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Would you let them camp in the garden?

(20 Posts)
swedishmum Wed 03-Aug-05 13:52:02

My 3 older children want to camp in the garden - My reaction was a definite no. Am I being over-protective? They are dd11, dd9 and ds8. We are in the countryside and to be honest they'd probably be back in their beds by 11pm but I also have a baby and dh is away.

starlover Wed 03-Aug-05 14:05:32

yes, i would

Janbo25 Wed 03-Aug-05 14:06:17

i think it would all depend on how safe i felt my garden was

hercules Wed 03-Aug-05 14:09:51


tarantula Wed 03-Aug-05 14:10:09

dss has asked to camp in the garden a few times and we have let him. He is 13 now and first did it when he was 12 and he seemed to enjoy it tho we were convinced that he wouldnt stay the night. He did last the night and enjoyed it too. He hoping to get his cusin over and they might camp out this summer (not sure if his cousin will want to when the time comes so we'll have to see).

TBH if dp was away Id be far more wary of letting kids camp out as we left the back door open for dss and Id not be happy doing this without dp in the house.

Janbo25 Wed 03-Aug-05 15:17:13

just go with your gut instinct

poppyseed Wed 03-Aug-05 15:19:14

We've let DD (6) but only with Daddy there too. If you have concerns maybe wait until DH is back? Gut instincts are usually right.

Janbo25 Wed 03-Aug-05 15:19:36

thats what i'd do

swedishmum Wed 03-Aug-05 22:54:15

Thank you for your replies. Have agreed to wait till dh home, and one of us will sleep downstairs with patio door unlocked so they can get in. I wish I was a cooler, braver mum sometimes but I do tend to be a bit less brave when dh is away. Maybe I just feel responsible for both of us. Part of my reasoning was that I'd get no sleep and that would make tomorrow terrible for all of us.
Roll on the weekend!

CountessDracula Wed 03-Aug-05 23:01:02

yes I would defo

assumedname Wed 03-Aug-05 23:07:10

I wouldn't. Some kids in the same town as us were camping in their garden and there was some sort of incident. I only remember vaguely but I think a stranger got in the garden.

This was in a town, though - you'd probably be a lot safer in the countryside.

What about setting up the tent so it's fun to play in during the day, letting them eat tea in it and stay out for a bit as the evening draws in? You could set a cutoff time for whatever you're comfortable with.

swedishmum Wed 03-Aug-05 23:14:48

Am going to be semi brave tomorrow assuming it's not raining and have a cook out then let them stay up till late. Good suggestion assumedname.

Was so proud of 8 and 9 year old for working out how tent went up in the first place!!

makealist Wed 03-Aug-05 23:17:45

I spent 2 nights last week sleeping with ds2 age 7 in a tent in the back garden and 1 night with ds2 and his best mate also 7. We had a great time even though a couple of times I didn't feel quite so brave as I thought I could hear things

I did say to ds1 age14 that he and a friend could sleep in the tent, but he informed me "no way, thats gay!" ( Personally I think he was too scared to!)
Anyway back to your question, yes I would, but sleep downstairs with the door unlocked.

saadia Wed 03-Aug-05 23:35:33

I wouldn't let them stay out all night. Sorry to be melodramatic but I remember when I was a child there was a story on the news about something awful that happened to children that were camping in their garden. Also, because I'm such a wuss I would also be worried about foxes.

Caligula Wed 03-Aug-05 23:39:50

No I wouldn't. Like Saadia, I remember that case of three children camping in the garden and one being murdered. I just wouldn't be able to sleep myself all night knowing they were there. But I know I'm paranoid.

swedishmum Wed 03-Aug-05 23:48:35

I think that case is at the back of my head somewhere. I know we live in deepest Kent but it only takes one nutter.... It's so hard, especially in the country, teaching children to grow up without fear but be aware. I felt so much safer in Stockholm.

Caligula Wed 03-Aug-05 23:52:19

You probably were so much safer in Stockholm! Isn't crime much lower in Scandinavia?

If they really want to do it and they were young enough to be lifted without waking, I'd probably let them fall asleep there and then bring them in. I do remember my brother doing it with a friend and them getting scared and coming in of their own accord.

swedishmum Thu 04-Aug-05 00:02:44

Yes central Stockholm felt safer than chocolate box Kent! I think I'm finding it hard adjusting back to country life but that's a whole other panic... 3 months ago my kids were travelling alone on public transport and going off by themselves for an hour in a caspital city. Now I'm worried about letting them be alone in a sleepy hamlet. I can't decide if it's my irrational fear, media mis-representation or a valid concern. But they are my life and I know I'll be over-protective because I won't get a second chance. I just hope I can do this and give them a sense of adventure at the same time. If anyone's achieved this, please let me know how!

northerndad Thu 04-Aug-05 01:30:40

you're instinct was right, or else you wouldn't have aired doubts. wait until ds gets home and one of you stay in hearing distance with door unlocked (probably not u). my kids have camped out a lot over the years and I felt safer when we roughed it on the moors rather than a tent in the garden, although as they got older I felt for the poor neighbours. if the tent is up you'll need a good diversion to get them back in without bother. have fun.

swedishmum Thu 04-Aug-05 01:39:38

Just what I love about mumsnet. I can be talked through something like this, and don't feel I'm on my own. Many thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond. Dh home on Friday - yet to break it to him that he's spending the weekend camping. He's very much Mr hotel with room service.... should be a laugh!

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