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To post here to ask what age people think it reasonable for children to play out alone!

(34 Posts)
scottishegg Mon 18-Jan-16 14:02:08

Hi all posting here for traffic hope it's ok, my son is 8 (yr 3) and is allowed to walk home from school ( 5 minute walk - same estate no main roads) he is also allowed to call his friend who lives up the road can go to the local park in daylight and to the corner shop! His friend is allowed to do the same but I have noticed that bar from the odd one or two children in his class then none of the other children are allowed any of this freedom! I'm just wondering what age you think is suitable for children to be out unsupervised! Is 8 too young in your opinion!

Wineandrosesagain Mon 18-Jan-16 14:04:28

Depends on the child. For mine it was 10.

Cococo1 Mon 18-Jan-16 14:05:16

I think it's impossible to judge. My dd is nine and has no freedom but we live in a city and there are load of people and traffic around. Her sis started going to the corner shop at ten. I might behave very differently if we lived in an estate.

scottishegg Mon 18-Jan-16 14:10:33

We live in a nice housing estate in semi rural Shropshire. My son is fairly sensible and appears to enjoy his bit of freedom." But I'm aware I'm in the minority where I live!

Pobspits Mon 18-Jan-16 14:14:20

Ds is 9 just but has been allowed out the front since he was 71/2 but only directly outside the house. Since last summdf (aged 8 1/2) hes been allowed to the park along the road which involves a couple of small but busyish roads. We live in a housing estate with lots of young kids and I'm probably one of the most cautious in terms of this. I don't let him walk home from school because none of his friends do so he'd be alone , I'm there for his sister anyways and its over a mile with a lot of very very very busy roads.

LagunaBubbles Mon 18-Jan-16 14:14:43

You would be in the majority where I live OP. All the kids I know go out to play. I dont think its too young, but everyone's circumstances are different.

scottishegg Mon 18-Jan-16 14:19:20

My family live in South Wales where I was brought up and the children there have always had a bit more freedom from a younger age! Some children in ds class have to walk beside there parents at all times which I'm not judging but u tend to feel judged if you see what I mean! On Friday my son went ahead of me on his bike not far at all and another mum who's don is in the same class commented loudly- Don't u ever think of doing that I always need to protect u!!

honkinghaddock Mon 18-Jan-16 14:19:32

Around here it's generally about age 7. Small village with no busy roads and passersby will intervene if they see younger ones doing anything daft.

WhoisLucasHood Mon 18-Jan-16 14:21:05

DD is 8, we live on a busy B road and doesn't go out just yet, tbh there's no friends within walking distance. She's not allowed (by the school) to walk alone until Y5 but I would be happy to let her, she's sensible and there's a lollypop lady to cross the main road.

LeiasBuns Mon 18-Jan-16 14:21:17

Minority here too. There's not many children in our village allowed those sort of freedoms before age 10. I'm never sure what I'm comfortable with myself tbh! It's hard to judge and it does depend where you live.

expatinscotland Mon 18-Jan-16 14:21:39

Depends on the child. My son is 7, but has HFA and no way I'd let him out alone. Also depends on where you live. We're in a first floor maisonette on a busy road with no stop signs or cross walks. A 40mph road.

MummyPig24 Mon 18-Jan-16 14:22:12

Ds1 is 8 and does not go out to play. There's only 2 or 3 children, around the age of 10 that do go out to play. We live close to a main road but even when we lived in our old house which wasn't near a main road (same village) there weren't children playing out.

At age 8 I was definitely playing out though. Think I need to allow ds1 more freedom this summer.

coffeetasteslikeshit Mon 18-Jan-16 14:23:31

It sounds fine to me, mine were allowed out at that age. There are still some kids their age (11 & 9 now) who still aren't allowed out though.
I would ignore the other parents, if you are confident that you are doing what is best for your DC then what does it matter what they think smile

StarlingMurmuration Mon 18-Jan-16 14:26:03

DP and I were just talking about this at the weekend - we have a one year old DS, and we agreed that we need to microchip him and not let him out alone until he's 20. But I definitely was allowed to play out with my big brother and even alone from being four or five(!). My parents weren't at all neglectful but in the seventies and early eighties, kids were more or less free-range!

