Kids playing outside

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

I live in a neighborhood with kids in almost every house, but I hardly ever see kids playing outside. Has anyone else noticed this in there neighborhood? I like to get my daughter outside a lot, but she gets bored because she wants other kids to play with.

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[deleted account]

our kids have made great friends on the street we live on. i'm sad we're moving away next month :( The kids all play together ages 3-10 out on the street and all the moms keep an eye on them. It is fantastic as my kids love being outside.

Sandy - posted on 07/27/2009

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I am fortunate enough to have children on my block, but many of them attend summer camps so there are not always too many children around. A great place to find other children to play with is the park. We also belong to a community pool which is great for the summer months. Your local library should also offer a reading program which sponsors many community events. It might be a little late in the summer for that but keep it in mind for next year! Good luck!

Connie - posted on 07/24/2009

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My guess is you have already tried some of these suggestions, but I will put them out there anyway... :-)
1.) Set up play dates for your daughter with friends she already knows.
2.) Take her to a local park or playground. Hopefully some other kids around her age will show up so she has someone to play with!
3.) Take a walk around the neighborhood with her. Who knows, maybe she will meet a new friend and viola! someone new to play with!
4.) If you can afford it, try enrolling her in preschool, or take her to daycare for a few hours a day, a couple of times a week. She will have an instant group of children to play with!
5.) If you don't mind the germs, :-) McDonald's play places are a great way to find instant playmates. We also liked taking our kids to the play areas in our local mall.

I also saw some posts re: letting your kids play outside alone. I struggle a lot with the issue of my kids and their 'outside boundaries'. Two years ago, we moved from a Chicago suburb to a small farming community that boasts a population of around 2,000. Though the town is small, and crime rates are low, I still didn't want my two oldest children (both boys, ages 8 and 6) out of my sight when they wanted to play outside.

After having two more children in the last two years, I realized something had to change. I knew I could not be outside with my boys every second they were. Finally, with my husband's prompting, I said "okay" to the boys riding their bikes around the block and playing at nearby parks without me. This "okay" included a specified set of boundaries, and my youngest cannot go alone; he must always have his older brother with him. Yes, it's much easier to let my kids do this in a small town than a suburb, BUT I would have probably done the same there. The boundary lines would have been much closer to the house, though.

I find that when I do go to the playground with my kids, I am usually the only parent. I was blessed to be able to get a job in the elementary school in town when we moved here, so I know a lot of the kids that play there. While I wish their parents were there to discipline them, I have no problem correcting any of the kids if needed. I usually watch and wait, however, and try not to say anything unless I have no other choice. I want my boys to refine the arts of diplomacy, debate, and sharing, and the only way that can happen is to let them work out most of their playground issues by themselves.

I don't let my kids roam the neighborhood freely. When they are involved in a community activity that doesn't require parents to attend (ie summer reading), I make sure the adult in charge knows I expect a report on the boy's behavior if it isn't up to snuff. Although I am not quite sure they will ever do it, I expect other adults to tell me if my kids aren't acting appropriately when they are not with me.

As parents, we spend our lives teaching our children to be independent, to make good decisions and to choose to do the right thing, even if no one else does. I know I can't just teach my children how to be independent. I have to let them experience independence. So far, they are doing pretty well with it.

Leigh - posted on 07/24/2009

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I live in Australia. My kids grew up with their neighbourhood friends & I made a point of going around & meeting the kids parents when they were all small. We have a fenced yard, so when they were younger (ie able to walk) they'd be outside all day, everyone used to be at my place, but I had a yard that kids wanted to play in.Now the boys are teens, & of course so are their mates, & it's been lovely watching them all grow up. I'm lucky cause the weather here rocks most of the time.

Elise - posted on 07/24/2009

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Hi there,
Im not sure where you live but the kids on my street play outside all the time. I live in Abbotsford in Dunedin and I have a nearly two year old boy. The kids that play on my street are about 13 or so. They are friendly and always give me a wave or say hello. Maybe the warmer weather will draw out the kids on your street!

