Close neighborhood provides many sets of eyes to keep kids safe
Friday, October 19, 2007
Like many young professionals, Kristin Daus’ lifestyle revolved around Chicago—she worked downtown, rented an apartment in a trendy neighborhood, used public transportation and took advantage of Chicago’s many diversions.
But when Daus got engaged and started planning a future, she didn’t think twice about overhauling her urban lifestyle.
"We intended to have children right away and thought moving into a house would be a perfect situation to start our family," she says. "Though we both worked downtown, we never thought about getting a place in the city. He was more of a suburban person and didn’t really like coming to my apartment in Boystown."
More than a dozen years later Daus can’t imagine a better place than the small
suburban village of Golf to raise her three children, Marguerite, 11, Christopher, 8 and Stephen, 7.
"I am a very overprotective mother—honestly, my husband Jerry thinks I’m nuts—but I feel that my most important responsibility is to make sure they’re safe and I do think there’s an element of safety living here."
Typically, the kids can be found in their backyard or vacant lot adjoining their one-half acre property, Daus says, adding that much of their outdoor activity surrounds the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of a fort.
"I think there’s an aspect of being outside and working together that helps them get along, foster their relationships, and I can definitely see how getting outside and using different parts of their brain helps them. I see the three of them creating and scheming on the fort and I think this is just phenomenal."
Although Daus doesn’t allow her children to play outside unsupervised for too long, she says she feels her suburban neighborhood speaks to the adage ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
"Golf is a small community and we know most of the people in our neighborhood and I think that the families watch out for each other—here there are extra sets of eyes looking out for the kids."
Not only do their kids benefit from the web of safety stretching across the neighborhood, but their suburban schools provide numerous advantages, Duas says.
In fact, this year Daus and her husband transferred their children from the parochial school Jerry attended as a child to Glenview’s public school system.
"In our neighborhood, there’s almost zero diversity and I don’t want them to think that this is the norm," Daus says.