Thursday, May 06, 2010

Ramble on

So... yeah.

I've been moping. My dog, Lana, has been moping. We've been mopey. Moper McMopersons. My cat, Nina, aka Jabba the Cat - who is trying her best to lose that nickname, now that I've just found out she has a hyperthyroid problem and is losing weight super fast and Hello! More vet bills! *sigh* - however, has been thrilled there is one less slobbery beast to steal her food and fight for position near me on the couch. And the kids have been fine - Chicky likes the shock value of talking about death and CC only once stepped into the sun room and asked "Where Fisher go?", which broke my heart into ten million tiny pieces... But that was a week ago. And your comments and emails and words of love were so very welcome and filled my cold, dead heart with warmth until it turned black and inky again. So there's that.

(That's me saying Thank You, by the way.)

To get me out of this funk, and possibly kick start my writing again - did I mention Chicky had a birthday? Three weeks ago? No? She's five now. I should probably write something about that... before she's 15. And CC. Where do I even begin to write about CC? - might I suggest a little audience participation?

Wait! Don't go. It's painless, I promise.

I poseth to you, dearest reader, this question -

At what age do (did) you feel comfortable allowing your child(ren) outside to play alone and unsupervised (except for the surreptitious viewing out the window by overprotective parent, oh, every five seconds)? Does your location factor in to your decision? And how far will you let them go out of view? Next door to the neighbor's house? Two feet from the front door? In the backyard, but only if tethered by a ten foot leash and only if Child Services isn't looking?

What sayeth you?

17 comments:

d e v a n said...

Maybe when they're 30? hehe

No, I don't know yet. My oldest just turned 5 and I can't do it yet. We live on a nice street, on a cul de sac, but I'm not ready.

furiousBall said...

sure fire way to cure a funk...

1) get a two slices of baloney
2) apply one to each ass cheek

you should feel incredibly weird at this point

Cate said...

my son was playing outside last summer, at 5, with only occasional glances from me. In our yard only. But he's supercareful and cautious, and I knew he could handle it. I think it depends on the personality.

geenalyn said...

my kids are aged 9, twins who are 7 and my son is 6. I started letting them out to play in the backyard unsupervised (well me looking thru the window) last summer. I have yet to let them play out front....I know allowing them would make my life easier and we live on a great street with lots of kids but I can't do it yet. So if they go out front, I follow and snap pictures and enjoy watching them run around and play.

Loonstruck said...

I put the fear of Mama into my kid and started letting him play out front and back "unsupervised" at 6. I agree with whoever said it's a matter of knowing your kid's maturity level. It's also following up so that he knows that I'm still watching him from time to time. (For example, he knows that if I ever catch him on his bike without a helmet, there will be hell to pay.)

Heather @Critter Chronicles said...

We live in Okinawa on a military base, so my answer here is completely skewed, but I've been letting my daughter play outside unsupervised here since she was 4, shortly after we moved in. She's now allowed to go to the playground that's about a 1/4 mile away or to any of her friend's houses, but only if she's told me where she's going first, and I have all the phone numbers of all her friends' parents. There are also 10-year-old twins who live two doors down from us and they sometimes ask to play with our two-year-old (it sounds weird but they're good kids and they push him around in his little Coupe car) so sometimes I get a break from him, too.

When we lived stateside I started letting my daughter play outside in our fenced-in backyard by herself at age 3, but never in the front. I'm really going to miss the safety of living here when we move back this summer.

Dorene said...

My kids are 5 and 3 and can clock speeds just shy of the sound barrier so I am terrified of letting them roam around the yard. Our yard is not fenced in so I don't let them run around without someone with them.

I do let them play in the back deck without me. However, I stay in the kitchen and watch (and yell and referee) through the window. It allows be to get some chores done and I can be out with them in 3 seconds if necessary.

kgirl said...

I already let my kids play out back while I go in and out of the house.They're about the same age as yours - 2 1/2 and 5 next week. We have a securely fenced in yard and I simply don't feel like being paranoid. I worry about plenty as it is.

SciFi Dad said...

My daughter is five and we'll let her play in our enclosed backyard, but that's about it. There's too much risk with the front: street traffic, open access to other yards, etc.

Mama Bub said...

