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Thoughts on letting a 6 year old play out of sight and having a mobile for security

(21 Posts)
tousled Sun 23-Sep-12 17:33:58

I just read the latest post on this Facebook page, fab Wedding blog, but I have been left a bit shock at the thought of a 6 year old playing out of sight and having a mobile phone. The lady who writes the blog is asking parents for opinions, so I'm interested what Mumsnetters thoughts are on this subject?

YouOldSlag Sun 23-Sep-12 17:36:20

Not something I would do. I prefer to be able to see my 6yo.

boredandrestless Sun 23-Sep-12 17:40:47

My son is almost 8. He still doesn't play out of sight (except for at the park in a large play area while I read a book). He wouldn't know what to do with a mobile phone.

What's a 6 year old going to do with a mobile phone in an emergency!?! hmm

tousled Sun 23-Sep-12 17:45:03

boredandrestless Exactly my thoughts!! and she says her house is only a matter of seconds away from where her daughter is playing if she needed her she could run around the corner, not much help if the emergency is she's just been grabbed.. I have a 4 year old and a 5 year old and at the moment I couldn't imagine letting them play out of sight at 6 or 7.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Sep-12 17:49:11

IMO 6 is too young.

purplehouse Sun 23-Sep-12 17:51:56

I have a 6yo and I wouldn't.

YouOldSlag Sun 23-Sep-12 17:55:05

If the 6yo gets abducted, attacked, gets a head injury or gets injured, how are they going to ring their Mum?

How about if their Mum rings them on the mobile and they have wandered off and got lost or run over?

How lazy can you get? She should just watch her kids!

rubyslippers Sun 23-Sep-12 17:55:54

Not a chance

Even if I was comfortable with it, my child wouldn't be

birdsofshoreandsea Sun 23-Sep-12 17:56:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 23-Sep-12 17:59:15

my 6yo plays out of sight, mostly just down the end of the road riding his bike on the hardstanding by the communal garages, with his older brother (10yo), or an older (8yo) friend, or occasionally on his own.
He doesn't have a mobile phone though.

The chances of children being abducted is really very low, and no different than it was 35 years ago when I was a child.

My main concern in terms of my children's safety when they are on there own is by far and away road traffic.

TaperJeanGirl Sun 23-Sep-12 18:04:14

Asking for the kid to be mugged, not a chance would my 7 year old a, be out of sight, and b, walk about on her own with a mobile....

TunipTheVegemal Sun 23-Sep-12 18:05:36

A walkie talkie is better. When I use mine the purpose is to call them up every few minutes to check they are ok more than for them to call me for help. It doesn't mean you just let them run wild but with a trustworthy child it's a good way to stretch their independence a little.
A 6 year old should not roam free but they should not need watching every moment of the day either.

boredandrestless Sun 23-Sep-12 18:05:59

Yes I guess it depends on your environment, the playing alone. I live in a busy industrial area and my DS has no road sense, if I lived in a quiet community it may be different.

TunipTheVegemal Sun 23-Sep-12 18:07:02

yes, environment and child's personality.

maxmillie Sun 23-Sep-12 18:07:41

6 is too young imo

tittytittyhanghang Sun 23-Sep-12 18:12:15

yes to playing out of sight, and yes to mobile, but only if you think your 6 year old wouldn't lose/break it or be mugged for it.

CMOTDibbler Sun 23-Sep-12 18:16:58

Far too young. The other week, dh came upon an 8 yr old and his 6 yr old brother who had been allowed to go across to the park on their own (small, v safe town). Trouble was, they'd decided to scoot in the skate park, and the 8yr old had a v nasty fall and gave himself a significant head injury. DH waited with minimally concious child for 45 min till the ambulance came, and the PCSO eventually came and tracked parents down.
Its not about what is around your child, but they are too young to assess risks themselves - they live in the present

mrsmoodypants Sun 23-Sep-12 18:30:48

I have a seriously sensible just turned 7 year answer is stll NO CHANCE! I may be paranoid and I accept that you need to gradually introduce some independence but i think it's a bit too young still. Perhaps depends on your area, community, roads/traffic etc.

I saw that Holly & Jessica program not so long ago and that made me want to keep our kids playing in our own garden until they are old enough to afford their own house sad

charade Sun 23-Sep-12 18:35:57

My 6 yo plays out of sight on our small estate. I wouldn't give her a phone though. I don't think she needs the responsibility of looking after one.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Sep-12 18:46:35

Too young, IMO. Don't really get this whole they-have-to-play-out-and-out-of-site-young to gain sense. I've always been very sensible and independent but because I lived in a large city with a lot of traffic, wasn't allowed to play out until I was about 11.

Polygon Sun 23-Sep-12 20:21:49

CMOTDibbler´s story does make a point. On the other hand, accidents can happen at any age. My aunt always tells the story about a childminder who bumped her head and fell unconscious while in charge of 3 small children out shopping. Leaving the shop assistants with an unconscious customer and 3 unattended toddlers!
I would also generally say no mobile and playing out of sight only under very particular circumstances. My dd (6) is allowed to go round the block on her own so I know that if she´s not back within 3 minutes, I´ll go looking for her. Still, I don´t live in the UK and here it is thought really damaging to children to be treated as if they are not capable a - fairly high - level of independence aged 6. I am very English in this and don´t like to give my dd this independence but I do have a bad conscience. Dd´s teachers complain that she has not had the chance to learn to be more independent and so confident. They feel it means she has not needed to think for herself or take responsibility as much. Maybe the 8 year old in CMOTDibbler´s story could have been better supported by the parents at an earlier age to learn to be safe - or perhaps it is just that we can´t protect our kids from all accidents - not even when they are adult.
Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer was a book that showed me that this thinking was starting to come in in the UK as well. Just that from my own childhood where I only ever played in our garden and never had any friends in our neighbourhood, I still don´t dare let dd the freedom the other kids around us have.

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