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Other People’s Children

with 11 comments

Yard monkeys

As most of you know, I do not have children. I have nothing against well-behaved children, as a matter of fact, I enjoy being around them most of the time. When I was considering moving into this neighborhood, I knew there would be several children around my cul-de-sac, but it didn’t really bother me.

What bothers me now, and what compels me to write to ask for advice, is that these children (an average of six to ten children, ranging in age from three- to twelve-years old) are playing in the road!!

Rarely are the parents ever monitoring the situation, especially during the time when people are getting home from work. You can see on my neighborhood illustration (near the bottom of this blog) the layout of the road I live off of. Yes, it’s a double cul-de-sac, but it’s still a travelled road… not a playground!!

What makes this particularly unsafe is that the kids collect in the corner of the road where it bends into an L-shape, limiting visibility as you round the corner. Additionally, they  ride their bikes down the hill from the back left corner to the opposite side where  a jumping ramp is often set up. They can’t see cars coming from their right  because of the house and large shrubbery at the corner, and a car cannot see them coming from the left for the same reason. There’s bound to be a collision at some point.

Drawing on the asphalt with chalk is an especially fun thing the smaller kids do. And they do it, sitting down, right in the corner in the flow of traffic. One day, I went out and moved them all over to the back of the first cul-de-sac so at least traffic could flow freely without coming near them. Of course, later on, they were right back in the middle, drawing and not paying a bit of attention to traffic.

I’ve warned the children who’ll ride right behind cars as they’ve backing out of their driveways. I’ve moved them to different places to keep them out of the traffic path. And I’ve taken “proof” photos of the kids riding their bikes in the middle of the road and  sitting down drawing, because I know that WHEN (not if) one of them is struck, the parents are going to blame it on the driver, and I will have proof that it is probably not the driver’s fault. I just hope to God it isn’t ME who hits one of them.

Most of us who live here know to creep along about 10MPH, but I’m most concerned about strangers who don’t realize that they’re driving through a playground. If they come through at the legal speed limit (20MPH) the little kids won’t even have time to get up before a driver sees them.

The thing that most burns me up is WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!?! I can’t tell you how unsupervised these kids are most of the time. They’re not bad kids, really. They aren’t too loud or too rowdy. They’re just using the road as a playground, and the parents are letting them!! Why aren’t they made to play in their own yards?! At the very least, why don’t they confine them to the back corners of the circles?!

So here’s my question, and I need your advice:  Should I write to the parents on the streets and let them know how badly their kids are in danger? One would think they would already have the good sense to see the danger, but since they’re not out there, I guess not.

If you don’t want to leave a comment, please at least vote in my poll below the image. Thanks.



Written by blogicalinks

August 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Whatever

11 Responses

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  1. I’ll make a quick comment…no, don’t write a letter. That seems a-holish…responsible yes, but also a-holish to the people who live around you. If i were a parent who got the letter, i’d be like “heifer said what? oh no you didn’t!: 😉 What you *might* want to do instead is insinuate yourself into the situation a bit and try to first find one of the parents, and then strike up a conversation (which i know you’re very good at!). Then work the dangers into the conversation and just talk about how much you worry about all of them playing in the street like that, especially when the visibility is limited. All you can do is say something, you can’t be the parent yourself.

    As to where the parents are, who knows?! My street is really good about having parents out the whole time the kids are out, especially the younger ones. In fact i sometimes wonder if the parents around here aren’t out *too* much! Let the kids play for crying out loud i say! (that’s for the older ones, like 8 and over, not the littles.) And play in the driveway for pete’s sake! The little ones should never be in the street, always in the grass, on sidewalks, or in the driveway. Mine are NOT allowed in the street unless i’m walking or riding WITH them…and the street is not for playing, period.

    My two cents, take it or leave it 🙂


    August 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  2. Letter is not the answer – i agree with the above. It is definitely something to address out of relationship only. And, even with that, you are in a difficult place, because the parents will not take well to hearing from someone who isn’t a parent giving them parental advice. Although you are assessing the situation some what objectively, you can’t see it through the eyes of a parent and they know that.

    As to where are the parents?… well, our culture has taught us that children aren’t that important – getting ahead in life is. Children are culturally seen more as an inconvenience than as a the gift from God that they are. And, we believe that everyone is responsible for him or herself, even at a very young age. We trumpet individualism.

    Everyone’s “busy.” That’s where they are.

    Bryan Riley

    August 14, 2009 at 7:51 pm

  3. hey, woman. nah, let it go. drive slowly and tell your visitors to do the same. one day someone will bump one of those kids–hopefully just a broken bone or two, and then all hell will break loose, and people will stop letting their kids play out there. I know it’s tough, but not your responsibility. Trust me, a letter would go over badly.

    Save some animals; it will make you feel better.

    Miss you. You rock.


    Lynn G

    August 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm

  4. I would not write a letter. Once you are friends with the parents you can carefully mention it to them. But they already know that the kids play in the street.


    August 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm



    August 14, 2009 at 10:08 pm

  6. Ok, you asked, so here’s my opinion:

    My first thought before I event finished your post was “she should write a letter”. Probably because that’s common in our neighborhood, and people are generally repsectful when writing these letters. Like the one we got last summer in our mailbox from a neighbor two doors down that there had been several break-ins on our street (the writer being one of the two houses, the other house was two doors up from us) and for everyone to be aware and take extra precautions. We had been considering getting a security system before getting the letter, but with a brand-new baby, that letter definitely lit a fire under us to do what we needed to do! Had we not gotten that note warning us of the dangers lurking in our back yards, we might not have gotten that security system, and I shudder to think what might have been…

    Anyway, I commend you for your thoughtful consideration of the best way to help protect these precious little ones. I gasped at Lynn G’s comment (sorry)…but if a car “bumps” into a child, the car is definitely going to win. Broken bones: definitely. Probably much worse.

    I thought that talking to your police department was a great suggestion, I’m sure they’ve encountered this type of situation before and would have ideas on what do to. If you’re still not sold on writing a polite and concerned letter, that might be the next best thing.

    Just my humble opinion…and wenzday, you made me laugh out loud. “heifer said what?” 🙂 Though the parents who might get offended are exactly the ones who should be reading it…


    August 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

  7. Just get it over with, and back over one of the kidz.
    Then see if they take notice. Meanwhile, call the cops and turn the neighbors in. That will help everyone who witnesses this day in and day out.

    Louisa Smith

    August 15, 2009 at 1:27 am

  8. Well, I have witnessed this first hand in this neighborhood. Mainly because on one of my early visits I nearly plowed through the middle of them! I wasn’t speeding. I was driving at the limit. If I had just kept going Cheryl wouldn’t have this problem anymore, but I have a feeling I would have even worse problems. What really burns me is that these kids look at you like driving on “their” road is a privilege. Sometimes I want to get out of the car, go break a switch off of a bush, and puts stripes on their legs like my mama used to do. Now that would really make the parents happy!

    Wally Traylor

    August 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

  9. Do you know all of their parents? If you do, talk to them about your concern. If not, yes, write a letter. I trust you to word it in a way that would show your concern and not just your irritation at their lack of responsibility as a parent. People can be very defensive, but most people still want to protect their children. You’re a genuinely caring person. I think your intention will show, but if not, so what. The children are more important than their parent’s egos.

    cathy lollar

    August 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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