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Not to subscribe to the view that "there's a paedophile on every corner" and "you never know who's driving about" and allow my children what I consider to be an appropriate amount of independence?

(186 Posts)
MrsSchadenfreude Mon 29-Sep-08 21:05:29

I'll start by saying that we live in the country and I might be a little less relaxed if we lived in a town. My children are 10 and 7 and are allowed to:

Go to the post box (5 minute walk, no roads to cross)

Go to the shop (2 minute walk, no roads to cross)

Go to the park (4 minute walk, two roads to cross) and to play there on their own for half an hour

Play in the moat and fields that back onto our house for up to two hours at a time. (They can - mostly - be seen from the house.)

They have been allowed to do all this for the past 18 months since we moved here. We had some friends round recently whose children are older (12 & 13), and were horrified when I told DD1 and DD2 to take them into the fields and show them their "camp" they had made. These children are not allowed out of the parents' sight - we walked down to the river and one lagged behind and the mother went hysterical when she realised she couldn't see her DD (who is 13).

Surely unless we allow them a small amount of independence they will have difficulties adjusting to "real life" as they get older?

cornsilk Mon 29-Sep-08 21:06:15

Their mother is a nutcase.

liahgen Mon 29-Sep-08 21:06:49

sounds like a fab childhood to me. Fields, and camps. I would let mine join them without a doubt

liahgen Mon 29-Sep-08 21:07:03

lol at cornsilk

onager Mon 29-Sep-08 21:07:55

Sounds great to me.

CarGirl Mon 29-Sep-08 21:07:56

I'm with cornsilk.

I let my eldest (now 11) walk to and from school herself from year 4 and pop to the local shops and yes the hysteria from other parents over it drives me nuts!

Slouchy Mon 29-Sep-08 21:08:17

I am scared of traffic.

I am not awfully scared of padeophiles (though aware and sensible)

This woman sounds bonkers.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 29-Sep-08 21:08:23

Message withdrawn

muggglewump Mon 29-Sep-08 21:08:53

DD is allowed to do all that too, plus walk to school with her friend. She is 7.

anyfucker Mon 29-Sep-08 21:09:20

the amount of freedom you give your childen seems perfectly reasonable to me, although 18 months ago your youngest was 5?. That is a little young for me (moat? water?) but hey, you weren't asking about that

your friends sound very overprotective

roisin Mon 29-Sep-08 21:09:32

YANBU. My boys have had similar freedoms and more: we live in a town, but the area is OK.

My dss are 9 and 11 now and have loads of freedom. I think it's very good for them.

NappiesGalore Mon 29-Sep-08 21:11:39


fymandbean Mon 29-Sep-08 21:15:34

doesn't all the evidence show there are no more or less paedophiles now than 20/40/60/80 years ago? Just more media coverage and recognition now?

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 29-Sep-08 21:15:37

Anyfucker - moat is dry. (And she is nearly 8.)

ivykaty44 Mon 29-Sep-08 21:18:55

My dd is 9y and is allowed to go round two corners to play out with her friends (the two friends live in that street and play in front of the house. dd has a mobile phone so I can phone her to come in or I give her a time to be home by - usually no more than an hour and I phone sometimes to check she is ok, but not always - she often calls me for more time please mum smile. dd has been doing this for a year now.

also she walks to school on her own, often calls for a friend on the way to school so they walk together.

she walks up to the top shops and gets milk, bread, sweets and treats, there is a main road to cross and she uses the pelican crossing.

If other parents want to keep their dc inside or in view all the time that is their choice and they must realise that not all parents will share their views on freedom to roam.

liahgen Mon 29-Sep-08 21:20:35

when i was a child growing up in rural ne, a child went missing, huge coverage never found sad

can't sit around waiting for it to happen though eh? chances are thankfully it never will.

my kids would swap with yours anyday, they're all tree huggers at one with nature

elliott Mon 29-Sep-08 21:23:00

I have been mulling on this one a lot recently - wondering where on earth all the 8-10 year old children ARE? Because they certainly aren't out playing, not in my patch anyway.
Its not that there is a dearth of places they could play - plenty of green space and parks. I often take my boys out and just hang about while they explore and grub about. But we are usually the only ones there and I find it deeply depressing - in a couple of years time I would hope that they would be out exploring by themselves (they are 6 and 4 now). But it would be much easier if there were a whole load of other kids out there playing too.

Bridie3 Mon 29-Sep-08 21:23:55

We're the same. My 10 year old cycles (quiet lane) to her piano lesson at the end of the village. I leave her and her 11 and a half year old brother at home for periods of up to about 35 minutes because we have lovely neighgbours who'd help if there ever were any problems. (And take mobiles with us.)

We're not naive or complaisant, just believe that the risks of stranger danger are over-stated and the pleasures and benefits of learning, early, how to look after yourself, will be of life-time benefit.

overthemill Mon 29-Sep-08 21:24:04

yanbu - we all have to try not to be freaked out by the nutcases. people are not all mad/rapists/paeds

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 29-Sep-08 21:24:07

Message withdrawn

beanieb Mon 29-Sep-08 21:24:16

I was brought up in the country and at 9 was allowed to walk all the way into the nearest town (2 miles) with my brother and sister. We had an extraordinary amount of freedom by today's standards.

Heated Mon 29-Sep-08 21:27:09

Sounds idyllic.


MrsSchadenfreude Mon 29-Sep-08 21:28:25

SGM - tell her we are near the river, so she could keep her swan there! grin

ivykaty44 Mon 29-Sep-08 21:30:59

I was concerned about cars and traffic for dd playing out - not stranger danger.

Although yesterday she went to the top shop for some milk and came home telling me a man in the shop sadi she should go to tesco to get milk as it was better value. I said your not to talk to strangers and she said i didn't a walked off.

i expect he was just trying to be helpful (it would be cheaper at tesco but there is a bad zebra crossing that cars ignore a lot on the way into the store - drivers ignore the zebra as they are too busy looking for somewhere to park) I will not let her go to tesco for fear of being knocked down by a car.

The car thing is my fear.

Although the last child I can name being taken wasn't in this country and was over a year ago - when was the last child abducted by a stranger in this country? who was it?

LittleBella Mon 29-Sep-08 21:33:36

I'm not afraid of peados.

I'm afraid of other parents reporting me to Social Services for neglect if I let my children do anything remotely normal in public.

(Have been on Child Protection course recently and was shocked by how much paranoia and repressiveness is now considered necessary to be a "caring parent".)

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