Lowdown Chat: Give them freedom?
Going to the park for most children, is the best way to while away an afternoon - but would you let them go alone? We take a look at your latest discussion on the balance of freedom and safety.
Kayleigh started a very interesting discussion in the group this week that read;
Hey biggest group and all that. My son is 8 almost 9 and he really wants to go to the park on his own with his friends, the park is probably 5 minute walk from our house if that but I’m obviously concerned about him being out on his own, I’ve downloaded the Life360 app to track on an old iPhone we have at the house, but still naturally concerned. What age do people feel okay with letting their little ones go out alone, i know he will be at some point but just super worried
Nearly two thousand of you had your say on this post! With over 195,100 people reading.
Read on to find out what people from Family Lowdown had to say:
"I wouldn't be letting them go on their own till 13 there bad ppl out there take advantage of the kids keep them safe long you can."
"Depends on the child & the area. We let our son go to the park around the corner with friends from age 8 but I would often walk the dog in the same area while he was playing in the park so I could keep an eye on him."
"My 3 girls often go to the park together with their friend they are 12,11,8 the friend is 12 the parks about 10 min walk from our house they all have mobiles and all know to stick together and I track them on life 360.... they had been playing on the street together with friends since youngest girl was 4 my son on the other hand is 5 and is nowhere near ready to go out to play on his own."
"My daughter is 6 currently so I can't compare but I already know I won't be letting her out at 9 on her own with friends or not. It won't be her I don't trust its the bad people out there. This is just my opinion though x"
"Going to be honest there is just one answer to this, he is ready when you decide he is, every single child is different. There are lots of factors to consider like his maturity level, how much you trust him, and how safe is your local park as in do older kids hang around, is it near busy roads etc... So if you are ready and you think he is ready then let him go."
"I don't think age has anything to do with it, it's all about trust. Let him go but give him a dead line to be back with. Show him the meaning of trust and time at the same time. Once his earnt your trust by coming back in on time then let him go for a bit longer. Its all about communication. Plus if you think his got road safety too give him a chance. It's scary the first couple of times but soon your get to the stage where you will enjoy the 10 mins break x"
"Difficult to answer. Everyone will have their own opinions. In My local park there have been stabbing. Thefts. Fights. And it can happen anywhere now. It's a horrible scary world now"
"It's a very different world now . My 10yr old isn't allowed to go anywhere without me as she's young for her age she does keep asking me though . my son( in the 90s) at age 7 climbed over a 6ft high fence to play with his friends I couldn't keep him in so I bought him a watch and he had to check in every hour til I trusted him . He got longer as he got older . and my elder daughter was 5 when she played out as we had a about 30kids all playing out at the back of our house. She never went far from the house . X"
"I let my boys out when they were about 14. Up until then, I’d have a houseful of boys, sometimes about 12. I’ll feed them all, they can sleep over but I was happier! Paranoid I know……"
"Depends how mature they are I think it’s fine. My son was getting public bus to school and back on his own at 9.
40 mins there and 40 mins back.
He’s now 12"
"You can get GPS watches that you can use to track them and that they can phone from and you can phone them if you don't feel comfortable him having a phone yet. I recommend the Kidsnav brand, they have a fair few to choose from"
"I waited until secondary school age. I think it also depends where you live and how safe you think it is. For me a busier place is safer in some ways but not in others. A lot of kids get robbed of their phones where we are plus there’s more of a danger of being groomed into gangs. You’ve got road safety to contend with too.
I’d say go with your gut instinct. If you question it then it’s probably not the way to go yet."
"I have 4 children. They were all allowed to go out at different ages…
My now 17yr old was allowed out to the park at that age, but had to touch base with me regularly. She has always been very sensible.
Her brother who’s a year younger showed no interest at that age.
I also have twins, one was like a rat up a drain pipe to get out and be independent but he was careless so was restricted until he was about 10. He’s now 14 and still a bit of a liability. His twin didn’t show much interest, and has now started venturing out independently.
I’d say, take into consideration…
How reliable is he at crossing the road?
How cautious is he around strangers?
Do you know the parents of the kids he wants to go to the park with?
Do you know the kids?
Do you live in a close community?
We live in a busy village, so there is always a known pair of eyes on the kids…good luck. Parenting is an absolute minefield "
What do you think? Find out what everyone thought and add your comments by heading to the post below...