Why I Can’t Give My Child the Freedom I Relished

What do our kids lose out on when we “protect” them from the world? Here’s a comment on the post from a few days ago, “How dbhiahenbe
Did Your Adventures as a Kid Influence the Person You Are Now?
” I would love to hear your stories of childhood’s enduring influence, too. – L

Dear Free-Range Kids: So much of who I am can be traced back to my free range childhood.

For all intents and purposes my grandmother raised me from 6.5 to 14. While I did live with my mother, my grandmother was in charge.  My grandmother gave me the 1940-50’s childhood she had given her own children.  I was able to walk to school with my brother who was in third grade when in first and when I was in second I could walk myself as there was a crossing guard on the corner.  The crossing guard was in sixth grade.

On my seventh birthday I was given a bicycle without training wheels and I was given a four block radius.  Shortly after I was given my bicycle I got my first job.  I called on my grandmother’s friends and their friends to pick up groceries/prescriptions for them.  I was much cheaper than the professional delivery services.  I earned between .10 and .50 per delivery. It wasn’t much money, but I did earn enough to no longer get an allowance. 

At nine I started doing small chores for my grandmother’s friends and some easy cooking.  As I became older and my skills more refined I did even more.  Almost every day after school I helped 2-3 of my grandmothers friends. While I was earning some money I also learned skills.  I learned basic home repair from people who could tell me how to do things that there bodies were no longer capable of doing.  I learned how to cook, crochet, and knit. I learned all about lawns, adjusting lawn mower blades, sharpening them, and even how to use a weed wacker. I attended more funerals than most and learned at a young age the heartache of loss, but the joy of having spent time with people before they past.  Taking care of the elderly helped me to have compassion and learn about the real world.  As an adult I have volunteered as an EMT and with the Red Cross with a special emphasis on helping the elderly. 

I am the mom of a 6 year old.  Because of how societal mores have changed I can’t let my daughter walk our neighbors’ dogs, take out their trash, shovel their walkways,  pick up their prescriptions. She can’t even go to strangers’ houses to ask if they will buy Girl Scout cookies from her.

If we all start sharing stories like these — and the crime stats that show times are safer today than when we were kids — maybe we CAN give our kids the freedom we loved.  If “the child is father of the man,” who wants a father (or mom) who grew up in the backseat of an SUV? – L

Let's see

“My daughter can’t even go to strangers’ houses to ask if they will buy Girl Scout cookies from her.”  (Flickr Commons photo of random Scout, 1973.) 


54 Responses to Why I Can’t Give My Child the Freedom I Relished

  1. Warren February 17, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    When it comes to things like cookie sales, and fundraisers, I blame “the ban on door to door sales” on people’s over inflated sense of entitlement.
    People seem to think that someone they don’t know knocking on the door, to sell them something, to raise funds for their group, team, school, or whatever is some sort of invasion of privacy. That it is such an inconvenience or hardship.
    Is it really that hard to open the door, and either say no thank you, or buy a damn box of cookies.

  2. Lisa February 17, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    As a mother of 5 who grew up in the late 80’s/90’s, I grieve for my childhood. What’s crazy is I knew of at least 3 kids who were kidnapped and killed close to home as a kid. Yet I walked to and from school with my sister from 1st grade on. I survived. I passed by strip clubs and bars on the way, never thought anything of it, I wasn’t traumatized by it. My sisters and I went trick or treating alone by my 4th grade year. Never encountered a kid snatcher. I shoveled snow for the elderly at 10 yrs old, sold candles my sister made and crafts I made to earn cash to go skating or swimming. I understood stranger danger but I also knew my hometown like the back of my hand. I knew the rules of the crosswalk. I knew the value of an earned dollar. These are all things that are difficult to make my kids fully appreciate. The older ones know how to earn money but that’s about it. I can’t just let them go free range like I was, lest I become another statistic of the parent shaming media. The town I’ve raised my kids in is better than where I grew up, but there are so many over zealous bored parents who are so quick to judge if my kids step outside the yard….literally! I would love if my kids were allowed by society to learn, to explore, to imagine, to LIVE! But the sounds of children playing outside is fast becoming sparse. When will society wake up and realize kids are not tea cups?

