At school one day I watched a first-grader sprint down the hall and out the front door while teachers jogged behind him as they summoned help on their walkie-talkies. Third time that week.
My grandmother had a solution. When my mother was little and insisted on running around the neighborhood, Grandma tied (yes, tied) her to a big oak tree in their yard. The rope was long enough so Mother could walk around and play in the shade of that massive tree. Grandma could keep an eye on her through the windows.
That sounds shocking now days. But Mother was a little kid, too young to cross streets by herself, go in stranger’s houses to visit, or run around the neighborhood, all of which she did whenever she went outside. Grandma had younger children to tend to and many things to do (think: no microwave, no electric mixer, no frozen or packaged meals, no fast food drive-throughs, all meals from scratch, no dishwasher, no washing machine or dryer, no central heat or air, no vacuum cleaner…and a lot more ‘no’s).
Since my mother refused to follow the rules (don't leave the yard), Grandma came up with a fix a whole lot safer than a run-in with a car or being snatched by a child trafficker.
My mother was a smart girl, she figured it out pretty quick: If you don’t want to be tied to a tree then don’t get out of the yard. She also learned something else. Her mother was reliable. When she said she would do something, she did it. Her mother loved her enough to teach her to follow the rules. Not to be 'mean', but for her own safety.