Oh Yeah - That story about the parents who had CPS called on them because their kids were having fun, playing in the rain!

Good Morning Coffee Friends -

This morning I'm sipping coffee, paying bills.  I was wondering what to chat about here at It's Just the Coffee Talking and I wondered if I had any 'draft' files saved that I never got around to.  Yep.  I totally forgot about this one, although it made me furious at the time.

In August, I saved this story because I was gobsmacked that our country has become... well, I don't even have words for it.

People judging others and then calling the department of human services, child protection services, the police, etc. to get involved when there are NO LAWS BEING BROKE.  People are making judgements of others based on their own personal experience, agenda, choices.

I have to say, that I'm a parent of 3 kids and my kids LOVED playing in the rain!  How fun to dance in the rain!  Laughing, spinning in circles, jumping in puddles.  Rain is beautiful. Rain doesn't hurt you.


And yet, letting their kids play in the rain got these parents in trouble with the department of children's services... all because of a nosy bitch of  neighbor.

Are YOU that neighbor?  If so... get a life.  Stay out of others business. If you don't let your kids play in the rain, that's your problem but stop judging others and for pete's sake, get off your righteous high-horse and stop involving authorities in your own little fucked up mind games.  (This woman in the article actually asked them if they "learned their lesson?" and TOLD them she is the one who called CPS on them because their kids were having fun in the rain.)

I'm just going to go ahead and leave the articles here as I saved them last August.  Links are included.



For modern parents, it seems every decision we make is subject to scrutiny. If you keep your kids too close, you're called a helicopter mom or accused of being overly attached. If you allow them some space, you're known as a free-range parent, called inattentive and with some extreme critics, even potentially called out for abusing your kids. It's exactly that line of outlandish thinking that recently led a woman to call CPS because she saw her neighbor's children playing outside in the rain.

An angry dad posted on Reddit after he says his neighbor threatened to report him and his wife for allowing their 5- and 7-year-old kids to play football in their front yard while it was raining. The Reddit user said it was a mild summer shower, with no thunder or lighting, and emphasized that his family lives in a cul-de-sac with a fenced-in yard. But according to their nosy neighbor, those explanations simply aren't good enough.

Their neighbor actually told the kids they had to go inside because of the rain. Then when their parents went out to talk to her, said allowing kids to play in the rain is neglect, and "CPS has been called for less." A few days later, she made good on her threat, and the family was actually investigated by a social worker. They came out of the investigation unscathed because, duh, playing in the rain in your own front yard is not a crime.

It takes a village to raise a child, but stories like this one make many parents want to abandon the village and live in isolation where they can't get shamed (or reported to the freaking authorities) for allowing their children to be children. Two decades ago, kids were tossed outside with their bikes and told not to come home until dinnertime. Now, a kid running around their own yard without a full security detail is seen as neglect. What the heck is happening to childhood?

For many parents, the world definitely feels like a scarier place. There are way too many stories in the news about school shootings, bullying, sexual abuse and online predators. It's tempting to be overly protective and not allow kids any freedom at all. But, there are many different ways to be a good parent, and it's unfair to try to force personal beliefs or fears on other people.

If someone doesn't like kids playing outside or eating certain foods or watching a certain number of hours of television, that's their prerogative. But disagreeing with a particular behavior does not make that behavior abusive, and it'd be a lot more helpful to both kids and their parents if everyone could stop going off the deep end whenever they encounter something they dislike.
If a person decides to interfere with someone else's parenting or place a call to CPS, there had better be a damn good reason. Otherwise, all that intervention is doing is wasting people's time, causing parents a ton of unnecessary stress, freaking little kids out and taking the focus off of children who are actually in danger — now there's a set of problems that are actually worth worrying about.

My kids (7 and 5) were outside playing in our front yard with a couple of kids from the neighborhood. They were playing football and other kinds of games for a while before it started to rain. It wasn't down pouring, but it started as a drizzle and soon processed into a steady stream. My wife and I knew it was raining, but didn't make the kids come in. The neighborhood kids were still playing outside with our boys. 

Eventually, the boys came in and I asked if they were done playing. They said that they still wanted to play, but the lady next door told them to go inside because it was raining. I told my kids that they didn't have to listen to her if they still wanted to play, so they went back out and continued to play. 

Again, the neighbor comes out and tells the boys to go back in the house. At this point, I went over to speak to her and told her that we don't mind if our kids get a little wet. She told me that it was considered neglect because our kids were "filthy" from the grass and mud. I assured her that our kids would be getting a bath when they came in for the night (just as they do every night). She still seemed annoyed and said that CPS has been called for less. I made the boys come in because it started to thunder and because I didn't want to be bothered by our neighbor. 

I have no idea if she is going to call CPS or not, but this behavior seemed a little extreme to me. Am I underreacting to my kids playing in the rain? Is there any real danger that my wife and I are apparently missing? Would CPS actually get involved if she were to call?


I posted this thread about two weeks ago and it received more attention that I expected. I was encouraged to post an update after talking briefly about our situation in an entirely different thread. I figured there may be some interest in how things turned out and I also wanted to get some advice on how to move forward with said neighbor. I'll try and keep it short.

Our neighbor did end up calling CPS on us for allowing our kids to play in the rain. I thought it was an empty threat, but we were prepared for a CPS visit just in case. The social worker was apparently told that we LOCKED our kids (including or 18 month old) outside in severe weather.

My wife explained that it was just our older two (7 and 5) and it was just rain. There was no thunder and no lightning at the time they were playing. We made them come in once the thunder started and they weren't locked out. They knew they could come in at any point. They wanted to play in the rain and we were cool with that. I wasn't home when the social worker came to visit, but my wife said that they questioned our older two boys after going over the situation with my wife.

They pretty much just asked the boys about that night and asked how often they take baths/showers, what time they go to bed, if their parents drink alcohol in the home, and things of that nature. My 5 year old apparently hurt his shoulder playing basketball at camp and was icing it when the social worker came in. Talk about horrible timing. They just asked him about it and fortunately our social worker didn't think anything of it. She said that scrapped knees, bumps, and bruises mean a kid is outside having fun and assured my wife that it was nothing to worry about. I was never even contacted by the social worker and we are now in the clear.

My wife was outside with our kids the following day and the neighbor asked her if she "learned her lesson" and admitted to calling CPS. My wife told our neighbor that she understands that we have a different parenting style than her, but the social worker affirmed that we did nothing wrong by allowing them to be outside in the rain. She asked the neighbor to not speak to our kids (neighbor told our kids to go inside when it was raining, told them to stop playing football because it was dangerous, etc.) and if she thinks they are doing something dangerous, then she should let one of us know. She (my wife) also added that it was ridiculous to call CPS over something so trivial, but the neighbor insisted that she believed it was abuse for kids to be running around in the rain. It didn't really go anywhere positive. She still thinks we are awful parents. Is there any way we can have a positive relationship with her? We love our neighborhood and would love to get along with this particular neighbor, but I feel like there is no going back at this point. Thanks for all the advice in the previous thread. You guys are awesome.