We have a teeny, tiny fenced in backyard, and I let him play out there, mostly supervised. I can see every corner of the yard, the farthest of which is about eight steps from the back door, but I will pop back in the house to check on dinner. He'll be three in a month and I'm starting to think maybe this makes me a bad parent.

Never, EVER, in the front yard though, and never if the dog is out in the backyard too.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Being able to open the door, point to the kids and say "go outside!" without having to follow them is one of the best parts of the kids getting older. For me, I'd say 5 is the age I did it, although always with an ear listening for issues, and frequent visual checks. But, my three are SUPER good about staying in the yard (they will go next door to play with the big black lab, but the family is ok with this and so am I).

I think it mostly has to do with your kids and how much they listen. If one of my kids had run off, gone in the street, or done anything I told them not to do, they would've COMPLETELY lost that privilege to go out on their own. Plus, we live on a very quiet street (you know!), but I've had long talks with them about cars or people approaching them. Even if the UPS driver parks in front of our house, I hear yells of "UPS!!!!!!!" immediately. ; )

Pgoodness said...

Mine are 6 & 4 and we let them play in the backyard while we're up on the deck or even in the kitchen (where we can see and hear them). Our neighbors have kids the same ages and they often play together, so between the 4 adults, someone is usually out there. We don't let them play out in front of the house without one of us though. Although, I have to admit that we do often go in and out with them out there, but not for long and I'm only comfortable enough when both kids are out, not just one.

I certainly trust them - they stay away from the street and won't go past the neighbor's driveway, but I don't trust people. Our neighborhood is nice, but you just never know who is around.

I'm also probably more secure because of our dog - she's a barker and since we have an invisible fence, no one knows just how far she can go. :)

Avalon said...

I will likely sayeth the wrong thing because I was the freaky overprotective Mom who never allowed my kid to ride her bike around our own block until she was 10....hile I waited in the porch to be sure she didn't take too long. So, my advice.....ignore my opinion.

Hannah said...

Totally depends on the kid, I think. My backyard is completely fenced so both my boys (2 and 5) can play alone or together out there with just the occasional peek out the window from me.

The older boy has been allowed to play out front since he was 4 - he rides his bike in the driveway. I trust him completely and know that he will not roam, plus we're the last house on a dead-end road so there is very little traffic. I can already see that the youngest will not have the same freedom - he just doesn't have the same personality type, and I wouldn't be able to trust him not to run off.

mama speak said...

I know I'm late to the game on this one, but what the heck. Mine are 4 (a few weeks ago) and 7 (next week). We moved into this house when preggers w/#2 & have a big backyard (for CA, not anywhere else). We have a large back deck, which I totally let (force) them to play art stuff (play dough/painting). We also have a huge play structure in the corner of the yard. When the little one turned 3 I started letting them go out to play w/me watching from in the house. We got a new door put in a few months ago & I can see all parts of the yard so now they go out all the time & are fine. I trust the Big one, and always have, the Little one, next to never. She's a schemer.

NEVER alone in the front. Barely let them sit in the car for a run in for something I forgot. We live in a pretty nice neighborhood (homes run avg 850K--remember Silicon Valley, it's tract homes) but have had FOUR attempted abductions this school year alone.

R said...

I won't be much help in this category... E's only 16.5 months old, and while I stick to her like glue in the front yard (because ya know, we live in The City - not that we're a BIG city, but it is the Capitol city, and therefore a city nonetheless.) and jerks drive through our little neighborhood at ridiculous speeds - when we're in the fenced in back yard I let her roam - but I stick out there with her (partially to be sure she's not stepping in a pile of dog poo I missed) and partially because she's tons of fun at this age... I've only left her out there by herself (well, with dog) for a few brief moments while I ran inside to grab the camera or her sippy cup... I think that when (if ever) we are able to sell our house and move out to the country I might be a little more lenient as far as letting her play in a fenced in back yard alone while I run into the house for oh, 60 seconds instead of 20... at least until she's a little older :) but we'll see where we end up... and how well she listens/stays in the yard/understands boundary lines as she gets older ;)

kittenpie said...

If I could see my backyard from my house, I would let at least Pumpkinpie play out there already - I will let her go back there while I'm out front chatting with neighbours, except that The Bun wants to follow then, and havoc breaks loose, so it doesn't work out all that well, in the end. Out front, though, I'm not ready for yet. (PP is 6, btw - urk)