Bees with young children, does this seem okay to you? NWR

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
6793 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

His parents let their child be at a stranger’s house WHO DOESN’T HAVE ANY KIDS OF THEIR OWN for three hours and never checked up on him. They sound pretty unfit. Your neighborhood may be generally safe and they may be inclined to allow him some freedom to roam but their lack of due diligence would be concerning to me.

ETA- I am very much a fan of the idea of a village raising kids and children being safe to go play at the homes of their community members, but it doesn’t sound like his parents know you at all and you do not know them so that would be problematic for me. My mother always had the phone numbers of the parents of my friends and called to make sure 1- that it was okay for us to come over and 2- to check them out and get to know them a bit before sending her kids into their homes.

Post # 3
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I’m not a parent either but I have friends with kids and I definitely don’t think it’s normal. I have no idea what I’d do in this situation though so I’m interested to see what other bees have to say. 

Post # 4
678 posts
Busy bee

Depends where you live.

Growing up I was ALWAYS outside, no supervision. I always hung out with an older couple that lived next door because I loved their gardens and dogs. I latered learned they were a couple who couldn’t have kids so they LOVED having the neighbourhood kids over to teach them about gardening. I also always played in the forest in our backyard without supervision, my only rule was that I always needed to be able to see the house so I wouldn’t get lost. Our neighbourhood was a tight knit community where everyone watched out for everyones kids

Post # 5
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

One of my coworkers was just telling me yesterday that when he was young he was driving through a neighborhood and hit a toddler who was playing unsupervised outside when he ran in front of his car. Thankfully the boy was ok but neighbors said they had warned the mother often to not let him outside without watching him.

My parents’ neighbor used to have their son, his wife and grandson live with them. We saw their grandchild from the time he was born but around that same age he started coming over to do the same things that you mentioned. One time he came over when my stepdad was home alone and hung around a bit before asking to use the bathroom. When he was in there he yelled for my stepdad to come help him wipe himself. My stepdad refused and basically told him to figure it out. Once my mom came home she was horrified because something like that could obviously be taken out of context and was worried that he could be accused of being inappropriate with the child. She told my stepdad to never let him in if she wasn’t there and I think she eventually had a talk with his parents. Even though we knew each other for years things can always happen and its best to keep know where to draw the line.

Post # 6
981 posts
Busy bee

I grew up in cul de sac and lived in one until quite recently with my two sons. What you’re describing sounds quite normal for both areas. 

Post # 7
1163 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

This is neglectful to me.  There is no way I would let my 5 year old go hang out with the neighbors for hours, especially if I hadn’t checked with them first.  That’s lazy parenting.  They are expecting you to take care of their child.  And it sounds like they don’t know you.  You could be child abusers/molesters and they wouldn’t know it.   

Post # 8
2660 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Definitely not normal. Letting a five year old hang out with strangers in their house for hours without checking on him? No way. I grew up running around in the countryside alone or with my sister for hours without supervision, but this is a totally different situation. 

Post # 9
2467 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

5 is way too young for this!

Post # 10
12825 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Maybe it was normal two generations ago but in this day and age, those parents are being irresponsible. As mentioned, there is a lot more going on here than just a lack of supervision outdoors, too. No dinner, trusting complete strangers etc. It’s neglectful. 

Post # 11
1862 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Absolutley not ok. They are lucky you are a good person and not a deviant. But that’s just lucky on their part because they don’t know you and left their child with you unsupervised for 3 HOURS. 

I know a lot of people used to play outside unsupervised and things were fine. But surely those parents knew the community, still at least CHECKED on you occasionally and fed you dinner. 

Seriously, this is unacceptable. If you are ok with it I would be making sure he is safe and fed. If you are still uneasy I’d probably try to get to know the parents and if all of that fails I’d probably call someone, at least for some advice. 

Post # 12
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m a mom, grandma and this isn’t normal in my eyes. They sound negligent and the poor little guy sounds lonely, my heart goes out to him. You and your husband sound like kind, caring people but sadly you seem to care more about him being safe or fed than his own parents, how heartbreaking. frown

Post # 13
2723 posts
Sugar bee

When I was a kid we roamed the neighbourhood for hours and spent lots of time at the neighbours houses, but there are a few things that are different about this that make it very odd to me:

1) He’s only 5. (Even 7 or 8 would make more sense)
2) it’s just one kid – when I was little there was minimum 2 of us playing, but usually 4-6. Then at least if something happens the other kids can come get help
3) Not checking on him periodically 
4) They don’t know you at ALL and have made no attempt to get to know you even though their kid has taken an interest in you (my parents immediately started befriending the neighbours when all of their kids started hanging out together)
5) They left him with you for 3 hours in the evening without making sure he was fed. 8pm is bed time for most 5 year olds

Post # 14
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
weddingmaven :  
View original reply
wolfeyes :  All of this. I too grew up in a different era where kids were generally allowed much more freedom than is the norm today- but even so, there are still several key differences. As wolfeyes says- a 5 year old wouldn’t be off on their own, they’d be with other kids and likely an older brother or sister (otherwise 7 or 8 would be more the norm for hanging around with friends). Not only were there a lot more kids around, but people knew their neighbours much, much better- other adults in the area were more akin to aunts and uncles, not strangers you barely knew. And the parents still cared where their kids were at suppertime. I am so, so sad for this little boy. 

Post # 15
2667 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: County courthouse

I think it depends what control you live in. Definitely not ok here in the US. My kids are 8 and 5. We also live in a cul de sac, and I never allows my kids to play our front without me watching. Now that fenced in back yard, yes I do, but I open the sliding door and leave the screen door closed. So I can at least hear them. I also chceck up on them regularly. This isn’t normal at all. 

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