I posted this to Free Range Kids.. because I believe Kids should have freedom
My 8 year old daughter is one of a few kids in the neighborhood. We're a "city" residential area so the streets are connected. There are 2 girls her age on the street and one on the street behind. Its spring. I don't want them in the house... so I kicked them out. Here we have 4 maybe 6 girls in the house. It makes my head hurt. They were even bored. So I made my kid a deal. If she has a watch on she can go. No watch, no leaving the yard. Go to the other kid's house, go to the park (its around the corner and just behind her one friend's house).... GO! Be home at whatever time I say (dinner, street lights.. whatever). She knows the rules and did get me when there was a problem. She looks both ways to cross the street (several times in fact) and asks to pet a dog. They are even trying to dig to China from what I hear... and open a bug exhibit. I trust her in this small radius as she's 8. Its a big step for her. I used to run around our street when I was her age. As long as she checks in.. we're good. Kids should be kids.