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My DS playing football in the street- am I neglectful??

(19 Posts)
cheekymonk Thu 12-May-11 17:22:28

Hi.
I would appreciate some advice on this. My DS now aged 6 has been playing outside on/off for 2 years. We live in a fairly busy residential street with lots of kids who also play outside.
In the early days, I stayed outside and have come in more as I have seen him have more road sense and generally be more sensible.
He falls out with the other kids but nothing too serious, usual playground stuff.
However, he now loves to play football with his mates from the moment he gets in to teatime. They often play in the middle of the road. There are about 6 of them at least and I do feel he is safe enough, he does move whenever there are cars present. I do worry however. There is no park very nearby for him to play in and I feel he needs to some freedom/let off him steam after a day at school.
I worry about his safety however as he is constantly pushing to play further and further away, wants to go to very nearby shop with his mates and I wonder if its making him grow up too soon. I say no to these things and I don't let him play out as late as everyone else does. Next door however don't let their girls play out at all. I do secretly wonder whether I'm being neglectful/bad mum. I am often tied up with my dd who is only 3 months.
Neighbours have complained about the kids generally, having waterfights messing up their windows and balls hitting their property. Cars beep at the kids who aren't quick to move out of the way.
I do feel my son's social life takes over the house. I usually have the front door ajar as when I closed it he was constantly knocking to get something/toilet etc and plus I don't think its right to physically shut him out anyway but I hate having door open too.
I am considering banning him from playing out completely it is driving me so nuts. I just feel a bit uneasy about it all. I just heard a Dad really kicking off at a Mum about her kid's behaviour. Its just MUCH more rough and tumble than i remember but we live in a city.
WWYD? Am I right to be concerned? Am I being rubbish?? Please help, thanks.

Hulababy Thu 12-May-11 17:29:49

My DD is 9y and I have only just let her start going to our park - on the estate, no roads - or round to a friend's house one road to cross) - when she is with another child. She's not yet allowed to go to our shops - about 10 mins away. And she still has a strict time limit and has to check in.

She's also only been allowed to play out on our road - cul de sac, quiet estate - for the last couple of years (so from 7y I guess) alone. Before that I would potter ina nd out.

So, I am probably a lot more cautious than you already.

However, if neighbours are complaining about their behaviour and they are annoying others living nearby, or not getting off the road when cars come, then something needs to be done. Maybe they still need a bit more supervision for another summer. I wouldn't be happy with having my property hit by balls and windows messed up all the time tbh.

Jbck Thu 12-May-11 17:41:32

I've voiced my opinion about kids playing football in the street previously on here. If it's annoying people or damaging property then do something about it otherwise, no - you are not being neglectful.

If they are safe enough where they are then he will learn independence and get fresh air & exercise. Gradually you will be able to let him go a little further as he gets older.

If he can't play footie then let them run about & play Tig, Star Wars, lots of little boys in my street dressed as Yoda et al or knights (some a bit middle class smile ).

Goblinchild Thu 12-May-11 17:50:10

We have a kamikaze football squad who play in the next street.
It's a nightmare for most of us that have to drive through, worse for many of the neighbours but my emergency stops are incredible now. 20 to 0 in about a metre.
I often drive an alternative route if I can, they can't be lucky all the time.
And bloody skateboards shooting across the road like a demented form of 'chicken' on wheels, almost invisible if the infant is sitting on it.
AARRGG! is all I can say

cheekymonk Sun 15-May-11 08:59:01

Yes it is annoying, I have come to realise that! The kids in the road do seem out of hand. Last night a kid was on a bike, no footwear and fell into a parked car. My son very quickly asked the kid if he was ok (before me blush) but the owner of the car was soon out having a go at him. The kids are out of control but I do think its normal and good for them to be outside, just not all hours all day every day and they do need to be considerate!
I am going to monitor my son more but I am sure he is not causing any grief. Noone has knocked at my door (yet!)
I do have his mates around in our garden/house too but only one neighbour ever reciprocates! My husband took about 3 other kids to the park plus ours recently and one parent dictated he get back quickly so they could go out hmm and another couldn't care less how long they were!
Thanks for your input xx

ChippingIn Sun 15-May-11 09:04:20

Honestly the kids don't sound 'out of control' they just sound like kids. Of course you have to be careful they aren't destroying other peoples property etc but falling off your bike is hardly deliberate damage is it?

I think it's brilliant that there are still some kids that are allowed to play out smile

Your DH should have told the neighbour to come & get their son from the park when they were ready to go out hmm

Why don't you put your door key on clippy chain (one of the ones that come apart if pulled hard) around your sons neck so he can let himself in and out when he's out playing if you don't like the door being open? (which is understandable if you are upstairs with the baby).

TimeWasting Sun 15-May-11 09:19:54

I think some of the neighbours are being ridiculous, angry because the kid fell over? hmm Adult strangers hate kids having fun. As long as they aren't deliberately damaging property or actually playing chicken on the road, then no problem.

If you are confident of his road sense, then it sounds ok to me.
Better than sitting in front of an xbox at all times getting fat and socially incompetent.

ll31 Sun 15-May-11 14:45:51

Think if you live in an estate you should expect kids playing on road - perfectly normal if on occasion slightly annoying worrying etc.. re traffic etc..

