I genuinely don’t know if I am being over protective or not. Camping this weekend with ds (6) other 6 year olds in our group were allowed to wander around the campsite with each other but no adult. I wasn’t happy for ds to do this so we had a few tantrums. To be fair they were only going to the play park and back but I am just not comfortable with him being out of my sight. Is it normal for 6 year olds to be left to roam the campsite?
We let our 5 and almost 4 DCs roam the campsite last week. They had rules that they needed to be able to see the tent at all times (tall teepee on the top of a hill), they had to tell us where they were going, and that if they were playing in the stream they had to be together. They happily went down to the loos by themselves. They were within shouting distance the whole time. I think by next summer I'd be happy for them to go a bit further afield. I trust them to come and tell us if anything is wrong, if they're happy I'm happy!
I'd say not roaming exactly. To the loo and back, sure. Playing within earshot when the adults are pottering about, fine. Taking the walkie talkies to the playground and checking in, cool.
Last summer the 9yo was allowed to join an enormous complicated game of hide and seek that took place over dusk, on condition he was back by 9pm. He was back at about quarter to because the only child with a watch had an earlier curfew
I can understand why you'd worry about being overprotective (and also worry about children unsupervised). We've just had the same thing at a lovely little campsite and almost all the kids roamed about on their own. Was a bit out of our comfort zone but DD (5) was really keen to go off and play with a friend she made, who was 7. It was fine. If we couldn't see her, we could hear her.
One of the things I love about camping is that kids get a bit more freedom and make friends.
If we are camping with friends I always make sure I have a serious conversation with dd on her own to set boundaries and discuss what she would do in certain situations. And she knows that I am trusting her and if she breaks that trust she won’t be allowed the freedom.
Yes I would. Thats one of the reasons we like taking the DCs camping as it gives them the freedom they can’t have at home. We set a few rules - eg they aren’t allowed to go off by themselves, always in a group, don’t leave anyone behind, and they have to tell us where they are going before they go off. Also no wandering into other people’s camps!
I think it’s good for children to have unstructured unsupervised playtime. It helps them to think independently and assess risks. I wouldn’t let a 3 yr old do it, but by 6 I think they have a little common sense and can follow simple rules. Walkie talkies are good. Another thing we did at a larger site was get a wind sock on a long telescopic flagpole, so the DCs could always see our tent!
In my experience of camping all the kids had freedom by age 6 but we stay at campsites without roads running through them so cars are very slow and for families only and not too big. Why don't you post here first to get help selecting a campsite to ensure it would be safe so your child could have the freedom as that is the fun of camping. Some are safe even for much younger. I remember one with playground/sandpit in the middle of a field and whole field enclosed with tents just around the edges so all the very young kids could play together but could be seen by every pitch - it was perfect even for pre schoolers to have fun but feel free.
Camping recently I let my 7 year old go to the playground all she wanted by herself (and loo!) but said no when she wanted to "go exploring" - maybe if we were more familiar with the campsite, but I hadn't been around it myself.
I totally used to let dd from the age of 6yo roam around a campsite unsupervised. As long as she’d made friends and they were together and she knew if they left to go back to their tent she had to come back.