I was faced with a tough decision today. Most of the kids that live down our street mostly play in my garden. Today however, they didn't want to come in, being older then my kids they wanted to play out in the street.
The thing is my two were gazing through the fence and begging them to come and play with them. I felt so mean not allowing them to go out and play with the other kids. What age is it acceptable to allow children to roam free? I have to admit, that on occasions, I have allowed Faye (almost 7) to play out but I just don't feel Charlie (3 and a half) is old enough yet.
My main concern down the street is the traffic. We don't live on a particularly busy street however we are a corner house and the cars do tend to go around the corner into our close rather quickly and I can't help envisioning what, is without a doubt, one day going to happen. I don't want it to be one of mine that gets run over.
I was obviously called numerous names, "your such a meany mummy" came Fayes shout. maybe, I am. How do you explain that you are only trying to keep them safe, when I feel mean and like I am keeping them caged up. I just can't relax with them running around outside..
Thinking back to my childhood I was never in. During the school holidays I would be playing out from morning till night. There was half a dozen kids down the street and we were all the same age and spent hours on roller skates, bikes and making up games. The children of today just aren't allowed the same levels of freedom that we enjoyed.
There is a small park just across from my mum's house and in theory my kids should be allowed to cross the road and play safely in the park, away from the traffic. However, last summer a van was spotted parked up outside the park with 2 men taking photographs of the children. Needless to say I can't even let them in the park unsupervised.
It was maybe innocent, very doubtful and they haven't been seen since but there will always be this worry in the back if my mind and I'm just frightened to let them out of my sight. All I can say is that it is a sad society that we now live in.