  3. Michelle February 17, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    I’ve actually had my kids brought home by over zealous cops more than once. I also had CPS called on me. While the experience was infuriating, and I’m not completely happy with how it was handled (mostly the social worker’s suggestion that I should acquiesce to busybodies), I found the sheriff’s office to actually be apologetic and CPS sympathetic. I have not stopped letting my kids have the freedom I think they deserve. At most, I made my younger ones stick with an older sibling until they LOOKED “old enough.” (My kids all look younger than they are.)

  4. lollipoplover February 17, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    It’s another snow day off school. God help me!
    Yet, my son is out shoveling driveways for his *regulars* with his friend. The girls are sledding/snowboarding with neighbors on fresh powder on top of ice at our local hills. They will come back tired and happy and hopefully uninjured. I have a fire and hot chocolate waiting for them.

    I disagree that we can’t give our children the freedom we relished. For their happiness, MY happiness, they need to have real life experiences and adventures AWAY from me. Having neighbors who share my values and look out for my kids (and I watch over theirs) is extremely helpful. Snow days really are the ultimate free range experience. Kids can’t be driven anywhere, not many cars on the roads, kids everywhere playing. And these can come to my house for some hot chocolate anytime.

  5. Brooks February 17, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    The writer says “I can’t,” but I’m wondering if it’s more, “I won’t?” I believe that we can stand against today’s norms by being informed of the law and the facts regarding kid safety. And, when a city passes a stupid law, go to the council meeting and make a fact-based case.

    Despite some creeping silliness in our community, our kids can still wander about, sell cookies, etc. We have, and do leave our kids at home in our very safe neighborhood for varying lengths of time, even the nine year old, and they know what to do if something happens.

    And, while I have the misfortune of working from home, it allows us to be a convenient after-school pick up location for parents who cannot get to school in time for normal pick up (a dad whose wife died, a teacher who works in a far-away district, etc.). Every day I am inundated with screaming nine-year old girls (sort of ends the work day early). Their parents know that a middle-aged man is alone with them and have no problem with it. In fact, I rarely see the girls (though I certainly hear them). They come and go and their parents can usually find them within two or three houses from here. If they want a snack, they all know where to go and what to do.

    So there’s hope.

  6. Jenny Islander February 17, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    @Brooks: When my tween daughter, with my permission, took the same bike route as everyone else past where the sidewalk ends, somebody who knows me called the cops on her before calling me–and then called me and expected me not to have a problem with it! My name is now in a police record about a possible runaway. I can’t let her do that again because I won’t have the spoons to deal with yet another cop showing up at my door with his gun on.

    So yes, it’s often “can’t.”

  7. Reziac February 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Now that’s the kind of kid I wish everyone would raise!

    I don’t know of any ‘ban on door sales’ (this may be an apartment and condo thing, where the whole facility is someone else’s private property) but don’t you miss the Fuller Brush Man and the Avon Lady? I do, and I keep wondering when the Girl Scouts will come to the door so I can buy a box of those chocolate-mint cookies.

    And Jenny’s comment shows how this “call the cops first” mentality damages more than just the kids who have to grow up with it. It damages the parents too, even when they know better.

    And then the jackboots meet no resistance, because no one dares resist.

  8. Mark Roulo February 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    “I can’t let her do that again because I won’t have the spoons to deal with yet another cop showing up at my door…”

    Typo? Help?

  9. Sara February 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    @Mark Roulo: http://www.girlwiththecane.com/spoon-theory/

  10. Aimee February 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    Dogs can be tricky depending on how well-trained they are. We’ve been getting multiple feet of snow at a time in these snowstorms, which is a lot even for my 13-yr-old. I don’t see why she couldn’t take out neighbors’ trash for them (if the girl wanted to do it, was big enough be to able to handle the bin itself, and the neighbor wanted to pay her to do it). I feel like prescriptions are sort of private – I don’t think I’d want to sub-contract that to anyone but my husband.

