WTP? Police Stop Kids from Playing Street Hockey

Hi Readers — Get this: It was in Canada! The Royal Canadian Mounted Police received a couple of calls from someone angry that the boys were playing on the street, and came over to break it up. And I always thought kids up there were REQUIRED to play street hockey! Well times they are a-changing.

It’s also ironic that when you click to read the story, you will find it running under a banner ad for an “Obesity Panacea.” Hey, I’ve got one! How about….street hockey? — Lenore

56 Responses

  1. No link to the story. Honestly I don’t want kids playing In the street. I pay taxes to drive down the street and get ticked off when special snowflakes block roads so their kids can play in the street. Play in your yard or the parks not the streets.

  2. Yeah, street hockey isn’t exactly something I’m ready to start defending. Go take over a basketball court if you want, but don’t play in the middle of the street. Biking is the only time kids should be in the road except to cross it.

  3. I loved playing in the street as a kid! Granted this was a low traffic street, but the game was always better in the street than in a driveway. And every kid knows that when you see a car you yell “CAR!” and all kids move to the side. In fact, I believe my childhood street was safer because everyone knew that there were kids at play.

  4. We used to play street hockey in our neighborhood. It wasn’t a main road or anything, and we all knew to watch for cars driving down the street. “CAR!” was the call and everybody would move off to the side. Kids aren’t as stupid as people think they are. Kimberly, I’m guessing you’ve never seen a street hockey game else you’d have a different perspective. It’s not like there’s road blocks set up or anything, it’s kids with hockey sticks. I have to completely disagree with you, especially if there’s no other area in the neighborhood to play. The neighborhood is for everybody, not just one person.

  5. I live in Calgary, Canada. Here many of the cops keep hockey sticks in their patrol cars so that they can play with the kids when they have the opportunity.

  6. You know, Kimberley, everybody pays the same taxes (admittedly on a graduated system by income), whether or not they have a car.

    I’ve always wondered why we’re so happy to imagine that streets belong to cars. Surely streets, like parks and sidewalks, belong to people?

  7. Unfortunately, this is nothing new in certain neighbourhoods in Canada. I have a friend who battled rules about this in Toronto on her son’s behalf almost 2 decades ago now.

  8. Hi Lenore!

    I just finished reading Free-Range Kids and it was excellent! My husband is also going to read it. We have our first child on the way so I plan on giving them a completely free-range childhood. Yahoo! I grew up (like many of us) with a lot of worries. My mom reminded us everytime we were in public what to scream should a stranger grab us (“You’re not my mom, you’re not my dad!”) because a crying kid just looks like a brat. These are things that no child should have to think about and mine won’t be. They will be too busy playing in the front yard, walking to a friend’s house, or exploring our small town.

    We were watching a popular show called Big Bang Theory tonight and a segment made me think of you!

    What do you think? Can a grown man not even talk to a child anymore?

  9. The roads aren’t exactly *blocked* by a game of street hockey. In my experience the “goal” is usually a chalk line or a bump of snow, depending on the season, of course. Not to mention it’s usually a very quiet suburban street, the sort of road maybe four or five cars drive past in a day, usually driven by people who have eyes, and the game is usually played by children who have eyes and ears. To me, complaining that street hockey blocks the road sounds a lot like complaining about small children with their chalk drawings and goddamn tricycles blocking up the sidewalk. Don’t they know I’m trying to walk there???

    I wasn’t ever interested in team games as a child, but I think I’d be a bit sad to live in a Canada where street hockey was lost to childhood mythology.

  10. I didn’t think you were allowed to break up hockey games in Canada.

    Seriously, though, I will defend street hockey as I think it’s an awesome game. As other people have mentioned, kids usually get out of the way for cars. They’re out of the road before I even get to them. I’d rather slow down for that than be stuck behind teens who walk down the middle of the street and refuse to let cars drive by. Lighten up already.

  11. Worth noting that “Obesity Panacea” is the (provocative) name of the blog, written by exercise physiologists…I think they would agree on the need for kids to have freedom to move.

