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Is it okay to let him go play by himself outside?

My 4 year old is very sharp. I live out in the sticks. He knows not to go in the front of the house (because of the driveway and road) and he knows not to go anywhere but in his swing set, digging area, his sandbox, and on the porch. I let him play out there as long as I can see/hear him.. but I'm not outside with him. My mother and grandmother whom I consult on parenting advice frequently thinks this okay, my neighbors know he's out there and are ok with this (though they are both 2 football fields away, I wanted to make sure if they saw him in the yard without me they didn't think he had escaped) but the delivery guy came and was like "You let him be outside by himself?????"

What do you guys think? I mean, I can hear him at all times.. We don't have a pool or anything.. He's at least a football field from the road. He is a smart kid and knows what death is and knows the road means that (unfortunately, because of our dogs both dying of old age and his Grandpa passing). I think I can do the dishes or nurse his sister to sleep with him playing out there. I check on him constantly and can always hear him. The delivery guy seems to think he's too young.. So, I'm curious who else might think so too.. And why.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 1:24 PM on Jun. 5, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (17)
  • I personally think it's fine
    funlovinlady

    Answer by funlovinlady at 1:25 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • My only problem is that there is no fence, that would make me feel uncomfortable with it, but I let my then 3yr old out in the back yard with out me, but it was fully fenced rock wall no pool so that made me feel better.
    cassie_kellison

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 1:28 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • Your the Mom so you do what you think is right but at 4 I'd probably have a fenced in area for him to play. Kids wander when they get curious. Layers of safety is always best. At that age, my Son played on the back deck alone but it has a gate with a lock & I have sliding glass doors. He never really liked to go out alone anyway other than to water the pots on the deck for a few minutes.
    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:29 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • It sounds kind of like my yard situation and I think if you think it's ok, it's probably ok. If you are listening and checking and he sticks to the rules. I have a 3/almost 4 yo that I'm not letting out entirely by herself, but I'm in and out of the house quickly on occasion. I do think that being clued into what he is doing even if you aren't right in the yard is key here. The other key is the rule that if I call your name you answer loudly right away! No hide and seek nonsense with mommy!!!
    tessiedawg

    Answer by tessiedawg at 1:38 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • I wouldn't do it simply because you never know what can happen. I have woods on 3 sides of me and only one other house on my street. I didn't let my kids go outside alone until they were 6 and 7 and then they were together.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 1:39 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • I wouldn't do it if I can't see them. Even in my fenced yard, I have to see my kids or they aren't allowed to be outside if they take off.
    LostSoul88

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 1:47 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • I also live in the sticks and would let him. It is necessary to check every few minutes even so to make sure he isn't exploring past where he should go.
    Bmat

    Answer by Bmat at 1:52 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • As long as you check on your son frequently, I think it's fine and you ought to tell the delivery guy to mind his own business.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 1:58 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • You know, I was just thinking, it was on the local news the other night that the police got called to a house because a couple of kids were playing by themselves in a fenced yard with no adult in sight. The caller felt like it was neglect unless there was an adult right there watching, and I thought at this rate, where are we going to be in ten years? I understand that things happen in today's world, but kids need some room, too. We used to roam the neighborhood, and while I wouldn't let mine do that anymore, I let her go out on the porch and sidewalk for a few minutes at a time by herself.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 2:04 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • I think its ok
    leksismommy

    Answer by leksismommy at 2:06 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

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