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

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
7898 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

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wolfeyes :  you have it exactly right.

OP- I have a 6 year old who I let play out in our front yard. But I’m at the window watching and go out every 5-10 mintires to talk to her and check up on what she’s doing. I would not let my child go into a strangers home. There is a big difference between hovering over your child constantly and being neglectful. 

Post # 17
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

If I lived in a neighborhood like that, I’d totally let my five year old play in the yard for hours if he wanted, long as I could check on him from the window. I’d let him go to the neighbors’ too, as long as I knew the family and have been to their house. Letting him go to a strangers’ home seems thoughtless at best – let’s say you’re clearly not sketchy in the parents’ opinion, but what if you had a sketchy relative living with you?

But the thing with him being with you for three hours while dinner time blows past is, for lack of a better word, a huge red flag. No halfway decent parent I know, free range or not, would fail to make sure a child’s basic need is met like this. 

Post # 18
6890 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

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skier11 :  As a parent of a 6 year old. This is NOT okay.  Maybe way back when but now days.  HELL TO THE NO.  I don’t care if you live in a cul du sac or not,  a 5 year old should never be left outside on his own device. They do not know any better.  And strangers! 

Post # 19
6853 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Although things were different when I was young, I never let my children play outdoors alone at that age. While I tried not to hover, I did want to be in visual distance. Children that age can climb things, put things in their mouth, approach strange pets, run into the street, and do all sorts of unpredictable things. And I never, ever would have allowed them into the home of a neighbor unless I knew that neighbor very well and had permission to send them over. While things happen to children very rarely, a child that age could be gone in an instant – into a house you didn’t know they would approach, into a car, behind someone else’s home. It’s all fun and exploration until the child doesn’t come back and you have no idea where they went.

Post # 20
1159 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I live in a family-friendly neighborhood, and our 2 immediate neighbors have young kids (6 and 7 and then older siblings). Occasionally the 6 year old is in his driveway playing hockey alone but I do see his Mom come check on him periodically. Usually there are 2 of them together playing in one yard or another, again with parents close by. 

It’s alarming that they let a 5 year old into a stranger’s home (who don’t have kids) without much thought. And for THREE HOURS? Totally absurd, nevermind the fact that it was through dinner time and he didn’t return home until when most kids are getting settled in for bed. I don’t think this is normal behavior at all, and won’t be happening with my kids. Spending time at a neighbor’s house with other kids, sure, as long as I’ve met the parents and been inside the home, but not what you’ve described here, OP. 

Post # 21
1457 posts
Bumble bee

I would not be ok with this. I have a six year old daughter and I would never let her play outside by herself unless she was in the enclosed backyard on the play structure and I can see her from our kitchen and sunroom.  But I would never let her be out there by herself for hours.  And I would never allow her to go over to the neighbor’s house without my knowledge nor would I allow her to go there when there aren’t any kids her age to play with. Obviously, this boy is neglected by his parents.  They don’t seem to want to spend time with him and are ok with TOTAL STRANGERS looking after him because they can’t be bothered. You are not a babysitter and you are not responsible for this boy’s whereabouts and it’s really sad that his own parents won’t take responsibility and don’t care.  I would never do that to my child!  These people are selfish and neglectful!

Post # 22
502 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

So hubby and I don’t have kids nor plan to do so, but this sounds sketchy as heck. I don’t even let our dogs play outside unsupervised, let alone a 5-year old child! If this behavior keeps up, I would honestly consider calling child protective services or something. Those parents let him stay at a stranger’s home for THREE HOURS and didn’t even bother to feed him dinner when they ate (and I’m assuming the parents did indeed eat without him). Nope nope nope.

Post # 23
566 posts
Busy bee

Mmm I’m a mum and would never let my kids play unsupervised out the front of my house or in the street at that age. I do however live right near a cul-de-sac and a few families I know there are VERY free-range parents and let their small children play alone/ride bikes with other siblings in and around the street. When the kids were younger they would come to our house to play without their parents knowledge. They are all  loving parents but no where as near protective of their kids as I am. Saying that, you don’t know your neighbours well-enough yet to know whether they are neglectful or just very free-range with parenting. 3 hours seems like a ridiculous amount of time to leave a small child with a stranger. You are right to be concerned. 

Post # 24
2825 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

I am not a parent but I’ve nannied and babysat for years. I’m very passionate about childcare so I feel like I need to chime in. Here are some red flags: 

-never adult supervision-Usually kids will let their children around 5 years play by themselved periodically but if you never see a parent outside with him, even if it were to be cleaning up the yard or something, I find that strange. 