    Happy to see the neighborhood kids gather at my neighbor’s basketball goal on the edge of the street. As long as it’s a residential street, the kids can move so fast that cars only have to slow down a tiny bit. But maybe the kids in Kimberly’s neighborhood need some schooling in how it’s done.

  12. If the neighbours complained that they weren’t playing safely, then they need to move somewhere else. Kids who refuse to move if there’s a car coming, chase a ball towards moving vehicles, dent the side panels of cars, etc. need to be told to take it somewhere else.

    My son plays outdoor hockey in the backyard, on the sidewalk, in a quiet cul-de-sac, or in the rink near his friend’s house. Yes, he has his own net, pads, and about 300 hockey sticks that fall out of the closet onto my head.

  13. No street playing? How else are you going to call out CAR! and GAME ON!

  14. Agree, Flynn… the name of the blog appears to be quite tongue in cheek.

    That said… ridiculous. It’s a damn shame that neighbors don’t even know eachother well enough to go to one another’s houses to say, “Hey, I have to at this time and Johnny is a little loud. Can he maybe play at X time instead?” No… we call the cops because while our children are learning how to handle social interactions – we can’t handle it at all.

    Ugh.

  15. Well, I mean, absolutely. These kids were obviously interfering with the rights of motorists to drive how they want and where they want. Sheesh, some poor motorist may have lost 0.0000003 seconds due to having to, like, slow down. Break it up! don’t let children out of doors! maintain car supremacy!

  16. What you perhaps do not realise is that this was in Enfield Nova Scotia – a rather rural area with a population of about 3500. I’m not sure what the danger could have been – getting run over by cows?

    BTW, the picture on the article is from a beer commercial where a street hockey game breaks out in downtown Toronto. So don’t use it to judge.

    This has become a huge issue here in Ottawa. Personally I deal with it on a case-by-case basis. On my busy downtown street I would not want kids playing street hockey. But on a lazy little suburban cul-de-sac, why not?

  17. I recommend reading the follow-up for the complete picture on the Nova Scotian part of that story:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/04/13/ns-street-hockey-tradition.html

  18. WTP…lol! What the Puck?! Oh Lenore….

  19. IF the kids were playing in such a way that they didn’t get out of the way for cars, and were creating a public nuisance, then maybe the police had to get involved. Kids are sometimes known to do stuff like that. I know that generally it isn’t that way, but there’s no reason it couldn’t be the case.

    Otherwise, it’s dumb. But I think we can’t assume that this was either legitimate or outrageous unless we know how the kids were behaving at the time.

  20. I am happy to confirm Janine’s post,… believe it or not many of the Police here in Calgary carry hockey sticks in their patrol cars as a means of community outreach, and they also have personalized trading cards. I am going to barricade our street this weekend and get all the kids on the to block play street hockey in the hopes that someone might call the police. Hopefully we’ll all have a great time!

  21. We used to yell:
    Car! Car!
    C! A! R!
    If you wanna die
    then stay where you are!

  22. Being a proud Canadian, we all played street hockey as kids. But that was back in the good old days when we were allowed to slide down the hill with crazy carpets, and saucers. When we were still allowed to Ice skate without helmets, when we walked to school without mom.
    We played, we respected the cars and moved when they came along, and the cops, and fireman’s kids were playing right along with us. As drivers, we need to be observant and safe, as parents we need to support healthy active living in our children.
    As Canadians we should get together and have a massive street hockey tournament from Coast to coast. Bring it on!

  23. @Bushidoka

    Actually the picture is from Vancouver during the Olympics. The game is real – not set up for an ad.

  24. I too would rather kids didn’t block the road. Years ago, we had a father on my street who would encourage his kids to play in the street and actually go after drivers who didn’t slow down as much as he thought they should on their way home from work. I felt it was inconsiderate and he was teaching his kids inconsideration. Yes, roads are for “people,” but I can’t drive my car on the sidewalk (which, along with the neighborhood park, my tax money also paid for). If you must have your kids play on the street, at least don’t do it during the usual commuting hours.

