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Kids playing on the road(13 Posts)
This is the first summer my kids have played on the road with the neighbours dc. Dc age 7 & 5, we got to know all the kids post lockdown, life was so busy pre covid.
Im so anxious even though I'm out with them. I just want to have them indoors with me reading baking, playing together but I know this is very good for them. Can anyone tell me the benefits of playing out I'm sure there's loads but at the moment I feel I could be hoovering, doing laundry making dinner etc but I'm supervising. I'm the only parent supervising on the road...
But they are playing so nicely i don't mind being out & I'm sure the negatives outweigh the benefits x
Well some of the benefits go when there's parental supervision - all the benefits of group responsibility and conflict resolution, lack of judging gazes etc. So it's better if you go hoover, laundry etc.
But even without that, there's a huge importance to being outdoors on eyesight, there's a huge importance in active play in terms of physical health, there's a huge importance on peers on social development. Physical dexterity and risk assessment comes from playing out - indoor spaces tend to be very constrained for learning this.
fresh air, exercise, getting a bit dirty, socialising.
there's one big negative with 'the road' so you do need to supervise, kids of that age have zero traffic sense.
That's exactly why I go out & my 2 have even less as they're road newbies!
Sirfred George sorry I realised I never replied.. Our road is quite busy with & residents backing in & out of driveways etc I just don't feel my two as "street wise" yet..
Well I wouldn’t let mine play on the actual road, to be honest.
According to Play England “Play has frequently been described as ‘what children and young people do when they are not being told what to do by adults’.Having time and space to play gives children the opportunity to meet and socialise with their friends, keeps them physically active, and gives the freedom to choose what they want to do.”
They also say play can:
increase their self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect
improve and maintain their physical and mental health
give them the opportunity to mix with other children
allow them to increase their confidence through developing new skills
promote their imagination, independence and creativity
offer opportunities for children of all abilities and backgrounds to play together
provide opportunities for developing social skills and learning
build resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
provide opportunities to learn about their environment and the wider community
I think you do absolutely right to supervise until of an age where you'd let them walk to school alone.
Historically kids played out but adults were around too, chatting, popping out to do errands on foot. Lots of passive supervision. Later this changed as kids went out and parents stayed in, or used cars.
Supervision avoids the negatives of playing out unsupervised. I clearly recall bullying and inappropriate risk taking from my childhood.
Children should not be overly scrutinised but also should not be left unattended. Sitting on your front step reading is a good thing, especially as your children are young.
A lot of ASB problems are caused by there being too few adults in streets, rather than too many kids imo.
I went on a course around this last year, j think it could have been the Play England people a poster above mentioned. The organisation raised the above points and we agreed that children are no longer seen out and about and were missing out on organic play away from the eyes of adults and being able to assess risks for themselves. The main reason for this was given as parental fear of the roads and the increase in traffic compared to when we were young so they were working with local councils to hold organised road closures so that children could play out safely and parents were marshalling the streets etc. I think a lot of the “organic play” was lost in the high viz and organised games and thought it was quite a strange concept to be honest but it seems to have taken off so there is obviously support for it.
If you let them, please please please supervise.
Around 10 children on my street are allowed to play out, from the age of 3 with zero supervision. They have no road sence. No worry about leaving scooters in the middle of the road. No worries about playing in parking spaces. The parents seem to think that drivers will automatically know there will be kids around. One will be hurt soon and it is really worrying.
Playing out is really important, but so is safety. I think they're too young to be left to it, especially near a road, and you're clearly uncomfortable with it so for now I think you should supervise, while giving them the freedom to play, for example reading in the front garden. Perhaps if you lived in a small cul-de-sac you could keep an eye out through the window, but otherwise just be around. If this means you can't get on with housework so be it, bring them in or ask another parent to watch them. The annoying thing is other parents won't do this, they'll see you outside and assume you'll keep an eye on theirs too.
Also, be aware that now your kids are part of the group, the door knocking will begin to see if they're coming out to play. It can cause a lot of upset when you say no. You may be tempted to let them all play in your garden, but unless you're happy with that you could end up being an unpaid babysitter all summer long, so be firm.
Do what you feel is right for your kids, it doesn't matter what anyone else does.
Thanks everyone, I have seen huge changes in DC2s confidence she playing out. We're in the ROI so the schools have been closed since March... We already have the callers Zombot & while most on the road are happy to have the kids play out in each others front lawns there is one little girl who plays in mine & the neighbours but says her parents won't allow any kids play in theirs as "it's too nice & they don't want to listen to the noise" yet they are more than happy to let her into the other neighours if that's where the kids have congregated...
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