Paranoid

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?

About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"

23 Comments

  1. I was never allowed outside by myself as a kid unless i was down in the country with my grandparents. And I don’t think I’ll let Pookah outside without supervision for a looong time. I’m a paranoid mother raising a black son. And have no shame saying that.
    Rosesdaughter recently posted..Random Thoughts on a Tuesday

  2. No ma’am u are absolutely NOT overreacting! I’m the same way… although, my kids are older now but they were NEVER allowed to be outside unsupervised or stay at other folks house. I did not play sleep overs; the hubs think I’m crazy for that he said I shelter them but I heard & seen enough horror stories. I rather be SAFE than SORRY!

    U did good Mom ALWAYS follow your first instinct. He will appreciate it when he’s older.
    Lynn recently posted..Karaoke… OOTN

  3. I agree the times we are raising our children in are WAY different than when we grew up. We lived on a main highway and were able to pay outside by ourselves with little supervision from my mom. But as the Bible says, times are getting wickeder and people are getting down right nuts! I think you handled the situation great. We have to teach our children that there are consequences to not following our instructions.

    I know people always saying don’t judge others but when your intuition is telling you that a person is off, trust it! Hopefully, he will learn from this experience as well. I’ve been working more on stranger danger with Moo since she’ll be starting school this fall. I want to make sure that she too is prepared and will have fighting chance if someone tries anything.
    YUMMommy recently posted..Ten Months Grown

  4. Times are different I played outside and had to be back when the street lights came on and I was allowed to go places but those were back in the 80’s times are much much different now. I do let my kids play outside unsupervised but that’s because we live in the country and I have a huge backyard. They must stay in the backyard and I have a screen door to my back door and I open all back windows I send them out but I sit by my couch and can see everything so I monitor all the time. If they go to the front they will not be allowed to go outside and they too will be on punishment for not listening. So far I have not had a problem with them going to the front as of yet *knocking on wood* but I understand the fear it’s warranted these days.

  5. I would say to trust your mommy instincts — they are there for a reason, ya know? If something seems off, it probably is. And in the wake of the Trayvon Martin incident, I worry and get scared because, like you, I am the mother of a little brown boy.

    Sidenote: Don’t you miss the days of playing double dutch? I tried to teach it to my niece, but she wasn’t feeling it. SMH. Did you guys play, “D-I-S-H, choice, sleeping beauty, criss cross, around-the-world, pop ups, c*garettes, mumbles…” Good times!
    Alicia @MommyDelicious recently posted.."The Biggest Loser" Host Alison Sweeney Talks Fitness and Nutrition {Interview}

  6. My kids are 12 and 13 and I still don’t allow them to play outside unsupervised. We have a basketball goal in the driveway and that’s the furthest my son goes. It’s a different day & time and I’d rather be safe (and paranoid) than sorry.
    Tia recently posted..Product Review: Coco Curls

  7. I don’t think there is such a thing as being “too paranoid”, when it comes to our children. My son is ten and thankfully his best friend lives directly across the street, otherwise I would have a hard time letting him outside to play. My daughter is 15 and on the weekends her friends end up hanging out at our house or I end up taking them somewhere. I don’t mind chaperoning her and her friends around, because I can keep an eye on things. So no, I don’t think you are trippin!
    brandi recently posted..Pillowcase Curtains

  8. I would have done the same thing as you! I was all into this story like a book… Thinking what is going to happen next. You have to go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, go with that. You don’t want any regrets. But in the same breath, I felt bad for the High School boy too. What’s his story? We all have one. He might want a friend, but a little boy kicking it with a high school boy is NO BUENO!

    I had freedom too as a child but my mom kept a watchful eye. But I am like you. My kids can not go outside without me. Great blog post!
    BernettaStyle recently posted..Living Smart: Is this the MIRACLE to BELLY FAT LOSS? Dr. Oz thinks so!

  9. I use to walk to and from school alone as a child in first, second and third grade. In New York! (Queens) Then we moved to Florida and suddenly my mother would not allow me to do sleepovers but I could go outside until dark and walk around the block alone. My siblings? Not so much. Not sure what changed but I don’t think you are wrong in this case. You told him what you expected him to do and he didn’t do it…meaning he doesn’t get it yet. My DH thinks I am crazy for saying that our kids willl not be going outside w/o supervision, etc. There are too many creepers and nutjobs and I am not taking that chance with the kids!
    Melisa – Mommy This and That recently posted..Moving On Up

  10. I am 100% with you. When my kids were younger, I wouldn’t let them go outside unsupervised. Even if it was in the back yard I was right there. This is a different day and age then when I grew up. Even now with my kids being older (19, 18, 18 and 14) I’m still very protective. Call me when you get to where you are going and call me when you are on your way home. My 14 year old don’t have no freedom to roam. Either me, my ex husband, or the older 3 are with him EVERYWHERE! Do what you feel is best for your children, Mimi. Its our job to protect our kids. 🙂
    Rhonda recently posted..Day 6 and 7

  11. ::tapping in all late:: I grew up in Brooklyn so we didn’t play outside without someone’s mother being out there and most days we went straight home from school and that was it for the night and the weekends were spent at church lol. NO you were not over reacting because my imagination went right where yours went and I was holding my breath a bit waiting to see what happened. He’ll get it but I wouldn’t change a thing about how you dealt with it.
    Candace (NYStateofMom) recently posted..Bruno the BlackBerry

  12. im 21 and i dont have any any children but when i come back home to where my parents live, its always over a dozen kids UNSUPERVISED playing in the middle of the cul de sac, its innocent fun and i never had a problem with it until a little girl, probably age 5, asked ME for a dollar for the ice cream truck! she doesn’t know me from adam and i was shocked that this little girl was talking to me as if her parents never told her to talk to stranger. People are becoming way too comfortable and like in earlier comments, its alot of crazy people in this world, we really do need to protect the youth as much as possible.

  13. im 21 and i dont have any any children but when i come back home to where my parents live, its always over a dozen kids UNSUPERVISED playing in the middle of the cul de sac, its innocent fun and i never had a problem with it until a little girl, probably age 5, asked ME for a dollar for the ice cream truck! she doesn’t know me from adam and i was shocked that this little girl was talking to me as if her parents never told her to talk to stranger. People are becoming way too comfortable and like in earlier comments, its alot of crazy people in this world, we really do need to protect the youth as much as possible.
    Ashley recently posted..Lustful Lavender

  14. Well….I don;t have any children yet, but I understand your paranoia. I have younger siblings who I have always been overprotective of. I always think up things that could possibly happen to them, and I do everything in my power to keep to safe. I think it is a natural maternal reaction to be protective over your children, and maternal instinct is real. I think its a good idea to follow your instincts, but it can’t hurt to get a second opinion at times…just to make sure you’re not substituting paranoia for instincts.
    TheProDiva recently posted..Business Blunders…Post Hire!

  15. My kids are allowed to play outside by themselves. They even take my 2 y/o out with them. We live on a cul-de-sac near a large field and this is where the neighborhood kids usually gather. Sometimes, they go to one another’s houses, other times, they sit on the lawns. When the 2 y/o isn’t with them, they venture further on bikes. It’s fine with me. I grew up in Brooklyn with a lot more freedom at what was probably a less safe time, statistically speaking. I don’t think you’re trippin’. Just doing what feels right for your family, like most folks. 🙂
    Dee recently posted..Fall rhymes and fingerplays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge