7.19.2010

NO BOUNDARIES

The rule in our house is that Luke can not ride his bike past the entrance to our cul-de-sac. Even then, I have to be outside watching him ride. He must stay on the sidewalk and he's not allowed to cross the street. Therefore, he rides his bike to one end, stops, turns his bike around, and rides on the sidewalk all the way back to the other end.

Our "scary" neighborhood.

Now that I wrote it out, I realize that I sound a bit like a crazy overprotective mother. Maybe so, but come on now, he's only 4!

Last week, I was standing in the front of the house watching Luke ride around, when he turned to look at me and defiantly said that he was going to ride out of the cul-de-sac. When he returned from his little joyride, 5 minutes later, I told him that he had to come inside to be punished. This eventually led to a big yelling match across the cul-de-sac (I'm sure our neighbors just love us). Finally, I, along with the help of our 10 year old neighbor, had to literally drag Luke back into the house while he was kicking and screaming. This was not my proudest moment.

After the dust settled, I started to think. Maybe I am too strict with Luke. Our neighborhood doesn't seem that dangerous. Maybe I should lighten up on his boundaries. After all, when I was 5, my mother used to let me walk home from school alone and it seemed really far! I even google mapped it out to see how far it really was, it turned out to be a whopping .4 miles. It's a miracle I survived.

The Long Walk Home.

Which leads to this question... does anyone really let their kids roam around the neighborhood freely and walk home from school anymore? Or is that a thing of the past?

18 comments:

  1. I don't let mine wander around freely - there are too many things that could happen. I would rather be safe then sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Depends on your town. Its a thing of the past in most places except the backwoods of any state........

    ReplyDelete
  3. I let my 7 yr old roam free, but my 4 yr old not so much

    ReplyDelete
  4. I started letting my kids walk home from school this past year. It is a half mile walk. They are 10 and 7. My twins (10) can ride further than my 7 year old can. You just give them a little more rope as they get older. I don't think your restrictions are bad for a 4 year old but maybe you can get out with him sometimes to let him explore a little more. It's an EXCITING thing to learn to ride a bike- once they get a little taste of the freedom it brings, they want it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would be worried about Luke darting out in front of a car or something.

    I don't think you're being TOO cautious. I have been around over protective parents and you are not one of them!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Last month I tried to get our two oldest to walk to Toys R Us together so I didn't have to take them. It's about a quarter mile away. They flat-out refused. When I was their ages (7 and 6), I rode my bike to the convenience store across the town's busiest road with nothing more than a yelled, "I'm going to the store, Mom!" on my way out the door.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't think you are too protective. When I was a kid we went so many places on our own. I can't imagine doing it now. I think I'm mostly scared of kidnappers or kids being hit by a car or maybe getting lost and not being able to find their way back. Our kids aren't allowed to leave our culdesac either except our 12 and 11 year old, but they don't really leave too much either. And they are supposed to go together if they do. I'm a big believer in the budddy system. And yes, it's fun to go on walks or rides with them to explore more beyond the boundary. :) I think roaming around is more a thing of the past at least at our house. It has taken me awhile to get used to letting the kids play out front without me watching them all the time. But now I'm okay with it. Anyway, I'll stop rambling. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've just watched too many kidnapping stories on t.v. and sometimes wonder when I will actually let them roam free. I definitely don't allow it now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. we're cool with whatever. we've just taught our children to never hang out at the nearby crack house or the casino. Other than that, what kind of trouble would they get into?

    Oh, for clarification, Grace carries a 9mm.

    Actually, we don't let Grace go anywhere without us, but our "cul-de-sac" is really just a driveway parking lot at the bottom of 3 flights of stairs. She's not really into exploring anyways. She has a tricycle but won't ride it more than 20 feet before she's tired and she can't make it around the block without giving up on walking. Leif will be a whole 'nuther animal when he's 4.

    ReplyDelete
  10. By the way,

    Did you ever watch "The Lovely Bones"? A surprisingly great movie, but you'll get the hibblie-jibblies more than a few times while watching it. *shudders*

    That's the kind of fear that strikes me when I think of kids out alone, and Grace is very NOT afraid of strangers, even though we've read "The Berenstein Bears Talk About Strangers" a few dozen times with her.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would check the Meagan's law website to see if there were any child predators in the area before I would even let them out in the street even supervised. If the neighborhood looked good, I might let the older kids out without as much supervision.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My first thought/question when I read this post was whether you've seen the movie commented on above-- "The Lovely Bones." There are just way too many creepers out there these days. Sad but true.

    I also agree with Kelley-- what if Luke darted out in front of a car-- especially if the driver were distracted by his/her cell phone? Every single day I pass people TEXTING while driving. It seriously makes me so crazy!!!

    Bottom line: NO. You are not an overprotective mother. You are a smart, responsible one!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cristin, I went through that with Jackson, too. I expanded his boundaries as he got older. Also, when Jackson finally "Got" it was when he came home to me in tears because I couldn't find him. Yeah, that was not the best moments of my life, either (yes, I'm keeping many details to myself here).

    ReplyDelete
  14. There's a little girl in our neighborhood who wanders around by herself all day, every day (she's 7, I think, but she's been doing it for a couple of years). All the other moms on the street sort of scoff at their family for letting her wander freely. Really, we all did it when we were her age, right? But I'm constantly concerned that I'm going to hit her with my car every time I back out of the drive way. I actually knew a little boy that I taught swim lessons to that was killed by a car, while riding his bike, when he was 8 years old. I'm definitely very protective of my kids, but getting hit by a car while they're outside is a very REAL concern for me!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't let my six year old ride out of my sight, so I think you're just fine! Too many kids getting grabbed these days, and too many crazies not watching where they're driving! That same daughter got backed into by a car; luckily she escaped with nothing more than a little road rash, but still, I don't think you'll ever regret being cautious.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can't even ride a bike up the hill in front of our house!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I struggle with the same thing. We live in NH but obviously some crazy things have happened on our street, like, guys chasing other guys with swords, stuff like that, and stuff getting stolen off our porch...so anyways, there have been a few times when Leyna has wandered outside by herself when I am inside taking a mandatory pregnancy nap, and I know the neighbors (the nice ones) think I'm such an awful mom. And, I let her ride in the street as long as I am sitting right there watching but even that I'm thinking needs to stop and just keep her on the the little sidewalk...hmmm, its hard when you want to give them some independance but not in dangers way...PS Steffen and my friends and I played in the street all the time as kids (a little older of course) and rode our bikes all over town...

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails