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How old were your children when they first went out alone?

(18 Posts)
Goldfish Sun 03-Apr-05 18:47:15

I have 2 dss, aged 10 and 11. The 11 year old is a real stay at home type, quite happy indoors and hardly ever ventures out alone. Ds2 however is like a caged animal and can't wait to get out with his mates on his own. He started to go out a bit last year but not for long. Now he goes out bit I always make sure I know where he is going and he has a set time to be home. He is pretty good about getting home on time. Some of his friends seem to run wild all day. They don't go home at meal times and no none seems to bother about them while other friends of his are not allowed out at all. I do worry when he is out as he goes out on his bike a lot. He hasn't got a mobile yet as I worry he will get it taken off him as I have heard of that happening. I just wondered how much freedom you give your children of about that age?

noddyholder Sun 03-Apr-05 19:19:14

my ds will be 11 in may and has started walking back from school with a friend and going to the park with his friends in the day sometimes.It is right by our house and we walk him there and he has to walk back with at least one other boy It is quite scary but I feel he needs to learn He has a set time to be back and so wears a watch if he's late there is big trouble!

victoriapeckham Sun 03-Apr-05 19:22:45

This is scariest bit of parenting so far, the letting go. My ds 9 has started going to Sainsbury on his own - it is very close, no roads to cross - which is great if you ve run out of bread, but i have to stop every fibre of my being walking down behind him. So many horribly busy main roads around here.

noddyholder Sun 03-Apr-05 19:24:19

I love the feeling of freedom but agree the temptation to follow is sometimes overwhelming!I sometimes sit in the park and read the paper if it is nice weather I am like a spy but who cares

happymerryberries Sun 03-Apr-05 19:25:55

my dd went to the shops on the campsite we visited last roads to cross etc. She is 8. She doesn't do it at home yet.

when I was a child I went to the shops for my mum from age 3-4...I kid you not!

zaphod Sun 03-Apr-05 19:27:52

I have a ds who is going to be 11 soon. He goes to other peoples houses to play and that, but often wants to walk into the (very) small town a mile away on his own. he goes straight there and back and takes my phone. I feel that I am over protective, but just at Christmas a boy his age was abducted and killed, and though I know how rare that is, it makes me cautious.

If he was going to be with a friend the whole time that would be okay. Though I would still be worried.

I do let the 3 older ones go off down the fields to play on their own, with no time limits, and they always come home when they are hungry(or wet)

tigi Sun 03-Apr-05 19:29:53

ds is 10 and a half, has been out to play since last summer, just to the park, wearing watch, and has never been late! He also walks to village school and home on his own.He now has a phone. arranges to meet a friend at the village shop, and they go walkabout, or the park. I phone him to tell him be home at such and such time, or he will phone me to ask for another half an hour, because so and so are still out. He is always home before dusk. He is sensible, so I am happy with this,

Goldfish Sun 03-Apr-05 19:38:26

Its is really hard though isn't it? I must admit I find the time at home when ds is out is great, I get so much done, but 10 minutes before he is due home I am looking out of the gate to see if I can see him coming. I watched Mystic River last night where an 11 year old is tricked into getting into a car and abducted and it really put the wind up me, so when ds wanted to go out this morning I went over it all again, don't speak to strangers, never get into someones car and hes saying Yes, Mum, I KNOW all that, I am not stupid. But when hes safe in bed at night I know I can relax.

crystaltips Sun 03-Apr-05 19:40:58

How old do you think they should be to leave them in the house on their own for - say - an hour ???

tigi Sun 03-Apr-05 19:46:12

They are supposed to be 14 to be left for a long period I think. I have gone out and left mine for half - to an hour, with instructions, don't answer door. To my mind it is the same as him being out on his own playing.