-letting adults without children entertain him-This is beyond creepy to me. I would have to know my neighbor a little bit before letting my child go over to meet with a friend, much less with a couple without children. 

-3 hours-That is a long time to not only expect another couple to watch your child but to not even check in! What the heck. 

-The final red flag is that this isn’t a one time thing. It’s not like the parents had a bad day and made a bad choice. This is everyday. Think about it. These parents are letting their 5 year-old play outside for what sounds like at least 2 or 3 hours a day? Am I correct? And that whole time they are inside. 

To me, it sounds like the couple wants to just get rid of their child for a few hours. That’s so sad and can be dangerous. I’m all for kids playing outside and being independent but it’s too much time and not enough supervision.

Post # 25
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’m not a mom, but this does sound concerning, not only because it’s super lazy and they’re being too trusting with the neighbors, but also because they’re being too trusting with the rest of the world. Some of the worst things that could happen to a kid that young could happen in less than a minute. I mean, my mom has a friend that lost her 3 year old daughter a few years ago because in the time it took to run inside and stir a pot of mac & cheese, she’d wandered out of their yard and was hit by a neighbor backing out of their driveway. 

Post # 26
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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skier11 :  

I grew up playing absolutely unsupervised for hours on end at home and outside. Starting at about 5. I loved it. I had my own key, I would ride my bike down the street and play at the park, sometimes with friends and sometimes without. I was an only child till I was 8.5 y.o. loved the independance, freedom and trust my parents put in me. We lived in Israel and then Montreal. My hapiest childhood memepries are feom when Inwas 5 snd 6 years old when we lived in Israel (1990-1992). When my sis was born in 1993 in Montreal I was 8.5, I would walk to school (15 mins away) by myself every day, sometimes with friends, I woupd ride arounf the neighborhood, go to the convenience store and the park. In 1995 my bro at 10 we lived in Toronto by then, and mom would never let them be as free range as I was. I was suppervising them when she wasnt. I was full on babysitting both by the time I was 11-12. She told me helself she was more comfortable leaving them with me than my father lol knowing they will be safe, fed and changed a lit better with me. Babysitters were out of the question because we were broke AF, I was like a surrogate parent to them. They grew up coddled and over protected, absolutely unable to be reponsible for themselves until they were in college. 

Anyways this goes to say that kids who grow up like that are very self sufficiant and independant. And I would love to raise my kid free range like that. I cant stand the tough of hellicopterring.

I dont have a kid yet, but in this day and age I dont think I could get away with rasing my kid like that :/ it’s a different time. 

The part about letting your kid be in your house for 3 hours when you don’t have kids and they dont even know you well is weird AF though. They dont know that you guys are not some weirdo sexual deviants… I wouldnt be okay with that part.


I feel like they have something going on.. maybe depression or marital issues and they are copping the way they are.. idk.. i would just talk to them, you can even offer to be a babysitter so they get some alone time. 

Post # 27
610 posts
Busy bee

I would never let my kids do this. Ive heard so many horror stories. We live in a different world now than when we were kids. I would never let some random kid in my house either. I wouldn’t want any accusations.

Post # 28
728 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t be calling child services but I would slightly concerned. Unfortunately if you talk to them about it they might take great offence. 


Maybe ask the child about his home life? I know it would be from a child’s perspective but asking things like what kinds of things does mummy cook for you and stuff can mean you get some answers about his eating and things. Then you can form a proper opinion. Without more information I would just call this lax parenting and not neglectful. 

Post # 29
1524 posts
Bumble bee

Yea, that’s a bit neglegent. I have different rules for my kids depending on their maturity levels, and even my ten year old has to check in before going to my neighbors house, and we’re in a small 15 unit apartment complex (similar to a cul-de-sac). I let my ten year old play outside with the neighbor kids starting at around 6-7, but with me checking in frequently and them needing to stay within eyesight (which is the entire parking lot/yard area). I still don’t let her play out in front by herself. I let my 4.5 year old go out with her now, but I check in every 10-15 minutes to keep an eye out and have the window open and can hear them/see them. If they were at a neighbors, it would only be the one I’m friends with, so we’d be in communcation. 


So super bizarre. I’m a laid back parent, but the not feeding him and letting him hang out in people you don’t know’s house without kids is bizarre to me. 

Post # 30
1589 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Nothing wrong with kids playing outside, but it does seem weird that he’d be out there for so long without a parent checking on him. I also wonder why he thought it was OK to go into a neighbour’s house – typically the rule would be “you can play outside but no talking to strangers/leaving the front yard” or wherever the agreed upon play area is. I wouldn’t let a five year old play in the front yard without regular supervision. 

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