    Notice the writer reminisced about calling on her grandmother’s friends, and friends of friends. It was a local network of people who knew each other and lived nearby. Maybe the little girl in this story needs to be calling on her mother’s friends, and friends of friends (aka not “strangers”)….. but if the mother doesn’t have a network of friends within a reasonable walking/biking distance for a 6-yr-old, that’s not a fault of today’s “supervision standards,” that a geography problem. (My best friend lives about 1200 miles away….. so no, my son doesn’t mow her lawn. 🙂

    Mores do change. My mother used to go to the corner store in the 1950s to buy cigarettes for her mother. I think it’s probably good that that’s NOT an errand that little kids do anymore.

    The good (?) news is that her daughter will not be six forever, and if this little girl is someone who wants to be personally industrious and entrepreneurial, it sounds like the mom will give her the latitude to do so.

  11. Aimee February 17, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    My question is WHY can’t she do that? I mean, I know some groups have banned the door to door thing, so maybe that is truly off the list. And I know a kid wouldn’t be allowed to pick up prescriptions anymore, but the other stuff? My kid LOVES snow because she goes to shovel out our neighborhood. She doesn’t do it for money, but she just loves to shovel! Biking everywhere? Got it! As parents, WE are in charge of changing our societies! Go to your local police and introduce yourself and your kids. Bring cookies–they’ll listen! Explain your Free-Range philosophy and make sure it is on record that your kids will be out and about. Don’t wait for city council people to determine if a law should be on the books, make sure all your neighbors know you, know your kids, and get your own laws out there (like a law that kids within a mile of school canNOT take a bus!)! The world is NOT the place you think it is on the news…and we have the right to take the freedom back for our kids! Go ahead–give her that childhood!

  12. Mark Roulo February 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm #


    Thank you! I thought it was a typo, but couldn’t figure out what!

  13. Vicky February 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    I like Amiee’s idea of going to the local police station, with cookies, and informing them of your free range lifestyle, and to expect your children to be out and about unsupervised, but well informed and safe.

  14. lollipoplover February 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    “As parents, WE are in charge of changing our societies! Go to your local police and introduce yourself and your kids. Bring cookies–they’ll listen!”

    It is true that “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
    Why we would relinquish this power to the government and allow them to limit basic childhood freedom is beyond me.

    Kids playing outside is not a crime, it is a basic civil right of children to have freedom to walk and play in their own neighborhoods. Police are responsible for CRIME. Kids playing is a good thing! It keeps them out of trouble and strengthens communities. I have many more friends now that I’ve met through my children. I think it is true if kids get out and take back their streets and neighborhoods we can swing this pendulum back to *normal* childhoods.

    And Girl Scouts selling door-to-door: COME TO MY HOUSE!
    We just went through our last box of frozen Thin Mints.
    Better yet, why not sell Girl Scout cookies at the police station when you go to introduce your Free Range Kids?

  15. Rachel February 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Know what? Kids in my neighborhood do go door to door selling. Without mom and dad in the driveway. Our kids do it, too. We’re in a safe neighborhood, and everyone looks out for one another. Because we are hemmed in by major thoroughfares with no sidewalks and no crosswalks, we can’t let our kids go biking very far, which makes me sad. But I see getting hit by traffic as an actual possible danger, as opposed to being approached by a neighbor, which isn’t.

  16. Leon February 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    I am glad to hear that, despite some individual overzealous police officers, your overall experience with police has been positive, and that the sheriff’s office has been understanding. I do want to caution you that not everyone’s experience is so.
    As a public defender, I frequently see individuals charged with child endangering for leaving kids in cars or otherwise unattended. My observation is that the individuals who are charged do not conform to the stereotype of what police officers expect a “good mother” to look like. Specifically, they are either black or poor. Non-black, non-poor parents are much more likely to get the benefit of the doubt.
    While the incessant “race, sex, class” bleating from public figures and academics has left many of us tired of the reduction of all moral and social debates to discussions of these core characteristics, my observation has been that the racial and class component to the prosecution of ‘child endangering’ is significant. People who fit the cops’ vision of a “good parent” get the benefit of the doubt. People who do not get a criminal charge instead.

  17. ariel February 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Ohhhhh. took me a minute to understand the ending; the daughter can’t have a similar growing up experience because a lot (okay i’m being nice, let’s say MOST) people would see a kid by themselves and think fw (firstworst). Okayyy. i get it now.

