Am I the only parent who worries about my child playing alone in our very own backyard?
My daughter is becoming increasingly independent. She wants to stay out in the garage while I bring the groceries in the house or ride her scooter down to the mailbox – alone – to grab the mail. I don’t want to be too paranoid. Or too lax. I want to foster independence. But I want to keep her safe.
Samantha Runnion, Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard = all abducted from or very near their homes.
I believe we live in a safe neighborhood but we hardly know our neighbors. And I certainly don’t know the ever-present construction crews, gardeners, and door-to-door sales people.
We have a fabulous backyard filled with play toys but I summon her into the house when I need to go upstairs to do something. Is it ridiculous to imagine her playing alone and some bad person jumping over our gate, snatching her up, and driving away in the time I grab my phone or shift the laundry?
Do any of you remember the movie “Savannah Smiles?”
It was an odd favorite of mine when I was little. It was about an unhappy girl who runs away from home by climbing into and hiding in the car of two idiot crooks? The crooks end up asking for ransom but never harm the girl, in fact, they take very good care of her and she is eventually returned safely to her family.
Just thinking about the movie today gives me the biggest creeps! The thought of my sweet baby in some dumpy house sleeping on a bare mattress and eating beans from a can. Or even worse.
What kind of rules do you have for your children when they are playing alone outside your home? Are they allowed to be alone? Do you go about your business but keep an eyeful watch?