Advanced search think an 11 year old should be back in his own garden when dark falls?

(87 Posts)
NeumsyPeddie Thu 13-Oct-11 18:52:37

Tell me honestly, am I being overprotective? My eldest is 11 and I have the rule that he has to be back in our garden at dark, but this means that this time of year he has to be home dead early so he says that's unfair. We live in a really safe area (northeast suburban village) and he's rarely ever alone. He's a good kid and rarely has homework because he does it all at achool so he can go out after school. His friends are all really lovely boys with great parents too, so it's not them I'm worried about. It's everyone else!

But he's always asking:

"If I can stay out til 7:45 on weekends in the summer why do I have to be home at half six on weekends in the winter?"

My answer is that thing I always swore I'd never say: "Things can go wrong alot easier in the dark than in daylight."

My Mom used to say that to me and I hated it, but now I think it's true. Is 11 old enough to be out after dark if he has a phone? I don't worry at all about him in the daylight, and I totally trust him. Its just that Cave Mom Instinct that thinks he should be back in the cave after dark or he'll get eaten by a sabretooth tiger. Whats the verdict??

ZZZenAgain Thu 13-Oct-11 18:54:28

are his friends roaming around in the dark?

I think YANBU, it is a pain that it gets dark so early of course but I wouldn't have mine wandering about after dark tbh

squeakytoy Thu 13-Oct-11 18:54:34

Yep, you are being a tad over protective if he is 11.

I always think that there is safety in numbers, and if he is out with his friends, he is safer coming home with them, than alone on his own before them.

worraliberty Thu 13-Oct-11 18:54:39

It's pitch black at 5pm in the Winter

Where does he go when he's out?

Ragwort Thu 13-Oct-11 18:54:53

I think it is better to give a specific time (can remembering arguing with my own Dad about whether or not it was 'dark' when I was a teenager grin).

I do think you have to give a little allowance and perhaps say something like 7pm - especially as he is with other friends and you are in a quiet area.

LynetteScavo Thu 13-Oct-11 18:55:56


If he want to be out later he needs to be inside a specific freinds house, and then you collect him.

I agree it's a natural instinct for mums to want their babies at home when it's dark.

herbietea Thu 13-Oct-11 18:56:36

Message withdrawn

caughtinanet Thu 13-Oct-11 18:57:07

I think 11 is old enough to be out in the dark assuming there are street lights and he's not too far from home.

squeakytoy Thu 13-Oct-11 18:58:54

I would be more worried if a child that age was out on a bike to be honest, but at 11 I do think you have to allow more freedom.

SandStorm Thu 13-Oct-11 18:58:58

I halfway agree with Lynette in that he should be inside somewhere - your house or a friend's house - but at 11 he should be able to make his own way home if they're in the same village. If you don't have street lighting (as is the case in my village) then you just need to make sure he has a torch.

susiedaisy Thu 13-Oct-11 18:59:59

YANBU when it's dark I want to know where my kids are and they are 11 and 13

FabbyChic Thu 13-Oct-11 19:00:18

He is 11 years old not 8, you are treating him like an 8 year old.

My 11 year old had a girlfriend she lived a mile away he had to be home at 8pm he would cycle to her house and cycle back.

bigTillyMint Thu 13-Oct-11 19:01:00

YABU. He should at least be allowed into his own house.

LynetteScavo Thu 13-Oct-11 19:02:36

SandStorm I'm imagining him riding his bike in the road (probably on the wrong side) with no lights on. He should be OK walking if it's not too far.

lesley33 Thu 13-Oct-11 19:03:49

I think you are being over protective tbh. And what do you think could happen to him in the dark that you are afraid of?

herbietea Thu 13-Oct-11 19:05:03

Message withdrawn

verlainechasedrimbauds Thu 13-Oct-11 19:05:29

grin bigTillyMint

FabbyChic Thu 13-Oct-11 19:09:57

He is being treated liked a baby. Bet his friends laugh at him.

NeumsyPeddie Thu 13-Oct-11 19:12:21

Ok, I'm glad I'm getting feedback! I appreciate it. He is my oldest (or at least the oldest who I have to set rules for. My Bonus Kid's Mom has to deal with it for him! LOL!) so I genuinely don't always know when I'm over reacting or being OTT.

To clarify some points:

he can be out in the garden at our house, bigtillymint. I'm not saying he can't come into his own house! LOL! That'd be pretty horrible!

he is allowed indoors at other peoples houses! I'm talking about him and a pack of his friends the dark. I think out in the dark is ok as long as he's on his way to or from somewhere

I'm mainly thinking about that thing that kids do of just wandering with no destination in mind, in the dark, on bikes. Does that make more sense?

BOOareHaunting Thu 13-Oct-11 19:13:59

Difficult one. DS is just 7yo so I have no experience of this and totally agree and understand your reasoning.

However very soon it will be dark when going too and from school so I would agree with the above posters that in someones house, walking are suitable compromises.

bigTilly grin

NeumsyPeddie Thu 13-Oct-11 19:14:58

lesley33, I think you actually nailed it right there. I need to figure out what I'm afraid of and also remember that this isn't Chicago. (Which is where I'm from originally.)

Fabbychic, most of his friends parents have the same rule. Not all of them, but I'd say 75%, easily. So I don't think he's probably getting laughed at.

susiedaisy Thu 13-Oct-11 19:16:22

What does it matter if his friends laugh at him for going in at a particular time, set your own standards not worry about some other kids. Kids that roam around the streets in the dark are not to be envied in anyway!

lesley33 Thu 13-Oct-11 19:17:36

I still think YABU. You have said yourself he is a good kid with nice friends. I know some posters will think your DC shouldn't be outside with no purpose. But some kids hate being indoors all the time. They are indoors at school and just want some time outside to walk around and talk to their friends.

I think if he wasn't a good kid I would think it is fair enough to restrict wandering about at night. But as he is then I think YABU.

What do you think will happen to him in the dark with his friends? tbh it sounds like you are turning into your mum (which I know we all do!), but that isn't necessarily what is best for him.

Bellavita Thu 13-Oct-11 19:17:36

DS2 is not allowed out on his bike when dark although he does have lights on it, but sometimes I think they are a tad forgetful when riding and hop on and off the kerb to the road when riding, but he is allowed out without it.

NeumsyPeddie Thu 13-Oct-11 19:18:53

I agree susiedaisy. I don't worry too much about whether another 11 year old thinks I have good parenting skills Lol...and yes, it's the roaming, not the being at someones house that bothers me.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: