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Hate that I can't just let the kids go outside ALONE

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#1 mamasjgt


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:41 AM

I am sure most of you remember being outside all day long & not coming in until it was dinner time.
We ate lunch at the house we were playing at, each house always took turns. If we were thirsty we drank from the hose. We used the washroom at whoevers house we were at. My mom rarely saw my brother & I in the summer. If we decided we wanted to go swimming that is when she would come out & watch us, but not any other time. It was like that w/ EVERYONE. WHY did things have to change?

I hate that I cannnot just send the boys outside to play & not have to sit on the front porch and keep an eye on them. Doesn't that sound like bad parenting? I don't think so, we did it as kids. The worst is when I do sit outside & then they go to the end of the street to play w/ friends and then I end up sitting here alone doing nothing while they are down the street. I could be in the house cleaning or doing laundry, etc.

I honestly feel like I don't know WHEN/WHAT AGE it is ok to send the boys outside alone to play. Sammy I know I cannot depend on to keep and eye on the other boys esp w/ his Special Needs, he has a hard time keeping an eye on himself. The other three boys are only 6, 7 & 8. I was roaming the neighborhood at 8.

Anyone else feel this way. Though with these super hot days I don't want them outside in the sun. We have a pool but the dh & I decided that since our backyard has NO SHADE until after 6 we don't want them swimming w/ the sun beating down on them like that. We do go swimming before and/or after dinner though.

They are getting super bored though and cannot stop fighting all the time. I feel like pulling out my hair :(

#2 crayons


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:56 AM

thats why we live in the county, if only my kids would learn to shut the door my life would be great. I feel like I'm cooling off the entire neighbourhood with them coming and going all day.

#3 Trea


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

I think it depends on your comfort level and the comfort level of your child.

ODS was out without constant supervision around age 8. He had a friend that would come over and they would ride their bikes up and down the block or just play around either our house or his.

I don't see it happening really soon with T though. He is a home-body and is very reserved. I think he does go out and play with other kids at the camper sometimes but, not at home yet. Partly because at my place there are no kids close by. When my neighbour is watching his grandkids T will hang out with them after I take him over to get the other boys outside. His dad lives in a subdivision and when T is comfortable enough to go out and play on his own it won't be a problem.

#4 terbear


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:10 PM

I think it is all about personal comfort level. I never had it with my older 2. Not that I didn't have faith in them or know logically they would be safe....it was all ME. It was ME that wasn't comfortable. No matter how much I told myself I was being unreasonable and irrational I still felt complelled to sit on that porch or invite every dam neighbourhood kid to my house just so I didn't have to get that pang of guilt/worry/stress or whatever it was that was keeping me from letting my kids be normal kids like all the other neighbourhood kids and parents.

I actually envied the mom's that could do it (still do). I understand that it was 100% me holding myself back. Nothing to do with good parenting or not (althought that was the justification I gave myself - untrue)

I have been struggling with this very topic again with my youngest. I have finally got to a point that I will not sit on that porch when she is in our fenced backyard (big step for me)and have moved onto only looking out the window(constantly) vs sitting on that porch when she is in the front yard.

eta..with the age of your boys how about getting those walkie talkies that they can use. It will give you comfort in that you can reach them down the street (usually they are 2 miles coverage or so) and they can reach you. May be the piece of mind you need to feel you can get off the porch and dig into the housework while they are playing.

Edited by terbear, 22 July 2011 - 01:21 PM.

#5 Jen K

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:24 PM

I think it depends on a few things 1) area you live in.. 2)childs age and personality .. 3) adults comfort level.
This is the first year I have let ydd go out in the front with odd.. They are 6&10. Both girls adhere to the rules, ydd knows she is not allowed to leave the yard unless she has permission.
We live on a short street with minimal traffic, but that only gives them a false sense of security ie: watching for cars. If we lived on a street that had alot more traffic, I might not be so willing.
I would never let yds outside without a parent ( other than running in for a botttle of water or something that takes less than minute ).. he is less apt to follow the rules, has a short attention span and just doesnt pay attention.
I will let them all play in the backyard with out having to watch them constantly. Its fenced , and I make sure I am in the kitchen where I can hear them and still get things done.

