Personal Debate - Letting Kids Play Outside (Child Death ment.)

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Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
Personal Debate - Letting Kids Play Outside (Child Death ment.)

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.

Emotions pour out over Jessica's death - The Denver Post

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.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

My dh and I go round and round about this very thing. His concern is snakes but my only one is really the next door neighbor's cut loops in the top of the privacy fence so they can see into our yard and I can't hear him. We'll be dealing with it again as winter approaches and it's finally cool enough to let him stay out there. I think if a child is responsible enough to wipe their own ***, they are responsible enough to be taught to scream if someone enters their backyard or approaches them.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

I let my kids (8 and 5) play outside in our back yard a lot, unsupervised in the way that you describe. We also live less than half a block from the local police station, which gives me a pretty good sense of security. I think if there was an abduction nearby, it would probably affect my decision, at least for a while. I'd like to think it wouldn't, but I think it probably would.

We have taught both kids, though, that if someone messes with them, they should scream like they're on fire. We ask them to recite this back to us sometimes, I make my son repeat it before he uses the men's room by himself if we're out without my husband.

But this is a tough one. I would go with your gut. Or maybe ask local friends for their opinions.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1533

Our backyard backs up to our local high school baseball field, so a lot of people can and do see into our yard. We also have a gate (it is locked at all times) that people could get into. I am hesitant to let them play out back by themselves because of this (just the 2 young ones) I usually send them out back only if I can be in our family room that has windows that overlook the back yard and I make them stay in the front part of the yard.
The front yard is very different, the guy that lives across the street gives me the total heepy jeebies, he gets a lawn chair out and watches the kids whenever they play out front. So needless to say we spend way more time out back

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

It's very hard...

At some point, your children have to out and face the world. Alone. DD1 is 16. I let her do a lot of stuff that scares me because so many things could happen. But like it or not, in a few short years, she could get a passport and hitchhike across Europe. I really hope she never does.

DD2 is 2 months away from 9. I worry so much about her. Two weeks ago she got done with her after-school journalism club early. She waited on the grass outside the school for 20 minutes. When I got there, she was alone. The other kids had just been picked up so only for a few minutes. That's all it take. I told her next time to wait in the office.

When I read about cases like Shasta Greone (?) and those who were watched first, I realize there is just nothing you can do.

With my 8 YO I am very protective and don't usually let her go in the backyard by herself. And never the front yard. Yesterday we were at my parents' house and she walked to the car parked in the driveway to get something. She went that distance out of view and I was nervous the entire 2 minutes.

Just so very sad. That girl was so adorable.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

It will probably be a long time before DS is allowed to play in the yard alone. We don't have a fence (it's on the list of things we are saving for), our house is quite large and unless I am in the nursery or his room I can not see the back yard if I am at the front of the house I wouldn't hear him, actually from most of the house I wouldn't hear him. I am lucky we have a large space under the house that I can fold washing or something down there and watch him but it makes it hard for him to play outside when we get home each day because I need to cook tea and the kitchen is at the front of the house.

Sapphire Sunsets's picture
Joined: 05/19/02
Posts: 671

Yes, they play unsupervised. They are kids, they do need to learn to be able to care for themselves when they become adults. I trust my kids completely, they know what to do if someone they don't know comes up to them and they aren't afraid to make it known that someone had bothered/hurt them.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Mine are only 4 and 2 and they don't. We don't have a fenced in yard and dd1 likes to just run across the street when my neighbor comes out so someone is always with them. I'm not sure what I would do in a few years. If she stopped bolting I may consider it. We live in a quiet town and I can hear them with the door open.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

My children do not play outside alone. We do not live on the best area. If it was just my 7yo she could, but she is rarely with out my 3yo who I do not want out alone.

Joined: 06/12/12
Posts: 29

Hi, new here. Just wanted to say hi before I jump in.

I used to live in that very community! This story chills me right to the bone and seeing her sweet face breaks my heart.

I do however let my girls play outside in our backyard without me out there the entire time. They are almost 3 and 18 months. If the baby is out there I tend to stay out there the whole time as her sister can be too rough at times, but I leave my older one out there alone while I cook supper, but I keep the door open and the windows open and walk out to check on her frequently. I think it is perfectly reasonable for a toddler to navigate a fenced back yard by themselves and I believe it helps build confidence and independence. If I were still in Westminster I would be thinking twice about doing so.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

I let my kids play outside unsupervised. The area I live in has a lot to do with it. Thats not to say that I don't think there is any risk of anything bad happening, but if the risk was a lot greater, i probably would not be quite as laid back about it.