    My standard for that sort of behavior is: what if everyone did that? What if every family on your way to your suburban home had their kids out playing in the streets? The only reason it seems workable to those who do it is because other people don’t. That’s simply ignorant.

    There’s a park a mile away from here. Granted, it’s a hilly route, but my kids have been walking it since they were 1.5. If your kids need baseball practice that badly, let them walk to the park for it.

    I had a speech all ready in case that guy ever came after me. I would have said, “I am going to call the authorities and find out whether it’s legal for you to instruct your kids to play in this street.”

    In my opinion, raising my kids to be free-range includes raising them to be aware and considerate of others’ needs and wants.

  25. This is a sad state to come to when the need to drive your car outweighs the desire of some kids who want to play street hockey. I served overseas and we spent our Saturday afternoon teaching kids to play ball/street hockey. It was/is the quintessential Canadian past time. Driving a car is a priveledge not a right. If kids are taught to move out of the way of cars, and to respect other neighbors property, where is the harm? My taxes pay for those roads too, and if my kids want to play on the street and are not impeding anyone’s progress for more than a few seconds, than let them be. Also, rather than call the cops on them, (which in my opinion, just fosters a resentment of the police in the kids minds, foir breaking up the game) maybe talking to the parents about your concerns would work. Oh wait, most of the complainers here are too concerned about “their” rights to worry about someone else’s.

  26. @SKL

    What if indeed? What if families played together outside in the street on a nice evening? Isn’t that called a neighborhood? Isn’t that what free range parenting strives towards, a safe outdoor arena for your children to play in, surrounded by involved and supportive families and other children?

    Teaching people to be considerate, and teaching about safety, includes being aware of others as well as your surroundings. This means moving out of the way of vehicle. It also means that as drivers, they would be aware of kids playing and would slow down in suburban areas as a rule. Maybe they would if kids playing in the street was a more common occurrence.

    My favorite part of the day is when I get home from work and everyone comes out to play basketball or whatever with the neighbors and all the kids chase each other around.

  27. To clarify, the father I was talking about didn’t teach his kids to run out of the street when a car came by. He let them finish whatever play they were doing and then calmly walk out of the street, while the car waited. No, I don’t think this is an idyllic scene. I have to work. I have to be able to get home from work.

    It is sad and borderline shocking to see people acting like my wanting to drive on my damn street is selfish of me.

    If there were no other place to play, I could see the concern, but that is not the case around here. Those kids had both a front yard and a back yard.

    And, by the way, they were NOT playing with the other kids on the neighborhood. It was all about them.

    Believe what you will, but I have no intentions of telling my kids they can play in the street.

  28. I don’t mind kids playing in the street, as long as they move when a car comes. However, here in southern Wisconsin (maybe other places too?) , once kids reach about 7th grade they hit some developmental stage that makes them think it’s cool to stay in the street despite traffic. They like to watch the poor car maneuver through them without a step out of the way, with smirks on their faces. I am not one who thinks cars rule the earth, but I do get tired of that “game”.

  29. “This is a sad state to come to when the need to drive your car outweighs the desire of some kids who want to play street hockey.”

    “Driving a car is a priveledge not a right.”

    I feel like I’m visiting another planet right now.

    Some people have a 1-2 hour commute in the evenings. Don’t you think that’s long enough? What about their kids’ needs to get home, eat dinner, and play outside?

    Why have so many of my tax dollars gone to build huge parks, if the kids need to play in the streets?

    Or should we all stop working and generating tax dollars, since hanging out in the middle of the street is a much more essential activity?

    Who says that driving my car on my street is not a right? While kids playing hockey on the road is? Is this Mars or Venus? Please point me toward Planet Earth.

  30. We used to play football and whiffle ball in the street. It wasn’t a busy street. I lived on the corner. Drivers always seemed to look before heading down the street. I guess that was the age before electronic distractions.

