My daughter learned a valuable life lesson the other evening, while we were on a walk through the park. My kids always ask if they can go and play at the park, which is half a block from our house, but we always say not without one of us there. Now, she finally understands why we won’t let them go alone and why we have rules they must follow when playing outside or going to a friends house.
I love how well my kids get along and they like to play with each other. Yes, they argue and pick on each other, but the get over it pretty quick. For me growing up it was a different story. My older brother, who is 18 months older then me, was not someone I would want to play with…he was awful to me. If I wanted to play with someone I would walk to my neighborhood friends house to see if they could play. If not, I would go home and find something to do. All I needed to do was let my mom know where I was going. She wasn’t too concerned about when I needed to be home.
With my kids, I need to know when they are leaving the yard and where they are going. If I go outside and they are nowhere to be seen, then I start walking to find them. When I do find them, I ask them nicely to come home. When we get home I remind them of the rules. I don’t have many, and they are pretty simple. But if or when they don’t follow them, they get in trouble!
Here are my rules to keep tabs on my kiddos:
*Let me know where you are going – when they want to go around the block on their bikes, scooters, etc. they need to ask.
*If they go see if someone can play and they can, they need to be home at a certain time. (lunch, dinner, homework, or just because I miss them :))
*If they go see if someone can play and they can’t, they need to come home before going to see if someone else can play. (This is a new rule which had to be made this past summer). I went to their friends house to find them and they were not there, I was a little worried. But going down the street a little more, I found them…at another friends house.
*If their friends need to eat or are going somewhere, my kiddos need to come home.
The bottom line is, I just want to know where my kids are. If they don’t follow the rules, they are not able to play with their friends for a few days. I know, i’m so mean right!
So now to the valuable lesson my daughter finally learned the other night. She asked if we could go for a walk after dinner, and since we ate before it got dark, off we went. She wanted to go on the path in the park, so she went a little ahead on her scooter and I was close behind with the little man and the dog. She reached the playground before me and waited…then a guy appeared from this grassy area in between the houses next to the park. Thought it was weird how he looked at her then looked back and saw me. He kept going to the other entrance of the park, so I thought maybe he lived on the other street that connects to the park. So we kept walking down the path heading to this little bridge, but then I noticed some people hanging out on the bridge and I didn’t feel they were doing anything my daughter should see, so we turned around to go another way. Then the same guy walked back into the park and headed back into the grassy area he appeared from before. All of a sudden he turned around and started sprinting towards us…he ran past us, so I turned around and watched him. He then stopped at the little bridge then turned around and started walking towards our direction. We quickly left the park and went home. In the end maybe he was just out for some exercise, while wearing jeans and a jacket, but my gut told me that wasn’t the case.
Once we got home I sat down with her and we talked about what just happened. She said she had never seen that man before and was creeped out. I explained to her this was the reason why her father and I would not let them play at the park without an adult. Even though we live in a quiet and safe neighborhood, which great people, there are weird people out there and I don’t want to take any chances.
My kids are my life and their safety is my biggest concern. It’s hard to explain to kids why you don’t let them do certain things and I guess it was a good thing to experience and thankfully she was with me and nothing happened. It got me thinking maybe I should get my kids some kind of gps tracker so I can keep better tabs on them.
I would love to hear what your rules are and if you have a gps device you use to help you keep track of your kids, so please leave me a comment.
Loving your kids and making sure they are safe is what being phemommienal is all about!