A week ago, a little girl went missing in Westminster CO (a northern suburb of Denver), and then on Friday they found her body. She was walking to school when she disappeared, and obviously someone took her and killed her.
We live in a southern suburb of Denver. As you can imagine, the entire Denver community has been rocked by this. I just can't even imagine the pain that family is going through.
In the meantime, I have to admit that the whole thing has put me on edge about letting T play outside by himself. Usually I have no problem letting him play in our fenced in backyard by himself. I leave the back door open, and check on him from time to time, and let him play. You can't even see our backyard from the road, so it's not like someone driving by could see him back there. And it's not like the disappearance even happened on my end of town. But I can't stop thinking about how I would feel and what I would do if T disappeared like that poor poor little girl, and it's making me feel crazy anxious. I know that statistically the odds are very good that nothing bad will happen, even in my community where there is definitely a nut out there somewhere, but suddenly statistics aren't super comforting. On the other hand I value letting kids have age appropriate freedom and independence, even when that is scary for me as a parent.
So, do you let your kids play outside (relatively) unsupervised? By "unsupervised", I mean that he is outside, and I am in the house with the window/door open so I can hear him, and stepping out to check on him every once in a while.
If you do, would a recent abduction/murder change the way you do it, or at least the way you feel about it?
For reference, he is 4, and again, the yard is a fenced in backyard with a privacy fence and cannot be seen at all from the road.