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When Can They Play Outside on Their Own? - Page 2

post #21 of 52
I have been wondering this too, and I guess that I am more overprotective than I thought I was lol. My son will be 7 in June we live on a corner lot in "town" our road is fairly busy- well at least I think it's busy, even though it's a neiborhood road it is also a connector between 2 major routes, so even though it shouldn't be people use it as such. I don't let him outside alone. I am just too worried he will lose his ball and cross the street without looking, or go with a stranger, he's not shy and doesn't "get" stranger danger no matter how much I tell him. I have been thinking about letting him try it this summer but it scares the crap out of me. It would be so nice if I could let him because he could be playing out in the snow instead of being "stuck" inside with me who is 9 weeks pregnant and feeling bleh. I think if our yard was fenced in I would feel totally different.
post #22 of 52
My oldest son is 9 and I still don't let him play outside on his own. But for us, it's more a matter of location. I'd never chose to buy in this area, but it was the only house to rent in our price range when we were looking. There's two busy roads and a really nasty neighborhood not too far over. We have no fenced yard and little grassy area.

If I lived in a more rural area or a nice neighborhood, I'd have no problem as long as I had a general idea of where he's at. For me, It'd probably be 5-6 years old without supervision.
post #23 of 52
Back yard - two I guess? Maybe even younger but there's nothing to get into trouble with there. Front yard, I think 4. If I remember right. By 4.5, she was going to the two or three close yards to play with friends if she wanted. Now, at 7 (8 in Feb.), she can go just about anywhere in the neighborhood so long as I know where she is.
post #24 of 52
After what happened to this past Saturday, my kids won't be out alone again until they are MUCH older, if at all.

We have 12 acres in a rural area. DD is 4. We were outside playing and I ran in the house to get something for her. On my way back out, literally 1 minute later, I heard DD begin shrieking. I went running back outside with DS in the Ergo on my back and found DD pressed up against the side wall of the house with two huge dogs advancing on her. I started screaming for DP for help, and started towards them when they finally ran up my driveway and were gone.

Its one of the neighbors dogs. They are irresponsible people who don't take precautions to keep their dogs under control and this is the second time I've caught them on my property. This time I reported it to the dog warden and they are getting a citation and have to appear before the judge.

DP went to their house and flipped out on them. 2 hours later, the daughter drives up and asks me if I've seen them again. They were still running loose.

I really thought moving to the country would be so much better, I'd be able to have my kids outside without fear of cars, buses, creeps in the park, etc. Instead I have to fear my neighbors dogs ripping my 4 year apart. Thankfully, she didn't get bit this time. I'd almost rather have the damn cars and buses to worry about.
post #25 of 52
In our fenced in back yard he was out last summer at 2.5y...the front is not fenced and although a very quiet street there is still a street and our driveway is shared with 2 other houses...it will be a while before he goes out there unsupervised.
post #26 of 52
My oldest was 18 months when he started playing outside by himself. We had 3 fenced acres in a semi-rural area, and he liked to play on the patio. I could see him all the time, since there were lots of windows right there. My other kids have played outside with siblings starting around the same age, but again, I could pretty much see or hear them all the time. Like PP, I would leave the door/windows open in the summer, and keep going back and forth so I can keep an eye on them. I think it very much depends on the child and where you live. I am much more cautious now, because we recently moved to a neighborhood with a lake. I am paranoid of someone going out on the ice and breaking through, or in the summer, wandering out and losing their footing in the water.
post #27 of 52
In the backyard (fenced)? About 2.

In the front (not fenced, quiet street), about 4 if they stay our yard, about 5-6 if they're out with friends. (But our dd, at 4, was out with her 7 year old brother.)

Truth be told, by the time that my kids wanted to play outside without me around, they were old enough! Ds isn't terribly independent, and so he was 3 or 4 before he'd be in the backyard by himself. He was about 6-7 before he stopped asking us to come out with him in the front.
post #28 of 52
I'm liking this thread... I'm about the same on backyard, enclosed play. DS has been going out by himself since he could safely navigate the steps down from the porch (14 months???).

As far as going to the park with a friend, it would depend on the kid and the friend. My gut says 7, but that's so far away for me, I don't know. That's about when I was doing things like that myself. At around 5/6, I went to friends houses by myself, but farther destinations were more like 7.
post #29 of 52
Thread Starter 
I am now thinking I should have put in a poll option with clear explanations. Ooops. I am glad to learn that it was not massively neglectful, however, to let my now-three toddle about by herself in a yard with non-fence physical barriers.

