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How soon is too soon???

I have a 7 yr old and she rides the bus in our apartment complex we just moved to and she has some friends that come over to the house asking her to come out and play.. Well I also have a one yr old and a 5 yr old and they always seem to catch me at bad times (like when im making dinner or doing the dishes or cleaning). Its not like they are going to want some mom following them around when they play anyways.. My question is what age should I let her go out and play by herself with them? She gets sooo angry when I say no and I try to explain it to her that shes too little to go out right now without me and she says well all the other kids do it... I dont want to look like im some overprotective mom that never lets her kid play... But I also dont wanna file a missing child report either... HELP!!!!

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Asked by 3greatkids751 at 11:37 PM on Mar. 28, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (8)
  • My son is seven and he can't go outside unless I can watch him either from a window inside or I go outside. If there is another parent outside that I know and trust then I will let him go out. I think it just needs to be what you are comfortable with. I am like you, I would rather not fill out a missing childs report.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 11:43 PM on Mar. 28, 2009

  • Actually, there are laws concerning how old kids can be without being supervised by an adult. TN law says that any child under 13, I believe, has to be supervised outside or inside.
    If the kids parents were going to supervise the kids and you trust them, I'd let her go. But I'd make sure they were going to supervise, I wouldn't just take the kids word for it. Some kids, even that young, sneak out of the house, will say anything to get what they want.
    My husband used to make fun of me about not letting my boys out till they were 13, 14 years old alone but at least my kids came home safe and sound! After kids started getting kidnapped, raped and killed, he changed his mind about me being "over-protective"!
    There's all kinds of sexual predators out there just waiting for parents to let their kids come out & play! We've got around 114 living within a 10 mile radius according to TN Sexual Offender list online.

    Answer by jon6pat at 12:19 AM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • Oh yeah this is one I have thought about even though my oldest is only 5. The reason we talked about it was because my husband and I were talking about how when we were young (and lived on big farms in the country not in the city) We would get up eat breakfast, do chores and disapear untill dinner time, I could NEVER do that with my kids now days. So we were like ok when there 30 they can go play with their friends unsuppervised lol. Its just amazing to think how much things have changed. My friend let her son go to the bathroom alone the other day in a busy restraunt at dinner time and there were several exit between the table and the bathroom, my son wanted to go and I said no way! I think the longer you can keep them close, exspecially outside, and supervised the better off you will be. Better to sound overprotective and hovering than ( GOD FORBID) identifing a child.

    Answer by BDAsmama at 1:39 AM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • I think you should let her go out but tell her she's gotta stay somewhere you can see her if you walk out the door or something

    Answer by Aimee789135 at 6:12 AM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • My kids are allowed to play outside by themselves. They are 8, 7 and 6. We live in the city but we live in a house. Not sure what I would do if we lived in an apartment complex. It would probably depend on how comfortable I feel with the place and the neighbors. My family has lived in this house for 20 years so I'm comfortable. The neighborhood is no different then when I was a kid and we ran all over the place.

    They have their boundaries. Last summer they could only go 3 houses in either direction. This summer they are allowed to go corner to corner if they are together, otherwise they stay close to the house. When the windows are open I can hear them even if they are houses away.
    Also depends on the child. I trust my older 2 more then then younger one. If she is out alone she has to stay on the porch.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:22 AM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • It all depends on where you live and how you feel about your neighbors and/or neighborhood and the parents of their friends and thir friends etc.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 12:53 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • just an idea but, what about you head out of the apt. and chat it up with the other moms. Let them know you have other kiddos and it isn't always easy for you to stand by and watch all the kids. See if you girls can come up with a plan to take turns outside with them or exchange phone numbers. That way the moms are incharge when they can all play outside. GL
    I know how it feels, mine is 5 and we live in a secluded area, but I still only trust alone to be in the fenced in backyard. My neighbor and I take turns staying outside with the kiddos and it works great.

    Answer by Skyler11978 at 1:26 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • The first thing I would do would be to talk to your child about safety and why you have the concerns you do. You don't want to scare her..... but knowledge is powerful.   (Click on the Strangers/Safety link which has some great tools to help you begin the conversation).  Since you said you just moved probably don't know the neighbors yet, therefore, I would definately error on the side of caution until you know the people around you.  I also like the idea of taking turns with other moms as mentioned in another post. 


    Answer by momjs at 7:42 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

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