Today, I am wondering what is right when it comes to children playing out?
As a child, I was out and about climbing trees and playing with other local children. I tended to play with boys more than girls so there was a lot of cowboys but I could always come up with a female character to convince them to let me join in.
I remember the building site at the back of our house where I once wrapped myself in yellow insulation material pretending I was at a posh ball. Delusions of grandeur from a very young age!
As a parent, I have being a vigilant one trying to prevent my children getting hurt in any way. My first son was nearly ten when I let him go to the corner shop. I did this on instinct that I could not explain. It just felt right one day. Both he and his Dad were stunned I was allowing this sudden freedom.
My daughter turned 10 at the start of the month and pointed out that her brother was allowed out when nine years of age so why wasn’t I allowing her out? Well, it’s different with a girl, isn’t it? I hate that in myself but we know what threats there are out there to women and girls and she is my precious babe. How could I let her out and about?
Eventually I agreed that she could go with her brother to the fish and chip shop next door.
Having moved to a cul-de-sac, we were out the front when she walked up to a girl and made friends immediately. Lots of children including incredibly young ones play out here so I could hardly say no. My eight year old son saw this and expected the same treatment.
Surrounded by boxes and black bin liners after the move, I have not really had time to reflect as usual but have just decided to go with it. They are clearly enjoying themselves and becoming part of the community. They are getting fresh air and thankfully leaving their various gaming devices alone.
It’s a good thing and yet I hate not having them in my sight all the time. It’s so scary but I guess you have to let them go.
Tune in a few years when I have the door locked on a permanent basis so that they can’t leave home.
Not easy this parenting gig, is it?
Do you let your children play out and from what age?
What safety precautions do you put in place?