When is your child old enough to start going out with friends without adult supervision?
Last Updated: 09/10/2020 at 3:46am
Melissa Hudson, MS Ed, PhD(c), LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I work with clients of diverse backgrounds on a multitude of concerns. My approach is, at times, directive, yet always curious, nonjudgmental, collaborative, and validating.
Top Rated Answers
I would say the age of about 11 to be safe. At that age they will be able to safely look after themselves. Although, adults still have an underlying worry and protection over there child.
After the age of 14 but not for too long, because they aren't quite at the age where they can be fully trusted but when they are 16 you should give them space.
For me, I was around 11, which is the age that children are allowed to go to my neighborhood pool unattended. Back then, I could go to the pool as long as my parents knew who I was with and how long I was planning on staying. As time went on, I was able to walk anywhere within my neighborhood as long as I had my phone on me. At 14, I was finally able to bike to the two shopping centers that were within two miles from my neighborhood. It does depend on the child though. My younger brother is 11 and my parents do not allow him to go to the pool without adult supervision because he isn't at the same maturity level I was at when I was his age.
That is a personal decision. It's when you feel comfortable enough, and trust they are mature enough to make smart choices.
It really depends on the kid; depends on his level of maturity and behavior. We can not always protect them or overwhelmed them, as they need to live their lives for themselves. Whenever his friends start to, it is a good time to start thinking about it. But you need to be sure with who, where and what are they going to do.
That depends on your neighbourhood, where the child goes to play, how trust worthy are his friends, or the parents of his friends, how near is that place to you, it would be best if you can see them from a distance..
That's completely up to you as the parent. There are many factors to take into consideration. Who the friends are, the maturity level of the friends and your child, where they go when they go out without adult supervision. It's all a judgement call.
This entirely depends on the child, the child's maturity, how far from the house the child is going, if they are going alone, or if the child has a medical condition. I don't think I was allowed to go anywhere without an adult until I was 15 or 16. I had childhood epilepsy, and my mom was worried about me having a seizure. However, I know some kids (ages 9+) who are allowed to play around their neighborhood without adult supervision. They usually end up going to the church parking lot or playground, which is only a few doors down from where they live. They have to be home before dark though.
I wouldn't put a number to it, although my teenage daughter might tend to disagree. In my experience children develop at different rates, ages, and stages. You might look for a set of characteristics rather than an age to guide your feeling ok with allowing child(ten)to go out without supervision. Practicing some "what if" scenarios is also a good preparation exercise as well. You're here and asking questions and that's great! You've come to the right place for support.
Every child is different so some may be mature enough for the responsibility sooner than others. Give them freedom in little ways. Let them go out but require that they call to check in periodically. 14-16 seems like a safe range.
I know that I'm still a kid but my advise is that if you think they are old enough, you need to ask the kid if they feel unsafe. My parents bought me pepper spray and it actually saved my life because a guy on the street tried to grab me and I sprayed him. I'm not trying to freak you out but even a small can of pepper spray can save your kid's life. For me, I was around 11, which is the age that children are allowed to go to my neighborhood pool unattended. Back then, I could go to the pool as long as my parents knew who I was with and how long I was planning on staying. As time went on, I was able to walk anywhere within my neighborhood as long as I had my phone on me. At 14, I was finally able to bike to the two shopping centers that were within two miles from my neighborhood. It does depend on the child though. My younger brother is 11 and my parents do not allow him to go to the pool without adult supervision because he isn't at the same maturity level I was at when I was his age.
I think this is up to your discretion as a parent. Make sure your child is a point where you think he/she is mature enough to make good decisions without the help of supervision. With that being said, personally I would not allow a child under the age of 10 to be left alone without supervision in any case.
There is no pat answer to this question. It really varies depending on the maturity of your child, who the companion(s) is, and what the plans are. I expect there to be a plan in place. If my teenager is going to go out to Applebees with others on her soccer team, going to play ultimate frisbee, or the like, fine. Just "hanging out" is unacceptable. Don't get me wrong, sometimes, for whatever reason, though my teenager intended to do one thing, it got scrapped due to weather, unexpected closing, or other reason. This is life. But, when there is no plan in place, it can lead to boredom, which in turn, can lead to unfavorable results. Generally, because I homeschool and my children's best friends are their siblings, I have entrusted the care of children/teenagers to their older siblings care. At 16, when they can drive, they are permitted to spend time with others, pending approval.
I believe that it really depends on the individual child itself. Each person develops and matures at different rates, as a parent or guardian you should be able to tell which age would be appropriate for them to go out when you feel they can be responsible, though I do believe younger than the age of 12 would be too dangerous.
When they show they are mature enough to make responsible decisions when adults aren’t present. Friends have a way of clouding your judgment, with age and maturity they are able to think for themselves and can choose what they feel is the right decision even if the rest of the friends disagree. This is something that does not necessarily come with age but with mental development. The ability to think for themselves, process events and scenarios that other of the same age might not be able to. When the see the consequences of their actions wether they are good or bad.
as a kid my mother let us out to play on our estate at about 5-6 and I was fine , but now as a mother myself I couldn't let my 5 year old run around on her own out there ad be petrified and I just think shed be so easily swaded into making the wrong choices even though I trust her so defo not that young. I am not sure when me or my children with be ready for that but am sure it will at fall into place when its time! I really don't wanna follow the pressure of society :D
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