As for the risk that does exist? I think i am just really resistant to the idea of these bad people controlling our lives so much. I'm not keen on sacrificing my children's sense of independence and simple joys in life for their sake. In return, I have a responsibility to prepare my kids for the off chance that something bad does occur.

Now the walking to school thing freaks me out a little more. Emma is in middle school now and she told me that the middle school students are allowed to walk 'home' from school if they live close by. (Its a private school so not everyone does). I've toyed with the idea of letting her walk to a relative's house that is not too far away, because timing wise, it would make my schedule easier to pick her up from there 30 minutes after school gets out.

Part of me tells me i can't let the fear of something bad happening be the *only* reason that I would not let her do this. But it feels awfully different than playing unsupervised in our own yard.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"wlillie" wrote:

My dh and I go round and round about this very thing. His concern is snakes but my only one is really the next door neighbor's cut loops in the top of the privacy fence so they can see into our yard and I can't hear him. We'll be dealing with it again as winter approaches and it's finally cool enough to let him stay out there. I think if a child is responsible enough to wipe their own ***, they are responsible enough to be taught to scream if someone enters their backyard or approaches them.

WTH??? That is soooo creepy! Why on earth would your neighbors feel that they need to see into your yard bad enough to cut holes in your fence? That's bananas!

I did end up letting him play outside by himself, I was just kind of nervous about it the whole time. That's weird for me; I am usually much more laid back about stuff like that, and try to let him be independent wherever it makes sense. Like I said, I think the thing that happened to that poor little girl has everyone on edge.

And yes, I went over it again with him yesterday, but T knows to scream like he's on fire if anyone ever tries to take him.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Alissa-- I'm so with you on how this is affecting our parenting. We are about 45 minutes north of where this happened (though until they caught that guy that kidnapped a girl in Cody, WY, we felt like we were smack in the middle of the scary stuff.)

We let all of our kids play in our backyard unsupervised. Privacy fenced and in a neighborhood. That doesn't make me nervous at all.

Our big girls are 7 & 9. And we have been letting them play outside in our front yard and in the park across the street, pretty much all summer. I have the front door open, but I can't always see them. We let them walk the block or so down to invite friends to play. We let them ride around the block where we can't see them the entire time. They have a "perimeter" that I ask them to stay within. We ask them to stay together. We live in a "safe" city. You can see the police station from our home. Two weeks ago I was literally trying to talk my husband into giving them more freedom (did anybody else read that article that was floating around Facebook about kids and freedom and playing outside?) He and I both spent our childhoods outside playing unsupervised and some of my best memories are that independence.

We have talked to the kids about stranger danger. We had a "serious" talk with them about this on Saturday night. Mostly we just focused on not going anywhere with anyone without our permission and not to go near a car that has somebody in it that they don't know. We talked about the "missing puppy" scenario, and other strategies people could use. I don't know. I don't know how effective that is.

We talked about Jessica-- but we never shared that they found her. Or that she had been murdered. Our kids think people will take them so that they can live with a new family-- not that there is anything sinister or that they would do terrible terrible things to them. *sigh*

I want to give them more freedom. Though it hurts me and makes me nervous. Like Kim, I don't want to be held hostage by my imagination or some creep out there. My dh says he doesn't care about my "damn statistics"-- he errs on the side of super safety.

Can I just chip them and track their every move until they are teens? Probably another debate. Wink

God I hope they find this evil killer.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

It's their fence and I think one of the idiot teenage sons probably burned one part and they did the loops to make it look like it was supposed to be that way. I'm assuming this since they have almost burned our house, my dh's shed, and my kid's playground down at separate times and also were responsible for cutting all the bus tires in our school system the summer before we moved here. And just reading that pretty much guarantees my kid won't be playing outside by himself anymore.

eta=OH They didn't cut the holes to see into our yard!!! Sorry, I meant They can see into our yard because they cut loops in the top of the privacy fence. Doh

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"wlillie" wrote:

It's their fence and I think one of the idiot teenage sons probably burned one part and they did the loops to make it look like it was supposed to be that way. I'm assuming this since they have almost burned our house, my dh's shed, and my kid's playground down at separate times and also were responsible for cutting all the bus tires in our school system the summer before we moved here. And just reading that pretty much guarantees my kid won't be playing outside by himself anymore.

eta=OH They didn't cut the holes to see into our yard!!! Sorry, I meant They can see into our yard because they cut loops in the top of the privacy fence. Doh

Oooooooh! LOL I was seriously alarmed for your safety thinking that your neighbors cut holes in your fence for the purpose of watching you....makes my hair stand on end! LOL!!!!

