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How old is old enough to play out? Should i let them play? WWYD?

(11 Posts)
Reginaphilangy Sat 20-Sep-08 10:49:29

Advice needed on whether or not to allow my dd's to play out on the front. Here is my scenario and the reason that i ask:

Our house is on a road that isn't overlooked at the front (so houses down just one side) and the road is quiet at most times of the day (its basically an access only road), however, traffic can travel quite fast at times down the road despite there being bollards to slow it down. It is a 30mph zone.

I have 3 children. The youngest is just a baby, so won't be playing out for a good while yet, the older two are 8 and 5.

My eldest is a very very sensible little girl and i trust her to play out. There is no-body at our end of the road to play with, so we are discussing whether to let her sister (aged 5) play out with her. Dd2 however, is a little <ahem> wilder than dd1 although i do think that she would do as dd1 tells her to do and don't think she would get into bother.

Both girls know not to cross the road and i wouldn't allow them to play ball out there because i wouldln't trust either of them not to run into the road.

A little further up the road, prob about 100 yards, there are a couple of other little girls (similar ages to dd1 and dd2) who play out occasionally (i think its grandmas house)

Question 1 - would you let your 5yo play on the front with your 8 yo (in the circumstances described above)?
Question 2 - would you let your 8 yo go up the road (and out of sight) to play with other children?
Question 3 - would you let both of them go up the road to play with the other little girls? (i would never allow my 5 yo to go alone - only accompanied by her sister)

Advice please - WWYD?

themildmannneredjanitor Sat 20-Sep-08 10:52:00

yes i would allow the 5 year old out with the 8 year old.

no i wouldn't allow them out of sight.

my 8 yo and 5 yo play out the front together.
the rules are; no crossing the road and no going out of sight of the house.

chapstickchick Sat 20-Sep-08 10:53:52

no i wouldnt im afraid it would be unfair to have your eldest dd 'in charge' and once you start letting them play out its hard to stop,its autumn now and dark nights are here leave it til next summer when both girls are a bit older.

i wouldnt let them play up the road either because if it were me id be constantly checking and be very worried.

SummatAnNowt Sat 20-Sep-08 11:20:31

I can't know for sure the car situation, but if you're certain it would be okay then I'd definitely allow 1 and 2, not sure about 3 as again it depends on the road and your 5 yo.

As for "unfair" about eldest in charge, that's life. Older kids look after younger kids, they do it even when they're not related. I don't think it's healthy for society for each child to be an island with as little familial responsibility as possible.

Just keep an eye out at first for issues that may arise. Like maybe if they can be trusted to play closer you can let them go further down etc. This is what we did with ds (4).

ChasingSquirrels Sat 20-Sep-08 11:24:56

1, yes - though would ask if there is a need for it, can't they play in your garden if they are just playing together.
2, yes.
3, probably not, based on what you are saying about your 5yo.

chapstickchick Sat 20-Sep-08 11:26:34

what i meant was it was unfair to put the responsibility of the wilder younger child onto the older child who herself is only 8- i certainly wouldnt put that responsibility on my 8 year old,i would ask him to watch a younger child but not to ensure the younger child didnt go into a busy road.

themildmannneredjanitor Sat 20-Sep-08 11:28:03

but would the front door not be open and regina checking every 5 mins or so?

PeaMcLean Sat 20-Sep-08 11:29:55

No.
Yes in the circumstances you describe.
No.

I'd let the 8 yo go as you're confident she's fine.

I'd tell the 5 yo she can go when she's old enough and that will be when you can trust her to be good.

Reginaphilangy Sat 20-Sep-08 12:14:08

Oh yes, the door would be open and we would check every 5 minutes or so.

I dont have a problem asking my 8 yr old to watch the 5 yr old - as summatannowt says, i think its a Good Thing for them to learn to look out for each other. My 5 yo also looks out for her quieter, less assertive older sister when they're at soft play etc ...works both ways smile

The road isn't busy but the traffic isn't reliable either so its hard to say what the right thing to do is.

I think i'm swaying to letting them play together on the front in sight and maybe waiting til next summer before i make any other decisions.

ChasingSquirrels - you say "though would ask if there is a need for it, can't they play in your garden if they are just playing together"

I know!! I totally agree! Its silly isn't it? They have a swing, slide, see-saw and playhouse in the safe and secure back garden ...they are just desperate to play out on the front!! hmm

brimfull Sat 20-Sep-08 12:16:34

yes to all three questions

ChasingSquirrels Sat 20-Sep-08 12:16:34

kids hey!

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