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OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: MacArtist
Date: June 04, 2006 02:20PM
With their friends?

Just curious. I have a 10 year old and it makes me nervous watching her ride off to the pool with her friends on bikes.

When I was a kid, I had a paper route at that age. It was across the other side of the town where I lived (pop. 13,000). Didn't think anything of it. Now that I have kids; I worry.



I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making
him carry me, and yet assure myself and others
that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his
lot by all possible means — except by getting off
his back. - Leo Tolstoy, novelist and Philosopher
(1828-1910)





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2006 02:21PM by MacArtist.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: Carm
Date: June 04, 2006 02:35PM
I think it all depends on what kind of parent you want to be.

I have two neighbors. The one on the left side. The kids are always out. No parental supervision. Neighbor on the right lets kids out. Only when they are watching them. Same here. Kids under 10 on both sides.

Are you gonna be one of those parents that cries. My baby. when something happens? My parents let me venture out when I was 11, but I dont think my mom would have let me out at that age now, if we still lived in the same place. More people, more crime. Check your local area, if its available for child molestors that have been registered, you might be surprised.

Just something to think about.

Carm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2006 02:36PM by Carm.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: swampy
Date: June 04, 2006 02:41PM
It's such a different time. So much innocense lost. I don't know if I could raise a kid now.



If you don't stand for something, you'll probably fall for anything.t
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: graylocks
Date: June 04, 2006 02:43PM
i would think it depends upon your neighborhood, your child, and how well you have prepared her for various situations.

the first two speak for themselves; with the last i mean, have you role-played with her how to respond to different approaches from strangers and from whom to seek help in an emergency? how far away from you will she be? can she call? walkie-talkie?

there are so many factors. my neighborhood when i was young sound like the one of your youth. times are so different now.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 04, 2006 02:47PM
Mom let me roam the mean streets of South Boston on my own at the age of nine, but only up to a certain point (I wasn't to cross over into Boston proper) and only because she knew I could and would keep myself out of trouble. When we moved back to L.A. a year later, pretty much the entire neighborhood was my domain, but the parents always knew where I was and when I would be back.

If I had kids, there is no way I would give them the freedom I had at that age. The world's a more dangerous place now.



It is what it is.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 04, 2006 03:01PM
teach them to shoot a gun at 6, let them roam at 8



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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: davester
Date: June 04, 2006 03:38PM
Frankly, all this "the world is more dangerous today" talk is mostly that...talk. It's definitely true that there is more fear-mongering by the media and politicians these days, but for the most part the risks to kids are not much different than they were in the 70s and 80s, and violent crime rates have in general dropped since the 90s. However, this article seems to indicate that crime in the 50s and 60s (how many here are really that old) was lower than in subsequent years.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 04, 2006 03:55PM
I have a 14 yo. soon to be 15 (getting the learner's permit in July may turn all my hair grey) and we have been letting her go to the mall with her friends since she was about 12. That means we drop them off during the day, not at night, at the mall, which is 15 minutes away, and then pick them up later. We don't really live in an area where she can bike anywhere, so that issue hasn't come up. Also, they all have cell phones, so that helps make everyone more accessible than when we were kids.

I think doing things in a group is a lot different than just letting a single child go somewhere by him/herself. It also depends on the place where you live. If it is a large city then that is different from a small rural town. If this is just riding her bike with her friends to the neighborhood pool that is only a 5 minute bike ride away and she is with friends the whole time, it doesn't sound too dangerous. It just depends on the maturity of the child and the circumstances. If you feel comfortable with it then it is probably OK. If you are feeling uncomfortable about it, then rethink your postition, but you do have to give them some freedom, as hard as that can be.

Hey, MacArtist, just wait till she gets asked out on that first date in a car with a BOY! It will make this bike thing seem so much easier by comparison. As I said, all my hair may soon be grey. sad smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: raz
Date: June 04, 2006 04:14PM
My 12 y.o. daughter walked herself home from the library last weekend - about 2 miles. I got a call from the wife and had to calm her down.

It's hard not to be over-protective of one's kids, but other than a snatch-and-grab or random-act-of-violence, neither of which she'd have any control over, there is nothing she'd do that woud be dangerous.

In the end, it's a matter of how you rear them and where they ar.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: Pam
Date: June 04, 2006 04:56PM
The pool lets 10 year olds in without parents? When I was growing up I think you had to be 12 before you could come in without an older person. Going to the pool alone or with friends/sister was very common. We lived there in the summer. As one of the lifeguards when I was older, I hated parents who didn't come with their kids. We didn't need to be babysitters as well as lifeguards.

Personally I wouldn't let my daughter, when she was 10, go too far from home without parental supervision. When she was 12 there was greater freedom. Now at 14 with boys all over the place I want to lock her up like she was 3 ;)
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: kanesa
Date: June 04, 2006 05:26PM
I agree with davester on this one.
We are living in a culture of fear in the country.
Looking up sex offenders on a website only makes you more afraid. They were always there, it is just now you can be shocked when you look.
There are no more stranger abductions now than any other time, it is just that we are know about them even when they are a 1000 miles away.

