Jump to content
so_very_tired

DS5 going to the park by himself

Recommended Posts

so_very_tired

We live directly across the road (a quiet residential street) from a small park that has the usual swings, climbing frame etc. My five year old son started a conversation with me the other day about it:

 

DS5: "Dad, I have to talk to you about something" (alarm bells, he says this usually when he's in trouble but not yet caught)

 

ME: "Yeah mate?"

 

DS5: "Now that I'm five and a half and have been going to school, I think I'm old enough to go to the park across the road by myself..."

 

Me: "Hmmm...I don't know..."

 

DS5: "...and you can see me from the loungeroom window and I'll be very careful and look left and right before crossing the road and will only stay at the park for 15 minutes"

 

Me: "No mate, I don't think so, we can go together a bit later".

 

~~~

 

He was a little disappointed that he couldn't go by himself but was still happy that I took him. My question is, what age do you think is suitable for this? He has some confidence issues and I'm thinking it might be a good way for him to feel he has control over something like this, but I'm concerned he's too young - despite me easily being able to watch from the window.

 

Thoughts on this anybody? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CallMeFeral

TBH if you can see him from your house, I'd be fine with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
girltribe4

Hmmmm I am def not a cautious mum :happy: but I am not sure I would let him go on his own yet . Maybe he could go over for 5/10 mins on his own and then you join him ??

 

We have a park on the corner of our street , I can see it from our front porch . I often let my 3 youngest go down there without a adult but they are together and on strict instructions to stay together and leave together .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Butterfly*77

My DS would love to do the same but we have told him no. Our park is out of view from our house. I even feel uncomfortable about him riding up the end of our street with the neighbour's little boy without one of us outside watching them like a hawk.

 

Maybe if you stood outside in the front yard and watched him cross, then watched him play over at the park, it would be a better compromise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kay1

I think if you can watch him its a perfect situation. I would put a time limit like, as he said, 15 minutes on it so that I could make a cuppa and actually sit and watch him the whole time (although I probably wouldn't tell him this). I think it would be good for his independence. I'd first talk to him about coming straight home if he has any trouble, anything worrying at all happens etc so that he has the tools to practice.

 

But then I don't know your street/area etc. In my area I would do this.

 

At that age DS1 started wanting a little independence, like for example he will take a slightly different path if we are walking together so he can't see us for a minute and then we meet up. He finds it exciting and empowering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Old Feral

Not at 5.

 

My 8yo, I might.... it would depend a lot on the park (the area, the kind of kids that typically hang out, the equipment etc) and even more so on the road between you. In fact, even at 8 I'd be inclined to walk him across the road. I'd be worried if something freaked him out, he'd barrell across the road towards home without looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cindy1014

whats his road sence like? Maybe to begin with you could walk him to the curb and tell him you will meet him back there in 15 min ? see how he goes crossing the road. I think it would also depend on how busy the park was and how well he can handle himself around other children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yabbadabbadoo

Do you have a front verandah or something that you could sit on and watch from. Alternately can he go whilst you are outside mowing the lawn or something - that is assuming you mow the lawn! Or any other sort of gardening...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
so_very_tired
whats his road sence like? Maybe to begin with you could walk him to the curb and tell him you will meet him back there in 15 min ? see how he goes crossing the road. I think it would also depend on how busy the park was and how well he can handle himself around other children.

 

Admittedly his road sense is actually quite good, in fact he often reminds ME to use the crossing and not just cross anywhere (naughty daddy!). Our street is quiet (probably one car every 30 minutes) and the park itself is not busy at all.

 

He is fairly shy so will move away if another child pushes in but is not likely to start a fight about it, and the park itself is fairly quiet. As per some previous suggestions I think I might walk him to the curb, watch him cross the road to the park and then tell him I'll be back in 15 minutes to get him (and then watch from the house).

 

Plenty of great suggestions!

Edited by foxhill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zzgirl

Never. I would never let my child go to the park by themselves. I am just to scared of what is out there. Even if I could see them from my window - it only takes a minute for someone driving past to spot a child by themselves and the rest is self explanatory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheLittleRedHen

I don't think 5 year olds have reliable road sense. I have read somewhere that children should cross the road with an adult until 10. It's to do with being able to judge time and distance.

If you felt comfortable with him playing there by himself while you sneakily watched, I'd walk him over first.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
punkybrewster!

I don't think I could either. I would do as PP suggested and do a bit of gardening out the front

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apageintime

I'm all for it! If you want, to ease him into it, tell him he can go over for 10 mins and you can meet him there. then start stretching it out.

 

I was going to a park 10 houses away by that age!

 

you can see him, he'll be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Praetor VitaeChel

My DS is a complete daredevil at almost 3, so I can't see myself letting him out of my sight for a long time yet. Maybe 8ish I might consider it... If he showed that he was capable of being sensible, cautious and reliable. I also have an over developed sense of worry and imagination :unsure: . My DH would prob say younger than that, but he used to roam free from an early age :rolleyes:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
F.E.B.E

I would cross the road with him and then go hang out in my front garden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HRH Countrymel
TBH if you can see him from your house, I'd be fine with it.

 

I grew up across the road from a park. Someone would cross me over the road and I would then have to stand and wait until someone came out and crossed me back again when I had had enough of playing.

 

I think your son made a good case! He is after all a school boy now!

 

It reminds me of when I was 17 and had first left home to go to Uni. I had come back for the weekend and as I was heading out Mum said "See you at 11 (my curfew) darling!"

 

I went back inside and pointed out that I now lived in a house on my own and was she not aware that if I chose I could stay out ALL night when I was there!

 

"You are absolutely right darling, I should realise that you are your own mature woman these days." said Mum. "See you at 12!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenflea

I would walk him across the road and watch him from the front yard or loungeroom. Then go back to get him and escort him across the road when it's home time.

Nice park BTW, wish we had decent ones here :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roxy1981

After seeing the photo of the park and your house, yes I would let him, but I would probably walk him over and pick him up, or even just stand there watching from the garden and remind him to look for cars.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tothebeach
After seeing the photo of the park and your house, yes I would let him,

Absolutely. I would just make sure that I stand at the side of the road to help him to cross.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IShallWearMidnight
I would cross the road with him and then go hang out in my front garden.

 

i agree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FreeRangeMum

If I could see the park from the house, I'd be fine with it for my 5 year old - although I'd go out and watch her cross the road from the front (as she's still proving her responsibility when it comes to road safety).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ali27

Since you live straight across the road, I would walk him to the kerb, watch him cross and then stay in your garden for the agreed time and then collect him. That way, he gets to feel independent and grown up but he is really quite close by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sunshine streaming

I would let him go, watching him cross the road from the window and then watching intermittently during the time he is allowed to go. I would not be concerned about worse case secanario's but would insist that he doesn't talk to strangers. I would probably also say that if other people come to the park he should come home and then you will join. I really think it is over kill to supervise him crossing a road that has a car once every 30 mins. He doesn't need to judge speed and distance, it is simple, if there is a car, wait, and then cross when the road is empty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*-*

Honestly, yes I would.

 

But I would not allow him to cross the road alone, that road seems quite curved, he may not see exactly what is coming.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernard Woolley

I can't remember where I saw it, but I came across a 'School Readiness' checklist from the 1970's (I think?) that included something like, 'Your child is ready for school if they can get themselves home from somewhere 10 blocks away from your home.' Like it was just expected that a 5 or 6 year old would be out walking the streets and navigating for themselves.

 

You have to make allowances for increases in road speeds and such. But a park across the road (and a child who can make a rational argument)? I'd try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...