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When to let your kids play outside with other neighbor kids?

We just bought a house and the neighborhood is great. We live on a street that no one uses its just the people who live on it kinds like a dead end. Anyway. My 5 year old has alot of friends who play outside all the time with no supervision. I don't feel comfortable with letting her out without me. But I cant always sit out there. When is the right age to allow this? And why do the other parents seem to not care?

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Asked by BallardMomma at 6:56 PM on Aug. 1, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 8 (210 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • I have no idea why other parents do not care. That is crazy to me. I think the only time it is ok is when your child is 10. Even then I would want them to have a cell phone on them. We ran all over the place when I was a poor mom never knew where we were. Luckily everyone in our neighborhood knew each other and it was a safe place. But I would never risk it.

    Answer by BetcCarter at 7:00 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • i have been hemming and hawing about this same thing my kids are 9 8 7 and 6 and i have a hard time just letting them wander the neighborhood even tho we live on base and are in a safe neighborhood. i have decided to let the 9 and 8 year old go out and play but only a few houses down seeing as their are plenty of kids to choose from and i have met all the mothers of the kids that my children play with and with my little ones i have in my yard playdates so i can get to know the kids then we graduate to their houses in their yards. i hope that this helps.

    Answer by amberpaiz at 7:01 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • I think now is okay - I don't think you should sit out there with her, but check on her as often as you can. I don't think the other parents "don't care"; I think they are probably just comfortable with the neighborhood and know each other. Since you just moved in it may be a good idea to go introduce yourself to some of them and meet their kids - and I guarantee you they are looking out their windows a lot, too.

    Answer by BryRon at 7:01 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • I have met all of them! and most just open the front door and say have fun!

    Comment by BallardMomma (original poster) at 7:04 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • This is the second year my 7 year old is allowed to do this. He ostly plays with the kids across he street and in the back yard. i don't want to hover and take away his independence. It isn't that I don't care what he is doing but hovering over him isn't going to be good for him either. Now my 4 year old is still stuck where i can see him.

    Answer by mommy2boys03 at 7:11 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • I send my 6 yr old and 8 year old out to play but they are not allowed in anyones house and the have to stay on this street. It's a small neighbor hood where it's one street that loops around. Most of the time they play in our front yard with the other kids or I let other kids come in and they play. They are great about listening and not wondering off and they stay together. But I do see a lot of kids running around and their parents don't check on them.

    Answer by JayRo00 at 7:25 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • If the neighbor kids want to come to my house to play, that's fine with me, all the kids can play in my backyard. But MY kids are not going to be running around the neighborhood and playing in the street. If we lived in a cul de sac or at the end of a dead end road, I might let them play in the street, lol. But we don't and they aren't allowed to play unsupervised in the front of my house at all. Any creep could pull up and grab them and the only person to blame would be ME (and the creep of course).

    Answer by slw123 at 8:47 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • Who says the other parents don't care? How do you know they are not watching from a window or sitting where you can't see them? My son plays outside with friends I am not always out there not because I don't care but because I don't hover over my son like a helicopter. People today are so fearful of everything no wonder everyone is on medication of some kind and kids have so much anxiety.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 PM on Aug. 1, 2011

  • There is a big difference between "Playing out front with the neighbors on your own street" and "roaming the neighborhood." I wouldn't make the leap from one to the other as some seem to be doing in their replies.

    OP - my DD will be 7 next month. DS is 9. For the last year they've been playing on their own out front with the 5 kids their approx. ages on our block. There's a four house radius between us. The kids will play together between the four front yards. If they go in a house, my two know they need to come home and tell me where they'll be. They also know they are not to leave their 4 house radius - although my 9 year old can go farther if he tells me first. They are out without me but that doesn't mean I "don't care." I just think they have proven themselves responsible enough to handle the privilege. I check on them often as do the other four moms. If they break a rule, they lose the privilege.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 7:10 AM on Aug. 2, 2011

  • Why not start by inviting some of the kids over to play in your backyard? (Is it fenced?) you can keep an eye on them without being on top of them the whole time. When you're comfortable with that, perhaps let your DD play out front. You can start out there with her and take small breaks to run in for drinks or snacks, etc. Find your comfort zone.

    frankly, the world is not a more dangerous place today than it was when we were kids. We're just over-saturated with news today that we THINK things are worse. Kids need to gain their independence and stretch their wings a little in an age appropriate way. I'm not saying 5 is automatically they "let her roam free" age. You find the age that works for you and your child based on her maturity and readiness.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 7:15 AM on Aug. 2, 2011

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