Should an 8-Year-Old Play Outside on Their Own?

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"Hi, I’m just looking for a bit of 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 too overprotective?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

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

"At home not down the road"

"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!"

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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"

"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."

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