#6 vals


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:38 PM

I agree that location plays a huge roll in this. I grew up in the county and my Aunt/Uncle were neighbors so my brother, cousins and myself where gone from sun up to sun down exploring the fields, building tree forts, riding our bikes and treking through the bush. We would pop into either house periodically to grab some of the pre made sandwiches or cut up fruit and veg that both my mum and aunt always had in the fridge for us, but it was not uncommon for us to be gone for hours at a time and no one worried. We always had to be home by the time the street lights came on and we dare not be late because that was the only time we got into to trouble for making our parents worry. We ranged in age from seven to eleven, but this was normal for the time and where we lived. Now living in the city, in a busy area I don't think I could ever imagine letting dd out alone until she was in her teens and even then it would concern me. I would love to move back to the county for dd.

#7 jenny


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:10 PM

My kids go out alone...not the youngest alone but with the others. They are 13, 9 and 6.

They also know the boundaries. They know who I accept for them to hang out with and who they can't. They know they can't go into someone's house or backyard (providing they are the ones they can hang out with) until they clear it with me.

We don't have a backyard really for them to be able to go and play so, it is in the front that they have to be. And I always go look out to make sure they are ok.

#8 Jill


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:32 PM

I am thankful to have a backyard that is fully fenced. I can see how frustrating this is for you, I'd surely be very frustrated as well. There aren't really any other children in our area, so that doesn't present a problem either.

I hope you find a way to work it out!

#9 Kris


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:41 PM

I let ds start outside on his own at 7 we have been lucky that we have lived on dead end streets. He is not allowed of my street and if he goes in a house he must come tell me first. I still have feelings of uncomfortableness about it but I am trying to get over it

#10 Ellivort


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:07 PM

It is too bad that the world has changed, or maybe we just know more about the world where we live. It's a world where a 14 year old girl can be kidnapped from her bedroom, where a 6 year old can be murdered in her home and where we hear about kids being taken and found dead all the time. Heck, we even hear about kids killing other kids.

I am not that old, but i remember the same thing - playing outside from dawn til dusk, only having to check in by phone every couple hours or when switching locations and sure we got into mischief, but were never really in danger, not the kind of dangers young kids encounter these days.

DD is only 2 so ofc she won't be outside alone for some time now, but I know that carefree days of 'trusting they neighbour' or just plain trusting have past. It's scary to be a kid these days and even scarier to be a parent. Get's hard to draw a line between safety and stifling. Of course, at the end of the day I will take a stifled child over a dead or missing child any day of the week.

#11 JeepMom


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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:16 AM

DD is almost 8 and she goes out alone....where we moved too is townhouses and they encircle three playground area's...she knows she allowed to go to any of them, she also knows she cant go into anyones house. I do go and check on her every now and then.

She has been getting more freedom esp at the camper. last year was the first year she had almost full range of the place..she could go to the playground and I knew where the two girls places were that she played with...by the end of the summer she was allowed to go in their trailers. She still knew that if they wanted to go further or with their parents she had to come and ask...I think I started a trend at the campground b/c after that the two other girls parents checked up on them more often.

I think it depends on location..where I used to live I dont think i would have let her go on her own even though we lived next to a park...Mic Mac...it is a large park and the playground was some distance away.

#12 EmnMs



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Posted 23 July 2011 - 09:28 PM

I agree, I wish we could put them outside to play- mine are so young though, so I can't let them play outfront on their own , but ds is just about 5 and would love to play hockey/soccer outfront with his friends...but that means I have to supervise. I do stick them outback though to play , but it's fenced , and I don't go with them.

#13 Danielle


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Posted 23 July 2011 - 09:38 PM

It is such a blessing to live on a small court. I will never live anywhere else while my kids are small. All the parents are friends. We all watch one another's kids on a very casual, spontaneous basis. The kids all play together every single day. They run from house to house and in the quiet street. I may have 8 kids in my house some days, but it's a dream come true.