Times have changed — this we’re all aware of. But just how much?
As children, we loved few things as much as going out and playing in our backyard, if we were lucky enough to have one. I remember this being a highlight of my summer days, as we ran through our sprinkler to cool off when it was especially warm.
Today, as kids sadly become more and more engrossed by technology, it’s especially nice to see them enjoying the outdoors the way all kids should.
The best part about playing in our yards was how safe it was — we required minimum supervision and I can’t recall anything bad ever happening while we were out there, minus some scratches and bruises.
But apparently, one mom recently found out the hard way that not everyone agrees.
Jacqui and her family of five from Manitoba, Canada, live in a home with a fenced in yard, so she’s never thought twice about sending her three children out to play.
But on one particular day, she was stunned to get an unexpected knock at the door.
It turned out that a neighbor had observed her three children out playing alone — and thought this was a bad move from the mom.
The neighbor took the time to phone Child and Family Services (CFS) and issue a complaint against the mother. From there, an investigation was launched.
Needless to say, Jacqui was utterly shocked when she eventually got a knock on her door from CFS, who visited to investigate the matter. And I couldn’t agree more!
Children do not need their parents hovering over them every second of the day and especially when it’s their play time and they can develop a sense of creativity and independence. Sure, we must be careful out there, but I can’t imagine the mother believed her children were at risk of being kidnapped or severely hurt in their own backyard.
I fail to understand why a neighbor felt compelled to report this perfectly ordinary mother and family to the authorities. Mothers are already ridden with responsibilities and duties, and I see nothing wrong with allowing our children some freedom when we feel confident that they’re as safe as can be.
It’s also puzzling that the neighbor didn’t have the courage to visit Jacqui herself, if she was so concerned, and express her worries to her face. That she hid behind a phone call to the authorities makes this situation all the more sad!
I think it’s important to share this story as a reminder that sometimes we have to relax and not ‘jump the gun’, even when we’re worried about something. A sense of community is always great and I think neighbors should reach out to their counterparts directly if they have a concern about something.
That said, most important of all, children should be able to play freely in their backyards! Please share Jacqui’s story if you agree.