  18. Donna February 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    My daughter sold Girl Scout cookies door-to-door by herself just last week (well she had a non-girl scout friend with her). The organization says that she must have an adult accompany her, but I don’t agree. While I understand that there are some things that an organization can control – e.g. if you give them responsibility for your child, they do have some control over how and when that responsibility ends – but it absolutely has no say in how we conduct ourselves in our free time so I chose how to sell cookies.

    Lollipoplover, I’d send my kid over with some Thin Mints, but I think you are a tad out of her free range zone.

  19. Coasterfreak February 17, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    I say bring back door-to-door Girl Scout Cookie Sales! I would much rather have some Girl Scouts show up at my door asking if I would like to buy some cookies, than to be asked every time I leave a drug store, grocery store or Walmart for however long the sales go on. I’d also prefer door-to-door over parents bringing their kids’ cookies to work to sell.

    So I think the Girl Scouts should bring back door-to-door sales, and if the parents are too crazed with fear to let them do it on their own, they can walk door-to-door with the girls. Don’t we all need a little more exercise as it is?

    I always made my kids go door-to-door with their fundraisers even though they were forbidden at school to do so, and I always refused to take their fundraisers to work with me, even though that’s what they were instructed to do.

  20. Donna (the other one) February 17, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    Yup, my daughter was out selling Girl Scout cookies unsupervised as well. We know our neighbors, so why would she be afraid to ask them for an order?

    The GSUSA has a lot of strict rules for the girls selling door to door. I essentially tell my daughter, “These are the rules they have outlined. Go to our neighbors first, and let me know when you’re done.” I do sort of supervise if she’s selling in areas we don’t know well. But then again, I’m a single, working, homeschooling mom, and I don’t have a lot of time for their nonsense.

    Selling at the police station sounds like a great idea!

  21. Donna (the other one) February 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm #


    It’s not the kids doing fundraisers that I mind so much, it’s the professionals that annoy me. They ignore my “no soliciting” signs and get downright rude if I tell them no thank you.

    And yes, it is an invasion of privacy. I work full time from home, and I don’t want to be interrupted with every Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to sell their overpriced crap. There are days when I spend more time answering the door than I do working.

    I’m happy to buy from the kids, though.

  22. bsolar February 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    @Donna (the other one), isn’t actually illegal to ignore “no soliciting” signs?

  23. Lisa @ Four Under Six February 17, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    I love this post and very much relate to it. I feel like there is a bit of “can’t” and a bit of “won’t” in these situations. I consider myself Free Range in theory, but not always in practice. A lot of it has to do with my neighborhood. There are no children out playing even though 80% of the homes have young children living in them. They are all in organized after-school programs. I have made attempts to find children for my kids to play with out on the street, sidewalk or culdesac and was met with crickets… no response from the neighbors (via an online forum, admittedly). People don’t get it. Which is ironic because we live in a very safe, new, well-kept upper-middle-class neighborhood. My son is a Cub Scout and is selling jelly beans right now. We aren’t going to send him door to door because I am pretty certain that most neighbors wouldn’t buy anything. Our sense of community exists only when the neighborhood social committee plans an official event with organized activities for the kids, crafts, and snacks.

    I wish we lived in a neighborhood where children are free to do what they want. Play in the front yard, organize a pickup game, help a neighbor, whatever. As several of you stated above, we have to make the change we want to see happen. I do get the kids out for walks and bike rides, so we are out and about. But the neighborhood is a “ghost town” as my grandmother mentioned once. A very expensive, safe, well groomed ghost town. It is a shame. I am considering seeing if some neighbors would be interested in setting up a very free form “play camp” at the neighborhood park for the summer. Minimal adult intervention, just light supervision with hopefully older kids teaching, guiding and interacting with the younger ones. We will see where it goes. Baby steps!

  24. lollipoplover February 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    @Donna- Thanks for the offer. My son’s shoveling partner has a younger sister who is a GS and he bought some Thin Mints (1/2 left) and Carmel Delights with his money today from her.