  31. Some people have a 1-2 hour commute in the evenings. Don’t you think that’s long enough?

    Yes I do. I think some people need to move closer to their jobs, or work closer to their homes. And I think most people need to agitate for a better infrastructure that makes these commutes a rarity… and one that can be easily managed without having to drive if they don’t want to.

  32. Well, I’d love to see what the city bus would do to those kids in the street if we all switched to mass transit.

    Before kids, I always drove to work because my hours often had me finishing in the middle of the night, when it would not be safe for me to use mass transit. There is nothing inherently evil about me driving my car to and from work. Lord knows I’ve paid enough for the privilege.

    The roads were built for vehicles, not ball games. I’ll keep my car out of the playground, you keep your kids’ ball games out of my street. Why does that not sound reasonable?

    Just because we did something as kids doesn’t automatically mean it’s a great thing for today’s kids to do. (And although I played in the street a couple times just to prove I would dare, my dad got on me harshly every time he saw me goofing off in the road and annoying drivers. Seems I wasn’t raised to believe roads were playgrounds, either.)

  33. @SKL
    It sounds like your experience is indeed unfortunate and a case of a parent perhaps not instructing kids in some common courtesy. But it doesn’t sound like the norm. EVERY game of street hockey I have witnessed in my neighborhood and others has been played by kids who are just looking to have fun and who display every courtesy to other people and vehicular traffic. If your kids wanted to join in a neighborly game of street hockey, would you really not let them because of the poor example of that one father?!

  34. BeckyK, I don’t know, I guess I might feel differently if it were a multi-generational local tradition, involved (or at least invited) most of the local kids, and the majority of people in the community were in favor of it. Where I live, that’s not the case.

    But in a place where there are two parks within a mile, why would it not make more sense to play there? Another thing we have within about an eighth of a mile is a cul-de-sac where there are only 2 homes, and although I don’t personally recommend it, some people let their little kids practice bike riding there. Why not play ball there? Why do it in the middle of a regular residential street? And when people’s reaction is “too bad cars are impeding kids’ street games,” that just amazes me.

  35. ANONYMOUS complaints? What the heck is THAT? Yes, it takes courage to talk to people when you know it could create an even more difficult situation. But if you value your neighborhood and relationships within it, you aren’t going to be cowardly. How about talking to the parents of these kids and working out some parameters for the games? days…time…etc.? And yeah–be glad these kids are getting exercise, learning to work together, and bringing people together in the neighborhood, instead of all huddling in their homes, afraid of what’s “out there” and not being willing to make a friend?

    Wish those anonymous jerks realized what good this does not only for the neighborhood but for also for the kids when they’re at school. Even if you only get a pleasant nod from one of your hockey buddies, it’s a bond that builds a calmer & more cooperative school.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  36. SKL.
    Let me clarify, driving a car is a priviledge, there are rules to operate one, if you break too many of them you lose that priviledge.
    Same thing for my kids playing street hockey, they know the rules about respect, getting out of the way of cars, and other people’s property. If they break them, the priviledge of playing street hockey is revoked. Simple. While it may seem like a big deal, I too used to have a long commute and when I drove up my street, I did not stress about the few extra seconds, or minutes it took mee to wait for the neighborhood kids to move their game off of the road. Not worth it. And it’s not like I am putting my kids desire to play street hockey over your desire to drive on the street/get home. both are valid. What I am saying is that just because both sides have a need/ desire to use the same space, does not mean there has to be a loser/ winner. It’s called compromise and understanding, they are not playing in the street with the specific purpose of impeding you, nor are you ( I assume, hopefully) delibarately getting in your car when you see them playing just to drive through the area to make them move.

    Bottom line, if both sides can understand that the street is there for everyone’s use, then this whole deal would be a non issue.

  37. Oh, and a note on the parks, my boys are older, (youngest is 12) and the parks in the neighborhood are designed for about up to 9-10 year olds.

