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in not letting my child six and four play out?

56 replies

gkys · 28/04/2011 13:27

i was visiting a friend over the bank holiday, her boys the same age. were playing with a friend down the road, ok its a quiet cul de sac, (and i am guilty of being a bit precious about the boys) i let them out there while dh was watching, but called them in when he came inside, or rather he did.
my friend implied that i was somehow impeeding the boys development, her arguement being that theey have to learn to be streetwise. I diagree, thinking that they are too young have no road sense. the boys offen visit after school etc aibu to state that i don't want them playing in the street?

OP posts:
PrincessBananaGrabber · 28/04/2011 15:05

I don't let my 7 and 9 year old DS's out where I can't see them, front and back garden only. My 9 year old is dozy around traffic, although we don't live on a busy road. I am very overprotective, I have come to terms with this fact.

farkthatforagameofsoldiers · 28/04/2011 15:08

No chance, especially where I live.

My kids are out enjoying the sunshine, with me. We spend all day at local parks in summer.

HappyMummyOfOne · 28/04/2011 15:31

YANBU, DS is 8 and I dont let him play in the cul de sac alone. Too young and it only takes a moment for him to lose concentration and not see a car etc. I hate seeing young children out without adults as numerous things can go wrong.

WhiteBumOfTheMountain · 28/04/2011 15:34

It's miserable if kids ver 7 are not allowed out...y DD is almost 7 and I let her out on the front lawn whch is not enclosed...the neighbours dont let theirs out at all and she is nearly 8! She looks out of the window and waves at my DD with a face like this Sad

expatinscotland · 28/04/2011 15:35

'i for one find it terribly sad that kids are not out enjoying this sunshine'

Mine were at school.

WhiteBumOfTheMountain · 28/04/2011 15:36

I played out all the did millions of kids way back before the press had scared the crap out of us all.

follyfoot · 28/04/2011 15:37

Blimey I dont know how my DD and DSSs have survived Grin

Completely get the swimming pool/pond/traffic thing but not to let an 8 or 9 year old play outside unless being watched? Really? That makes me a bit sad.

expatinscotland · 28/04/2011 15:39

'I played out all the did millions of kids way back before the press had scared the crap out of us all.'

And millions more cars got on the road, and people stopped having any sense of societal responsibility, and people didn't have to work all the hours God sends to keep the wolf from the door therefore the kids have to go into childcare after school.

I used to play out, too.

That was nearly 40 years ago.

Times have changed.

expatinscotland · 28/04/2011 15:41

'Completely get the swimming pool/pond/traffic thing but not to let an 8 or 9 year old play outside unless being watched? Really? That makes me a bit sad.'

There's no garden in this block of flats, only a paved car park and then the main road with no lights and a 40mph speed limit.

Why assume everyone lives in a nice house on a quiet street in suburbia?

I know some people who don't let their kids play out because they live in really dire estates full of gangs, drugs, used needles and broken glass, etc.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack · 28/04/2011 15:42

exactly what expat says - too many cars DS is not allowed out the front more for fear of getting run over than stranger danger.

When I was a kid we went off on our bikes from morning till late afternoon but that was in the 80's - times have def changed!

I have a perfectly adequate back garden so DS can play in that - if he wants to go anywhere else I will take him or he cant go!

expatinscotland · 28/04/2011 15:48

I often feel like the only person on MN who lives in a flat.

The flat we had before this was 2nd floor, and again, the communal garden had been turned into a car park.

It was on a side street of a major road in Edinburgh with cars parked on both sides that will soon have trams booking it along.

Not exactly condusive to 'playing out'.

follyfoot · 28/04/2011 15:49

I was referring to the comments from those who only let the children play whilst visible in their garden expat, which probably means they dont live in a flat

expatinscotland · 28/04/2011 15:50

But they may live on a busy road, or in a rough area or not be home until dinnertime because they have to work. It's not 1977 anymore.

follyfoot · 28/04/2011 15:54

Hence the comment of getting the 'traffic' issue...


A 'quiet cul de sac' was what was stated, so I doubt it was 'a busy road' in reality...

bumpsoon · 28/04/2011 15:55

Whilst i would happily allow mine to play out in our culdesac from that age ,i can understand why you might not want to . My children have been brought up playing out here ,obvioulsey supervised to begin with ,so have learnt the boundaries and had them reinforced over and over and over again !!! a visiting child might not grasp them on their first visit so would supervise them .

bruffin · 28/04/2011 15:55

"I hate seeing young children out without adults as numerous things can go wrong."

