they are 7 and 4.5.
We live on an estate and our bit of the road is a cul-de-sac which people frequently use to turn their cars around in.
There are 2 lovely little girls living over the road who are similar ages who keep knocking on the door and asking if the DSs can come out. I feel so guilty saying no but I just don't think that DS1 is sensible enough to be out there without me or DH and I don't think DS2 is old enough.
The girl's are always watched while they are out by one of their parents but as I don't know them well I don't think it right to ask them to watch my kids too. I don't have the time (or the inclination to be honest) to sit on my doorstep all day to keep an eye on the kids while they play out, especially not when they have a good enough garden with a trampoline and an area to ride bikes/scooters on.
I also don't really want a house/garden full of other people's kids as I have a job working from home which often keeps me busy on the phone - am I doing the right thing to keep mine in?
if the other children's parents are out watching them then I would let them out. But I would go and say hi to the parents and make sure they don't mind watching them first.
I think it's really lovely that the little girls want your boys to play- so many children don't have that these days (have fond memories of playing wih kids round our street)
Otherwise I would let the girls in to play in the garden.
Trouble with DS1 is that although he knows his boundaries, he is not happy to stay within them and often goes further than he should when he is out the front. I don't think it is fair to ask someone else's parents to watch him and also don't feel comfortable with it.
I have had the girls in the garden to play before but they are always asking for a drink, something to eat, can they go upstairs etc, they are very polite about it but don't like the answer no.
omg today on my way to shops, saw two little girls maybe 4-5 in just their knickers and their shoes near the road with no sight of their an adult about. i kept asking where their parents where and where they lived but they wouldnt answer. this other man fixing his car said they were there for 20 minutes with no adults checking on them and hed tried taking them to their house but they wouldn go. he told me where they lived and we both took them back to their door which was on the road but their mum could not possible see them from!
Dd (5) cycles her bike on the pavement up and down our road. She is allowed about 6 houses either side of ours, she knows where she has to turn around. And I trust her not to talk to unknown grown-ups or go off with anyone, or go off at all. And we only do it when I am at the front of the house and can make sure I see her riding past and can check if she stops. And the road is a dead-end 6 houses past ours, and very quiet.
But we don't do it that often cos ds is 2.5 and wants to go out too, which involves me going out as well.
Don't feel pressured into letting them play out, do what feels right.
Mine are 8 and 5 and don't play out but I live on a busy road and also it's not the accepted thing round here for young children to play in the street (London) - I think it's different in different regions and on quiet estates though. I have friends in Scotland whose children have played out the front since they were three - I was horrified but it's a very different place there to where I live.
I have had 6 kids in my pool all day from 11-4 - I feel happier knowing where they are.
I get cross at those type of articles too Dinosaur, I think there are far too many cars about and not enough sense of community these days. I do wish I felt happy giving my kids the type of freedom I had as a child but truth be told it is a different world out there now.
I didn't play in the street much until I got my bike aged about 8 and was allowed to ride it so many houses up and down the street. My dd has played in the snow with the children over the road when their school was shut but that was a one-off. The boys next door play out in the street quite often but there are two of them (often more with friends).
In a similar situation, my dd (almost 5) wants to play out the front of our house with our neighbours wee girl (7). I only let her once or twice a week, and then only with myself or dh out keeping an eye on them. Then one other afternoon the girl comes & plays in our garden. Like you, the constant in and out & asking for things & cheekiness etc does my head in, but I give in one day a week! Maybe you could compromise in a simlar way?
We live in a cul de sac in Hertfordshire and all the children are out, probably about 15 on some days, from the age of about 4 up.
Know how you feel Becklespeckle when you are trying to work from home. I have had over the last few weeks with dc's bring their friends in and end up asking for this and that.It is difficult to concentrate. Mine are now 9 and 11 and I basically have to tell them their either in or out, but not in and out and bringing friends through to see the guinea pigs.