My three-year-old doesn't so much want to play alone as she wants to go to the park down the street (on a military base, but they don't check kids' IDs on the way out... or anybody's ID on the way out, for that matter) and I just don't have time to spend hours there.

It seems like in olden days, better days, where there were still pervs galore, but they weren't registered, there were more kids on the street, period. So you wouldn't feel like your kid was so alone if you sent her out to play. If I sent mine out, she'd be all alone. She'd be the only kid there!
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I am now thinking I should have put in a poll option with clear explanations. Ooops. I am glad to learn that it was not massively neglectful, however, to let my now-three toddle about by herself in a yard with non-fence physical barriers.

My three-year-old doesn't so much want to play alone as she wants to go to the park down the street (on a military base, but they don't check kids' IDs on the way out... or anybody's ID on the way out, for that matter) and I just don't have time to spend hours there.

It seems like in olden days, better days, where there were still pervs galore, but they weren't registered, there were more kids on the street, period. So you wouldn't feel like your kid was so alone if you sent her out to play. If I sent mine out, she'd be all alone. She'd be the only kid there!
sending a 3 yo alone to the park? no way, never. Forget about pedophiles, I'd be more worried about them falling and getting hurt or getting lost. I'd just try to make as much time to go there as possible.
post #31 of 52
We have a small walled off patio that DS has been able to go out by himself since he was around 2. It's pretty small so all he can really do it play with his water table. The gate is locked so there is no way he can escape. If we had a fenced in backyard I would be fine with him playing out there as well. We don't have one at all, and it will be a few years before I am okay with him playing unsupervised outside.
post #32 of 52
I don't know why... but I'm seriously on the verge of a panic attack while reading these responses. My mom let my brother and I play outside in our FRONT yard and also go as far down the street as three houses and this is when we lived in California in a not-so-nice part of the city.

I currently live in a sub-urban area of our city in Kansas and I cannot imagine letting our little ones outside by themselves until they're at least 14. I don't know why... I guess I've watch too many of those stories on TV about kidnappings.

Hopefully, I'll change my mind in the next 12 yrs... for my DD's sake.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitterdaisymom View Post
I don't know why... but I'm seriously on the verge of a panic attack while reading these responses. My mom let my brother and I play outside in our FRONT yard and also go as far down the street as three houses and this is when we lived in California in a not-so-nice part of the city.

I currently live in a sub-urban area of our city in Kansas and I cannot imagine letting our little ones outside by themselves until they're at least 14. I don't know why... I guess I've watch too many of those stories on TV about kidnappings.

Hopefully, I'll change my mind in the next 12 yrs... for my DD's sake.
ITA! I have a 6 y.o. and a 3 y.o. and I'm suprised that people let their kids younger than 4 or 5 outside with no fence and no supervision. The boy up the street was 6 y.o. when he ran after a ball in the street and was hit and killed. Now... I do let my 6 year old out front and I don't keep an eagle eye on her but the windows or doors are open and she knows not to go past a certain tree or out of our yard. I'm so scared someone's going to drive up and grab her, even though she knows to run to the house if a car slows down, so I am looking out the windows every couple of minutes. We live in a very safe suburban neighborhood where the lot sizes are approx. 1/3 to 1/2 acre each.

My 3 year old can't play out front unless I'm out there. I couldn't even imagine someone letting their 3 year old walk to the park! I would say 8 or 9 years old before they could walk to the park alone, and that is if the park is in sight.
post #34 of 52
About age 4 I started letting DS play in the fenced in backyard. Only with the windows open so I can hear him and I also peek out every five minutes or so. I prefer to be out with him though, so that was just when I was working in the kitchen. He's not allowed out front alone although I will make him sit on the steps while I run in to get something. He has always waited for me.

One of our neighbors- an 8 year old girl is not allowed without someone or if we are out, we keep and eye on her since DS and she like to play together. We have other neighbors who have been allowed to be out from age 5. Our street cuts between 2 major streets in town, so we have a lot of traffic to be careful of.

