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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:12 am 
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parents with older children: how old are children before the parents stop being expected to stick around at classes, sporting events, and birthday parties? milo is 3 now, and he's sometimes the oldest, so i understand that omnipresence of hovering parents when toddlers are involved, but please tell me that this doesn't continue past preschool age.

we went to a birthday party recently at an indoor playground, and there were 2 "coaches" who were on the floor with the kids, helping them and making sure that they were playing safely, and still i would say that 75% of the parents were still hovering around their kids. they weren't taking pictures or playing with them, they were just standing there, as if being more than 2 ft from their child at any given moment were out of the question. it really crowded the gym floor.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Did anyone else see this?
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ALBANY - State bureaucrats have identified a potentially deadly hazard facing our children this summer - freeze tag. That's right, officials have decided the age-old street game - along with Wiffle Ball, kickball and dodgeball - poses a "significant risk of injury." And classics like Capture the Flag, Steal the Bacon and Red Rover are also deemed dangerous in new state regulations for day camps.

The Health Department created a list of supposedly risky recreational activities - which also includes more perilous pursuits like archery, scuba and horseback riding - in response to a state law passed in 2009. The law sought to close a loophole that legislators said allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate without oversight. Under the new rules, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities - with at least one of them on the risky list - is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation.

Ritchie said the regulations could cripple small recreational programs, forcing them to pay a $200 fee to register as a summer camp and provide medical staff


http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/201 ... se_su.html

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:29 pm 
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One of my friends had a steep, wooded hill behind her house, and the people who lived at the top of the hill dumped large, unwanted items (ovens, recliners, shopping carts) down the hill. I remember making garbage forts there--we used the timer from a discarded microwave as a doorbell. I'm sure our garbage forts were covered in all kinds of tetanus and who knows what else, but we had fun and we survived! I can't imagine that kind of unsupervised exploration happening now.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Well, some things are unsafe. It's nuts that everyone used to ride around with no seatbelts.

But some things are safe (or close enough to it) that outlawing them is equally nuts.

You can't legislate (or parent) away all risk. Risk is part of life. No one wants their kids to get hurt, of course, but how come fewer and fewer parents understand the value of unstructured time, kid-created activities, horsing around, exploring, and having kid-sized adventures?

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:43 am 
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FootFace wrote:

You can't legislate (or parent) away all risk. Risk is part of life. No one wants their kids to get hurt, of course, but how come fewer and fewer parents understand the value of unstructured time, kid-created activities, horsing around, exploring, and having kid-sized adventures?


the plus side is that meeting parents who do understand feels much more special. i run a small daycare for toddlers and a frequent question is what the structure of our days is. i reply: "no structure. there's routine, sure, the children know what is expected of them and feel comforted by that, but there are no strict times for anything. if snacktime is usually around 9:45/10 but the kids are all telling me they are hungry at 8:45, we'll have snack then. i don't make them wait an hour for the sake of keeping to a schedule. then we might be able to have more outdoor play that day because snack isn't interrupting it."

some parents are kind of taken aback by that answer but then others smile and get really excited because they've been visiting other daycares where they are handed a sheet of paper that has their toddler's [toddler!!] schedule mapped out to the minute. i have worked in daycares like that and it's always made me sad that no matter how much the children are really enjoying the activity they are doing, you have to rip them away from it at the designated time just because. that doesn't make sense to me, and it certainly doesn't make the kids happy.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:00 pm 
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I remember once seeing a stopwatch-type timer thing in a toy catalog -- it was big and plastic and colorful, and you could set it for 10 or 20 or 30 minutes and it would ring at the end of that time. It was clearly designed for kids younger than about 6 or so -- that sort of colorful plastic design. The description in the catalog said that kids frequently run out of time on standardized tests because they're not good at estimating how much time has passed, and this clock toy will help them get better at that. While I probably could come up with some good uses for a clock like that for preschool kids, that explanation for why parents should buy it was just horrible.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Two adults ticketed for sitting at a playground and chatting while not accompanying children.

