I live on a busy main road, so my DC can't play out on the front. However my eldest DD (11 next month) has just started 'playing' out with some other kids from her class. They go round the corner on the side streets.
She has come in on time, answers her phone when I ring and all that, but I just don't like it. I'm not PFB with her, at my mums or at her dads she's played out for a couple of years but it's a quiet residential area so it doesn't seem as bad.
She is very grown up and sensible and to be fair at her age I was off for hours!
I know exactly how yu feel and I'm not a young mom but a grandmother! When my kids were young they went "off for hours" like you did. I think it's really sad how kids can't experience this sort of thing now. We were talking about this with two of our sons and dils very recently (and they have kids of course) and they were saying much the same as you. They would like to give their older children more freedom but worry all the time. I think parent's main worry is "stranger danger" and yet this aparrently hasn't changed since the 1950s and the other reason is more traffic of course.
I have another son and dil who live in Ireland and their 7 year old is allowed out to play on his bike, as all the kids do around their area. The pavements are very wide, a lot of green spaces, not much traffic and signs on every street saying "Caution Children At Play" - I think it is lovely for my DGS to play out like this. He can't go anywhere and knows where he is allowed to go but can't always be seen through the window. When I am in charge (parents at work) I can't rest when he's out - I have to keep going and checking!!
To be honest I think you have to try very hard to let your girl continue with what she s doing - yes you will suffer but that's all part of being a mum isn't it. There's much worse to come - when she is 15/16 she will want to be going into town with her friends, cinema etc and at 17/18 it's worse because by then she (or some of her friends) will have passed their driving test. I can tell you the very worst part of being a parent (for me anyway) was lying in bed waiting to hear their key in the lock and not being able to sleep until I knew they were in. Just thought I'd give you somethingto look foreward to!!
Im having similar concerns about my DD, she is almost 11 and has made a new friend at school so is going to hers regularly.
DD is very mature and sensible and its more about other people than her that concerns me. I want to get across to her how dangerous the world is but at the same time dont want to panic her into not going out.
Im going to be a wreck when she is 14/15 if I dont get a hold of this now!!
maybe we could hold each others hands through this time of anxiety and find a way to get through to them without frightening the life of of them?