Teaching your children to be afraid does nothing for their maturity.
Teaching them the rules and how to handle themselves is giving them confidence and tools to handle themselves.

10 is a tough age. What is her maturity level? Can she follow rules? Is she easily swayed by others? Can she stand her ground when someone tries to talk her into something? Does she understand what a stranger is? Unfortunately, child sex offenders are usually someone your child knows, not a stranger. Will she YELL for help if she needs it. Have you talked to her about stranger abductions and what she should do if it happens?

Do you have good communication with your daughter? Does she know she can tell you ANYTHING and not get in trouble?
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: elmo3
Date: June 04, 2006 05:29PM
Quote
davester
Frankly, all this "the world is more dangerous today" talk is mostly that...talk.

Yup. Nothing but talk by scared people.

And what they're scared of is not so much something happening to their child, but rather the looks and attitude they're likely to get from society. "You let your CHILD out in the STREETS by HIMSELF? What are you, INSANE? You're a bad parent." Screw them.

Wimps. My boy is 7, and he's walking to grampa's house 8 blocks away--with his 4 year old sister in tow. After the bike safety course, he'll ride.

However, I live in an older neighborhood with lots of streets and cross streets, with sidewalks, and pedestrians are expected. I don't live in one of the modern housing developments, where people live in caves and leave their houses only in cars from their attached garages and there's only one road in an out of the whole dang place.

in fact, I live right across the street from what was my elementary school. My parents still live where I grew up. From kindergarten on, I walked to and from school on my own. There's absolutely no reason my kids can't make the same trip to grampa's house. And they do. My boy's school is right up the street now, only a couple of blocks; why would we drive him?



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: ajakeski
Date: June 04, 2006 07:10PM
My son is 10, soon to be 11. He has recently started hanging out with the neighborhood kids and riding his bike to the local parks. They have to learn to be on their own sooner or later. Just hope they remember some of what you have told them.




I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell? -Homer.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: Ammo
Date: June 04, 2006 07:29PM
My wife and I have always been pretty protective of our kids, and that's OK, but you also lose something by doing so. Sometimes I wonder: did we inadvertently teach them that the world is a scary place?

What is so different today for my kids is that the outdoors is a "second choice" after indoor activities. This saddens me, because I grew up roaming the neighborhood and adjoining wooded areas. When I was 7 or 8, my mom would pack me a lunch (just about always peanut butter/jelly sandwhich & Kool-Aid) and my best buddy and I would be gone the whole day, playing and having the time of our lives. As long as we were back by dinner, it was OK.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: elmo3
Date: June 04, 2006 07:30PM
Quote
ajakeski
Just hope they remember some of what you have told them.

And don't be surprised or hurt when they don't.

Remember: good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from....bad judgment.



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: kap
Date: June 04, 2006 09:00PM
It's hard to have an innocent childhood these days sad smiley I am glad to have had mine and so are my friends whose ages are ranging from late 20s through late 40s. Like Bob said, "The times they are a changin'."

Kap



SoCal for now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2006 09:01PM by kap.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: billb
Date: June 04, 2006 10:38PM
Day One.
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: chas_m
Date: June 04, 2006 11:01PM
Let's get the disclaimer out of the way first: I don't have children, but if I did I'd probably let them roam on their own at whatever age they wanted to unless there was a nearby area that was known dangerous.

I come from a solidly middle-class background and my parents would usually let me out of the house about after lunch and wouldn't see me again till dark and/or dinner, whichever came first. They knew all the neighbours and knew we could easily get to anyone's house and get help if we needed it.

It wasn't an "innocent" time OR an innocent childhood: it's just as safe today in most non-crack neighbourhoods as it was then. Turns out I was in far more danger from the local priests than anyone else quite frankly, and nothing bad ever happened to me that I didn't induce myself (stepping on a nail, breaking my arm, etc).

Today's parents are complete WUSSES (please insert stronger word there) who teach their children irrational FEAR and PARANOIA, which breeds a contempt not just for the outdoors but learning and childhood social skills in general. It's become pretty obvious over the last 20-30 years what a bad idea keeping your kids under lock and key has been.

There's a LOT more to say about this but I'm sure there's a word limit so I'll just say this:
1. A combination of love of books/reading and love of the outdoors makes for the strongest possible personality.

2. Over my lifetime, the people I've met who got the LEAST exposure to TV as children were CONSISTENTLY the most interesting (I wish now that I could say I was one of those people!).

3. Almost EVERYTHING you hear about crime in this country is MASSIVELY overblown. On purpose. For a reason. Not a good reason. Nuff said.



chas_m




[crawlingfromtheusa.blogspot.com] <-- Moving to Canada blog
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Re: OT: What age did you let your kids venture out...
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 05, 2006 12:26PM
Chas, I bow down to your eloquence. Now if I can convince my wife.
And makktime, oddly enough, I learned to shoot a gun at age 6. 40 years ago. And was allowed to go on bike rides by myself at age 6 as well.
My wife had conniptions when our then 12 year old son went on 2 mile rides with his buddy- on bike path equipped roads.
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