Ding Dong … Ding Dong … Ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong.
A couple new neighbors moved in, each with young girls. These girls like to play with my daughter, who is in 4th grade, and they are 1st graders. Interestingly, I’ve noticed these little girls playing unattended with no adult, or older sibling in sight. Our little mini-cul-de-sac within our condo association sees very little traffic and strangers – so it’s probably the ‘safest’ you could possibly be… but only recently have I felt safe to let any of my kids play “unattended” and they are 10 and 12. Because they do say it’s usually someone you know or neighbor that is the culprit in children’s disappearances, etc.
Okay, so I might be a little more wary than some other parents. However, there were never any kids on our block to play (safety in numbers) And, my son (who has a learning disorder) is without common sense. Mostly he’s a regular 12-year-old, but is easily duped and we can just see a stranger. “Hey, kid. There’s this awesome roller coaster at the carnival down the street. Want to come real quick and check it out?”
And because he’d really want to go on a rollercoaster, this is how he would respond…
“Well, I’m not supposed to ride with a stranger, but let me see real quick. I think it will be okay just this once. Wait… Where’s the carnival.”
And then bad things happen to him…That would be our son and my husband agreed. Our daughter, on the other hand, distrusts everyone. She doesn’t like strangers, but is so tiny someone could just toss her over their shoulder and leave. In addition, I had some CRAZY stories from my youth that happened from the age of 7 to 11 years old when I was by myself. So, I’m wise. I know what’s out there. I had a friend (10) in our apartment complex that was murdered by the ice cream man. (that’s my daughter’s age) She lived directly across from me. Another gal (15) used to babysit my friend and I, was raped and murdered in the park. We lived in a good area, but back then, many of us were often without parental supervision. They called us “latch key” children.
With that said, I’ve never really let my kids hang out without one of us, or another parent watching. Recently (as in this past weekend) I allowed the kids to get on their bikes and ride, in small jaunts, around our neighborhood. Okay you can go here, and I’d map out a small street. Okay, you graduated into the next level… you can now go here. Once you demonstrate you can get back home without getting lost, you’ll advance to the next level. But, you have to ride together. Stick together. Because I know they will tattle on each other. “You’re not supposed to go inside… we’re not supposed to eat food from them” … and they parent each other when crossing the street.
Back to the little girls… where are their parents? I always see them by themselves for hours. We have a lot of new neighbors, no one knows each other yet… And as soon as they see me drive up with the kids home from school, they both come running over, well, often it’s just 1 gal by herself.
Don’t you have homework? My kids had homework in 1st grade…and even more now in 4th. We tell them, my daughter will come out when she’s done with her homework.
About 20 minutes later, one will come to our door, DING DONG, DING DONG, ding-dong-dong. Does your mommy know you are knocking on people’s doors? No, why would she- she is never downstairs and I never see/hear her on the balcony checking up either. I think you need to be careful knocking on stranger’s doors. Should always have another person with you. Safety in numbers.
After 2 weeks, I’ve now had to use my “mommy voice” with them – don’t ring our doorbell anymore, or only once (big eyes) so I softened it by saying “okay, sweetie?”
My son who has a difficult time focusing on homework, opens the door “stop ringing the door bell. I’m trying to get my homework done!”
I had to tell him to be nicer…but maybe that’s what it takes to make them stop. And one of the girls has their little dog with them, that they are probably letting poop where ever and not picking up…
Where’s the parent?