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Old 08-10-2014, 01:59 PM
 
421 posts, read 448,609 times
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I am wondering if there are any places in the US left where kids play outside unsupervised, and its the norm. So I'm wondering where you live and if kids playing outside in groups or with a friend is the norm, safe, thought as a positive or negative or potentially illegal? At what age do kids get that freedom?

Growing up, we started playing outside with siblings and peers, without direct supervision, at 4 or 5. And by 7 we were given massive freedom, as long as we were home by dinner (how we managed to know when that was, no idea! We didn't wear watches). By 11 we could play outside at night time so long as we were home by bedtime. We lived rurally, and then in apartments. I am 36 so this wasn't like 70 years ago.

Now we live in the city, houston. But our neighborhood is more like a suburb. No kids play outside here. They used to but that group of kids are teens now and it seems no one has since then. I'm sure its neighborhood dependent, but I feel like I never see kids playing outside without a parent hovering. My kids (9 and 7.5) play in our front yard and drive way, and ride their scooters on the sidewalk up and down the block. But thats it. And I have gotten flack for allowing it. I'm always within ear shot, and I check on them. They also know about safety. So....seriously. My son is nervous because he looks young for his age and had a man stop his car and yell at him to go home.

So what about where you live? We want to move out of houston and having more outdoor play for the kids is near the top of our list.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:04 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,696,560 times
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"Do kids play outside where you live?"

Every day.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,134 posts, read 22,102,729 times
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I'd guess in most true suburbs, kids play outside. They have wherever we've lived. As I sit here at the computer, I can hear kids in my neighborhood - on scooters, skateboards or bikes, shooting hoops...There is driveway art enough to indicate that several homes have kids outside with sidewalk chalk...we also have a neighborhood pool so certainly kids are there, and a number of neighbors have trampolines and I can hear kids playing on them as well. I rarely see parents hovering. I do see parents hanging out, either actually interacting with their children () or socializing with other parents or doing yardwork while kids play in the front yard, but rarely "hovering". My kids are grown and gone but they used to play outside all the time. They rode their bikes all over the neighborhood. Usually in groups, which I felt was safe. When I walk my dogs in the mornings, I often see kids biking or scootering either alone or with other kids. I don't think it's nearly as rare as the media likes everyone to believe.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:10 PM
 
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Kids in our Pearland subdivision play outside quite frequently. The little ones though usually have a mom out - 3 to 5 year olds are generally supervised. By 7 or 8, many are biking to the neighborhood park with friends.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,014 posts, read 37,656,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeye View Post
I am wondering if there are any places in the US left where kids play outside unsupervised, and its the norm. So I'm wondering where you live and if kids playing outside in groups or with a friend is the norm, safe, thought as a positive or negative or potentially illegal? At what age do kids get that freedom?

Growing up, we started playing outside with siblings and peers, without direct supervision, at 4 or 5. And by 7 we were given massive freedom, as long as we were home by dinner (how we managed to know when that was, no idea! We didn't wear watches). By 11 we could play outside at night time so long as we were home by bedtime. We lived rurally, and then in apartments. I am 36 so this wasn't like 70 years ago.

Now we live in the city, houston. But our neighborhood is more like a suburb. No kids play outside here. They used to but that group of kids are teens now and it seems no one has since then. I'm sure its neighborhood dependent, but I feel like I never see kids playing outside without a parent hovering. My kids (9 and 7.5) play in our front yard and drive way, and ride their scooters on the sidewalk up and down the block. But thats it. And I have gotten flack for allowing it. I'm always within ear shot, and I check on them. They also know about safety. So....seriously. My son is nervous because he looks young for his age and had a man stop his car and yell at him to go home.

So what about where you live? We want to move out of houston and having more outdoor play for the kids is near the top of our list.
Kids play outside here.

Who gives you flack for letting your own kids play outside??
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:17 PM
 
421 posts, read 448,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Kids in our Pearland subdivision play outside quite frequently. The little ones though usually have a mom out - 3 to 5 year olds are generally supervised. By 7 or 8, many are biking to the neighborhood park with friends.
Yeah I imagined it would be more likely in the burbs of houston. We live near the inner loop but not in it. It still looks more like a burn then most cities.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:19 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,828,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Kids play outside here.

Who gives you flack for letting your own kids play outside??
You haven't read the recent news stories posted on this topic?

Mom Charged With Felony For Letting Son Walk To Park Alone | The Daily Caller

Tammy Cooper, Texas Mom, Arrested For Letting Kids Play Outside Unsupervised (VIDEO)

Mom Arrested for Letting Daughter Play Outside -- NYMag
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:19 PM
 
421 posts, read 448,609 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Kids play outside here.

Who gives you flack for letting your own kids play outside??
A couple neighbors gave me a guilt trip about me being inside when they were out. And some friends have flipped out that its highly unsafe. (I got flack for letting my 7 year old go to the restroom herself in a restaurant!!!). I live in a safe upper middle class neighborhood off main roads.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:22 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
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I live in the Pittsburgh suburbs, and playing outside unsupervised at young age is the norm here still today.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:23 PM
 
421 posts, read 448,609 times
Reputation: 390
Yeah, that's been on my mind too. I'm less worried about pedophiles then I am about nosey neighbors. I think part of my concerns is p, even after living her 11 years, I don't really know many neighbors. Its a neighborhood most people keep to themselves.
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