    Plus there is the darling group of moms with younger children who like to inform my boys that they cannot run around and play touch football because they littler kids might get hurt.

    Hmmm, how about you look after your child when you have them at the park, instead of texting, gossiping and basically not keeping an eye on where your toddler is. teenage boys should be allowed to play in the park, harmlessly without someone else acting like their parents.

  38. Wayne, you have playgrounds but no *parks*, basically?

  39. I grew up playing street hockey and I’ve been stunned in recent years over all the complaints about it. Street hockey and “CAR!” are grand Canadian traditions. It only becomes a problem if the kids refuse to get out ofthe way but most of the time that’s simply not an issue. Games can completely block the road sometimes, it’s true but it happens rarely enough that it doesn’t affect most of us. I saw an example of this just yesterday; I chose to take a different street so I wouldn’t have to make them move it.

    My kids aren’t really interested in street hockey – our net doesn’t get used much -!so this affects me mainly as a driver but I hate to see a grand old Canadian tradition die out because of a few hurried drivers.

  40. Uly

    It is more of a combination deal, there is a playground area with the usual equipment, and a large grassy area beside it.

    The problem is, that this group of moms from the condo complex beside it gather at the picnic tables between the two areas and let their younger kids have run of the whole area, so if the boys are running around on the grassy area, they complain that the littler kids could get hurt, and if the boys ahng out on the equipment, they complain that they are too old to be on it.

    The equipment is really designed for younger kids, but if the boys want to use the swings, they shouldn’t have to worry about the self-appointed park police monitoring them.

    I went to pick them up there one time, and was asked why i wasn’t with them from the beginning. I laughed, at the time my boys were 13 , 11, and 9. I think that they could be there alone, our house is less than a block from the park.

  41. Regarding older kids playing at the park, I see no problem with it, as long as their parents teach them that they are responsible to look out for the little ones. I have seen bigger kids knock down little kids and not even bother to look back and see if any damage was done. Recently a dad calmly but firmly admonished a boy for knocking down his tot, and the child just looked at him and got away as fast as he could, rather than apologize. Since we’re talking about community here, I would hope free-range and community-oriented parents drill into their kids’ heads the responsibility to consider all the results of their actions, especially concerning smaller and weaker people. Sounds like some people see it as a one-way street. This is probably one reason why parents hover over their kids at parks, etc. more than we consider optimal.

  42. SKL

    I agree with you about the older kidss taking responsibility for looking out for littler kids.

    But what I am really saying is that if there are a group of older kids playing a game in one area, and the toddler sized equipment is in another, the parents of the toddlers should have the courtesy to keep their kids in a safer environment for them.
    In the end, the only person responsible for your kids safety is you.
    Keeping an eye on them, and out of harm’s way would be parenting.
    expecting a bunch of older kids who are not related to the smaller kids to constantly be on the lookout for yout smalleer kid while they are playing ina public area, would boil down to the parent of the smaller kid not really watching what the kid is doing.

    I’m not talking about older kids just running around, I’m talking about a group of older kids playing a semi-organized game of football, in an open area, and this group of mothers basically telling them to stop because their toddlers kept wandering over there.

  43. Also, my ex and I are pretty big on drilling into the boys that they have to be careful around smaller kids, as they have much younger cousins.

  44. “a group of older kids playing a game in one area, and the toddler sized equipment is in another, the parents of the toddlers should have the courtesy to keep their kids in a safer environment for them.
    In the end, the only person responsible for your kids safety is you.
    Keeping an eye on them, and out of harm’s way would be parenting.
    expecting a bunch of older kids who are not related to the smaller kids to constantly be on the lookout for yout smalleer kid while they are playing ina public area, would boil down to the parent of the smaller kid not really watching what the kid is doing.”

    Insert the word “drivers” for “older kids” and “kids” for “toddlers”, and you have an argument similar to mine. Of course, I believe every driver must drive at an appropriate speed on a residential street and be prepared to stop at any moment. Because young kids will do unpredictable and foolish things. But that doesn’t change the argument that parents should know there are cars in the street and they ought to tell their kids not to play there.