Yeah, they do sound like some juvenile deliquents next door though. I don't blame you for being wary.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111

At 10 years old I let my boys walk a few blocks to their friends house, and I definitely let them play outside in the back yard earlier than that. There are bad people in the world and bad things do happen, but I don't live my life based on what could possibly happen. The chances of someone abducting a child and killing them are very low, it's just that when it does happen it is all over the news. Kids probably have a much greater chance of being obese because they are stuck inside all day because they aren't allowed outside.

In a study entitled National Center for Health Statistics, 255 children aged one through nineteen died from influenza and pneumonia, 452 died from heart disease, 1,921 committed suicide and 11,560 died of accidental injuries. In other words, a child was 2 times more likely to die of influenza or pneumonia, 4 times more likely to die of heart disease, 17 times more likely to commit suicide and 100 times more likely to die of an accidental injury than to become a victim of a ‘stereotypical type’ of abduction. Whilst the odds of a child being ‘stereotypically’ abducted are 1 in 610,000, the odds of dying in an airplane crash in any given year are 1 in 310,000 (two times more likely), the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 240,000 (2.5 times more likely) and the odds of a pedestrian being killed by an automobile are 1 in 47,000 (13 times more likely).

These statistics show us two things. Firstly, if we are really serious about stopping child abductions, we need to examine the most common group of perpetrators: family members. Of the 69,000 child abductions that occurred in 1999, 82% were perpetrated by family members. Another 11.3% were committed by friends of the family or other people well known to the children. It seems apparent then, that measures need to be taken to prevent family abduction, which is, by far, a more serious problem than stranger abduction.

The Myth of Stranger Abduction and Sexual Abuse of Children | Sex Offender Issues - Sex Offender News, Studies, Videos, Etc!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4099

Here's a very interesting article on why "stranger danger" doesn't work, and what works better:
'Stranger-Danger' Warnings Not Effective at Keeping Kids Safer

Weston is still at an age where we don't let him out of our sight except when he's on our back patio. We're in the middle of a city block where the buildings literally touch one another. To get into our yard, someone would have to get through a locked garage and/or storage area and/or over a couple of fences; there are six fences between our yard and the closest direct access to the street. Our patio area is pretty much our playroom, our kids are always out there unattended, rain or shine. We have no front yard, just a wide sidewalk, so the only time we're out front is to ride bikes, and then there's always a parent supervising. We let Tiven ride all the way to the far corner, but not around the block, not because we're afraid she'll get snatched, but afraid of an idiot pulling into his driveway at warp speed & not seeing a kid coming on a bike.

Tiven gets plenty of practice walking "alone" by walking on the other side of the street on the way to or from school. I'm actually more worried about her crossing some of the busy streets than I am about being abducted, but we're doing what we can to protect her against both things. We can watch her make sure there isn't anyone sitting in a car she's about to pass, and she watches for open doorways. She knows to cross the street if something ahead doesn't look right. She also knows places to run to for help that are along the way, the police station, the pharmacy, the laundromat usually has people in it & also has cameras installed, the pool, the playground, the corner market. We've also practiced "getting lost" at the mall; she looks around for people who would be "safer" to approach, store employees with a nametag, uniformed security officers with a radio, a mom with children especially if she has a cell phone. Tiven also knows never to go with one of those people anywhere else, if they can't help her right there, then they can go get help & come back to her. She is to always stay where other people can see her. And we use a code word so if anyone says, "Your mom told me to pick you up," she knows to ask the code word, and run away if they don't know it. At least I *hope* that she knows all of this!

Tiven is eager to walk home from school next year when she's in 4th grade, but we're not so sure, especially since none of the kids who live near us come home directly after school so she would be walking alone. Predators are known to pick kids who follow the same route; they watch to see who else is around at particular places & times. There could be a few variations on what route to take home, but that could also make it harder to find her if she goes missing. I think what we might do is arrange a "walking school bus" to walk *to* school with a few other families so that one parent either walks with the kids, or watches them, down the street to the next house where another parent takes over.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I wanted to add I think it depends on where you live. I would not have any problem with my kids playing outside at my parents house. They live in the middle of 180 acres. There are no near by neighbors and the house is far from the road. My house however is in the middle of the city. There is both traffic, and 2 houses down someone was shot last year from a drug deal gone bad.

As far a an 18 month playing outside alone, this I am not sure I would be ok with regardless of the area unless it was completely fenced in. My girls would wander into the road at that age. I might be completely uptight, but I did not leave my kids at that age unless they were sleeping in their crib.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I try not to overreact to the things that I see in the media. Statistically the crime rates are down and kids are for the most part safe. It is those exceptions that are so terrifying. I try to look at the situations realistically. How does it affect my city and my daughter's safety. Because in truth my city is pretty safe. There is crime and danger, but it isn't astronomical. I have lived here all my life and I can only think of one true stranger abduction. There have been plenty of family related abductions in the news though. So, I try to remember reality and not go overboard, yet at the same time stay safe.

