Playing in the Neighborhood Unattended-What Age?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

Over the past few weeks, I've loosened the umbilical cord. I've allowed my son to play with his friends who live in a cul-de-sac (dead end) diagonally across the street alone. He takes his scooter or bike. I walk him down to the friends house and then walk home. I leave my old cell phone him my son's pocket with a timer set to 15 minutes, and then when the timer goes off he has to come back home and check in. I live in a small, kid-friendly neighborhood with several cul-de-sacs and grassy play areas. My son will be 6 years old in 2 weeks. He plays very well with all the neighborhood boys, but he is the youngest of the whole group that range from 1st to 5th grade. The rest of them can play unsupervised-and some of the boys are my former students who are very kind to my son.

I'm curious about what age some of you allowed your children to play outside in the neighborhood unsupervised. I am the only parent that seems to "follow" under the disguise of "walking the dog"!

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Nelly - posted on 04/28/2013

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I think your son is too young to be unsupervised while playing outside. We didn't allow our children to play unsupervised outdoors until they were 13

Diana - posted on 04/16/2013

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Your child is WAY TOO YOUNG to be UNSUPERVISED while playing outside. Maybe you should let him cook dinner too, over a hot stove? Maybe throw in a knife or two just to add excitement? I am sorry but I do not agree with children being left anywhere without any adult present. They lack comprehension and can be swayed by anyone to go with them or do anything. Maybe you should google how many parents lose their children just because they sent them outside, with a phone, to a friend's house...........and never came back home. Maybe your other children can help lower your child into the ground after his funeral......if your child is ever found. THINK REAL HARD about leaving your child to the world to make a decision.

Diana - posted on 04/16/2013

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Your child is WAY TOO YOUNG to be UNSUPERVISED while playing outside. Maybe you should let him cook dinner too, over a hot stove? Maybe throw in a knife or two just to add excitement? I am sorry but I do not agree with children being left anywhere without any adult present. They lack comprehension and can be swayed by anyone to go with them or do anything. Maybe you should google how many parents lose their children just because they sent them outside, with a phone, to a friend's house...........and never came back home. Maybe your other children can help lower your child into the ground after his funeral......if your child is ever found. THINK REAL HARD about leaving your child to the world to make a decision.

[deleted account]

I am more blunt about it though I have let my older 2 (14 and 7) go down the street. DH says I am over protective so it is a compromise that I let them go but I am always checking on my 7 yr old. I require supervised play for my kids and this up coming summer I doubt I will allow my kids down the block. We noticed last fall that a bunch of (to young for school) kids were playing outside and even in the road unsupervised. Even when cars would come down the street. It scared me to no end and only DH kept me from going up to the kids door and going off.
OK, IMO, I think it is up to the parents. However, any child under 5 should have constant supervision and any child under 10 should have at least medium supervision. After ten I will allow my children to do more without us but I will still watch and be careful no matter what.

Nicole - posted on 01/30/2011

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my kids are 1 and 4 and I can't imagine letting them play on their own yet. It is hard for me to imagine that time coming soon, but kids develop quickly, so we'll see.

LaCi - posted on 01/30/2011

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I think I'll be okay with him doing so at 5 or 6, if we still live here. If we don't I can't say. But THIS neighborhood, definitely okay with it. There would be guidelines, and I might follow them around til I get used to the idea... :)

[deleted account]

My son is 6 and I haven't quite made the leap yet. Our neighborhood is safe and for the most part, kid friendly--it is gated and mostly cul-de-sacs, but we do not have kids on our street. Our street is mostly retiree's, small vacation homes built before the gates went up, which are too small for families with more than one kid, so he has to walk quite a ways to get to the streets where the kids play and I'm just not sure I can trust him to stay safe on the way there--we have some new teen drivers who seem to think it is a race to get in and out of the neighborhood :( There is also the lake. A lot of the kids play at the little park by the lake, there is a swimming area to one side and a boat dock on the other and I'm just afraid he may be tempted to get into the water without an adult around and drown. There is a life guard there in the summer, but still...

I think if we lived on the same street as the kids he plays with, and we didn't have the lake to worry about, I would probably walk him down and trust him to get back at this point, but I'd probably be with you "following" with the dog :)

Rosie - posted on 01/30/2011

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i let my oldest ones do it around the age of 4-5 with restrictions of where they can go. lucas is 3 and i dont' allow him out in the neighborhood alone yet. i'll let him play outside in the fenced yard alone for a little while, but not out in the neighborhood.
it also depends on the child. my oldest finally has free reign over our block, he's 10 almost 11. he's very immature, and i can see my 6 year old doing that in a couple of years at age 8 ish. he's more mature than his brother is.

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