Open Letter To The Neighborhood Mom Who Posts On Facebook About How She Hates Our Neighborhood

I can't speak for everyone in the neighborhood, but the reason why my kids don't come over and knock on your door and ask your kids to play has nothing to do with overprotective, overscheduled parenting, and everything to do with the fact that they simply don't like playing with your kids.

It's not because 'kids don't play outside these days'. If you look in my yard on days that are even barely temperate, you'll see my kids out there playing much of the time. You'll see other neighborhood kids there, too.

It's simply that my kids think that your kids are rude, irresponsible, reckless, thoughtless, careless & mean. So, they don't choose to play with them.

In addition, your free-range parenting ideas may sound all cool & cutting edge to you, but you take it way too far. Your attitude seems to be 'I gave birth to them, what more do you expect me to do?'.

I've chased your unsupervised 'free-range' toddlers off of the busy street outside of our house as cars travelling 30mph have honked & swerved to avoid them there at the bottom of the small hill where we live.

I agree with you that kids need to learn about life by experiencing it, but there is still a basic responsibility to teach and guide them that you treat like some kind of overbearing restriction that society is forcing onto you.

Ignoring their physical safety is an obvious problem. But, you also seem to be ignoring your responsibility to teach them how to behave towards other people in the world, as well. Your children, toddlers to teens, don't seem at all aware of the rights that others in the world have to simple respect, gratitude, happiness. Your children are selfish, self-centered, reckless, mean. They seem baffled when others show emotion & seem completely unaware of the fact that they have hurt someone physically or emotionally, when they do so. They always leave a mess behind them, a trail of broken and scattered toys.

You wonder why they have such a hard time fitting into the wide range of socio-economic groups that make up our districts students. You keep on trying them in school for a month or so, only to take them out when they start to have social issues with the other kids or behavior problems within the classrooms. Then, you blame the other kids. All of them. Or, the teachers. All of them. All of them are bad, all of the time. The neighborhood is bad. The town is bad. Do you never wonder whether it might be your kids that are causing the problems themselves?

So... It's not society that's changed so drastically. It's not that our neighborhood is sheltering and stifling our children. It's not 'this town' that's isolating your children from the world. It's you. If you can't take on the responsibility of actually parenting your children, no matter how you decide to go about it, then you have to accept the consequences of having unparented children.
JaneSm JaneSm
41-45, F
Jul 14, 2010