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Old 15.09.2011, 13:59
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Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

She got into some minor trouble with other kids the other day. They were throwing stones into a drainage and a lady who ive never seen before was at our door and gave me a very unfriendly lecture about parenting, in swiss german. She scared my daughter. After that,my daughter doesnt wanna go out anymore. Im not sure if i should still let her. Im bothered that the lady had to confront me since my daughter told me another neighbor already told them to stop the first time doing it and they stopped.

My daughter only plays right outside our building where i can see her from our balcony and kitchen, shes friends with everybody (young and old) and speaks swiss german fluently now. She looks smaller than other first graders here (being asian) so i hope the lady thought she´s just much younger. But at what age should i let my child play outside without my close supervision? Ive been letting her play out whenever she wants after making her assignments/helping out with chores. I see other kids smaller than her playing outside too, some her clasmates. I thought thats one of the good things here in CH, what i cant do in my home country is ok here. Which is not worrying about children being out in the neighborhood. Maybe i was wrong? She´s very active and im very pregnant so i cant go out with her all the time now. But this lady made me feel like such a bad mom.
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:01
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

No it's not wrong. If someone disapproves of your parenting skills, that's entirely up to them. You're the one who knows your child best, and it's your call.
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:04
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Not wrong at all!! I have a 12, 8 and 5 year old and in this nice weather I don't see them for dust. They are off with their friends. Fortunately I have a fog horn of a voice so one shout and I can track them down!
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:06
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

It depends. I wouldn't let my son play out on his own because we live right on a main road and he's got zero road sense. If we lived out in the sticks with no major roads nearby, I would let him out but only so far as I can see him from the window.

You know your daughter best and can probably judge if she's sensible so you have probably already answered your own question.
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:07
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

I would have told your neighbour her that kids your daughter's age are expected walk to school on their own. I get people commenting when they find my son alone. Usually i'm just around the corner or in the next isle in the supermarket or changing room. I think they must think he is younger than he is. At 5, he can certainly use the bathroom alone, wash his hands and meet me at the locker but I had someone feel the need to bring him to me.

All my neighbour's kids have been playing outside alone since Kindergarten age.
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:28
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

I wouldnt say that a 6yearold is too small to play outside alone. My 6year old is out with the other kids all the time. As long as they know the rules, and stick to them, I would see a problem.

On the other hand, kids who get up to mischief..........I was quite upset yesterday, when I found my only pumpkin severed from its stalk! Espeacially when I spoke to the neighbours boys and told them that it is a vegetable that need to grow, and not a toy, so leave it alone!!! one of the kids did not know what it is!

Maybe the next time you accompany your daughter outside, and then she will get her confidence back.
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:34
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

It freaks me out sometimes just how uptight folks are in Switzerland as though they have an armadillo stuffed somewhere dark and painful.

I mean, what harm is there in kids throwing stones into a drainage grate? Kids just having some harmless fun and who stopped when asked. It seems unlikely that this woman was worried at kids playing on their own since I see really young kids walking home on their own...rather, she just wanted to rant about kids doing something she didn't approve of which seems to be a common theme. I can totally understand why your daughter might be afraid to relive the experience, but keep her going outside to play as this is one of the few places left in the world that you can feel comfortable letting kids go outside and play on their own which is, I think, one of the most important things kids can do, i.e. play and be kids.

And don't let the turkeys get you down
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:35
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

I was outside alone at the age of 6, there again we didn't have computers then
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:35
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Shame you don't know who that lady was- or you could go and have a chat with her and explain your daughter is older than she looks, and that you are keeping an eye from balcony. Any chance you could put a comfy chair in the garden area for your daughter's next couple of outings- so she gets her confidence back. Might get you a chance to see what the kids get up to, and know who is who. I do wish my little grand-son who is the same age (near London) could play outside with his friends (just like his mum and dad used to do when little).
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:39
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

This is parental choice and unfair for someone else to pass judgement. Especially as your daughter was supervised as you say!
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:45
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Don't take it to heart, people are quick to express their opinion here, it's up to you how you handle it. It's absolutely expected that you explain your standpoint, communication is the key.

When neighbours complained about us kids my mum would first try to figure out what exactly happened, hear my version of the story and then deal with it. We were no angels and nobody expects your kids to be, just learn how to deal with complaints, that's all.

And DON'T accept being lectured on your parenting skills, that is not something you have to listen to from a stranger.
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Old 15.09.2011, 14:48
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

To put it in basic English. Ignore the stupid cow!
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:04
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Yes ignore her and let her play outside...We have a big yard but the boys still like to play on the football field close to home, they got ssst by neighbors in the apartment building during the day on sunday before I knew about the immense ruhe tag thing here so that is the only day I don't let them play there, otherwise they are free to roam the neighborhood.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:05
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

I agree with Keith66. The old cow will have been sitting at the window for months waiting to see something to complain about.
I suggest you buy her an 8 inch vibrating toy, so she has something else to rock her socks.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:11
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Try not to let one person's comments get you down. There are always kids out on the playground at my apartment building and some parents are there, some not. Once the kids are in kindergarten, most parents trust them enough to play on their own for a while. Most of the building have either a kitchen or balcony view of the playground and with the window open, you can usually hear most of what's happening anyway!

Good Luck!
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:19
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Ignore the woman and encourage your child to play outside. Someone told them to stop tossing stones and they did, enough said! Tell her to come indoors if she is alone outside, there are always nutters around somewhere.
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Old 15.09.2011, 15:27
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

ugh what an annoying woman, next time (although I hope there is no next time) just close the door on her face telling her you are not interested in a lecture...Some people are just upset because of a certain reason and want to take it on someone else, usually an innocent passer-by...I agree with Pather that maybe it is good that you go outside with her now at least for a few minutes then go back just to reassure her
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:24
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Or just apologize (even though you're not sure any harm has been done) and politely say you'll have a word with your daughter. The lady needs to lecture someone, and an impolite gesture will make her even bitter and vengeful.
You don't have to believe what you say, but with certain people, giving up a little, is the best way to deal. Ah, and afterwards forget everything she said about you.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:25
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

Some kids here started throwing stones at anyone who passed as they thought it would be fun. They were hiding behind some bushes and thought no one would see them. I got hit by multiple stones and it really hurt. I ran after them, grabbed couple of them and sprinkled dry mud all over their head.

Did I do good? Would my parents be proud of me?

I made up the second part. First part was true.
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Old 15.09.2011, 16:26
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Re: Is it wrong to let my 6 yr old play outside on her own?

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Or just apologize (even though you're not sure any harm has been done) and politely say you'll have a word with your daughter. The lady needs to lecture someone, and an impolite gesture will make her even bitter and vengeful.
You don't have to believe what you say, but with certain people, giving up a little, is the best way to deal. Ah, and afterwards forget everything she said about you.
I disagree, you need to make your stand in a polite but firm way to be respected, that's the done thing. An apology is often viewed as an admission to guilt here, hence the reluctance of some Swiss to apologize for walking into you when they feel it's not their fault.
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