Post # 31
Back in my day . . . seriously, that was decades ago, but back in my day, if there was a neighbor with a dog, I was totally there. My parents’ feelings about it one way or another wouldn’t have mattered one whit. The only rule I had was that if the porch light was on, it was time to come in. And this was not in Mayberry, USA. It was Chicago.
Times have changed so much. I don’t have kids, but the mere thought that a parent would allow a five year old to go into the home of complete strangers is bone chilling.
Like I said, I don’t have kids, so I’ll be interested in the Parent Bees’ comments.
Post # 32
Obviously it was different when we were growing up…I often was out of my parents sight for hours, playing outside.
My daughter is two, so she doesn’t go anywhere unsupervised. The parents in my neighbourhood all let their kids run around, but they sit outside so they can watch their children from a distance. And most of them socialize with each other and know the other parents, but they are still the ones watching their children. The only parents who I haven’t seen watch their kids closely have kids over 10.
When my daughter is 5, I will be outside supervising, even if I’m not hovering.
Post # 33
Its neglectful of his parents but I wouldn’t call CPS about it, and would be wary of bringing it up with the parents. There’s something that draws this little boy to you, something that he’s possibly not getting at home and you’re doing a great thing for him by spending time with him. If it doesn’t bother you too much I would continue to nurture his curiosity and be a little haven for him.
Post # 34
This is definitely wrong on the parents’ part. They don’t know you guys and it’s a blessing for them that you guys are awesome. However, the parents should be concerned a lot that they are sending their 5 year old to strangers who may or may not be axe-murderers, child molestors, etc. etc.
They should very much be concerned that what the kid is doing unbeknownst to them for that long. Maybe he got hurt? Got sick?
Post # 35
I know when I live in a cul de sac we knew our neighbours. We all had kids around the same age. I wouldnt watch my 3-4 year old daughter outside all the time because I knew there was always someone sitting outside. But i would still check on her on a regular basis. I have since moved out and she is 6. I will let her go next door and play in the neighbours house (who also has a daughter a year older). I wouldnt mind if she is over there for hours but that would only be between meals.
I dont agree with their parenting style but I wouldnt judge them for it. And I dont believe it is your place to say anything.
Post # 36
- Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA
As a parent with kids who are now mostly grown, I can say this is not something I would have ever been okay with when my kids were little. I remember them wanting to go hang out with neighbors (especially the older neighbor who always had ice cream) and I would allow it as long as they were outside where I could see them, and I would sit outside and watch them. I also would let the neighbors know they were not obligated to entertain my kids and to feel free to send them back to my yard whenever they were tired of having kids there (I was a fence away the whole time).
I would have never in a million years let my young children hang out with neighbors I didn’t really know, for hours, while I sat inside watching television. To me, that is not normal behavior at all.
Post # 37
I think this may well be true , and if OP and her husband can do this it would be lovely . I wish it was my house, I’d love to feed him !
Post # 38
This sounds absolutely off the wall to me. A five year old? Roaming around and in a stranger’s house for hours? Mo way. I have a fourteen year old and I wouldn’t even be okay with him doing that.
Post # 39
skier11 : He’s far too young to be left outside without supervision. What they are doing is against the law where I live. My kids are 8 & 10 and I still supervise them. However, my idiot neighbours let their very young kids out with no supervision for many hours. It’s crazy. I feel for that child.
Post # 40
We have a strangely similar issue going on. Not saying this is what’s happening with your situation, but here’s what happened to us. We had just moved in and the neighbor’s kids, 4 and 5 years old, would come over and sit on our porch and talk to us, with no parent in sight. We figured out that they used to do this with the people who had previously lived in our house. From the kids’ perspective, this was a normal habit; it didn’t really occur to them that we were strangers to them, they were used to swinging on the porch swing and coming over to that house.
We have livestock and so I worried about the kids being on our property alone, as we’d sometimes come home to find them in the driveway or hanging around the yard. We did approach the parents with that concern because it wasn’t a direct criticism of them or their parenting choices, which could have been awkward and tense, more like “Hey, just wanted to let you know we have animals and don’t want your kids getting hurt”. The parents told us that as long as the kids can see their own house, it’s OK with the parents if they’re wandering but that we could just send them back if we didn’ want them over. Not the standard I myself would use, but it’s clear the parents were comfortable with that.
The kids are very sweet and they’re in this borderline situation where there’s no obvious abuse or neglect but the parents aren’t very interested in them and their lives are a little sad. We don’t mind spending some time with them when we’re outside but we have to be careful that we don’t become automatic babysitters too.
Post # 41
At five with no supervision for hours on end? Nope.
Post # 42
Thanks for all the great responses. I agree that there is something fishy about this kid’s parents. I did what a previous poster suggested about asking him some casual questions about his home life. He came over yesterday afternoon with some of his toy cars. It was a nice day outside so we sat on my front porch and played with cars. I asked him a few casual questions about his home life. From what I gathered, it sounds like his parents are in a pretty loveless marriage with his dad spending a vast majority of his time in the garage and mom hanging out in the house. I don’t think either of his parents work outside the home. I rarely ever see either of them leave the house, and their cars are always parked outside. I asked him what kinds of foods Mommy usually makes him for dinner and he told me a “chocolate sandwich.” I’m not too sure what he means by that. I asked him how she makes chocolate sandwiches and his response was that, “she just gets the bread and puts chocolate in it.” I still don’t quite understand what he means. It’s sounds like a pretty unusual dinner, and probably not appropriate dinner food for a 5 year old. I asked him if Daddy eats dinner with him and Mommy, and he said no, that Daddy is usually “too busy” and eats his dinner in the garage. I feel bad for the little guy. I think he’s lonely, but I’m not too sure what I should be doing, or if there’s anything I should be doing.