Should an 8-year-old play outside on their own?

Hi I’m just looking for bit advice on my son he’s eight and has the tendency to lie a lot. My partner thinks he’s now old enough to be going outside to play by himself as he needs to explore and find who he is and just be a kid with his friends and suggested that we let him go to the park down the road from our home. I personally don’t think he’s mature enough to be doing this yet as I don’t feel he can be trusted yet and I can’t see him from there. Am I being to over protective?


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Should an 8-year-old play outside on their own?

An 8 year old is old enough to play outside. They need to explore.


For me,no but to each their own.

In todays world absolutely not!


No, definitely not. My son is 7, so 8 isn’t far off, and I wouldn’t.

At home not down the road

My 7 and 9 year old play alone outside. They follow the rules I have set one time not following the rules they will not.

I also check on them and have a fenced in yard.

No. Out front or out back yes. Down the street, no.


Not if you want to keep him safe

Depends on the area you live in tbh. If it’s a quiet small town where everyone knows eachother for example, I think it would be alright. But I live in Chicago where it would be a definite no lol

He’s old enough to play outside but not down the road


If you want some assurance IF you decide to let him. Get a set of walkie talkies and give boundaries.

When my kids play at a friend’s house on the block, they get a Walkie!


Nope… Follow your gut mama.

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Depends on where you live

I dont think I would let my eight year old go off with his friends alone. Especially now days.

Nope my kids were over 10 and I would sit outside… in a distance tho in eye sight and ear range.

That would be a no for me.

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30 years ago… maybe… today… that’s a hard NO!!!

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No. There are so many different things that could happen, I wouldn’t do it.

I only let my kids play outside on their own when they are in our yard.

Noooo way never my kids are 10 and 12 and I barely let them ride their bikes to the store at the end of our street, you’re protective because you know this world is sick and you have to do your best to protect them while young and teach them about the true dangers of the world! Someone could snatch him from that park in a millisecond and you’d feel that guilt all your life for going against your instincts always trust your mother’s intuition!

Hell no. Outside in the yard maybe but not down the road at a park

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No way! There’s no way my 8year Olds would be road safe, play safe, stranger safe, watch each other. So that’s a no for me.

I did. My siblings did.
I would only if a tracking device and way to communicate.
My 6yo son plays outside but he’s within yelling distance.

Heck NO. This world is in crazy times. Even if you trust him, I don’t trust others.

I dont even like my 13yr old sister outside by herself but thats not my business :joy::joy: my mom doesnt allow it often but she needs her break from my sisters the youngest is 8 and she doesnt go alone unless she sneaks onto the porch then gets in trouble :joy:

Its a no from me, I won’t even let my 10 year old go by himself.

Not in this kind of world girlie…you keep him within reach…never know where these traffickers are lurking…

Well my son is 6 and started playing outside alone at 5. My daughter is almost 11 and started playing alone outside at 5 as well. I guess it all depends on where you live honestly.

Not in this world I wouldn’t with the way it is now.

I wouldn’t. I mean you can try it one time and see how it goes but I’d buy a tracking device first

Absolutely not out and about by himself at 8! In the yard? Maybe if you can still hear him? I still wouldn’t . Too young.

Not in this day I wouldn’t let my 7 and a half year old x

My younger two aren’t allowed around the neighborhood by themselves without their older brother or older sister and they are 11.

Depends on location. If you’re in a city where “down the road” is really a 15 min walk then probably not.

But if you’re in the country and “down the road” is literally a few min walk then probably lol

This world is crazy right now. It’s not like when I was growing up at all or maybe things are more open now about all the bad stuff but nope.

No not down the road, I let my 7 & 5 year old play outside at our house but right in front of my window in our yard on our play ground. With how people are today I’d never let them play where I couldn’t physically see them.

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Outside in the yard yes but down the street no

Maybe out front but not down the street

My daughters 10 & I refuse to let her out. Some people her age are all going out and wondering the streets and stuff but it’s not her I don’t trust it’s other people xx

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Wow…if your kids aren’t mature enough…that’s on you all…my kids could definitely be left alone outside and so what they do​:person_facepalming::person_facepalming::person_facepalming: can’t imagine any other way​:person_facepalming::person_facepalming::person_facepalming:but our kids weren’t sissy kids…that needed babysitting…


Outside in own yard, yes… but out of view no. I’d wait until at least middle school age for that.

Sadly in today’s world No!! not even if I trusted my child you just can’t trust people anymore.

I don’t think I’d let him. You mentioned that he lies a lot. He might tell you get is going to the park, and end up going somewhere else.

I think it depends alot on your neighborhood and the child. Personally, I would say no. It’s not always about what your child would do but more about other what other children might do.

With how the times have changed… it is actually illegal to let a minor under the age of 12 be outside unattended… probably in most states in the US. :100:
So the answer is a hard NO, that child can not be outside alone.

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My 9 year old daughter has played outside in our fenced in back yard on her own since she was three. She’s walked around the block by herself since she was five. However, we live in a very safe town. You have to do what you feel comfortable with.

My kids are 6,7 and 10 and they pretty much do whatever within reason.

No! I did when I was a kid but times have changed in 40 yrs! Heck no!! We won’t even let our 8 yr old play in the front yard without supervision.

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I ran through the woods, played in the creek, and hardly ever sat inside at 8 years old. Let him play unless the area is unsafe.

