child jump/climb on graves as that is very disrespectful regardless of how old the grave is.

If you want to then that's up to you but I wouldn't do it

Welshmaenad Sat 19-Nov-16 16:29:35

Hmmmm, if there are no recent burials you're unlikely to bother anyone but I have to be honest, when I make time to visit the graveyard where my parents are, it's because I need quiet time with them. To have that interrupted by a shrieking toddler would piss me off beyond belief, that's what parks are for and I refuse to believe there isn't one nearby in a city. To me it's a place for quiet reflection, not somewhere to take your child to play and if there's even a small chance you would intrude on someone grieving, then no, I wouldn't take him.

Katedotness1963 Sat 19-Nov-16 16:32:39

I would not let my child play in a cemetery, it seems disrespectful to me.

How do you intend to check which tombstones are safe and which are becoming unstable, though, Regency?

A children's playground will be designed and maintained so that it is safe for children to run around, climb and play - a graveyard will be designed and maintained for people to walk around.

And leaving aside the safety aspects (which I wouldn't, as at least 3 children have ben killed by falling tombstones, worldwide, in the last 4 years, afaik), it is disrespectful to use a graveyard as a playground on a regular basis.

Sodabreadjam - that's the case I was referring to. Very sad indeed.

honkinghaddock Sat 19-Nov-16 16:35:57

I don't think there is anything wrong with going for walks on the paths in there but I would keep him away from the graves for safety reasons.
We have a child buried in our local cemetery and we combine visiting his grave with ds having a often quite noisy (ds older but with sn) walk in there.

KindergartenKop Sat 19-Nov-16 16:37:24

We walk/scoot around our local cemetery. It's completely empty most of the time. We don't shout and we don't leave the paths.

DillyDilly Sat 19-Nov-16 16:37:41

Very disrespectful IMO. Graveyards are not a playground.

KittensWithWeapons Sat 19-Nov-16 16:37:51

I don't think you're being unreasonable, as long as you bear in mind safety as per SDTG`s post, don't let them run / climb on graves, and obviously don't let them run / play around people who are clearly grieving or having a solemn moment.

My Granda used to bring us to graveyards a lot as children. The one where my uncle was buried - we helped him tend to my uncle's grave every week. Also a v old local graveyard where no-one had been buried for decades. He'd walk us around, teaching us about local history, pointing out the oldest graves and notable local people who were buried there. We were always respectful, and it was lovely, educational, thoughtful time spent with Granda.

I now have three grandparents, two aunts and two uncles buried in our local graveyard. I know for sure that it'd make them smile to see children laughing and having fun in their resting place. My Granda (the one mentioned earlier in my post) was big into education and exercise, so he'd be particularly delighted to see your DS running around and pointing out angels and authors and things smile.

grannytomine Sat 19-Nov-16 16:43:00

My kids went to a primary school that backed onto a graveyard. Funeral goers must have heard them at playtime and lunchtime but no one ever complained that I heard of. Kids who lived on the otherside of the graveyard used to take a shortcut through the graveyard to school, riding bikes, scooters etc. My dad is buried there and I love that it is not a morbid place but full of life and laughter. I think my dad would like that as well.

Of course you can't please everyone.

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