Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

The Great Playing Out Debate

As regular readers will know B is 7, and recently has been wanting to play out more. For one reason or another I always put it off with excuses as why she can’t – they are normally valid reasons but I am always glad there is a reason.


Now don’t get me wrong I am not against it, in fact B has occassionally played out from the age of 5. But it was always just 5 minutes here and there. She wanted to go out, but then when she did, she wanted to come home to see what I was doing and check I was still at home. Then we moved and our last house wasn’t near enough to her friends in that estate. We have been in this house for a year now and she has been out a handful of times but again was usually back and forth the whole time, never out for more than 10 minutes without popping back for tiny little reasons. All that pointed to me thinking as much as she wanted to, she wasn’t ready to play out yet.


So that’s the background, cut to today. We went to do the shopping at Tesco and driving home B saw her friends out on the estate and asked if she could play out. I grasped at the excuse that Daddy would be over in an hour and that they were playing too far away – they are usually just at the top of our cul-de-sac, but today they were round the corner and out of sight. I realised that the reason I was saying no was more my fear than any valid reason. Where they play is by the other kids’ houses and they all have decent enough road sense. So I decided she could go. I made her wear her watch and told her to be home by 12.


I’ll be honest, I expected her to be home 10 minutes later saying she didn’t want to play out, or one of the older girls had upset her (which used to happen a lot last year), but after 20 minutes I just got edgey! On the one hand it was great, H was sat having a snack and I got to clean the cooker without B saying she was bored and asking to do things I would say no to. But in the back of my mind the worry monster started. What if she hadn’t found her friends and got knocked over, what if her friends went further off the estate and she followed, what if some stranger started talking to them and she joined in because her friends did…………….


Twelve O’Clock came and she walked in bang on time. She had been playing on her friends trampoline in his garden and had really enjoyed herself. She looked full of happiness and energy – I loved the look!!! So that’s it now, no stopping her and here’s hoping my nerves settle!! Oh and also I’ll try and not make excuses any more!


June 13, 2010 - Posted by | Parenting | , ,


  1. The one thing to keep in mind is that until age 9 kids shouldn’t be trusted to cross streets on their own. Don’t know the exact reason but it is a big point on the anti road accident national campaign here.

    Comment by Susie @newdaynewlesson | June 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Yeah I know about that too, but the roads on our estate are very quite on the whole and she has shown me she knows what she is looking out for etc when crossing the road, but wouldn’t let her walk to my parents (2 mins away) because their road is much busier.

      Comment by supersinglemum | June 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. My wee man is 6… sometimes he’ll go out to play and I’ll not see him again for an hour or two! But he’s never far away – he can hear me if I yell him. He knows his sense… in fact in schools here I dunno if they do down with you they do the “Safe strong and free” project, and he had it in nursery twice whilst he was there and once in primary 1 that he’s in. He knows well to not speak to strangers etc, and has been taught if a stranger grabs him he’s to kick them and run away!!! That actually shocked me, but hey, at least he knows the deal I guess… and he’s told the kids next door too that… that if they have someone grab them they don’t know to kick and get away. Fair play.

    When D first started playing out, I was angsty too… but it does settle with time. Soon you’ll both be loving that times… her when she’s off out being a bit independent and having fun with friends, and you having a lil more space and “me” time or time with B, or having chance to tidy up easier!

    Comment by Louise @ WeeWifie's World | June 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Completely agree, if you fill your kids with the confidence to know what to do if something bad happens it makes a big difference, just wish the weather was better she could have gone out after school tonight lol!!!! Am sure it will get easier and I wont be the 1st to worry, I also know this wont be the 1st post I write on this subject, just wait till the 1st time she is late home lol!!!

      Comment by supersinglemum | June 14, 2010 | Reply

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