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At what age do you allow your child to...

Posted by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:35 AM
  • 40 Replies

We live in a pretty busy neighborhood with an unfenced front and backyard. Both the alley behind the house is pretty busy and the street that runs in front of our house is a major bus route. So there is a lot of traffic both ways.

We also live in a neighborhood that gets lots of foot traffic roaming around. Mainly because people use our street as a shortcut to the city. A lot of these people we don't know.

Because of the high levels of traffic and people, we don't let our 5 year old play outside by himself. When he goes out, DH or I are always with him. We don't hover over him. We always sit on the porch and let him play with his friends. Both DH and I just don't feel comfortable leaving him alone.

We've been called helicopter parents because we won't let him play outside by himself. This honestly doesn't bother us.

But it did get us thinking last night about what age would we consider old enough to be outside by himself. 

So at what age do you allow your child/children to play outside by themselves? How did you come up with that age?

by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:35 AM
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Replies (1-10):
kidlover2
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:38 AM
I agree with your choices. I let my 3 and 5 year olds play outside by themselves, but we live on a quiet street that backs up onto the railroad tracks and we know most of our neighbors.
ChancesMommy07
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:47 AM
1 mom liked this

My 5 year old plays outside by himself but we have a fenced in yard with gate locks and we know the dog isn't going to let anyone into the yard that he doesn't know. I also live in a smaller town and I'm surrounded by family. If I lived in a busy area with no fence then I wouldn't let him out there alone.

morning_glories
by Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:50 AM

 I think that you are doing the right thing, maybe at 7 I would let hime play outside alone, with a friend. Can you fence at least part of your yard so you can feel more comfortable letting him outside to play?

I live on a farm and I did not let my children play outside alone until they were four. We have farm traffic, feed trucks, grain trucks, tractors, etc. They would never see a little girl run out in the driveway.  So you are not a nut, you are a perfectly sane, loving mother. Don't listen to those crazy parents that call you a hellicopter mom.

clapping

JadeTigr7
by Bronze Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 8:02 AM
1 mom liked this
Well then, I hover. We live on a military post and I still watch all my older children play outside and they range in ages from almost 9 to 3 1/2 years old.
Dabberdoo
by Bronze Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM
Given your situation, I don't know. I allow my four year olds outside alone but there are only like 125 people in our neighborhood out in the country. Very quiet. All the children of the neighborhood are regularly in the streets so the few cars watch for them. I would never do that in your town.
diaperstodating
by Angel on Jun. 24, 2013 at 8:50 AM
In your situation I'm not sure. In my neighborhood it's safe to allow him to play outside "alone" (with the other kids in the neighborhood).
mumsy2three
by Shauna on Jun. 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

In your situation I think you're being safe not being a helicopter parent.

My kids were allowed to be outside alone for short periods of time when they were about 4 or 5. We are in the country, our property is set back from the main road. The creek near our house was really my greatest concern, but our kids were taught fromk a young age that that area was off limits unless an adult was with them. None of them, I have 3, have ever gone down there without an adult.

lalalamama
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM
You're not overly protective, you're using common sense. I've never lived on a busy street, so I can't compare what I did to your situation.
liss05
by Gold Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

You are being  a sensible realistic parent especially in the area that you live in. Btw I do not let my kids play outside alone either(8 & 3) I much rather be overprotective then have to live the rest of my life without my kids. KWIM???

soymujer
by Gold Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Since you live where you do, you are doing the right thing.  I am just now letting my 7 year old outside by himself and even then, one of us is checking up on him.

family in the van   Mom of four


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