    Like others, I so prefer buying *direct* from the actual Girl Scout and not being cornered at a drugstore by a line of girls with their parents right behind them. There is something about the girl pulling a wagon up the street that makes me blow $20 every time. We love our Girl Scouts here and hope they continue the door-to-door tradition.

  25. Red February 17, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    Hahaha. It’s “ski week”/”mid-winter break” in Seattle, otherwise known as “another damn week you have to find childcare if you work.” Or if you work from home like I do, and it’s 50-60F outside, you kick the 8-year-old out the door and tell him he can come home if he gets hurt, or when it gets dark.

    There’s packs of kids wandering the neighborhood. I’ve spotted him with the neighbor kid (who is 6 and in kindergarten) a few times today. I assume they are somewhere around the local area.

  26. Red February 17, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

    And since I realized it was 5:30pm and I hadn’t seen the kids in a few hours, I just wandered outside to see if I could lay eyes on them. I saw them standing in front of a house about a block away. I walked over and asked them what they were doing, and they informed me that the soccer ball had gone over the fence, so they’d rund the doorbell and asked the lady at the house to go into her backyard and see if she could find it for them. Just then, the soccer ball came flying back over the fence, the boys shouted “Thank you!” and took off kicking the soccer ball down the street.

  27. Donna February 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    From the perspective of the girl scout, my daughter enjoys the store sales much better than door-to-door sales. Going door-to-door by herself gets boring (and I refuse to go along to satisfy other parent’s insistence on supervision), but the store sales are done in groups and involve cheering and dancing. They even ended up with cookie costumes from somewhere this year so my daughter spent the whole time as a dancing thin mint.

    As long as the girls are actually doing everything themselves, I don’t mind the store sales. It teaches different skills than door-to-door sales. But I have always refused to buy girl scout cookies from adults, including co-workers who have brought in their children’s forms, so if the adults appear to be manning the booths, I will say no (well now I am required to say no to anyone other than my own kid but in my many years of GS cookie buying before I had a GS).

  28. Warren February 18, 2015 at 12:09 am #

    Donna (the other one)

    I don’t know if you have tried this. It is a rather radical idea. Just don’t answer the door.

  29. bsolar February 18, 2015 at 2:18 am #

    @Warren, how do you know that at the door there is a solicitor instead of a guest you actually might want to meet? If she posted that solicitors are not welcome there is no excuse for the solicitor to ignore that. As I wrote above it’s even likely to be illegal.

  30. Chris M. February 18, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    I’m not sure I understand what she is saying. Societal mores don’t allow her to allow her child that same level of freedom or those mores have changed her to the point where she won’t do it? I suspect in either case, her grandmother would be disappointed in the power she has given other people to determine her own direction in life.

  31. sexhysteria February 18, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    My mother walked me the three blocks to kindergarten the first day to show me the way, and from then on I walked myself. I was six and a half years old. There was a crossing guard on the first street, but none on the next two streets. I let myself in our apartment with a key on a string that dangled from my neck, and waited for mom to come home from work about an hour later. Nothing ever happened. I’ve since travelled to 45 states and over 20 foreign countires without ever utilizing a guided tour. I’m now over 60 and still walk myself to school.

  32. lollipoplover February 18, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Not my childhood experience, but I found this story that was on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer an absolutely wonderfu:


  33. Duncan Watson February 18, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    Regarding door to door. I dislike having adults visit me for door to door sales but I love when teenagers come to my door for a scavenger hunt or whatever. My current neighborhood is the first one where I have experienced that in over 25 years. In the 80s (in NY) I remember that happening but nowhere since until now in WA. Kids play in the street out in front of my house too. It is nice to hear “CAR!” and watch them scatter to the sidewalks, it feels very nostalgic, though I played street hockey not football in the street.

    I read the stories of CPS being called for kids being on bikes alone and it drives me nuts.

  34. Michelle February 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Leon, to me that says that those of us with the privilege need to stand up and say NO on behalf of those who can’t. If I can insist that the sheriff’s office change their policies, that will affect all of the parents in my area, not just the white, middle class ones.

    Lisa, if I were you, I WOULD send my kids selling door-to-door. Maybe people won’t buy. But maybe there are parents like you who just need to see other parents sending their kids out first.

