I have fond memories of being a child and spending my days outdoors jumping double dutch, running home begging for change when I heard the ice cream truck on the horizon and spending endless hours playing hide and go seek.
Our lives as children were so carefree in relation to the lives that our children our forced to live today.
The other day my son asked for permission to go outdoors. I said yes, with the stipulation that he was to come back home if no one was allowed to come out. I normally call my neighbor to make sure he made it to her house, even though she is one house down. This particular day I decided to look out of the window instead of call. I tried to tell myself that he was fine but my intuition said otherwise.
As I looked out of the window I saw him standing by my neighbors house and they weren’t home. I watched for awhile to see if he would head home. Next, he wandered over to another neighbor’s house who also wasn’t home. I continued to watch. He was just out there standing and wandering. At the same time there was another boy playing on the basketball goal. I hate to judge, but something about this boy doesn’t settle right with me.He is in high school and for lack of better words reminds me of being a little off. He doesn’t speak, the other kids don’t play with him. I just don’t know about him…I’ve always said this.
I finally head outside and yell to my son “What did I say?” He looks at me and says nothing.
All I could think about is this could’ve been the day when the boy playing basketball could’ve taken him off somewhere and…..or someone could’ve driven in the cul de sac and grabbed him. My imagination can get very vivid. I was so upset with him, and he is now on punishment and is no longer allowed to go outside unsupervised.
I hate taking this freedom from him, but I just can’t live with the thought of something happening to him. It happens everyday. If he didn’t listen to me when I said come in the house, how will I know he will listen when I say don’t talk to strangers or run and yell if someone tries to grab you…Until I feel like he gets it, he can’t play outside without supervision.
Am I tripping? Not that your opinion will change how I have chosen to proceed but I would like to hear your thoughts. Do you allow your children to play outside unsupervised?