I 'think' DS will be able to play outside alone at age 8- but who knows. Time will tell.
post #35 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
sending a 3 yo alone to the park? no way, never. Forget about pedophiles, I'd be more worried about them falling and getting hurt or getting lost. I'd just try to make as much time to go there as possible.
Well, yeah, that's why I don't let her, but on the other hand, it has to end someday. Someday, it has to be possible for my child to have outdoor activity on the same day we eat roasted meat, or have fresh bread, and I am really, really, REALLY impatient for that day.

There's no way I can wait until nine.

OMG interruption it's midnight here in Germany and I'm looking at a hare hippity hoppitying across the little yard behind our apartments! This is the first time I've seen wildlife here! Squee!

Okay, back to conversation, it seems to me that three is too young, but although I am sad about the six-year-old, there are first-graders who walk a block or two to school. A six-year-old in my elementary school was in a coma after running into the street to get a ball. But it was common for children in southern California (which had a higher crime rate back then, yep higher!) to walk to school at that time.

Does that impulse control usually appear around eight or nine? Hm.

Five more years of indoor play on sunny days because we are out of bread... it's like a prison sentence. Am I the only one who feels that way?
post #36 of 52
We live in the middle of nowhere - last house on a dead end dirt road. So theres no traffic, neighbors, etc. As a result, last year DS1 (then 2ish) was aloud to play outside by himself - I'd check on him every 5-10 minutes, but I was OK with that. This year he'll be 3 and I definetly see outside-alone play in his future
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScootchsMom View Post
After what happened to this past Saturday, my kids won't be out alone again until they are MUCH older, if at all.

We have 12 acres in a rural area. DD is 4. We were outside playing and I ran in the house to get something for her. On my way back out, literally 1 minute later, I heard DD begin shrieking. I went running back outside with DS in the Ergo on my back and found DD pressed up against the side wall of the house with two huge dogs advancing on her. I started screaming for DP for help, and started towards them when they finally ran up my driveway and were gone.

Its one of the neighbors dogs. They are irresponsible people who don't take precautions to keep their dogs under control and this is the second time I've caught them on my property. This time I reported it to the dog warden and they are getting a citation and have to appear before the judge.

DP went to their house and flipped out on them. 2 hours later, the daughter drives up and asks me if I've seen them again. They were still running loose.

I really thought moving to the country would be so much better, I'd be able to have my kids outside without fear of cars, buses, creeps in the park, etc. Instead I have to fear my neighbors dogs ripping my 4 year apart. Thankfully, she didn't get bit this time. I'd almost rather have the damn cars and buses to worry about.
We have the same problem. We have 15 acres in the boonies but our neighbors are irresponsible with their dogs as well. We live almost at the end of a dead end road, and still I won't let them outside alone for very long because I worry about snakes, dogs, coyotes, an occasional bear, etc. I just can't be very far away and feel safe.

I don't know about urban settings and letting them walk to the park; that's just not a part of our reality. Do people really let 3 yos walk to the park alone or with a sibling? That seems really young to me, but like I said, I have no reference to compare to wrt urban settings.
post #38 of 52
We live in a big city, but in a suburban type neighborhood on a short street that ends on a dead end street. That being said, my DS is 5.5 yo and I still won't let him play out front by himself. He goes in the backyard by himself (has since probably 3yo), but would rather play out front because he can ride his scooter up & down the sidewalk. I will leave him out there for a minute or so if I have to run back in for something, but otherwise I'm out there with him.

I'm not sure when I'll let him play out there by himself. Maybe if he were playing with a neighbor kid or something I would let him at about 6 or 7.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitterdaisymom View Post
I don't know why... but I'm seriously on the verge of a panic attack while reading these responses. My mom let my brother and I play outside in our FRONT yard and also go as far down the street as three houses and this is when we lived in California in a not-so-nice part of the city.

I currently live in a sub-urban area of our city in Kansas and I cannot imagine letting our little ones outside by themselves until they're at least 14. I don't know why... I guess I've watch too many of those stories on TV about kidnappings.

Hopefully, I'll change my mind in the next 12 yrs... for my DD's sake.
The thing is, at 14 she'll be at much greater risk of abduction. Teenage girls are abducted more often than anyone else. Next would be adult women, and THEN pre-pubescent children. Have you read Protecting the Gift? I would highly recommend it.
post #40 of 52
Did anyone read "Free Range Kids" by Lenore Skenazy? She is pretty straight-forward and provides statistics to back up her theories. I didn't agree with everything she said but some of it really resonated with me.

My kids are able to play outside by themselves at (almost) 8 and five years old.
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