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  1. #171
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    I think it's sad how much things have changed and what a scary place the world is now.

    My brother and I used to walk to school by ourselves younger than that. At around the same age we were allowed to play out at the park up the road without parents and so were the other kids in the area. We were allowed to walk to friends houses and the petrol station. A little older when I was around 10 and my brother was 8 we had to catch 2 different buses to get to school (not school buses).

    At around 13 for a few hours between when mum left for work and stepdad got home from work I'd watch my infant sister. Change nappies etc.

    As I got older I had to do more and more. And today I'm happy I was able to have such independence and freedom so young without fear of being snatched or hurt.

  2. #172
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    I would not leave my kids to play by themselves. I would; however, use the playground as leverage to have them behave instore. Take cooler bags to put your cold things in and leave your groceries in the car and let the kids play IF they've been good AFTER the shop.

  3. #173
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    OJandMe is offline I am the strength my children will have.
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    short answer... no.

    I take them to the park for the playground.. and I take them to the supermarket for supermarket food.

    I wouldn't mind letting them play on the playground while I was loading the car though.

  4. #174
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    My 7 year old I would. But not the others.

  5. #175
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    Sorry but no friggin way :-(
    It only takes a second for you to take your eyes off them for something bad to happen. Also, I have a 2.5yo, 4.5yo and I take my 6.5yo niece grocery shopping on a regular basis. I never have a problem and they act like angels. I don't know why anyone would have to put their kids in a playground to go shopping. It doesn't make sense to me.

  6. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by GothChick View Post
    Their idea of security is telling the children 'if you see anyone suspicious roaming round the school that you do not recognise, tell a teacher immediately.' Yeah nice one..that'l really help.
    Lol, that really *is* what they get told. It worked for us, I was in primary school in the 90's and if we saw a stranger, you would run to a teacher on duty and tell them. The teacher would then ask the stranger what they were doing there. Our school had a public footpath down one side of its boundary, so we could only run and dob if the person was straying off the path haha. Nothing bad has ever happened there.

    FL is right though, schools aren't supervised and the kids are very much in charge of being independent enough to stay on school grounds and report strangers as 2 teachers per yard duty means they are there for emergency purposes. At my primary school the issue was troubled children running away.

    In melbourne today I saw a lot of private schools with open gates while the kids were out on the ovals etc.

    So overall, a 5 and 7 year old *do* need the skills to deal with stranger danger and know what to do if they are lost or without their "safe" adult.

    I know when I was a nanny in america, in upper-middle class areas it was a crazy concept to me that kids did not know what to do if they were momantarily apart from a trusted adult. They really freaked out, so did the adults. Where I grew up, if you lost your parents in a serious crowd or shopping centre, even a young child knew to either stand still or find information and tell them you lost your parents. I think most kids still know how to do this, as every time I have seen a "lost" child they are usually standing still acting like they are ok lol, or asking a person in uniform to help them etc. When I have asked a kid if they are lost usually they deny it first and when I tell them they can stand still where they are and I will tell information for them, they agree to my help hehe. So I would rather my child be that kid. The one who isn't freaking out, the one who knows to stand still and wait for a parent to re-trace their steps, and to only accept help from an adult if it means not moving out of their very public spot.

    I would definitely let a 7 year old play on the playground while in view, I am not sure about a 5 year old but I can be a bit paranoid personally, (even after everything I have written ). If they are clearly in view though, and I had given clear instuctions, like wave at the window if something is wrong, don't come out of the playground to find me etc and I didn't shop with my head down, I would be fine with it.

    I wouldn't let them go to a public toilet alone!

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  8. #177
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    I would love if jasper would stand still when lost. He definitely seems to think if he runs he'll find us faster. It's insane how far how fast he can get in Kmart when he was RIGHT THERE a second ago!!!

    But he's 3.5yrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boobycino View Post
    I would love if jasper would stand still when lost. He definitely seems to think if he runs he'll find us faster. It's insane how far how fast he can get in Kmart when he was RIGHT THERE a second ago!!!

    But he's 3.5yrs.
    haha, yeah a toddler is a bit different, and all kids are different. My eldest never runs and is 6 months older than Jasper, but has always shopped with me without a pram from 18months, DD2 I never take my eyes off. She has only done a runner once, and is 2.5, but since then I make sure she is holding someones hand or is in the pram. Some kids can't be trusted for their own good! I guess thats why I said yes to 7 and no to 5... just picturing my two girls at that age as siblings. I'd trust DD1, not DD2 to not run away themselves!

  10. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugsy View Post
    I'm really suprised I'm in such a minority.
    The very small risk of a random stranger abduction seems to weigh on parents minds so much more heavily than the much more likely risk of, say, a car accident.

    I don't quite understand why.

    Awful thinks can happen, sometimes they are out of our control. I could dwell on the horrific nature of some very rare crimes and paralyse myself with fear for my children, or I could make a thorough risk assessment, weighing up the need for balance between caution and life and growth.

    I mean, sometimes children are snatched from their own bedrooms, should they never sleep alone?

    I also think it is important that my children grow up knowing that most people in the world are good, kind and wish them no harm. I couldn't imagine having to grow up so fearful and untrusting of everyone adult in their life.

    As a parent I feel my job is to navigate my children towards an independent adulthood. That job entails more than just keeping them "safe" for 18 years.
    I agree when I came over to visit my husband I left the kids with family when I got back they would not leave the house for fear of being raped. I guess it was said to them a few times and I had to explain that it's unlikely that some random would snatch them. It took my husband and I almost a year to get that fear out of them I felt so bad for them.

  11. #180
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    The worst is no more "scary" than it ever was. It's just that we have more access to the news of these things, we are less accepting of these things happening and it's no longer seen as such a shame for the victim (and their family) to carry themselves... 100s of years ago children were still raped, just it was either acceptable or nobody talked about it because then that child would have been treated like an outcast.

    I have no doubt that just as many children were victims of crime when my grandparents were kids as children are today. It's just more out in the open.


 

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