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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:25 am 
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Everything has changed. No, really.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:26 am 
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I wrote on the wrong thread and caught it so quickly that this is all you get to read.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:41 am 
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My Little Sister took the Red Cross babysitting class at 11 or 12. And that was just a few years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:17 am 
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I babysat a baby (six months old when I started) 12 hours a week over the summer when I was 14. We both survived.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:36 am 
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I babysat a 2 year old & a 4 year old all summer, 8am-6pm mon-fri, starting when I just turned 12. Shae is turning 12 in 2 weeks, that's so hard to connect.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:48 am 
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Fee wrote:
I really want to hear Ann M. Martin's take on this, please.


haha for reals! i remember being about 11 and wondering why the hell Jessi was allowed to stay home alone for the weekend with her baby brother and sister. I remember thinking that I'd be WAY to scared for that!

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:04 am 
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Wow, this is amazing. I think I was 6 when I was expected to walk to/from school. Sometimes my grandma would walk me but that was rare. I also often watched after my cousins and what not. My mom took care of all her siblings from a youngish age. We were taught to walk directly to/from school, not talk to strangers, etc. Although I've had various instances where I got lost to my mom, I was never in danger.

I was recently at disney in Orlando and was amazed at how many kids were just wandering around. I was in a restaurant near the bathroom that had a somewhat hidden exit and I saw a little girl (4 or 5) heading for the door. A lady stopped her and asked her where her family was at. She shrugged. Then apparently she saw someone she knew (another child, slightly older) walking out of the bathroom back towards the restaurant so she followed her. I guess they were using the buddy system but it seemed a bit scary to me. It seems there should be a middle ground but then again, I'm not a parent.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:36 pm 
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linanil wrote:
there should be a middle ground but then again


Yes! Middle ground, please!

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Yeah, I wouldn't let my kids run around at Disney alone, but I was babysitting multiple kids at a time by 12, and my parents left me and my little sister home alone from the time I was probably 9 or 10!

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:50 pm 
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My parents' general rule was that 12 was old enough to babysit, so when my older sister was 12 and I was 9, they stopped hiring a babysitter for us when they went out for dinner and a movie at night. My sister said that she would be paid if she was taking care of a 9-year-old from another family, so she should get paid for taking care of me, and our parents agreed. I objected, saying that, when they went out, my sister and I both did pretty much the same thing at home -- watched TV, read books, played piano, whatever -- so it wasn't fair that she should get paid and I shouldn't. Apparently I was convincing enough, because we finally negotiated a deal where my sister would get paid for taking care of the house and I would get paid for taking care of myself, or something like that. (This only lasted about two years. When I was about 11, they decided that I was old enough to not need a babysitter, and so neither of us got paid.)


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:16 am 
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Fee wrote:
I really want to hear Ann M. Martin's take on this, please.

Best comment ever.

I remember being told a couple years ago that you couldn't have a babysitter under 16 here and being dumbfounded. But I'd heard you only get in trouble if something bad happens. This is too much.

God, I bet my neighbours would totally nark on us if we ever did that (not that my kids are old enough to be alone, but still).

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:37 am 
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
I remember being told a couple years ago that you couldn't have a babysitter under 16 here and being dumbfounded. But I'd heard you only get in trouble if something bad happens. This is too much.

God, I bet my neighbours would totally nark on us if we ever did that (not that my kids are old enough to be alone, but still).


Well, Lothian police say:
Quote:
There is no specific minimum age for a babysitter. Parents or carers must adopt a common sense policy, with the babysitter being able to look after both himself/herself and the child. Similarly, there are no legal guidelines regarding the age at which a child can be left at home alone. The rule of thumb is that the child should be able to look after himself/herself. Again, common sense should apply.


Which is rather vague... Although, it's also technically illegal to employ a child under the age of 14, so perhaps you can only let someone younger look after your kids if you refuse to pay them?!

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:53 pm 
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i live in a neighborhood where you will frequently see 5-8 elementary aged kids playing together in a front lawn with not an adult in sight.

i'm saying that's a GOOD THING. i thought that kind of thing had completely disappeared. i'm keeping the faith! me and billy joel!


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:23 am 
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interrobang?! wrote:
Which is rather vague... Although, it's also technically illegal to employ a child under the age of 14, so perhaps you can only let someone younger look after your kids if you refuse to pay them?!