  35. Warren February 18, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    If you do not have a way of seeing who is on the other side of your front door, then I suggest you fix that problem. I have never lived anywhere that I did not have a way of knowing who was at the door.

  36. bsolar February 18, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    @Warren, of course you can check who is at the door, which does absolutely nothing to fix the problem… the problem being that you don’t want to be disturbed *in the first place*. Take the example of the day-sleeper doing night shifts, or the home-worker wanting to focus on a task, or the mother wanting his child to sleep undisturbed. Of course they can go and check who just disturbed them and even ignore the solicitor, but the day-sleeper will still get his sleep interrupted, the home-worker will still get distracted from his task and the mother will still risk having his child’s sleep disrupted.

    If these people didn’t make their intention clear to the guest it’s their fault being disturbed, but if they posted that solicitors are not wanted solicitors have to respect that.

  37. Havva February 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    To those who don’t understand why the parent in the above can’t. I remind you there are places with laws and/or CPS definitions of neglect that keep 6 year old kids from being out on their own. And for which parent could go to jail. In my area CPS is very clear that even the child’s own yard is not acceptable until the child is 8. I can’t really remember an age where being alone in my own yard wasn’t okay. My mom certainly was out there with me more when I was 3 than when I was 5. But at some point I didn’t even have to tell my mom I was going into the yard. I don’t know when that happened but I know for sure it was by the time I was 7. I remember wandering out with my Little House book, and laying in the long grass dreaming I was Laura Ingals Wilder way out on a lonely prairie. Also by 5 I was going to the playground by myself to meet up with my sister and various friends. By 6, the neighbor would send their 5 year old over to roller skate with me around the block, and we would go around the longer one a few dozen times together.

    This morning, driving my 4 year old daughter to pre-school, she gave me a free-range litany. She told me “I want to got outside by myself and build a snow castle. I want to walk to school by myself.” [I reminded her pre-school was too far to walk] She replied frustrated “I want to be five! I want to walk to [local elementary school] by myself. I want to go to the park myself.” That hurt to hear. She is 4 and that really is too young for the park all by herself. But she isn’t too young to walk across the yard alone to play with the neighbor. And isn’t too young for the yard with mom close at hand. And I dreamed of my kids someday walking around the corner and down the block to school when I picked my house.

    Usually when my daughter gains a new skill or has a new desire we talk about rules, I let her try with some supervision, and back off until she is able to do what she set out to do, in a safe and sane way. But all I could do for her this morning was promise her that as soon as it is 8 and thus legal I will get her an ID card to prove her age, and give her that freedom. I didn’t want to make any promises I couldn’t keep. But, she is going to need some more freedom before she is 8. I will have to find a way. Perhaps a trip in a year to see if the park we camped at once still has signs saying not to leave kids under 5 unattended.

  38. Emily February 18, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    @Warren–People really get annoyed by Girl Guides selling cookies in your area? Everywhere I’ve been, people look forward to it, and even go so far as to buy mass quantities of Thin Mints to stockpile in their freezers. Of course, they don’t do it door to door anymore, so you have to go to a mall, or a Wal-Mart, or somewhere where you know someone who’s a Girl Guide leader or parent. For example, when I was in university, there was a Girl Guide leader in the choir with me, and she made a fortune selling cookies to people in the choir. Anyway, the only thing I’d suggest that the Girl Guides do differently, is to publicize their sales better, so that people know where and when to go to get cookies. I also wish they’d make at least one flavour that’s vegan, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.

  39. Emily February 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    P.S., Just so we’re clear, the Girl Guides here stopped the door-to-door sales because of (surprise, surprise), safety.

  40. Warren February 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    Really, is there anything else you want to whine about. I have been there done that with working graveyard shifts, having newborns, and on and on.

    It is called life, it keeps going no matter what your personal little world is doing.

    I know I should have called the fire dept. and told them not to run their sirens during the day, because I was sleeping.

    Not is my area, but I do know of areas where people just don’t want to see kids, don’t want to answer the door, and are in general just real jerks. Kinda like bsolar, that expects they have the right to live with the only contact with others is the contact they intiate.

  41. Donna February 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    Emily, Thin Mints went vegan in the US this year.