Apparently, this is illegal in Brooklyn.

http://gothamist.com/2011/06/06/ticketed_for_eating_a_doughnut_in_a.php

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Yesterday, I went for a bike ride, and when I finished, I noticed that the park with the bike trail also had a playground with swings, and I thought, "I haven't been on a swing in a while, and that always used to be fun," and I had nothing else to do that afternoon, so I went and swung on the swings for a little while. I did not have a child with me. This would probably be an arrestable offense under that law. (I wouldn't have done it if there were kids there who wanted to use the swings, but there were only three kids in the playground, and two of them were much too little for the swings, and there were six swings, so I figured I wasn't taking playtime away from any kid.)


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:50 pm 
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It's not about taking away playtime. It's about acknowledging that all adults (men, especially, though) are potential child abusers and abductors.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:52 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
Two adults ticketed for sitting at a playground and chatting while not accompanying children.

Apparently, this is illegal in Brooklyn.

http://gothamist.com/2011/06/06/ticketed_for_eating_a_doughnut_in_a.php

What? I had no idea! It would make a lot more sense if it were generally handled like this:
Police: Excuse me, ladies. You're not allowed to sit here if you're not accompanying a child.
Chatting Women: Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware of that rule!


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:54 pm 
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joyfulgirl wrote:
FootFace wrote:
Two adults ticketed for sitting at a playground and chatting while not accompanying children.

Apparently, this is illegal in Brooklyn.

http://gothamist.com/2011/06/06/ticketed_for_eating_a_doughnut_in_a.php

What? I had no idea! It would make a lot more sense if it were generally handled like this:
Police: Excuse me, ladies. You're not allowed to sit here if you're not accompanying a child.
Chatting Women: Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware of that rule!

Yes! I may be being incredibly naive, but I just do not understand why this approach is not the obvious one!

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:58 pm 
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jogirl wrote:
joyfulgirl wrote:
FootFace wrote:
Two adults ticketed for sitting at a playground and chatting while not accompanying children.

Apparently, this is illegal in Brooklyn.

http://gothamist.com/2011/06/06/ticketed_for_eating_a_doughnut_in_a.php

What? I had no idea! It would make a lot more sense if it were generally handled like this:
Police: Excuse me, ladies. You're not allowed to sit here if you're not accompanying a child.
Chatting Women: Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware of that rule!

Yes! I may be being incredibly naive, but I just do not understand why this approach is not the obvious one!


I've heard from a few friends who live in NYC and go to the parks a lot that it seems like the police are giving out a lot more tickets lately for things that previously would have just been ignored.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:00 pm 
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jogirl wrote:
joyfulgirl wrote:
FootFace wrote:
Two adults ticketed for sitting at a playground and chatting while not accompanying children.

Apparently, this is illegal in Brooklyn.

http://gothamist.com/2011/06/06/ticketed_for_eating_a_doughnut_in_a.php

What? I had no idea! It would make a lot more sense if it were generally handled like this:
Police: Excuse me, ladies. You're not allowed to sit here if you're not accompanying a child.
Chatting Women: Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't aware of that rule!

Yes! I may be being incredibly naive, but I just do not understand why this approach is not the obvious one!


The policeman explains it in the article:
Quote:
If he just gave us warnings and told us to leave, he would get in trouble for “doing nothing all day.”


The police are pushed to generate revenue by giving out tickets.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:50 pm 
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The part I don't understand isn't "Why didn't the cop just give them a warning?" but "Why is this a law in the first place?"

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:14 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
The part I don't understand isn't "Why didn't the cop just give them a warning?" but "Why is this a law in the first place?"

duh, parks are for children and their parents only. Everyone else is a creeper.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Enh. All of the playgrounds around here have signs saying adults not permitted unless accompanied by kids under the age of 12 or something like that. Locally, the reason for it is that our parks tend to be kind of plagued by gangs of smoking teenagers and by the less stable segment of our huge local homeless population. Here it has nothing to do with child molesters or anything, more to do with not wanting little kids to be pushed off of equipment (literally or figuratively, I have seen both) by teenaged thugs.

