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Advice on playing out in street and on bike overprotective mom warning

(7 Posts)
espares Thu 25-Sep-08 10:46:07

My ds who is 8 in December has just got in with a group of children in our street and goes out every day on his bike with them.
My ds has never done this before and has always stayed in and played on his wii or the computer etc, so he has always been in the safety of his home.
He is my only dc so this is all new to me although I do realise that mates and play outside is good for children.
However I just can,t stop worrying about him getting run over by a car on his bike getting abducted by a stranger etc, and if I haven,t seen him for a while I start to panic and think about children who have mysteriously disappeared and have then been found dead and then panic sets in and I just have to go out and find him to check he is okay.
These children he plays with only live at the top end of our street and are roughly the same age, but another two he sometimes plays with are further around the block and are older at ten years of age.
I feel quite silly when I have gone to check on him and find he is in their house having fun on the xbox and I am sure that their parents must think I am crazy for checking.
I also worry about if he plays with the two ten year olds as he goes off round the block with them and of cocurse they are older and probably have more outside play experience what if they lead him off onot main roads on their bikes without my knowledge etc.
I worry about him making his way home from their houses even though I know he could quite easily make his way home its only around the block for gods sake.The thing is I don,t think he has enough road sense really for that there would only be one quiet road to cross coming back from their houses however.
Please advise or reassure an paronoid mom when do we let go and try and relax about these things.
Sorry I am hopeless at anything like this.
If he plays with the children at the top of the street they do come out on their bikes and do mostly ride up and down the path but I have also seen theem come out into the road and I have tried to encourage them to remain on the path they also spend time in the ones garden alot on the trampoline.
Do you think children are old enough at 7 to go off round the block to an older childs house to play and is it okay to rely on them to come back without checking on them or would that make me an irresponsible parent to just let him go and just expect him back when he has finished playing.
I don,t want to show my ds up in front of friends by looking like I am treating him like a baby.

Boyswillbeboys Thu 25-Sep-08 13:49:18

I completely understand your worries, being a paranoid parent myself! Mine are a bit younger so I haven't faced this yet, but firstly I would say that the risk of him being abducted is miniscule - the risk of him having an accident is much higher.
I know that at that age, I played out with friends and I guess that was the norm in those days, but there was much less traffic around. I would suggest talking to the other parents and finding out exactly what their rules are - how far the kids are allowed to go, etc. Then make sure he knows exactly what he is and is not allowed to do, maybe try to give him some road saftey advice so you know he will be sensible.

lulumama Thu 25-Sep-08 13:52:55

DS is jsut 9, he has been allowed to play out with friends in the street for a little while. however, there must be a group of them and tehy stay outside my house, where i will sit in the lounge and keep an eye.

if DS wishes to go to a friend's house on the same road, he has to tell me and I have to give my permission, if a friend knocks on to come in and play, i will call their parent and check they know their child is with me.

i think that is reasonable, i know where DS is and I don;t have other parents panicking wondering where their DCs are .

fruitful Thu 25-Sep-08 13:58:44

Work out what you want your rules to be, and don't worry about what the other parents think.

My oldest is 6 and is allowed to play outside, up to a certain point either way. She rides her bike on the pavement. If she wants to go to someone's house she has to come back and ask. If she brings friends back I check if the parents know. She knows not to go off anywhere with anyone ever. And it is a quiet road.

About the trampoline - we have friends with a large trampoline. It doesn't have a net and they let lots of kids on at once. I had a quiet word and said I didn't want my children on it so now they don't use it when we visit.

dinasaw Thu 25-Sep-08 14:06:32

Set clear boundaries of where he is allowed to go, such as no further than the big tree at the end of the road.
Find out all the friends names, where they live and get phone numbers. Make it clear to your son that he is only to go into those friend's houses. If he wants to go anywhere else he must come and ask you first.
We lived in a village when the dcs were this age. There were four or five kids all the same age who lived in various points about the village. We had a telephone system whereby the kids went out to play and we would ring each other to say they are just leaving mine heading for your house, so we could keep tabs on them. The kids had no idea we knew where they were every minute, they thought they had the run of the village.

CORNFLAKE2 Mon 29-Sep-08 20:56:12

I have let my 4 year old play out on the street for the last six months - the rules are he's on the neighbours or our drive (I know the other mum is keeping her eye out too or he plays scooter / bike on the path. We live in a cul de sac and I can see him from our front window.I have to keep checking on him and reinforcing the rules but I think there are far more advantages to letting him play with other kids than being stuck in than the risks of it. I am with him if he goes to someone else's to play except the nieghbours. He's started school now and if I know the parents and he's comfortable with it I would consider him playing for an afternoon at a friends. Sadly the risks of something bad happening to your child is more likely in your own family / friends than from a predatory peadophile; having worked in social services. When we brought our step son up (in the same house) he was about 12 before we let him go out of the street to other friends houses and we insisted we knew where he was going and gave a time to be back. Otherwise it was more formally arranged with the parents before that age.

sc12345 Wed 01-Oct-08 21:26:28

Hi, I have a four year old boy and a 6 year old girl and I also constantly panick about their safety. I have resigned myself to the fact that I have to loosen the apron strings a bit but have given myself a bit more peace of mind by buying them each an Emergency Bracelet. It has my mobile phone number on it in case they are in an emergency. I know it soesn't help in the case of abduction but at least I know I will be contacted if something goes wrong when they are out and about.

I got mine from Beadsafe and they are really good. Look on if you want to get them for your kids.


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