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Overprotective Parenting or Common Sense Parenting?

So we are planning to go to an indoor amusement park with a friend of DD's and her mom. It's basically a huge convention center with three different carnival of those companies DD's friend's father works for (they go weekly and get in free...which saving the money was our push to go with them LOL).

A couple weeks into us talking about taking the girls, the other mom was talking about how she went with her daughter (6-1/2) the previous weekend and she didn't see her until it was time to leave. Now I know she lets her kid run loose (and did even when she was 4) at the neighborhood carnivals, and although I don't agree with it, I made excuses for her just because we live in small town USA and I know they know everyone who works there...and half the people who showed up at the carnival itself.

But this is in Cleveland in a huge place with tons of people...even though they may know the workers there, they only know 1/3 of them. I have already told DD (7) that she is not going to be running away with her friend, that she had to stay with me, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to get some resistance from the other mom saying how overprotective I am.

I don't see that as "overprotective." I see that as simple common sense. You don't let your 6-7 year olds run around by themselves in a place full of strangers.

At this point I'm kind of wishing we weren't going with them because either DD will be upset because she can't be with her friend or her friend will be upset that she has to stick with us instead of go off on her own.

Am I wrong here? Would you let your kids loose in a place like this?


Asked by AllAboutKeeley at 9:00 AM on Mar. 29, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (18)
  • Are you kidding? No, I wouldn't let a child that age run around unsupervised ANYWHERE!!! My kids were much older before I let them go off in a public place unsupervised. When I did, they had to check in with me at regular times and places.

    No, I'd say she's giving you a bad time in order to justify her lazy parenting skills.

    Answer by ohwrite at 9:09 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • Not at 6/7. I live in Raleigh NC, not a huge city but not exactly small either. I would let my 11 and 13 yo's go together or with a friend for a couple hours then meet back with me then go again if they wanted but I would not have let them more than a year ago.

    Answer by missanc at 9:08 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • No, I would not let my Son out of my sight. He's 6. He also doesn't like to wander where he cannot see me. Remember places like that have a lot of doors going outside. I wouldn't care what the other Mom thought or said. I took my Son to a Birthday Party at an amusement park for his friend. EVERY parent stayed with their kid. She's the odd one, not you. Child predators zone right in on kids that are too free & wander. We had an amusement/sports indoor play place here a few years ago & at least once a month some weirdo was arrested for trying to get a kid in his car. Finally was closed down. Where do you think molesters hang out? Places like that!


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:43 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • I would NOT let a 7 yr old run around on her own- with or without a friend at a place like that (or the mall or many other public places)

    Definitely not overprotective, smart and doing your JOB if you ask me.

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 9:45 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • I wouldn't let my 6 yr old out of my sight. So, I agree. I don't think that you necessarily need to go on the rides with her but, you should be able to see her at all times.


    Answer by 3libras at 10:32 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • Are there separate areas where you could sit in a centralized location & still have her in sight? Can you ride any rides with her? Who cares what the other moms want. They aren't you. And I'm with you, I wouldn't be comfortable doing something like that until they hit their teen years. Then we'd have cell phones to keep in touch w/ ea. other. Follow your instincts mama. And have a fun time. :)


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:06 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • Heck no I wouldn't allow that! Geez. Wth is wrong with people.

    Answer by PandaGwen at 10:22 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • We go to the ixindoor amusement park all the time. It's really not as big as you would think. My older ones go off alone ( they have phones but have to stay together) and we take the young ones to play.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:42 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • I wouldn't. To be honest, I have 2 boys, ages 9 & 12. We're going to Legoland soon, and I'm already freaking about letting mine go in the men's room by themselves when we're there. They are too old for me to take into the ladies room with me, so I don't have a choice, but I'm not happy about it. So there is no way I would ever let them run around like that.

    I would just make sure your daughter knows her rules and that you don't care what her friends rules are, she will follow her own. As for the friend's mom, I'd just politely tell her you appreciate the "advice" but you aren't comfortable letting your daughter go off unsupervised.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:53 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • Your friend sounds irresponsible, you sound like you've got some common sense. I wouldn't let my 9 year old run off in a situation like that. He's the size of most 12 year olds.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:40 AM on Mar. 29, 2013