Kids out Playing Alone

Kids out PlayingMaking decisions about parenting is probably the most difficult thing I have had to do. There’s so much conflicting advice and there never seems to be any right answers. Some areas seem to have more support for a particular method than others, but some topics are just an absolute minefield. Most parents just want their children to be happy and healthy. With that comes being safe.

Should Children Play out Alone?

I have a dilemma at the moment it’s about whether children should be allowed to play out on their own. I made the decision to let my (almost) 7 year old go out all by himself. He is set rules (he has a boundary that involves crossing one small road, he comes in before it gets dark, if it rains or if his friends say they are going in for dinner). He is a very sensible mature lad and I trust him. But what about child predators? Really I decided that I cannot stop my son from enjoying his childhood because of a lot of “what ifs.”

Kids out Playing

I do not think things have changed since I was a child, and I was allowed a lot further, despite the fact that my brother was hit and killed by a car aged only 6. I believe that children need to be able to develop their independence. That as long as you have set the groundwork (eg taught them their road safety) they should then learn by themselves (obviously I am not talking about crossing extremely busy roads early on, or before they actually are mature enough to cross a road alone).

Kids out PlayingI want to nurture a child that wants to go out, and let’s be honest I haven’t always got the time to take him. Apart from that he is growing up and wants time with just his friends. It isn’t good for children to be cooped up indoors all the time. They need the exercise, to burn off the energy. To climb trees and get dirty. Even to take risks – that if I were there would not let him take. He needs to learn to make his own (small I hope) mistakes.

Kids out PlayingHowever, I think it depends on the child, and the location. My youngest son has special needs and there’s no way he’s going out on his own. He just isn’t mature enough. I worry that he would wet himself or hurt himself – or come across other people who he may upset, or they may upset him. It is not safe for him. But when the time comes I am sure he can go out too.

I sometimes let my son go out with his older brother – and let them go further afield than if the younger one was alone. We all think differently on parenting and know that my friend would not do this as she feels that it is too much responsibility for the older sibling.

Kids out Playing


What do you think about children playing out alone?

21 thoughts on “Kids out Playing Alone”

  1. There are so many discussion about that! I have to say as long as they are sensible and you know where they are (in a safe place), they should be allow to enjoy with their friends!
    Lovely clothing from joules! He look great in them!

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  2. I love Joules clothes for kids. It is so nice to see them in bright colours. As for playing out…I am glad we are not at that stage yet. I am utterly paranoid about my kids being stolen.

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  3. Great and bright outfit. As I was nodding and agreeing with what you wrote, and remebering my own childhood and playing out. I haven’t been like this with my eldest though, now just turned 12. In fact, shes only really been given more independence in the last year. Maybe it’s different with girls?? She is incredibly sensible, and has coped with it well, but it’s the predator thing I really struggled with it.

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  4. Both here and in Denmark, it’s the norm to let children out to play on there own, by the time my two get in from school etc. it’s just a little too late, and then at weekends we were are usually off and about, but I wouldn’t really have that many qualms about letting them do so… Love Joules, such nice good quality clothes! 🙂

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  5. I was in a branch of Joules recently (Portsmouth I think) and thought all their stuff was beautiful, but particularly the childrens’ because their colours are so vibrant, yet still cool. Loved it. I don’t let mine out alone because we live on the south coast where a lot of predators are re-housed after prison – which we means we live in a virtual one as I’ve written about previously and I don’t save their clothes for best anymore because they outgrow them too quickly!

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  6. My oldest is 8 and I still struggle with this one… I want to let him have more freedom, and to be honest, given the right place and boundaries I would. We have a rather large, overgrown, new garden. I think I’ll start by letting him get lost in there 🙂 #CountryKids

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  7. It’s a tough one isn’t it. My 8 year old is allowed on her own on holidays, say at Coombe Mill or when camping as it is in an area I feel comfortable in letting her explore. I want to let her have her own space as it’s important for their development. But at home we live very close to a busy road and even our side road has cars steaming up and down more often than I’d like. It’s a tricky balance to find.

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  8. Gosh I have the same dilemma. I know that my two would love to go out to play. We have a play park just down the road from us where no traffic passes and I know they’d love to go and play themselves. But it is a scary world out there! It is important for them to experience independence and learn boundaries etc and I guess it isn’t them I worry about but the other things out there. I love Joules clothing!

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  9. We love Joules clothing especially their wellies. Lovely gillet there and perfect for outdoor play. Lovely to see you yesterday looking all glam! Thank you for linking up with me on Country Kids

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  10. I really agree with you, I think its important for them to go out to play by themselves within boundaries. We all did it when we were younger and I think it really shapes us when we’re younger. I know there is so much in the news about the dangers and a general growing fear for the safety of kids right now and its so hard to find that right balance. Great top. I’ve never shopped at Joules but their stuff always looks nice

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  11. This is a tough question for today’s parents isn’t it? I always played out alone with a couple of neighbours’ kids and we would roam the fields, follow the course of the stream in the village through the back of everyone’s gardens (my mum never knew about that one) and pretty much had to be dragged in at dusk. We live in the countryside and I hope I’m able to let my daughters enjoy the same freedom I did We are already so surrounded by fear of so many things in modern life I sometimes think we forget what life is all about! The media being so omnipresent doesn’t help – we are wired to react to perceived danger I suppose and it’s so hard to override concerns about the what-ifs but I believe being outdoors and overcoming all the other mini-challenges associated with playing alone in nature is such a valuable thing for kids.

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  12. It’s something that I don’t think there could be a blanket age where it’s ‘ok’ to let them out alone – kids all age and mature at different rates. Hard one. Love Joules to bits!

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  13. I read somewhere that the rates of child predator attacks had stayed consistent over the generations, it’s just we have so many more ways of receiving news now that we perceive there to be more; however road accidents have increased exponentially (along with car ownership) but that’s not reported so much. It’s a tricky decision to make whatever age but as you say clear boundaries and coming-in times will help him and you!
    Loving that Joules gear for outdoors though, might need to check it out! #countrykids

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  14. I remember as a child I go to school by myself when I was 5. And was allowed everywhere by myself since then. But the thing is our place is like one big relative village when I know everyone & one way or another we are all connected by blood so its safe. We live far from the road so I think that made my mother feel safer to let me go and be alone. Where we live with my 4 year old son is near the road. As in at night there are still cars. So it might take me long before I would let him go by himself #countrykids

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  15. The Joules clothes look lovely, great colours and I think you are right that things have not changed that much since we were young (except peoples paranoia) and kids need to be let out to play with their mates. Mich x

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  16. Joules clothing is soooo nice and you chose well, those colours are perfect for this time of year.
    goodness i dont want to think about sending my two out alone, i know it has to happen but for now i will just bury my head in the sand and wish you luck x

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  17. I know the letting them out by themselves dilemma all too well! My latest is to allow the 8 yr old to get changed in the boys change room for swimming! I have let them both cycle ‘by themselves’ in our village with walkie talkies whilst I am in a field that the road goes around. Almost had kitten and I think it is more about me than them if I am honest with myself #countrykids

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