Julie - posted on 07/22/2009

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We have kinda the same problem, where I live only some children play outside but the moms or dads don't watch the children. So i prefer to take them to a big park, where their is more responsible parents that do what their children. my advice is find a park near you that lots of family frequent and maybe your child will now not be so bored when she does play outside. My children love playing at the big park and have made friends so I hope the best for you..

[deleted account]

My daughter is only 2 years and 10 mos., so I definetly don't let her out by herself, but I have found that a lot of moms are home but I don't see much of them. We do talk and the kids play when we actually see each other, I just was wondering if this was happening everywhere. We are in the MOMS club, but was just trying to find her some neighborhood friends. Thanks for the input. I don't trust people either, so my daughter won't be going out by herself for a long, long time!

--- - posted on 07/22/2009

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We have tons of kids in our neighborhood and none of them go out without an adult. I think in this day we need to be extremely cautious with letting kids out alone to play. our world just isn't safe any more

Kristin - posted on 07/22/2009

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Our neighbourhood used to be like that. Until I got to know one of the other moms. We started making time, and I also made sure that I made time to be outside, to walk my daughters down the street to get the other little girl. Over time due to both of our involvement. Other children were allowed to start hanging out with us. Now we have a gang of girls ages 4-9 that run back and forth from house to house. The older ones looking out for the younger ones, with the parents all having eachothers phone numbers. Basically if its something you want for your child you need to get the gumption up and try and befriend one other mom. Play outside in the front yard and take the time. When other parents get to know you and vise versa things will fall into place. Because all children want a friend, and no parent wants to deny that we're just usually to tired to make that first effort.

Marta - posted on 07/22/2009

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I know exactly what you mean! We live in a townhouse complex with large open courtyards and I find that I'm the only one outside with my kids! I think part of it has to do with most moms not staying at home anymore so all of the kids are in daycares or in dayhomes; older kids are all at daycamps now that they're not at school. I would suggest taking her places during the day so long as it doesn't conflict with meals and naps. I like taking my kids out for breakfast once a week and that's usually our "out and about" day. We go to the mall where there's a playpark full of kids of all ages, we go to local outdoor water parks which are usually full of kids with SAHM (or dads). Otherwise we blow up their kiddy pool or put on a sprinkler, they dig in the dirt and stomp on ants, we go for walks down to the school to play at the park and finally they have days where they just sit around the house being kids, helping mommy do laundry and other chores.

[deleted account]

I have the same problem. I'm not sure what the issue is in your neighborhood but I know what the issues are in mine. Maybe this will help:
1. Being a stay at home mom and homeschooling, my kids are home quite a bit during the day. Since most of the other parents work, their kids are not home very often. They're at school, daycare, preschool, activities or driving somewhere. When they are home, they have a "mission" like doing homework, eating, sleeping, spending time with their parents. They don't have time to go outside and play at home. When they ARE available to play it is generally at a time when my children are not available. Since its summer, we would like to go to the park or play outside with someone during the day. In the evening, hubby is home, we're making or eating dinner or the kids are spending time with Dad. I would say the most frequent time that we see kids outside is between 6-9 pm. That is dinner and bedtime for us.

2. The world is not what it used to be and there is much more fear of kidnappers, child molesters, etc. You don't want your child to go outside without being closely watched the whole time. Again, since parents are so busy they do not have time to go outside and keep an eye on their kids so many parents just keep their kids inside.

3. If you live in a more suburban area (as I do) people have no regard whatsoever for chi;dren. They blast through my neighborhood like they're running the Indy 500. Most of the neighborhood kids don't play outside their own yard or go back and forth to each other's houses because all the moms fear that they'll get run over. Riding bikes is almost non-existent unless the parent is willing to sit outside and watch the whole time.

I don't know how to fix this hopefully that will give you some idea on why it might be happening.

Jessica - posted on 07/22/2009

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Our neigborhood is kind of the opposite, we have a bunch of kids that I wish would stay inside. We have some boys my sons age that he's allowed to go out and play with but there are alot of older kids in our area that have little or no respect for anything or anyone, they're to busy being "cool". I think alot of the parents in our area use the neighborhood as their babysitters and I really don't want my son to learn from them. When he goes out I can see him and he has very set boudaries he doesn't cross. I understand your problem though, I have a 5 yr old little girl who is dying for a playmate in our area and there aren't any around.

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