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question for the other parents out there???

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Alyssamd24 posted 2/17/2014 14:22 PM

I don't know if I have asked this before, but if I have please forgive me, I just want to get input from other parents.

At what age did you let your children play outside by themselves? What limits did they have?

My DD will be five in April and often times wants to play outside, but I don't always want to go out when she does, especially in 30 degree weather. There have been a few times I have let her play on the back deck by herself while I am in the kitchen (watching her out the window).

Right now she is playing outside with my seven year old niece, they are in the backyard only, and I am sitting inside watching them out the window.

I feel more comfortable letting her outside with my niece rather than all by herself.

I should also add that we live in a neighborhood with a lot of families and houses; but during the summer there are also a lot of teenagers wandering around.

Just want to know what other parents do. Thanks in advance!

wifehad5 posted 2/17/2014 14:32 PM

In the summer, all the neighborhood kids are at our house, or wherever Dd takes them. She's now 12.

Ds is now 7, and beginning last summer we'd let him ride around the block on his bike. We kind of slowly build up from there.

jrc1963 posted 2/17/2014 14:57 PM

Until 2011, when DS was 10, we didn't live in an area where playing outside alone or w/ someone was even practical. So it never really came up.

We moved to our current house in Feb 2011, but he went to school in a different county and didn't make any friends in the neighborhood to actually play with... so still not much of an issue.

In 6th grade, he was 11, he started attending the middle school that all the kids in the neighborhood attend and started to make friends... I let him play in the front or back yard with his friends... He started walking himself to the bus stop which was several blocks away.

Now he has a phone and can go anywhere in the neighborhood as long as he texts me every 30 mins or so and then comes home at the appointed time.

I know that's probably more info than you wanted... but that's how we handled it.

I'd personally have felt safe letting him the backyard of our current house alone at 5, had we lived here, because we have a 6ft high concrete wall in the back and privacy fencing on the sides... so he couldn't get out.

I am not sure how I'd feel if I didn't have that stuff.

Undefinabl3 posted 2/17/2014 15:13 PM

We have a 8 foot privacy fence and 2 great kids (4 and 2) played out back all the time by themselves. I would usually be in the living room watching out the window or kitchen. I would let them out for short times...20 to 30 minutes if it was really hot, and would reapply sunscreen every whipstitch.

If the dogs barked, i would look out.

The worst that ever happened is that they all got a hose bath LOL.

Dreamboat posted 2/17/2014 15:31 PM

DD is 17 now so I have to think back. I think around 2nd grade if she stayed in the yard or played with the the next door neighbors kids. Otherwise I went out with her because there is no good place I can watch her from inside. By 4th grade she was playing with all the neighbor kids in various yards, but we live in a cul de sac in a small and very family oriented neighborhood. Basically, every body knows everybody else in the neighborhood.

nowiknow23 posted 2/17/2014 15:45 PM

Very different answers for my two kids. DS was outside playing in the neighborhood around age 7. At that point, we lived in a very quiet, low traffic neighborhood with multiple kids his age and very involved parents. Everyone watched out for the kids, and our yards were all fenced. You knew where the kids were, you knew they were safe, and you knew there were multiple sets of eyes on them at any given time. We were pretty lax with him.

We moved to a new development a few years later, around the time that DD was 7. With all the construction, heavy machinery, and workers in and out all the time, the neighborhood was much busier and far less controlled. The kids in the neighborhood were either teens or babies, so there weren't others her age around, and the parents were different, too - less neighborly, more to themselves. We also didn't have a fenced yard. DD didn't play outside much at all. She was very anxious being outside with all the commotion, so we had to push to get her outside, and we had to be out there with her or she would come back in.

Sad in AZ posted 2/17/2014 16:28 PM

DS played outside in our yard by himself from the age of four. He played out in the neighborhood by himself from the age of 6 on.

You have to know your own child. I knew DS could handle himself. He flew home from NY by himself at the age of 7.

tesla posted 2/17/2014 16:32 PM

Teslet is five and I let him play out in the back yard by himself. It is fenced. I started letting him play in the front yard, in the driveway where I could see him from a window for a little bit. My street is fairly busy, so he has an invisible boundary he is not allowed to cross...usually, I sit on the front porch when he is in the front.

little turtle posted 2/17/2014 17:33 PM

My boys are 6 and 7. They are allowed to play in the fenced in backyard whenever they want (weather appropriate). I don't trust my neighborhood so someone has to be in the front with them. I've let my boys play in the backyard ever since they learned to not put things in their mouth. I've always had a privacy fence. At my previous home, my dog lived there with us and she would "watch" the kids while they were outside.

Want2help posted 2/17/2014 17:35 PM

Mine is 5, plays out back with the chickens all the time (one locked gate out of the backyard). Totally free, and totally fine.

No being out front without us, we live on a road busy with both cars and pedestrian traffic.

Alyssamd24 posted 2/17/2014 17:50 PM

We don't have a fence but our landlord is planning on putting one up at some point...our back yard is still closed off though cuz there are trees and bushes that make it more private.

I would never let her in the front without me but as long as she is in the backyard I think she should be fine....I watch her the whole time, and she is a good girl so I know she won't leave the yard without me.

I know it's all about personal preference but wanted to hear from others!!

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