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are we over protective?

(30 Posts)
ourdarling Mon 24-Jan-05 13:25:47

Would you leave your young children to play in a public/pub playground unattended?

Our dd is 4.6 and on 2 recent occasions we have been out with older family members to a pub with a adjoining playground. dd of course wanted to go to the playground so my husband and l took it in turns to go with her as we always do. We were lectured in both cases to let her go by herself. For one of the occasions l agreed, but l kept looking out the window to check on her and l was told off again for being over protective. When we got home l told my husband how uncomfortable l felt. He did too. When l was a very young child my sister, brother and me would just go off to the park by ourselves, quite frankly my mother very young herself and did'nt seem to worry. l told my husband l would never again allow anyone to stop me doing what l think is right. Sometimes when we are in a playground with dd, we come across young ones on their own. Sometimes they will ask me or my husband to help them on various playground equipment. Always we ask where are your mummy & daddy. It makes my blood run cold. What do you think?

mummylonglegs Mon 24-Jan-05 13:29:47

I think you're totally right. I wouldn't relax for a moment if dd was outside alone. It's different if there are older siblings or relatives or even friends around to play with. You stick to doing what you think is right and be happy to know that you're not putting your dd at risk from either accidents or scary people.

FairyMum Mon 24-Jan-05 13:33:19

I think you are right in supervising unfortunately.

flashingnose Mon 24-Jan-05 13:34:00

Could you see her from where you were sitting inside?

Gobbledigook Mon 24-Jan-05 13:35:23

I think you are right too. I wouldn't let mine out without me being there - 4.6 is still very young.

Do what you think is right and stuff everyone else - you protect your daughter how you see fit.

Twiglett Mon 24-Jan-05 13:37:06

No way would I leave a child of that age to go off and play in a playground UNLESS from where I was sitting I could watch her .. I wouldn't necessarily go with though .. for example there's a pub near us that has plaground equipment (climbing frame) and we will quite happily sit on a table outside and let DS go play (last summer when he was 3.5) .. must have been about 20 foot away from him

and we were within shouting distance

bakedpotato Mon 24-Jan-05 13:37:28

not out of my sight, no. there must come a point when i will, but i'm not sure when that will be.

DH took DD, 3, to the park last weekend. As they approached the gate, he noticed a woman in her 30s looking at them -- esp DD -- very closely. She followed them into the park and came up to them. She said to DD, 'Are you my daughter?' DH said no, she wasn't, and the woman snapped, 'I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to HER.' DD was silent. Woman kept on until DH picked up DD and marched off. He found a policewoman and they sent 3 other PCs out to try to find her. But if he hadn't been quite so attentive, well, who knows. Obviously that woman has a sad story to tell but there is a limit to how sympathetic you can feel when your own child is involved.

Am now thinking 'hide and seek' is possibly not such a great idea in a public place after all. It's incredibly depressing. I used to be comparatively cavalier but this has made me rethink. I suppose the most important thing is not to let your child pick up on your anxieties, though.

coppertop Mon 24-Jan-05 13:38:02

I think you are right to want to supervise a 4yr-old. I know what you mean about other people's children asking for help, especially when they want you to lift them in/out of swings etc. It's a sign of the times that this makes me feel really uncomfortable.

flashingnose Mon 24-Jan-05 13:40:39

OK, I'm going to put my head above the parapet and say that I would let my 4 and 6 year olds play in a playground that I couldn't see.

Please be kind .

batters Mon 24-Jan-05 13:51:09

I would never let my 6 year old play somewhere, anywhere, unsupervised, where I couldn't see her. I don't mind people calling me overprotective. In the summer hols I took her and a friend to an indoor playcentre, I was the mad woman wandering round the edges muttering "ah, I see them now" .

flashingnose Mon 24-Jan-05 13:54:50

Out of interest, what age do you think you'd let them out of your sight?