So we are working with DD to learn to stay safe. We talk about the rules and as she shows that she is responsible she gets more freedom. We did the same with DSD. I need to know that I can trust her because I know I don't trust everyone else in the world. We will be talking to her about safe people and who she can talk to if she needs help. At the moment she is supervised 99% of the time. This is because she is not yet a safe kid. She has been known to be distracted by the road. She has gone too far in the yard when I ran into the house to pee. She also likes to climb and take risks. So she doesn't get tonnes of freedom and she does get lots of reminders. She also gets a decent amount of time where she is supervised from a distance (me on the deck) so that I can remind her if she does something silly. If our yard was totally fenced I wouldn't have an issue letting her play outside by herself, but there is a gap with no gate so I just don't trust her yet. Now, if there were a predator or a recent abduction in our area that would make me tighten the reigns significantly. But not if it was an incident far away from us.

All in all, I think it depends on the kid and the area. We all have to make that judgement call and pray that things do not go wrong.

eta. I just googled abductions in my area and there are none with the exception of the one I was thinking of. But there are quite a few attempted abductions. But in all cases the kids ran, sought help and saved themselves. This strengthens my opinion that one of the best things we can do is train out kids to know how to protect themselves.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

At 10 years old I let my boys walk a few blocks to their friends house, and I definitely let them play outside in the back yard earlier than that. There are bad people in the world and bad things do happen, but I don't live my life based on what could possibly happen. The chances of someone abducting a child and killing them are very low, it's just that when it does happen it is all over the news. Kids probably have a much greater chance of being obese because they are stuck inside all day because they aren't allowed outside.
]

I agree. I am honestly more worried about technology addiction and lack of activity from not going outside.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

Personally, I am really careful about the kids. I make sure the backyard gates are closed and locked. I inspect the yard before they play for spiders and other creatures. I just make sure nothing is there and nothing can get in or out. I also make sure it's as child proof as possible. I then check on them every 5-10 minutes and keep watching otherwise. But I can see the backyard from the kitchen, family room, and my bedroom.

I don't think I'd ever let my kids walk to school. That one time if anything happened would be too much for me to cope with. I know they have to learn and all. My kids are little still so maybe that makes a big difference.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"KimPossible" wrote:

I let my kids play outside unsupervised. The area I live in has a lot to do with it. Thats not to say that I don't think there is any risk of anything bad happening, but if the risk was a lot greater, i probably would not be quite as laid back about it.

As for the risk that does exist? I think i am just really resistant to the idea of these bad people controlling our lives so much. I'm not keen on sacrificing my children's sense of independence and simple joys in life for their sake. In return, I have a responsibility to prepare my kids for the off chance that something bad does occur.

Now the walking to school thing freaks me out a little more. Emma is in middle school now and she told me that the middle school students are allowed to walk 'home' from school if they live close by. (Its a private school so not everyone does). I've toyed with the idea of letting her walk to a relative's house that is not too far away, because timing wise, it would make my schedule easier to pick her up from there 30 minutes after school gets out.

Part of me tells me i can't let the fear of something bad happening be the *only* reason that I would not let her do this. But it feels awfully different than playing unsupervised in our own yard.

Holy ****! When did that happen? I remember when you were Kimberlysfirst and she reaaallly loved cupcakes!

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

My boys always are outside together, we live quite rurally though at the end of a dead end and trust our neighbors even MORE than some family ;). They know NEVER to go anywhere with anyone unless they ask mom or dad period. At 9 and 10 now I don't worry that they will disobey the boundaries we have for them, and I do not worry that someone could abduct them while at home, in our neighborhood, it just would be virtually impossible with a husband with a rotating 4 on 4 off schedule one of us is always outside or with the hanger open etc. As far as walking to school (we homeschool) however, I would never ever let them walk to school alone period.. maybe in Highschool, but even then not if they were girls... And yes I would allow them to CC. if highschoolers. I would rather them drive. When I was 11 or so a friend of the family was abducted when walking to school, and killed on the beach in our little town. From then on my sister and I always asked before we left our property, and always went together if it was past our block. When walking to school or the store we always walked with friends or each other. I would do the same for my boys.