Lol! Thanks for the info. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:07 pm 
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FootFace wrote:

now I'm going to teach my kids to slam doors in known adults faces?


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:54 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Wow, this is amazing. I think I was 6 when I was expected to walk to/from school. Sometimes my grandma would walk me but that was rare. I also often watched after my cousins and what not. My mom took care of all her siblings from a youngish age. We were taught to walk directly to/from school, not talk to strangers, etc. Although I've had various instances where I got lost to my mom, I was never in danger.

I was recently at disney in Orlando and was amazed at how many kids were just wandering around. I was in a restaurant near the bathroom that had a somewhat hidden exit and I saw a little girl (4 or 5) heading for the door. A lady stopped her and asked her where her family was at. She shrugged. Then apparently she saw someone she knew (another child, slightly older) walking out of the bathroom back towards the restaurant so she followed her. I guess they were using the buddy system but it seemed a bit scary to me. It seems there should be a middle ground but then again, I'm not a parent.


What I try to keep in mind is what kind of world I want my kid to grow up in. I don't want him to have irrational fears and believe that there is evil under every tree. The world is really no scarier or more dangerous than it was when I was a kid and the percentage of freaks is not higher.
A friend of mine freaked out because I let friday and lycophyte take Toby out swimming in a river without me. I asked her what the hell she thought would happen. I'm certain that at least one of them (if not both) are more responsible than I am and are more athletic. You go looking for the devil and you will find him is what my grandma used to say.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:30 pm 
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FootFace wrote:

These stories are depressing. What the hell is going on with the world?


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Obsessive-compulsive hysteria in a preschool.

http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/obsessive-compulsive-pre-k-disorder/

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:14 pm 
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http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/2011 ... dangerous/

This NJ story was so upsetting. So apparently having trees and a pussycat are too dangerous for children

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:05 am 
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^Just saw that - I can't believe they have to cut the tree branches down! God forbid a kid touches a tree. What a sick society we've got.

And now, NY state thinks Wiffleball and Freeze tag are risky activities.
http://gothamist.com/2011/04/19/albany_ ... danger.php

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:01 pm 
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This stuff is just infuriating.

When I was in second grade, a group of friends and I were walking to school. I got hit by a car (well, the lady that hit me claimed I hit her car, ha!) and ended up with, thankfully, nothing more serious than getting momentarily knocked out and a badly bruised and sprained foot. Nobody said kids had to stop walking to school, nobody freaked out. Instead, my whole class got together and petitioned the city to put a crosswalk and stop sign in at that intersection (a very heavily used intersection that almost every kid within walking distance crossed to get to school). As soon as my foot was healed, my mom let me start walking to school again.

If everyone had been banned from walking to school, none of us would have learned all the interesting and useful things we did from that experience. We learned how to participate as members of our community, and we learned that we could actually change things in the world by writing some letters. At some point, we also requested and got a "duck crossing" sign put in on the road that ran by the nearby duck pond. So everybody got to walk safely to and from school/the pond.

Anyone read The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv? These stories remind me of some of the stuff he talks about in the book. Like how many of us got into stupid situations as kids (let's build a completely unstable fort out of rusty nails and splintery boards!), survived, and even learned something from them.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:11 am 
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Vantine wrote:
A friend of mine freaked out because I let friday and lycophyte take Toby out swimming in a river without me. I asked her what the hell she thought would happen. I'm certain that at least one of them (if not both) are more responsible than I am and are more athletic. You go looking for the devil and you will find him is what my grandma used to say.


I'm laughing at this and also horrified.
It's about the kind of world you want for your kids, but also for you. What Tofulish said about being serfs to the children. Wrapped up in that horror is the idea that you don't deserve an hour break from your kid. Mom-shaming means you should be hovering 24 hours a day, and in omniscient and omnipotent as well as omnipresent, and if something happens, well. You failed.

I'm guessing someone smarter than me could analyze all this as having to do with a backlash to feminism and women working. A way of keeping women barefoot in the kitchen in their psyches--you can go out to work, but you'd better live in fear every second, and on your time off you'd better not let the kid out of your sight.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:15 am 
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Friday, that is so interesting, and makes a lot of sense. Also, there are very few people smarter than you <3

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:33 am 
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And here is the love fest, because I was really just riffing off what you said.


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