Can you give them freedom when you don't trust them?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SophiaMaria, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. SophiaMaria

    SophiaMaria New Member

    We let difficult child stay home alone when we have to . Have not had signifigant problems with it. Someone asked me why i don't send him to the pool for the afternoon to break up his day when he's home alone. ANSWER- i don't trust him to go alone. He doesn't listen to the lifeguard when i am there, how do i trust him to listen to her when i 'm not. It's just a feeling of why should i force others to deal with his behavior when i'm not there to step in if necessary? Am i alone in this feeling? How do you handle it?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    A courageous parent must do what she feels is right for her child regardless of what others suggest might be a different way of doing things. If you feel that it's not safe for your difficult child to be at the pool without your supervision, then it shouldn't happen. Period. End of story.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree. This is a current and previous issue between difficult child and me. Some people in our lives have just said I'm being over-protective or controlling but I don't think anyone else is in a better position than me to determine if my child is responsible enough for a given privilege. You can bet that if something drastic happened, the first question you would hear is "why did you let him do that".
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Responsibilites cannot be entrusted to anyone simply based upon their age...

    This is true for adults as well as children.

    Never doubt your Mommy instincts.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Ignore this other person. She doesn't live with your son and she has not raised him. She simply is not a good judge of what is appropriate for YOUR child and YOUR family.

    Your instincts say that the pool trips need adult supervision. They are RIGHT. Pools here won't let anyone younger than 16 in with-o a parent anyway.

    The times I made the HUGE mistakes with my kids are the times I went against my Mommy Instincts. Follow your instincts!
  6. SophiaMaria

    SophiaMaria New Member

    This woman wasn't being pushy or judgemental, it was simply a thought of things he could do while home alone. My question was getting at , when they hit a certain age how in the heck do you decide to if you feel you can let them do these things when in the past it was not successful?
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others in relation to your first question.

    In regards to your second, the simple answer is you just have to let them try. There is no magic age or magic sign that our kids are ready. Just because it didn't work in the past, doesn't mean it won't work know or six months from now.

    I would say you just have to try. The first couple times, you might want to have a security blanket as such - a pair of eyes that is there, without your son's knowledge, to make sure everything goes well and difficult child stays safe. You and difficult child will need to sit down and discuss safety and rules with the knowledge that, if he doesn't follow, he won't be allowed that freedom again for a while.

  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Seems my neighbor and I do not see eye to eye on what we can allow our same age boys to do. When my son was 10 yrs old, he had a target practice birthday party. My husband supervised and each kid got to shoot a BB gun and a bow and arrow. It was in turn and for anyone familiar with boy scouts it was set up as that organization would practice except only one kid had the gun at a time. I stood with the gun when husband walked each kid down to get the target. At no time did a kid have a weapon without very direct supervision and at no time was the weapon available for a kid to pick up without permission. My son had been handling a BB gun and bow and arrow for a couple of years by then. We went over the safety rules several times and as with each boy as his turn came up. A few boys also had expereince but the neighbor boy had not. My neighbor went off on me as to how the boys were way too young for that. They should not be allowed to touch a gun without first going through gun safety.
    I think what was extra hard for her was that difficult child told her son about the party before I could talk to her. I was expecting that reaction and was not surprised when he was not allowed to attend.

    Then, when the boys were 12 years old, her son had a soft air gun party. That was super hard for me to deal with. See, as difficult child was taught at a young age about the safety issues around guns, the number 1 rule is you do not point a gun at anyone, period. So, here this boy who was not allowed to attend the b-day party was having an airgun party. Why? Because apparantely that is what 12 -13 year old boys do. He had to have a party the same as his friends were having. Their parents allow them to go to this very noisy dark room with guns and obsticles where they get to shoot at each other. Ugh big time for me. The mom was very much surprised why I have not introduced difficult child to this "sport". "Really? I thought for sure your difficult child would have done this before since you allow him to handle guns!" "We drive by here everyday and I am always thankful that difficult child has not asked to check it out."