    Warren, there is a difference between objecting to contact that you don’t initiate and objecting to contact that you specifically state that you don’t want and is actually criminal behavior (no soliciting signs make coming onto your property to solicit trespassing). Personally, I don’t post “no soliciting” signs, but if I did, I’d be pissed if people ignored them too. As you so often like to say “my property, my rules.”

  42. Emily February 18, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    @Warren–That’s really sad. I mean, I’ve been introverted my whole life, but I don’t dislike other people; I just get worn out on social interaction faster than others, but I don’t actively shut people out. I wonder if those people know what they’re missing? I don’t just mean Thin Mints (although Thin Mints are pretty awesome), but bigger things, like friendships. Looking back, I made my first friends in university when the five other girls in my hall ran to my room together as I was moving in. I could have told them to go away, but then we probably wouldn’t have become friends, and I probably would have missed out on a lot of good times. Anyway, I know that people can’t live like they’re in university forever, and I know that neighbours/classmates/co-workers/other people who are thrown together randomly don’t always get along, but what kind of a life is it to stay isolated in your own little bubble day in and day out?

  43. bsolar February 19, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    @Warren, so what? Which part of what you said makes ok for solicitors to ignore a “no solicitors” sign posted on a private property? Also, “no solicitors” doesn’t mean “no contacts whatsoever unless I initiate them”, nor “no unavoidable sounds from outside”, it simply instructs solicitors that they are not welcome. As example if you are a neighbour wanting to do a friendly visit you are not a solicitor so that specific sign doesn’t apply to you.

    If you don’t want anyone bothering you there are the generic “no trespassing” signs. If you want to be specific you can make your own sign taylored to your specific needs. The choice about which kind of sign to post, if any, is yours: I’m not advocating posting them, I personally don’t have any, but I surely expect them to be respected when posted.

  44. Warren February 19, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    Are you done whining yet? It is a knock at the door, not someone firing a shotgun through your windows. Relax. Or move to the badlands.

    LOL, you expect them to respect the sign? Just like you never go over the posted speed limit. And respect every sign you see.

    It is life, they are trying to make a living and you need to take something to calm down.

  45. bsolar February 19, 2015 at 3:38 pm #


    > “Are you done whining yet? It is a knock at the door, not someone firing a shotgun through your windows. Relax. Or move to the badlands.”

    Which part of “I personally don’t have any [posted signs]” you don’t understand? As you usually seem to do, you just blame others of “whining” just because you happen to disagree with what they write.

    > “LOL, you expect them to respect the sign? Just like you never go over the posted speed limit. And respect every sign you see.”

    I do actually try not to go over the posted speed limit and to respect the signs I see. Maybe you are the kind of person which thinks that being able to get away with something you’re not supposed to do means that it’s ok to do it: I’m not.

    > “It is life, they are trying to make a living and you need to take something to calm down.”

    Their need to make a living is no excuse for being disrespectful of others. On top of that in this case they should actually be grateful for the sign since it allows them to avoid wasting time with a target not interested in the first place.

  46. Warren February 19, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    So you are not done whining. Okay. It has nothing do with disagreement to my opinion. I just find it so childish to whine about things that are not important. Like a knock at the door.

    Show me someone that says they never ignore or intentionally disregards posted signs, and I’ll show you a boldface liar.

    It is their time, they can waste it if they want. Just like it is your time, and you can choose to ignore the knock at the door.

    I am done with this issue. Debating door to door sales, with someone that believes they are perfect and demand the same of others, is like banging your head against a brick wall. Feels oh so good when you stop.

  47. Donna February 19, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    “On top of that in this case they should actually be grateful for the sign since it allows them to avoid wasting time with a target not interested in the first place.”

    Exactly. I can’t understand why they knock on the doors of houses with no soliciting signs. It is not like someone who is so bothered by soliciting that they go to the effort of buying or making a sign and hanging it is suddenly going to decide that they really do like door-to-door salesmen and buy a bunch of magazines from one.

  48. bsolar February 19, 2015 at 5:44 pm #


    >”So you are not done whining. Okay. It has nothing do with disagreement to my opinion. I just find it so childish to whine about things that are not important. Like a knock at the door.”