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Hmm tricky one. I’d say it depends on the area you live in. My daughter has been playing out since she was around 6/7 around ours but it’s quiet and plenty of other kids around and know most of the neighbours. She’s now 9 and allowed to go to the park but has to stay with friends and always ask first. I always have stranger danger talks etc and have been thinking about a tracking device perhaps but at moment she doesn’t really go out much but when she does again maybe. She will be getting a phone for her 10th birthday I think so I’ll put the tracking app on that deffo as well

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At 8 i didn’t let my son leave the yard but I did allow him to play in our yard while I did what needed done in the house. I just peeked outside every so often to make sure he and his friends were still in our yard. When he didn’t follow the rules he wasnt allowed outside without an adult for a period of time. They didn’t like that much so after a couple times he followed the rules.

We were latchkey kids…and so was our kids!!! Sucks you don’t trust your kids…,…

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Grown ups aren’t even old enough to play outside alone. These are very different times.


Not down the road. Backyard, yes. But not leaving the property.

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No!!! I completely trust my child. But this world and the predators in it I DO NOT.


I just let my 7 1/2 year old out in the fenced backyard by herself, but that’s it, if she goes out of that fence I go with her.

Outside your house is fine. I would wait a couple years to let him go to the park on his own. That’s just me though. You have to do what you believe is best for yours

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Depends on where they live

Not mine. No judgement. Just not for me and my kids.

I dont even like my 15 yr old alone no you are not overreacting

Just get him those cool walkie talkies that go a really far distance. That’s what one of my brother’s girlfriends did until the nephews got mature enough to have to be checked on. We live in a small community in the mountains though so it’s safer to do that here.

I honestly can’t think of an average 8 year old from childhood to the kids I know now that can’t go out to play without an adult. The only ones i know aren’t in typical situations like there’s a disability, or the neighborhood is dangerous, or the child has some medical issue, or they have helicopter parents.

Nope !!! In your yard, yes! But not down the road at 8 years old , and it has nothing to do with how mature the child is , but people out there in this day and age are crazy, you see so many missing kids , I don’t trust anyone

Not in this day.and time


I think you know your kids better then anyone. Every kid is different. I would also start small like playing in the backyard with friends and work up from there but thats me.

You said yourself you don’t think he’s mature enough🤷🏽‍♀️ Follow your instincts

You know your kid. That’s all you need to worry about. Trust your gut and do what you think is best.

I don’t think it’s an age thing… it’s a maturity issue. If you don’t feel that your son is mature enough to handle the responsibility of playing with his friends unsupervised, then he’s not ready. Times are very different and knowing your child can handle a situation should it arise is important.

4 kids 6-13 in age I only allow in front of the yard or back yard and they cannot leave the yard. Nor are they to go in the street.

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No, to young to go outside of his yard

No you are not, maybe 40 years ago but people are crazy now days

In my fenced in yard I let my kids play. When they are not in my yard then they are supervised

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Nope not down the road. I’m your yard or on your street where you can see him. This is a crazy world that we live in.

trust your gut , be sure he knows this’s a priviliage not to be abused

My 8 year old plays outside on his own but he doesn’t leave the yard. I definitely wouldn’t let him walk to a park by hisself.

No chance , absolutely no way in hell. Your husband needs his head sorting out :see_no_evil:

Quite a few kids play out on our estate at that age n younger as long as everyone watches out for each other’s kids n there in sight n you can hear them then why not ?

Now a days no child should be anywhere alone but hey that’s just my opinion


Wow! A lot of helicopter Moms here. Kids should be encouraged to explore and play outside independently. My heart aches for today’s kids. No wonder I never see kids out playing anymore.


You know your child. Listen to yourself. If your partner isn’t his parent tell him to mind his own beeswax

That’s a hard NO!!!

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Not in today’s world…nope…don’t let your children out of your sight. There are monsters lurking.


My son plays out hes nearly 9 we live in a cul de sac and I’m very close to all my neighbours all the kids play out together and there is allways someone around we sit on the frount alot too in summer so can see and hear the kids

This world has become so insane ,thier is no kind of norm


Yard or neighbors yard, yes. Park down the road, no.


My 9 year old is only allowed in front of the house without supervision. I wouldn’t let him out of sight. He too is not the most responsible and doesn’t always tell the truth. Even if I was more confident in his decision making I still thinks he’s too young to be out of sight.


I guess it would depend where u live. My daughter is 9 and very mature but shes not allowed by herself. She can be in our back yard on trampoline or in the front yard because i can see it but no way id let her alone where i live

Nope !! Not without me ! They stay right in our yard.

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No…you are his Mother and know him best. Your
“partner” is not his parent. Your judgement carries the most weight.

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In today’s world? No way!


You are the one to make that decision,Not a partner

Your child, your feelings and rules, not your “partner”!

We live in the country, so my 4 & 7 year old play outside by themselves a lot. :woman_shrugging: Not the same situation. Sorry.

Too young for the park

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Maybe in the yard but i wouldn’t let him go to a park by himself or with friends, things have changed over the years and there is way to many sick people out there.


I wouldn’t allow it. My kids are 13&11 and I’m just now letting them go to the end of our street on their bikes. But I’m constantly watching put my front door.

hell with that, it’s the rest of humanity you can’t trust. Don’t let your kid at that age go to a park without adult supervision. I’d be hard pressed to even let them play on the front porch without an adult

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You know your kid best. However, you still need to afford him the opportunity to prove to you that he is capable. Give him rules, boundaries and a clear understanding of what you expect out of him and let him try it once. Check in on him a couple times during the experience from a distance and figure out if he is in fact not mature enough to handle what you want him to do.


Nope… Boomers will say it’s fine because they didn’t raise us, they left us to fend for ourselves but Parents of today understand the risk and seem to care more about where their children are and if they’re safe…