Tortington Sun 03-Apr-05 20:30:51

mt 12 year old are allowed to play on the street only - its a cul de sac. i can step out the door and they will be there playing football or kerby or at their riends accross the road or next door. they come in on a regular basis for food - yoghurts, bananas, cheese butty and such

my 15 yr old is allowed to go to town and to his mates - but i must know where he is - if he leaves early say 10 am ish i want toknow hes not dead by 4 o'clock then he can go out til 8pm. all inside at 8pm. this is fluid and will change with summer olidays and longer nights. last year my eldest had to report back at 8pm then could remain out on the street until the street lights came on ( this negates the excuse of no watch) you cant miss the street lights!! twins inside at 7 on school nights - and this doesnot apply in winter -in winter they are all in when its dark at 4pm no matter how much they whinge.

kama Sun 03-Apr-05 20:33:53

Message withdrawn

Goldfish Sun 03-Apr-05 20:39:55

He does call from his BFs house which is quite near the park where they play and his BFs Mum is really good about it. Like you Custardo no one is allowed out after 4 in winter when it is dark. In the summer we do get a lot of traffic as we live in a seaside resort and we get lots of people whizzing around not really knowing where they are going. But I know I have got to let him go. He is much more streetwise than his brother who is a year older.

galaxy Sun 03-Apr-05 20:59:05

ds has just turned 12 and is now allowed to walk to the leisure centre for swimming on a Satruday morning (about 20 minutes walk through the town centre), to the local shop and to school.

Has been allowed out around the estate for a couple of years on his bike but always checks in after 20 minutes.

Shazzler Sun 03-Apr-05 21:18:18

My ds walks up a path to the next housing scheme to go to his grans. It is about 300 yds! He was about 3 1/2 when he started this. I would phone up my mum to say he was coming and she would come out her garden and wait for him. It made him feel like a big boy and was great when I was pg with dd. I'm not sure when I would let him walk any further.

tigermoth Mon 04-Apr-05 07:58:14

my oldest son (Now nearly 11) used to play out (just a little) from the age of four and a half (our house, at the time, overlooked a tiny playground). He actually doens't seem to like playing out now. Although we live in a quietish street, where other children play out, he finds hanging around with them boring. He likes going to the nearby co op for shopping - very useful! There is a large common nearby, but it means crossing a very busy road and as yet, we haven't allowed him to do this alone. He would like this freedom as he enjoys playing cricket and football. Unfortunately he has no local friends who would want to go with him and play. He knows one sporty boy ( age 11) but his very protective parents who don't let them play out at all. A great pity as I would trust the boys if they were together.

I am not too keen on my son approaching groups of strangers (many of them adults) even if all they are doing is running after a ball. Might revise this rule in the summer. Like Custardo, our rules are open to revision all the time and also depend on how light the nights are.

bensmum3 Mon 04-Apr-05 15:34:54

Dd 10 and Ds 7 walk to school together, 1/2 mile across fields, I usually collect ds just to make sure I get some exercise and dd comes home by herself. They both go to friends on their own,and really have as much freedom as they like because of where we live, but dd will live in a hostel when she goes to high school at 12, not sure I will feel so confident then.

mumeeee Tue 05-Apr-05 11:45:48

DD3 13 goes to the local park (has done this since 10), to sometimes walks to Drama club on saturday norning 5 minutes walk and she goes into the next street to visit and play with friends when she does this she comes backwards and forwards all day she has to be in before it gets dark. She is also allowed to go to town with her friends but she hasn't done that yet. DD2 15 goes to town and cinema with her friends, she also goes to her friends on the bus and goes swimming with them. The time she has to be in varies according on what she is doing. Earliest is 6.30 and latest is 9.00 ( unless she has gone to a party). She can make her own decisions on what she does, but always has to tell us where she is going and discuss when she will be home. She gets a lift or is picked up if it is going to be after 7.30. DD 1 was 18 on Sunday and makes her own decisions on what and where she goes. She always has to tell us where shwe is going and is picked up if she is coming home after dark.

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