Arfarfanarf Mon 18-Jan-16 14:29:45

It's impossible to set an age. There are just too many variables. Ability of child, understanding of child, where 'out' is, how busy the area is, how safe the area is, etc etc.
It simply has to be an individual judgement call, based on assessment of all the relevant factors

BackforGood Mon 18-Jan-16 14:29:58

This hugely depends on what it's like where you live.
In our previous house, the houses all fronted onto a grassed area - no roads (you accessed your houses from the back if you cam by vehicle), so all the dc played out the front from a very young age - all could be seen from the houses and there were no traffic dangers. Probably a certain amount of 'chicken and egg' too, in that, because there were usually lots of dc out there (and parents keeping an eye on the tinies) then it made it safer for the 6,7,8 yr olds to be out there 'independently.
However, our current house is on a very busy road. You couldn't 'play out' without being run over. So dc don't just go out to see who is out and about, so, even if you did there'd be no-one out there to play with IYSWIM.
In answering these threads, we all tend to picture our home, and it can be very different for different people.

Also depends on the dc, and then on things like the distance to the park, the journey they have to take, what sort of a park it is once they are there, etc.,etc.

Katenka Mon 18-Jan-16 14:31:20

It sounds fine to me.

However it's a personal choice depending on the child in question.

My kids don't play out alone. One is 4. One is 11. There are no other kids my old ways age. We live fairly rurally and both kids have to be driven to school as there are no buses. Unless we love walking to school isn't possible.

The estate we live on seems to have a large amount of people who drive like knobheads.

Also the estate is still being built so there are lots of wagons/jcbs etc on our road.

SaucyJack Mon 18-Jan-16 14:32:03

Depends on the kid, and where you live.

Mine were playing "out" before I would've liked, but we live in a large complex of flats with no fences so there was no safe alternative (other than sat on the sofa).

They haven't died yet tho.

scottishegg Mon 18-Jan-16 14:38:17

Great replies and yes I agree it's a very personal choice and depends on loads of factors I think I was surprised by the other parents reaction as although myself and my friend are aware we are in the minority where we live I guess I didn't realise some people would think my choices were negligent when I have considered all options!

BrownAjah Mon 18-Jan-16 14:44:09

We live on a small cul de sac hidden down the end of a very quiet road. All the kids play out the front here. There are 8 of them ranging from about 8 down to 3yrs old. Mine are 7 and 5 and they are very reliable and know not to go beyond a certain boundary. Our kitchen window looks put onto the front so they can be watched. When the 3yr olds are out, there's always a parent out but otherwise they are left to it. I think we can only do this because of our secluded location tbh.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 18-Jan-16 14:44:45

I let DD out when she was 5, there was a large group of slightly older children, plus a couple of 12 year olds that liked 'looking after her'.

There's a field across the street from us that she's allowed in, and a small park at the back of our house- I leave the back gate open so that she can come and go.

That was last summer, to be fair, I spent most of it out in the garden 'gardening' - watching her like a hawk. And if she went round the back I'd dash upstairs to check from the window.

She had an amazing time though, learning from the big kids where the best dens are etc.

TheVeganVagina Mon 18-Jan-16 14:58:10

13 for my dc. Yes i have some anxiety, still do when they are that age and older.

wigglesrock Mon 18-Jan-16 14:59:53

For playing outside, calling for friends etc. where I am it's about 6.5/7 depending on obviously each child and if there's older brothers and sisters about. My 10.5 year old walks/rides her bike to the shop/postbox (one road to cross). My 8 year old plays outside on her bike/scooter/just general running about.

Moln Mon 18-Jan-16 15:08:28

Where I live it's pretty much once they are out of nappies for some families.

Quite green which the houses surround and it is a cul-de-sac off a side road so traffic is minimum.

My were older as it does vary family to family. However most would be out at 5 - front doors usually left open and one parent/grandparent in sight.

Funandgamesandfun Mon 18-Jan-16 16:00:10

Definitely not before secondary here. I wouldn't dream of letting my 10 year old out alone. My 13 year old was allowed from year 7

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