8 is hardly a young child. As I said above a lot of the young children played out from 4. They are all teenagers now and some have gone off to uni without coming to any harm.

I used to play out in the 60's and we knew about stranger danger- it isn't the press that causes the problem. We were all aware of dodgy men in the ladies toilets and strangers stopping cars but we were still allowed to play out and that was in the days when Hindley and Brady were still very fresh in peoples minds.
I wouldn't let my children play out where I did because of the cars, but our culdesac cars are not a problem.

expatinscotland · 28/04/2011 16:00

The English are very hung up on this idea of playing out and that a person will somehow be warped by not hooning around in the road on their own shortly after he/she can stand up.

It's very strange.

WhiteBumOfTheMountain · 28/04/2011 16:02

Right. I am guilty of assuming everyone lives in a quiet, clean area. Not the case. Sorry. I ave lived on a bad council esate in London and no way would my DC have been allowed out.

I DO get frustrated here is a VERY quiet cul-de-sac...we are at the end...I know all he neigbours and chat to the lady over the road all the time...she's vry nice and frinedly but she has not once let her DD ut to play with mine.

Both girls are frustrated...I even asked her and her DD to play oncein our garden but she's a singe Mum and she works a I guess she wants to be quiet with her DD when she gets time at home with her.

Should I ask again? Last time I asked was a year or more ago...I have no reason to think she doesn't like us.

farkthatforagameofsoldiers · 28/04/2011 16:09

I agree entirely with expat and I live in a flat too.

I did some dangerous stuff playing out, unsupervised when I was a kid, because kids are daft, I don't get this shoving them out to play thing either.

Geocentric · 28/04/2011 17:13

Btw, re my earlier comments, the DC are 6 and 8 now and do play in the garden unsupervised - was talking about when they were 6 and 4, like OP!! (they are not allowed in the pool on their own, though)

Funnily enough, when I was a child in England I wasn't allowed on the street b/cause of traffic (could only walk to a neighbour's house with both mums watching from gates) but when I moved to Brazil I played on the streets, rode bikes around etc... Grin

Geocentric · 28/04/2011 17:14

(not being very clear - just meant funny re people's peceptions of safe - you would imagine England safer than Brazil!!)

Rowgtfc72 · 28/04/2011 17:35

DD is 4 and currently playing on the front with friends. Its a side street so not extremely busy. She knows which trees she can go up to and is only allowed out if other kids are out (next doors dd is nearly 7). She would be the only kid not out otherwise. I agree 4 is too young but the doors and windows are open and I stay in the front of the house and feel like such a mean parent when there are lots of kids outside and mine is stuck in. Luckily dd is a sensible 4 (going on 40)!

4madboys · 28/04/2011 17:50

the 6 yr old yes, the 4 yr old would depend on the child and the circumstances, i live in a quiet cul de sac and all the kids play out, my 8 yr old is out at the moment and with the sunny days over easter my 6yr old was out as well.

BUT i can look out of my front living rm window or kitchen window and see them and i nip my head out the front door and check on them every so often, i let my 3yr old play out in the front driveway but it is gated and fenced in, and he knows not to go out in the cul de sac. he needs supervision ie i sit out on the bench in the front garden/driveway as he scooters up and down.

i have set limits for mine ie they can play out the front of our house and the ones to the right but they are to go no further than a certain lampost. it works for us :)

previously we lived on a busier road and there was NO way i would let them out.

my 11 yr old has in the last year started going into town (20min walk) on his own to the cinema etc and he goes to the local park.

oh and we have a shop 3mins walk from our house, i now let the 8 yr old go there on his own, ie to buy a packet of match attax cards, he knows to go straight there and back adn only has to cross two small, quiet roads, we live on a housing estate.

it IS hard letting them do these things but my eldest started high school 2 wks after his 11th birthday and you do have to let them start having freedom in preparation for high school etc. but it is ALL dependent on where you live and most importantly the traffic around where you live.

Kallista · 28/04/2011 18:09

None of the kids here aged under 9 play out on or round my estate. There are dark wooded cut throughs where local junkies hang out. Residents don't want kids playing near their parked cars; also local lads drive too fast. The park is across 5 busy lanes of traffic. Etc, etc.. Luckily most families have small gardens.
So YANBU op, IME age 4 + 6 are far too young to be out without you.

Fernie3 · 28/04/2011 18:23

I wouldnt let my 6 and 4 year old out in the street alone. My sister was run over by a bike while we were playing in a cul de sac when where she was 9 so i am terrified of something coming even on the quietest if roads!.

plus my 4 year old manages to get into trouble in the garden let alone out on the street!

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