Posted: 2:09 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Is your 9-year-old mature enough to play in a park unsupervised? 

By Gracie Bonds Staples

Last month South Carolina mother Debra Harrell was arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play in a park unsupervised while she was at work. Since then numerous other parents have also been arrested for allowing their children to play in public places, both indoors and outside, unsupervised.
As the nation debates whether such parenting choices are acceptable or neglectful, the latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll finds 82 percent of Americans believe the law should require children 9-years-old and younger to be supervised while playing in public parks. Just 17 percent of Americans think 9-year-olds should be able to play unsupervised at the park. I’m not sure a 15 year old in today’s society should.
Interested in the rest of the findings? Click here: http://reason.com/poll/2014/08/18/reason-rupe-poll-august-poll-html#parenting

10 comments
MattieMae
MattieMae

There is no way a 9 year old should be unattended.  This is not the world of the past.  Yes when I was growing up it was safe for kids to be by themselves.  Today there are to many CRAZY people!! A child unattended gets taken and the parent that did take proper care of their child is on TV crying and made to be the victim.  Yes, it must be the worse thing in the world to have you child missing or murdered, however, the parent must hold some of the blame for not taking the time to supervise their child.

K's Mom
K's Mom

I live in a spot that is as close to Mayberry as it comes and I would not let a 9yo play by themselves all day. I do think I would let my kids play in the cul-de-sac with other kids as they get older.


By 15 a child should be able to be left places because in a year they will be driving and in 3 they will be at college.

motherjanegoose1
motherjanegoose1

We went ice skating by ourselves when I was 9. We lived in the suburbs of Chicago. No way would I let my kids do this today. Sad but true.

Sara0507
Sara0507

My daughter is 9.  No way, no how... would never happen.  I get that it was common "back in the day" but times have changed.  I can't imagine dropping off my 9 year old off in the park by herself not even for an hour.... let alone an entire 8-9 work day.  My kids play in our cul de sac, but I am still not comforable if they are out there alone mostly because no one would notice for 10, 15, 20, or maybe even 30 mintues if they did disappear.   They are usually with a group of close knit neighbor kids riding bikes and playing on each other's swing sets/trampolines.  I feel for that mom and I don't think she should lose her daughter or be arrested or anything like that. I hope she gets some assistance and some education on how dangerous it is to do that.  I remember that little girl (I think from Cherokee county) that was murdered a couple of years ago. Her mom worked overnights and let the girl play in the apartment's playground right near their front door for hours at time unsupervised.  It's like playing Russian Roullette with your kid's lives.  That girl lost.  

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

@MattieMae Really? It was safer in the past?

I doubt it. There has not been a sudden zombie type virus that swept the world in 1982 that made our world more dangerous. What swept the planet was news becoming entertainment. When you had a 24 hour news network, it had to be filled with news. Soon, everything is news. Crimes that never made the news in the past, now are in the news. A new speciality reporter.....The crime reporter was born and their job was to report crime.....Which morphed in to them making each sorty more horrific than the one before.

We've become overstimulated from the hyperbole that is now the news. Remember when local news broadcasts were only 30 minutes? Now, some are 4 hours......How do you fill 4 hours and keep people watching? You make the most inane stories seem tragic, and you make the tragic stories tantamount to the end of the world.

I assure you, things are not worse now than they were 3 decades ago. You have just been sucked in to the vortex of media hysteria. Get out and enjoy life and please let your kids be kids without smothering them.

motherjanegoose1
motherjanegoose1

Not to mention driving your car at 16. I was ok with mine being more independent when they were 13 and with a group of friends. My daughter baby sat at 13.

K's Mom
K's Mom

@motherjanegoose1 I babysat at 12, that was 28 years ago, but I still did it. I have a great HS girl who babysits for us often, but I would not go younger than 15 to babysit my kids.

BrowningGlory
BrowningGlory

Mayberry? Otis the town drunk, the uppity old maids that made moonshine, the inbred Darling family? The only good thing about crime ridden Mayberry is no police state mentality by the law. Yes sir let your snowflakes roam the streets of Mayberry. SMH