I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to have some public spaces that are just for kids... but I do think ticketing people who are in child-specific areas but not causing a disruption is pretty forked up.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:31 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:04 pm 
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As a teacher, I find this stuff so interesting. We have some super-over-protective parents in our school. I remember once getting interrogated by a parent because their kid fell when we were walking in from the playground. It was a snowy day. It was slippery. He just plain fell. And the mom was all well, did somebody push him? Was he being chased by another kid? Was he being properly supervised? Yes, he was being properly supervised. But the ground was slippery because of the snow, and he just plain old fell. There was no incident. There was no story. There was no drama. We all were doing our jobs. But...the ground was slippery. And he slipped. And he's fine. No big deal, right? But in this mom's head, there had to be a REASON.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:12 pm 
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What's the objectionable theme in Mulan? O.o (Sorry just read that article and the comments, got confused Footface)

And shesh. Brown bag lunch > school lunch, I didn't even eat cafeteria food as a kid. Well, except dessert.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Shanti wrote:
What's the objectionable theme in Mulan?


I would hope: that she found the stereotypes objectionable.

I fear: she meant the cross dressing or the "girls can kick asparagus too" theme.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Shanti wrote:
What's the objectionable theme in Mulan?


I would hope: that she found the stereotypes objectionable.

I fear: she meant the cross dressing or the "girls can kick asparagus too" theme.

Ah, okay. I wasn't trying to sound flippant, I only remember seeing the movie when it first came out as a kid :) (And all I picked up from it was I can beat people up better than guys)

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:11 am 
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ficbot wrote:
As a teacher, I find this stuff so interesting. We have some super-over-protective parents in our school. I remember once getting interrogated by a parent because their kid fell when we were walking in from the playground. It was a snowy day. It was slippery. He just plain fell. And the mom was all well, did somebody push him? Was he being chased by another kid? Was he being properly supervised? Yes, he was being properly supervised. But the ground was slippery because of the snow, and he just plain old fell. There was no incident. There was no story. There was no drama. We all were doing our jobs. But...the ground was slippery. And he slipped. And he's fine. No big deal, right? But in this mom's head, there had to be a REASON.


I remember something like this happening once at a day camp where I was working. Near the end of the day one day, a five-year-old was walking and not really looking where he was going and walked into a table, the edge of which hit him right at eye level. Nobody noticed, since bumping into a table doesn't really create a big scene, and he didn't mention it to anybody. Nobody noticed any sort of mark on him when he was put on the bus home. By the next morning, however, it had developed into a black eye. His father came in and was screaming at every adult he could find. His kid was hurt, and it had to be someone's fault. At first, nobody had any clue what had happened, then the kid explained that he'd bumped into a table, and the father just kept on screaming that we were horrible people who had injured his child. (Or something like that. A good part of his rant was in Russian, which I don't understand.) And the little boy felt horrible and started crying, because he really loved his bunk counselor and thought that he had gotten her into trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:21 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Dear Abby thinks children should never be left alone at home if there are any alternatives at all.

Quote:
[A] prime example of us being told by a trusted “authority” to always conjure up the least likely but most devastating scenario possible and then proceed as if it’s likely to happen. As a parenting philosophy it’s depressing, delusional, debilitating — and apparently Dear Abby’s modus operandi.


The school of thought that you should prepare for the absolute worst thing that could ever happen because "you would never forgive yourself" carrys with it so much paranoia and blame, and it is really untenable - for both parents and child.

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 Post subject: Re: Free-range kids and related stuff
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Dear Abby thinks children should never be left alone at home if there are any alternatives at all.

Quote:
[A] prime example of us being told by a trusted “authority” to always conjure up the least likely but most devastating scenario possible and then proceed as if it’s likely to happen. As a parenting philosophy it’s depressing, delusional, debilitating — and apparently Dear Abby’s modus operandi.


The school of thought that you should prepare for the absolute worst thing that could ever happen because "you would never forgive yourself" carrys with it so much paranoia and blame, and it is really untenable - for both parents and child.


Generally, I like Dear Abby, but I saw this early this morning and cringed.

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