Think its great for kids to be out on road, playing with others withouth tacher/parent looking over shoulder - very valuable learning to be honest

cheekymonk Sun 15-May-11 17:18:42

Yes I agree it is valuable learning. We're not on an estate. We live in a street that I would say is in an ok area. Not posh, not rough. It is seen as a bit working class isn't it? Do people think that nice middle class kids don't play out then? Not having a go at all, I worry that this is how it is perceived...

TheOriginalFAB Sun 15-May-11 17:23:13

My son is almost 6 and no way would he be allowed out the front on his own. I have seen the way one idiot driver drives. My 10 and 7 year old would be allowed out. The 7 year old is a girl and a very sensible.

sleepingsowell Sun 15-May-11 17:35:45

Kids should not be playing football in the middle of a road. It is dangerous and it is also very very annoying to have footballs flying around near cars and houses.

Keep the football in your own garden or the park, is the only safe (and neighoburly) thing to do imo.

Fine for kids to play out, of course - in my road it's oddly devoid of kids playing out, ds wishes some did! but in other roads nearby kids are up and down all the time on bikes, scooters or just generally chatting/playing. I say this to show I am not against kids playing out grin but I think football in the middle of the road is madness safety wise (someone WILL get knocked over, it's just who and when, isn't it?) and it's really, really anti social imo.

Ormirian Sun 15-May-11 17:37:17

Playing out not a problem. Football fine in park but not in street.

sleepingsowell Sun 15-May-11 17:50:29

I do feel for you though - if you wanted to stop him playing football it would be very hard if the other kids were still playing...All I can say is for me personally my ds would be nowhere near a situation where 'cars beep when the kids don't get out of the way in time' - it makes me shudder just to think of it...Roads are so busy now and it only takes one idiot driver - and I see those on the roads every day sad

Was talking to my mum about the free playing out culture, she is in her 60s and had the freedom of playing out all day every day in much less traffic filled streets; however she told me that THREE of her peers were killed; one run over by a car, one by a lorry, and one drowned in a local 'lake'. It wasn't the halcyon freedom days that people think once existed!

I'm rambling - I guess what I mean is even though it's hard and he may resent it I would be keeping him in unless he played on the pavement only in my road (certainly at 6 yo). Could you offer him a nightly trip to park and/or a football club to go to?

ChippingIn Sun 15-May-11 18:21:49

There's nothing wrong with kids playing football in the street. Nothing at all.

Footballs flying around near cars & houses wont hurt anything.... they only do damage if they're proper leather balls and they actually HIT something hmm

Sleeping - why does a car beeping frighten you? It's merely a way of letting the kids know it's coming - did you never play out and shout 'CAR' and all jump onto the pavement?

sleepingsowell Sun 15-May-11 18:42:11

ummm... because one day, it won't be a car beeping, it will be a car screeching along and not seeing a kid.

As I said in my previous post, kids DID and DO get run over.

There are opportunities for me to give my ds his freedom without playing lottery with his life.

TimeWasting Sun 15-May-11 20:48:43

Answer seems obvious to me. Restrict the cars not the children.

cheekymonk Wed 18-May-11 13:00:39

Well I have stopped DS playing football but let him carry on playing outside. He is not thrilled but grateful not to be completely banned like next door. Thanks for all your advice x

sally4619 Sun 26-Jun-11 01:35:50

Hi there,
I do think you have to be very careful about him playing in the street. I know that we all like to let our little ones fly the nest slightly, but, that can end in disaster! Six is a little too young i'm afraid to say. They are too vulnerable to traffic and possible 'not very nice people' that we have the misfortune to share our world with. I know that's the extreme but in my job I see it for how it really is and if parents knew what was really going on in the world they would never let their 6 year old out of sight. Sorry I don't mean to be dramatic!!
What about getting a local mothers watch group together and taking it in turns to watch the kids?
On another note.. this sounds like my worst nightmare.. 6 kids in the street playing football !! Can they not go to the park and give the neighbours a break? It is actually against the law to play football on the street. Sorry, again but my new born baby used to get woken up all the time by football in the street and shouting from the local kids. All harmless fun apart from being a new Mum listening to the constant thud of the football.
Good luck with the decision though. It's a tough one.

marytuda Sun 26-Jun-11 21:28:24

My nearly 4 yr old has just discovered the joys of playing outside with neighbouring kids; it has been a revelation to him (an only child with few playdates so far) & I wouldn't deprive him of it for the world. However it doesn't come stress-free; I too spend a lot of time craning my neck after him on my front doorstep. We are perhaps fortunate living in a cul-de-sac with green bit in the middle (on which the kids play). Cars edge slowly round looking for parking morning and evenings but that's basically all. Still it is depths of innercity in very "mixed" area, high levels of deprivation etc etc & all that that brings.
But my instincts tell me that the more experience & better local links my son builds over the years, the better he will be able to cope later on when he is responsible for himself out there. Though letting him out is not without risk, to me attempting to insulate him would actually be the risker option in the long term.

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