    There was a deisel type smell in the area of the "game" which difficult child was unable to handle. He most likely did not like the noise either so he ended not going in. He has not

    We have both come to understand that our choices for our kids are very different. The boys are very different! We have learned to allow each other to raise our own child. They are still close friends and have learned that they can not always do what the other is allowed to.

    Her boy is the first born and we all know with that comes hesitations we don't always have with our 2nd child. My son gets to ride bike to a nearby convience store alone - hers only if he goes with my son. Such as that.

    Our answer to things are, "That just doesn't work for us." No need to explain why.

    I hate public pools. We have one 1/2 an hour away that is full of 8 - 12 year olds as a cheap babysitting. I don't see how lifeguards can keep their eye on the entire pool. I really think that environment is unsafe for any kid not directly supervised. What a great place for a pedophile to spend the day and watch for unsupervised kids! Doesn't take long to figure out which kid comes and goes on which days on his/her own.

    I am one of those considered to be overly protective because I want to keep all kids safe. I do not trust people. And like someone said, this kid is OUR responsibility - when something does not work out, we will be the ones grilled as to why we allowed something our peers were pressuring us into allowing.

    That statement of, "He is ____ years old, let him do it!" is along the lines of, "But Mom, everyone else gets to why cant I?" You would think society by now would drop that line! :)

    I would say, "I am not comfortable (or not ready) to let him do this. Maybe in a few years?"
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I never really thought too hard about this. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son was very immature and far too trusting so he simply couldn't go, say, to the pool himself as early as other boys.

    When my daughter was using drugs, I never left her home alone. I knew what that meant after I tried it once.

    I go by the child.

    A shooting party, wow. I don't think L. ever needs to know how to shoot a gun and also would have kept him He isn't violent. He's very peaceful. But he tends to misuse things (not on purpose). I think you really just have to use your common sense and not give into peer pressure. There's no hard and fast rule for when a child should be allowed to do anything in my opinion.
  10. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    My guidelines aren't by age for my kids. My judgements for both kids are based on maturity, safety, trustworthiness, a ton of factors. Even in my own home, things are different between easy child and difficult child. WHen difficult child was 10, he would go to and from school on his own. He was hyper aware of traffic, other people walking, safety etc. In spite of being a difficult child, this was one thing I had absolute trust in him with. easy child is now 10. She is trustworthy to go to and from school without delay. However she isn't aware. She is a daydreamer. Crossing a major road, no sidewalks from here to school either, no crossing gaurd? I can't allow it so I still walk with her.

    Go with your gut is always my theory. If in doubt, question is it really the child or is it a desire to not have your kids grow up faster than you want them to. When it feels in the gut like it is a problematic situation, go with that gut! We ignore our guts far too often. I think you sound level headed in reasons for decision making. Stand firm when you feel you should :)
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I didn't read all the responses so forgive me if I'm being repetitive.

    My tweedles were the same age when we adopted as your difficult child. They had lost or never been taught so many life skills - the basic ones, stranger danger, self awareness, self calming, they had no fear, etc. that we never have allowed them out on their own.

    At 15, both kt & wm still are learning basic life skills & neither are allowed out by themselves. wm goes out with an Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) worker. kt will have Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) & PCAs when she comes home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in January.

    Our babies were hurt/neglected at a very young age ~ many times the skills that should have been learned in those developmental years are the hardest to learn, to sink in for our children.

    Just wanted to offer you my experience on this. wm will likely always need some type of caregiver. kt, on the other hand, is slowly - very slowly learning the skills that she missed.

    As a parent you do what must be done even if your child hates you for it. They get beyond it.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Andy....our kids must have been raised the same

    Or very similarly. My boys were shooting guns from age six. Closely supervised of course. That was at a turkey shoot. Then they started dove hunting at about 8. Yes, they were difficult child's. Never one problem in the world with my boys and guns. We never allowed nerf guns or those super soakers. Guns werent for playing. Now when they got to be 16 they did get paint ball guns but at that age they were well old enough to know the difference.