    Basically you are asking toddlers to be more considerate of older kids than you expect any kids to be of drivers in the road.

  45. No I’m not, I’m asking the PARENTS of the toddlers to keep an eye on their own children, and guide them away from harm. Much the same way that most parents with common sense would not let their child play street hockey on a major road as compared to say a residential setting where the cars should not be going that fast, and there would be a lower number of cars travelling on the road.

    It goes back to the parents, not the kids, If parents have done their jobs properly, than the kids would respect the cars, just as the adults driving the cars should respect the kids.

    What you are missing here, as I said is the group of younger moms with toddlers congregate together to chat and gossip, and text on their phones, while being oblivious to the actions/ whereabouts of their children.
    And then get in other kids faces when their child wanders nearlt 50 yards away from them into a game that was in progress before the moms arrived.

    And unless there are specific community bylaws that state the kids are not allowed to play street hockey than let them play. This whole attitude that they shouldn’t play there can create animosity between neighbors. Why not try to see things from each others perspectives. The kids in my neighborhood, who play street hockey don’t want to play in the park where the littler kids congregate, and there is no other place to play, as the local school board basicall has banned them from that area outside of school areas, and most driveways are too small. So now what, are they supposed to just give up???.

  46. No, Wayne, I’m asking the kids to come up with a creative alternative, just like we did when we were kids. There are billions of kids who grow up to lead productive lives without ever having played hockey in the middle of a residential street during commuting hours. It is not a necessary rite of passage. Maybe it’s nostalgic for you, but that doesn’t make it necessary.

    How about making sure that cars are not slowed down by kids in the road? If they were not slowed down and could really count on kids not to stand in or run into their path, motorists would not have an issue. Maybe that’s how it is in your neighborhood, and if so, probably nobody is lobbying to stop the games. But don’t assume that’s how it is everywhere. And if your kids and their friends aren’t being as considerate of motorists as they could be, you could talk to them and offer a consequence such as making them stop playing in the street for a set period of time. If you are serious abut “trying to see things from each other’s perspective,” hopefully you have already done that and your neighborhood games give rise to no complaints. But in places where there are complaints, obviously the kids aren’t being effectively taught about their end of the bargain. If parents won’t teach them, then the community has to step in. It’s not acceptable to just say motorists should just suck it up.

  47. Well, gosh, Wayne, there is a perfectly good hockey video game they could be playing instead.

  48. SKL

    How about the people who complain when the kids are doing nothing wrong at all. There were complaints in our neighborhood about kids in the driveway playing, because they were a “distraction” , and about kids on their bikes on the street, not every town has bike paths. all I’m saying is if there is no harm there is no foul. And as for making sure the cars are not slowed down by kids in the streets, i agree, to a point, in my old neighborhood, people seemed to think they were at Daytona, so the kids playing street hockey actually was a benefit because they had to slow down. And as for the community stepping in, what decade are you in, my kids and others too do not know the adults in the neighborhood that are not the aprtents of their friends, so chances are, you would get ignored, after all they aren’t supposed to talk to strangers. So unless they werre doing something blatantly wrong there would never be a reason for someone else to “parent” my child. Just playing ball hockey in the road is not a reason to get involved, only if they refused to get out of a car’s way.

  49. Well, there are always going to be some cantankerous old neighbors who will complain about anything. When I was a kid, the next-door neighbor called the cops on my dad for playing music at midnight – on New Year’s Eve – among other things. But if it rises to the level where the community (cops, council, school, whatever) feels the need to make rules against it, that usually means there is something to the complaints.

    I think what really rubs me the wrong way is that parents are convincing their kids that they have a “right” to pursue the “sacred rite of passage” of playing in the street. This will embolden kids to go beyond the usual considerate sharing of the street with cars (i.e., running out of the street when a car is coming), to include the obnoxious blocking of cars and disrespect of drivers, and even worse. And that in turn leads to justified complaints which get the kids thrown out of the street all together. A heightened level of respect taught to kids will lead to a higher level of tolerance by adults.

