Falling off the fence, toppling off the swing set, slipping off the swing, getting chewed on by the puppy, tripping and falling, etc. these are all very valid reasons for concern. But, I've had it with the crying. If there's one thing I hate, it's kids crying endlessly outside.
So, today I've laid the law down. Every time somebody cries outside they have to come in the house for 5 minutes. The timer is my best friend today.
As soon as I hear the crying, I evacuate the kid from the back yard and into the house. I hate sharing a screaming kid with the neighbors and feel it is my neighborly duty to not share such annoyances. The kid comes in and I survey their damage, cleanse their wounds and/or prosecute any sibling at fault with them. Being a mom in this situation means you're the investigator, news reporter, doctor, lawyer and cop all at once. Then, I make the child aware that because they were crying outside, they have to stay in the house for 5 minutes. At this point, we ceremoniously set the timer and I go back to what I was doing before the accident took place. The kid usually stands at the door quietly, looking out the window wishing they were outside.
I got to thinking as I watched my kids play out in the yard this morning. They have hardly any care or concern for their own safety and seem to enjoy the opportunity to cry every time they get hurt. Unfortunately, they seem to make up scenes so that they can fall or topple just to cry. The crying is worth the pain. By instigating some law and order out in our back yard, I'm hoping to help my kids realize that when they're careful, they usually don't get hurt, they don't cry and ultimately, they don't have to come in the house for 5 minutes of their precious day.
I mean really, climbing the fence is not exactly what a 3 year old should accomplish in his day. Of course he's going to get hurt. Flinging herself wildly on to the swing in a moment of playful frenzy, is perhaps a little risky for a 2 year old. We all know she'll get hurt. Or, letting the playful and hyper puppy out of her kennel is possibly not the wisest thing to do either. It's as if they walk around in the yard going, "hmmm, there's the dog, she has teeth, I want to get bit." And then they go open the kennel. Duh. And then I here wails and screams of the puppy mauling the kids. If you jump in the lions den, don't be surprised if you get bit just a little.
So, yes, call mean and cruel by making my kids come in from the great out doors for a whole 5 minutes but I really have to teach them somehow that there are consequences for unthinking behaviour.
Plus, I am really tired of having to share my screaming and bawling kids with the whole neighborhood. And I'm sure the neighbors are too.