Okay, first let me express that when I was growing up, it WAS safe for kids to roam all over the place without fear of something major happening to them. I use to ride my horse 18 miles at least every time I was off from school. My mom had no clue where I was and probably couldn’t have found me if she went looking for me since I had permission to ride through woods and fields for at least 20-30 miles around the house. Every time I had a day off from school and wasn’t overloaded with chores, I’d saddle (or go bareback depending on my mood) up Tripp and we’d take off for the day. It was etched in stone for many years in my teens that I was going to be on Tripp’s back on my birthday for most of the day. We would explore all the areas around us and I use to joke; “I’m not lost; I just don’t know where I am currently. However, I CAN get back home.” My Mom use to hate when she gave me the freedom to choose where we were going because she got “lost in her own backyard.” I can remember her telling me that tried to do one of our adventure rides while I was living in Ohio, and she literally had to lay the reigns down for her horse to take control and get her home.
I would also remember my brother (who is younger than me by a few years) and I roaming all over Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach and various other vacation locations as kids at ages 4 and 8. No one bothered us and we had a blast. Our Dad would give us money to get something to eat on or other nick knacks. We weren’t afraid of someone bothering us, and I can honestly say I don’t recall ever being made to feel uncomfortable by anyone I encountered.
However, in today’s world things are SOOOO different. I can’t even begin to count the amount of kidnapping reports I’ve been seeing on the news lately. Or even the amount of people breaking out of local jails. Now, I’m a mother of three wonderful kids, and I personally DON’T want to take any chances on someone taking them from me when I could have easily prevented it from happening by keeping tabs on where my kids are. Even if that means I’m classified as being overly protected and get cut down for my efforts to keep them safe and sound. When they are old enough to fully realize the dangers of their actions 12-13 at least, then yes, I’ll grant them a lot more freedom. Until then, it’s NOT going to happen by this mother. Even when we go to the water park, I keep very close tabs on where the kids are at all times. I also make it a point that Jimmy has to check in with me after so many times of going down his slides, even though, I personally know which slides he’s at all times. Yes, it’s hard to keep track of kids all the time, but I feel that is my job. Of course, I was a lifeguard for a couple of years, and it was mostly kids that I had to keep track of on a regular bases. So, the watchful eye got installed in me during those years.
This whole topic got brought up because we literally had two kids from two separate families literally walk onto our property today from the ball field next door and just start talking to my in-laws, and they of course, got my kids to play with them. The little girl couldn’t have been older than 8 or 9 herself, and she walked into my home and was quite controlling and acting like she owned the place and everything in it. She was very rude and didn’t see the harm in what she was doing at all. As I was walking her and the little boy with her back to the ball field they were bragging about leaving their parents and grandparents all the time. Now, if my kids took off like that I’d want to know about it. So, I took the kids back to the people they were suppose to be with. The grandmother stated she was disabled and couldn’t keep up with the little boy. (Now, I’ve been completely disabled and helpless, so I can some what understand that. However, she is the adult, and should still have enough control to keep that child within sight. If she doesn’t, then that child needs some serious discipline!!) The little girl’s mother acted like it was no big deal what her daughter did. I was blown away by all of that!!
Maybe I’m making to big of a deal about this, but what if those kids walked to someone’s house who had hurt them?? Or someone who didn’t want to give up those kids to their parents/grandparents?? What if we had a dog that liked to attack kids?? There are just so many what if’s to this situation that I can’t even begin to list them all. I was furious!!! I didn’t express that to the parents/grandparents. I did express that if the roles had been reversed I would want to know.
How would you react to this situation???