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Sunday, January 18, 2009

What would you do?

I think we can all agree, parenting is the hardest job out there. There is no manual or instruction guide. We have to make decisions about our kids based on our beliefs and experiences.

Today I am faced with a very unhappy ten year old.

She had made plans to go with her friend (another ten year old) to watch the boys in her class who play hockey. She was to go to the friend's home at 1:00pm, and then they would walk a few blocks to the arena to watch the game at 4:30pm, alone. There was not going to be a parent present.

Now, we live in a small town, which is a good thing. But, just because it is small does not mean bad things can not happen. There is one known child molester living in town, at least he is known. How many are not? And there is nothing stopping anyone from driving into town, and seeing an opportunity.

It is not just the walk that worries me, it is also being in the arena (which is very busy on weekends, a lot of out-of-towners playing hockey, swimming, etc.).

Is it that I am just paranoid, or am I jaded by the media coverage of bad things happening to children in this world. I just feel it is my job and priority to make the right decisions to keep my children safe. She of course, does not understand, and feels I am just being mean.

I also, feel that a ten year old child should not be running around unsupervised out of consideration of others, after all, she is going to act like a ten year old and make ten year old choices.

On the other hand I hate to see her disappointment.

I have agreed to a compromise, she will go visit the friend from 1:00 until 5:00, and then I will pick her up. This way I know she is not sneaking to the arena, under the premise of staying at the friend's house.

What would you do??

27 comments:

Melissa said...

I completely agree. Children just don't understand the dangers that are out there and feel that they are invincible. I know you feel bad about disappointing your child but her safety is obviously way more important. And you made a great compromise.

Kristina P. said...

I agree. I think that 10 is a bit too young to be alone in a situation like that. I would say maybe 12 or 13.

When I was about 10 or 11, I lived in California, and went to Disneyland with a friend. Her dad let us go off by ourselves. Looking back, I think that was crazy!!

Lori said...

I think 10 is very young to alone especially for that long of a time. I think you have made the right decision

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

I would not let my child go unsupervised, either. I think you made a wise decision. :)

Laurie in Ca. said...

I agree with the rest of the commenters here Pam. Ten years old is just too young without an adult. Your compromise is a good one but I would check with the other parent to make sure they stay at the house. I know, call me old fashioned, but you know where I stand on childrens safety. There will be many more disappointments along the way, this one is practice:)

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

I totally agree with you, ten is still a little too young. And I think you made a great compromise with her. I love what Laurie in Ca. said because it is soooo true. "There will be many more disappointments along the way, this one is practice."

Me said...

I think you did what was best. My children are still young, but if in the same circumstance I would not have let them go either. I think 10 is much to young for something like that. I would not have allowed it until closer to 13-14. It truly is difficult to be a parent!

Leene said...

I'm with you on not letting a 10 year old go to an arena alone for that long. That's such a young age to be going off by themselves for a longer period of time. It sounds like you came up with a great compromise. Leene

gramee said...

i would never le a 10 year old go out in the arena with out parental supervision i am a gramee. i raised my kids when it was acceptable to do something like that.. i let my 10 year old ride a bus with her friend who was 12 to the movie theater.. but my grand kids could never do something like that in this day and age small town or not. she should know your not a mean mom just a mom who cares.

Laura said...

You're doing the right thing. I wouldn't let her go, either.

Andrea said...

A compromise was a great way to go. I agree that she's still a bit too young to be going out without an adult with her and her friend.

Bee and Rose said...

You absolutely made the right (and very loving) choice! Wonderful compromise!

You'll get your reward when she grows up to be a fabulous mother like you (and she doesn't allow her 10 yr old to go unsupervised either!)

Hugs!
dawn

Jenn(ifer) said...

I think you did the right thing. I would never allow my soon to be 10 year old to walk anywhere without a parent. It is too dangerous, that is just the reality. I may have offered to take her and the friend to the arena myself, but honestly I think you did the RIGHT thing!!!

Its SO hard having pre-teens.

blueviolet said...

You're doing the right thing. A mother's instincts are always right. Go with them.

Yaya said...

Sounds like you are being a good mom here, even though it's hard.

Things have changed. Back in our day we COULD do something like this and not think twice...but today...no way.

You need to do everything possible to keep your child safe.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

This is such a tricky question. When it comes to my kids, I am a freak about their safety when we are outside of the house. (Inside the house, well, that is another story.)

However, back to the matter at hand. I understand your need to not disappoint your daughter, but I honestly would have done the exact same as you did in this situation...struck a compromise. Her proposal would have made me worry. I guess I am just the result of watching WAY too many after school specials growing up.

-Francesca

Jen said...

You made the right call. The world is a different place today.

love life said...

Mom I totally disagree I think you should of let me go see my BFs game.
Thx though for letting me go to Rissas house it was really fun!! =0)


Luv ya Emily

Mandy and Jack said...

Good for you for making the hard decisions to not always be popular! She will appreciate you keeping her safe more than this one afternoon with a friend. :)

Jen said...

this is a very hard one. I used to go out by myself around this age but unfortunately times are different and we live a very cruel world. I think that 10 is too young to be out by yourself. She needs a parent. It is just too scary out there and you never know what or who is out there.

ASHLEY said...

YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO WORRY, CHILDREN JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO THEM...I'M IN MY THIRTYS AND I'M SCARED OF WHAT PEOPLE WILL DO....THIS WORLD IS REALLY NOT A SAFE PLACE.

Erin said...

I would definitely err on the side of being careful. It sounds like you are a great mom!

Nancy said...

i think you made the right decision. I didnt let my daughter walk anywhere with her friend until she was 13 and even then it had to be a short distance and someone had to have a cell phone and call me upon arrival. I know alot of parents in my area that let their kids wander but I dont!! And at 10!!! Thats just not acceptible to me.

Janet said...

You are absolutely right! Children should not be left unsupervised. I did exactly the same as you did when Stacey was younger. Even now, she's nearly 21, she is expected to tell me where she's going and what time to expect her home!!

La Familia Garcia said...

I would have offered to drive them there. This is just the beginning of kids looking for independence. I also have a nine year old, and the balancing of this is what's really hard.

Junita said...

10 is young. I lived by myself when I was 11 and looking back I am baffled by the fact that nothing "bad" ever happened. I would have loved to have someone tell me no.

Debbie said...

You have to be comfortable with what they are doing. If you are getting that "worried" feeling, I don't think you should do it. My kids know we are protective and why. They don't really complain.