WigWamBam Mon 24-Jan-05 13:55:33

My dd isn't 4 yet, and there's no way I would let her play unsupervised. My sister's step-son-to-be is almost 6, and if we take the two of them out, I wouldn't let either of them play where I couldn't see them. I don't care if that makes me over-protective; I'd just rather know that they were safe.

flashingnose Mon 24-Jan-05 14:03:37

Everyone has their own feelings about what's right in this respect, but assuming you won't be supervising them when they're 18 , I just wondered what the thoughts were about the age at which you would feel comfortable letting them out of your sight. I didn't have my children in the UK so am genuinely interested.

WigWamBam Mon 24-Jan-05 14:11:24

No, I won't still be supervising her when she's 18! I won't still be supervising her at 10, but I think the age that I will let her play out of my sight will depend on an awful lot of factors. It's something I will do when I feel comfortable about it - not for the next three years or so, though.

ourdarling Mon 24-Jan-05 14:17:41

Dear flashingnose - when she is 25 years old, wearing a tracking devise, a body alarm system, a black belt in judo, a can of mace and bullet proof vest! At this stage l really do not know.

flashingnose Mon 24-Jan-05 14:22:23

There was a chap who sent a text message into Radio 5 saying his daughter was 9 and she never went out to play unsupervised. He was mourning her complete lack of freedom, compared to his own upbringing (and I suspect, most of ours) and also the lack of spontinaity (sp?) in her play i.e. she couldn't just go and call for a friend.

Why do you think in the 20-40 years since we were children that the freedom that parents allow their kids has been so radically curtailed?

ourdarling Mon 24-Jan-05 14:33:07

Dear flash,

l think the answer is 'media' in it's full colour news coverage, front page coverage, no detail spared, repeated news sections on radio, t.v and even the internet. We have scared ourselves senseless.

mummylonglegs Mon 24-Jan-05 14:33:09

fn, I live in SE London in a pretty run down area. I couldn't let dd go out alone, even to a corner shop, until she was way over 10 around here. Just recently I spoke to an old lady on the bus who'd lived in this area since she was a young girl. She said in 'them days' they used to leave their doors unlocked and the kids played on the streets but that now it 'isn't safe.' I'd love to know what exactly it is that's changed. Obviously streets are less safe because there's more traffic. Maybe people have more to steal? Maybe we're all more Godless? All I do know is that it's not safe.

Caligula Mon 24-Jan-05 14:53:56

More traffic, more crime and more fear of crime.

Crime has been rising on a steady upward trajectory since the 1940's I think or perhaps the 1950's.

Except of course, the abduction and murder of children, which has gone down. Our children are less likely to be murdered by a stranger than those of the people in the nineteen sixties. (Not that it was common then - it wasn't, and isn't now. But we are all just much more aware of it.)

Less neighbourliness, more mobility - we don't know our neighbours anymore, so can't spot suspicious strangers. Our children are less likely to be protected by the network of interefering neighbours who would keep an eye on them.

More women in the workforce, so not at home in the daytime, so burglary is easier.

More material possessions, so more point in being a burglar. I remember a comedy routine where the stand-up comedian in question said "Of course we all left our doors open in the fifties - who the f* was going to steal an aspidistra?!" It brought the house down.

Just some of the thoughts which spring to mind!

pixiefish Mon 24-Jan-05 14:59:36

i agree with you ourdarling

Hulababy Mon 24-Jan-05 15:02:05

I wouldn't let a child of your DD's age play unsupervised outside either.

I wasn't allowed to as a child - born in early 70s, so I don't think it is a new worry of parents.

beachyhead Mon 24-Jan-05 15:03:23

I let my 7 year old out around the estate on her bike, but she has to check in every 3/4 mins by sticking her head through the window and shouting....

msann Mon 24-Jan-05 15:08:36

oh my god beachyhead....i feel tight now...i will not even let my 7 y old play on the driveway unless im out there!

beachyhead Mon 24-Jan-05 15:10:29

she's very good on her bike and she knows the rules - and she knows lots of people around....I think I have to trust and reward her responsibility at some point.... its a very safe neighbourhood.

Tinker Mon 24-Jan-05 15:10:44

Same as beachyhead. She sometimes out of sight but I can usually hear her.

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