    So you are not done calling “whining” opinions you disagree with. It has nothing to do with whining, I just find disrespectful to wilfully ignore other people’s instructions on their own property “because I don’t care”.

    > “Show me someone that says they never ignore or intentionally disregards posted signs, and I’ll show you a boldface liar.”

    Which is your argument supporting the idea that ignoring posted signs is ok? I guess it’s the case when the posted sign is someone else’s: I doubt you would have the same attitude with someone ignoring e.g. a “no trespassers” sign posted on your own private property. Or your think it’s up to you to decide when the posted sign is “important enough” not to be ignored?

    > “It is their time, they can waste it if they want. Just like it is your time, and you can choose to ignore the knock at the door.”

    They can waste their time as much as they want, as long as they don’t expect to be able to waste the time of others. It’s easy: the sign means you are not welcome, so you are not welcome.

    > “I am done with this issue. Debating door to door sales, with someone that believes they are perfect and demand the same of others, is like banging your head against a brick wall. Feels oh so good when you stop.”

    I guess we are different kind of people. I’m definitely not perfect, but I at least try not to be disrespectful of others, which includes realising that other people might be bothered by things I personally don’t consider to be a problem. You seem not to care about others at all: either they align with your narrow vision of the world, or they are “whining”, “childish” and their stance is not worth of being respected.

  49. Warren February 19, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    Is cheddar okay, or maybe some gouda, to go with the whine?

  50. bsolar February 20, 2015 at 2:30 am #

    @Warren, thank you for the meaningful and insightful comment: it pretty much illustrates my point about your charachter.

    By the way, weren’t you done with that rock?

  51. Warren February 20, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    My character is just fine. We are two different people. I am not so uptight that I worry about or let people knocking on my door upset me.

    So you can continue to whine and complain about the intrusive door knockers, and I will continue to not give a rat’s ass. Okay?

  52. Emily February 21, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    @BSolar and Warren–I think it’s fine to allow or forbid whatever you want in your own home, whether that’s solicitors, or visitors of any kind. I also think it’s fine to have an open-door policy, if that’s what you want. Additionally, it’s fine to have “open” times and “quiet” times. They even had a provision for that when my family joined the Block Parent program in the early 90’s, for a short period of time. There were instructions written on the back of the sign telling us to take it down when we weren’t home, or when we weren’t fit for company. Unfortunately, we got lazy, and stopped putting up our sign when we were home and able to be “on duty,” and even more unfortunately, the program was eventually dissolved for some reason (probably child safety–I don’t remember there being any sort of screening process to join), but my point is, the program didn’t mandate that we had to be available 24/7. Another thing–while door-to-door salespeople or representatives of religious groups are just trying to earn a living, or spread the word of their chosen deity (or, kids selling things door-to-door are just trying to raise money for their schools, sports teams, bands, Scout or Guide groups, or whatnot), Warren, do you really think that they’re going to get an affirmative answer if they go to a house with a “No Solicitors” sign? I mean, it’s not as if the person is going to say, “Gee, I put up a sign specifically forbidding door-to-door salespeople or religious proselytizers, but I just happened to be having an insatiable craving for Thin Mints/Scout popcorn/overpriced band cheese/spiritual enlightenment RIGHT NOW, when you arrived!!!” No, they’re more likely to say, “Read the sign. Go away,” or something stronger.

  53. Emily February 21, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    Also, another idea–I think that fundraising groups should carry door hangers with them, that people could put on their doors after they’ve been approached, so that other people doing the same thing, could skip those houses.

  54. nicolemg February 22, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    I am the mother that got arrested for letting My Son walk to the park by himself that is closer than his school and since my arrest our life’s have changed for the worse, My Son is not the carefree little boy he was, I have him in therapy now ect, my name has been tarnished in the town I’ve grown up in since I was 3 yrs old and no one will hire me, so this is really getting out of hand, I just started a go fund me account due to not being able to find work and things have gotten very bad ,if anyone can help even small,my children and I will be very grateful , I started a fundraising campaign for ‘Falsely arrested has affected life’. Please tap to donate: http://m.gofund.me/mykq5s my children will be very grateful