  50. You know, SKL, just to interrupt this a little bit, we have no idea that it was “rush hour” when this all happened.

  51. Uly, I was speaking in general. I confess that I did not read the article that triggered Lenore’s post. Just that the attitude of some of the early comments got to me – as if playing in the street is the essence of childhood, and drivers are obnoxious to think their cars should move freely along the roads.

    And the example I gave was of my personal experience, and that, indeed, occurred regularly during rush hour. Dad would get his kids out into the middle of the street for some afternoon “quality time” whenever the weather permitted.

    I’m not saying there is no time or circumstance when kids should be allowed to play in the street. I’m just saying it isn’t necessary, and parents shouldn’t feed kids the attitude that it’s their God-given right to block the road.

  52. OK, I dutifully went back and read the article. It indicates the kids were playing at basically all hours, and it also notes that the game involves heavy, bulky equipment which is not easy/convenient to move out of the way. And a couple of neighbors complained to the cops (which likely means there are quieter neighbors like me who were annoyed but didn’t complain). So what this says to me is that traffic was indeed impeded, repeatedly, for more than a de minimis time.

    So the question is, does the local community value street hockey so much that some people have to just suck it up? If they do, then why don’t they invest in a blacktop off the street where kids can play? Then everyone can be happy – unless annoying drivers is an essential part of the game.

  53. SkL

    I agree with you, there are times (rush hour) when the kids just shouldn’t be out there plating on the road, I was thinking more of quieter traffic times(weekends).

    Also what that atricle does not show or atate is the kids horrible attitude to the other people.
    as someone who lives neear the area in the article I know from other sources, that the kids were not that polite in the way they handled themselves, nor were some of the parents involved.

    What i’m saying here is that while I believe that it is ok for the kids to play street hockey. I also believ that parents need to teach thier kids how to act in a respectful, responsible manner, and that the drivers have rights too. As well, as a parent of someone who will be driving this year, I plan on letting him know and understand that driving is a priviledge and that if he behaves in a less than responsible manner thaen he will lose that priviledge, Parents can suspend a teenagers right to drive as well. After all, it is my car he will be using.

    What it really comes down to is common sense and mutual respect, sadly, at times these days they both seem to missing.

    SKL, I respect your opinions and your right to drive impeded. and I get the feeling that you don’t have any objections to kids playing street hockey as long as they are not an impediment to traffic.

  54. I think we should to keep in mind that an important part of raising kids free range (or, idealy, any other way) is teaching them how to treat the people around them respectfully, even when they can’t see them (like when they’re in their houses). I don’t see how it’s possible to play hockey in the street respectfully. Can’t they find a yard, park, schoolground or empty parking lot to play in?

  55. This makes me irrate. We grew up playing street hockey on our side street (25 years ago) – and we loved every minute of it. Often it would just be my brother and I at first…but all the other kids were sure to come. Often dad’s even joined in. It is abolutely a part of our cultural identity (as so many of you have recongnized.) And those who are trying to stop it should be ashamed.

    What gets me is the nosey neighbour. Honestly, this has nothing to do with “worry” for a kids safety, but someone putting a damper on someone elses fun. Did this neighbour have NOTHING better to do with his/her time?
    I could just picture them at the window…”Hmmm…what can I do to stir up some shit?”

    For those of you who think you can’t play street hockey respectfully – you’ve obviously never played. When a car approaches, everyone grabs the net and lets the car go by…and the driver usually smiles and waves. The disresepct comes in when the neighbours went to the police before talking to the kids first. God forbid we communicate. -Debbie

  56. Vanyali

    Unfortuneatly, when the kids these days go to an empty parking lot to play, someone will call the police on them for trespassing. And street hockey really can not be played on the lawn.
    Debbie you actully said in a lot fewer words what I have been trying to say all along.

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