Just a few months ago a boy and his father went into a Wendy's in the urban area in Oregon, and a convicted childmolestor pushed the 10yo into the bathroom, and locked it behind him, was stabbing him before the workers could get it open, and the dad could rescue his boy, they then shut the guy in the one toilet bathroom, and kept him there till cops came... But even one more reason I am super careful when there is just one of my boys. I know it is a bit off the topic, but I still take my boys into the women's bathroom with me if I only have one, or wait outside the mens if it is just one toilet.. if they are together they go in and come out together period, and yes I have told them the real horror stories so they know why. Plus they hear it on the Radio....

Kyron Horman was abducted in my state a couple years ago or so now, he would be the age of one of my boys.. FROM SCHOOL! that is where they last saw him. SO that is why I tell my kids.. not just stranger danger.. that doesn't work! But Don't go anywhere with anyone!

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"Rivergallery" wrote:

My boys always are outside together, we live quite rurally though at the end of a dead end and trust our neighbors even MORE than some family ;). They know NEVER to go anywhere with anyone unless they ask mom or dad period. At 9 and 10 now I don't worry that they will disobey the boundaries we have for them, and I do not worry that someone could abduct them while at home, in our neighborhood, it just would be virtually impossible with a husband with a rotating 4 on 4 off schedule one of us is always outside or with the hanger open etc. As far as walking to school (we homeschool) however, I would never ever let them walk to school alone period.. maybe in Highschool, but even then not if they were girls... And yes I would allow them to CC. if highschoolers. I would rather them drive. When I was 11 or so a friend of the family was abducted when walking to school, and killed on the beach in our little town. From then on my sister and I always asked before we left our property, and always went together if it was past our block. When walking to school or the store we always walked with friends or each other. I would do the same for my boys.

Just a few months ago a boy and his father went into a Wendy's in the urban area in Oregon, and a convicted childmolestor pushed the 10yo into the bathroom, and locked it behind him, was stabbing him before the workers could get it open, and the dad could rescue his boy, they then shut the guy in the one toilet bathroom, and kept him there till cops came... But even one more reason I am super careful when there is just one of my boys. I know it is a bit off the topic, but I still take my boys into the women's bathroom with me if I only have one, or wait outside the mens if it is just one toilet.. if they are together they go in and come out together period, and yes I have told them the real horror stories so they know why. Plus they hear it on the Radio....

Kyron Horman was abducted in my state a couple years ago or so now, he would be the age of one of my boys.. FROM SCHOOL! that is where they last saw him. SO that is why I tell my kids.. not just stranger danger.. that doesn't work! But Don't go anywhere with anyone!

i don't think that was a stranger abduction.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Rivergallery" wrote:

When I was 11 or so a friend of the family was abducted when walking to school, and killed on the beach in our little town.

:bigarmhug:

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

i don't think that was a stranger abduction.

exactly my point. My kids are told never to go anywhere with anyone PERIOD, not grandparents, not friends, not neighbors, NO one but me or my dh.. if it was the stepmom, not sure they could have avoided it at all.. It is just so sad, and I want to protect the kids as much as possible. I told my preschoolers the same thing when I was their teacher.. If I came up to them in the store, and they had "lost their parent" should they come with me to get icecream.. they said yes.. all of them! I told them ABSOLUTELY NEVER. Stay where you are and call for your mom, or ask me to phone them with my cell phone, NEVER go anywhere with anyone unless you ask a parent.. And these days with cellphones, everyone should be able to be accessed pretty much.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1533

"Rivergallery" wrote:

exactly my point. My kids are told never to go anywhere with anyone PERIOD, not grandparents, not friends, not neighbors, NO one but me or my dh.. if it was the stepmom, not sure they could have avoided it at all.. It is just so sad, and I want to protect the kids as much as possible. I told my preschoolers the same thing when I was their teacher.. If I came up to them in the store, and they had "lost their parent" should they come with me to get icecream.. they said yes.. all of them! I told them ABSOLUTELY NEVER. Stay where you are and call for your mom, or ask me to phone them with my cell phone, NEVER go anywhere with anyone unless you ask a parent.. And these days with cellphones, everyone should be able to be accessed pretty much.

I tell this to my class every year.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

When I was a kid we had a secret password in my family. The 4 of us knew it and my parents said that at anytime if I was at school and someone was there to pick me up that was not mom or dad (and it wasn't arranged ahead of time) that they would have the password. After 1 use it would change. It never got used but I think it's a great idea and one that I will share with my kids.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Jess- I know lots of families that may do that, however, I know most 4 year olds would tell a "trusted" adult their password in a flat minute. Adults are very sneaky, and smarter than children. That is why we never picked a password, though the local police dept still use that in their safety training for schools etc.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I guess that's true. My parents seemed to really lay out for me the importance of it and I never told anyone. Maybe wouldn't work for all families but it worked for ours.

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