Mom Confessions: I Let My Toddler Play Outside Alone


mom confessionsIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

I let my toddlers play in the yard alone or without adult supervision.

I live in a quiet neighborhood with mostly elderly neighbors and our yard is fenced in, so I let my 3 1/2 year old play outside with our two dogs who bark at everybody that comes near our house. -- anonymous

My kids have played in gated yards alone since they were 4, with the siding glass wide open so I can see and hear them. -- anonymous

Pretty much every day -- they are 3, 5, and 8. Front yard. Back yard. For the most part they are in the street either on bikes are playing with chalk. They are free to come and go from the house as they please. I prefer the 3 year old to be out there with someone, but there are occasions when he might go blow bubbles all by himself. -- anonymous.


Should toddlers be allowed to play outside alone?

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Total Votes: 354

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Would you trust slightly older siblings, ages 5-8, to supervise younger toddlers in the yard, or is that too much responsibility for a little kid? What about your dog -- is he a responsible enough babysitter for outside play time?

We all have secrets and opinions -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

Past Confessions:

I Turn My Kids Over to A Mom I Just Met

My Toddler Wears Crude T-Shirts

I Let My Toddlers Climb Play Equipment Unassisted

My Kids Go to Sleep After Midnight

I Let My Toddlers Go Naked in Public

I Throw Away My Kid's Artwork

I Paid $22 for My Son's Haircut

My Toddlers Eat Pizza for Breakfast

I'm Dying My Toddler's Hair

I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It

I Find Excuses to Send My Kids to Bed Early



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Imagi... Imaginaryfriend

If I had a fenced in yard or I lived on a huge piece of land, absolutely.  Seeing as that I live in a building in downtown, not so much.

Lindalu2 Lindalu2

Fenced yard? Perfect. I suppose I am too trusting but it would be a remote,maybe miniscule chance that a kidnapper would scale the fence and get my kids.It is not

kayla... kaylajean86

we have a really big back yard and when i am in the kitchen i can see her when i am cleaning the kitchen or sitting at the table on the phone ..etc i will let her play out side and she knows she has to be in my eye veiw

jokermom jokermom

I live in nowhere, MT and SOMETIMES I let my almost 3 year old play outside while I watch from the windows. I am not very comftrable with letting her play outside all alone, I have a fenced in yard and a pretty big dog that would bite your head off if you were to come in the yard so I guess it depends on your situation and comfort level.

mommy... mommyheymommy

Five years...probably depending on the circumstance.  Three years...NO.

heath... heatherama

I let my 3 year old play outside in the front yard solo all the time and here's why:

To the left of us is my husband's grandmother. To the right is his aunt. The home behind us is occupied by his cousin and their family.
We also have two large windows in the front of our home that give me a full view of her playhouse and the small magnolia tree in our yard(these are the two points she can play between.) She has her freedom and I can observe from a safe distance.

pixie18 pixie18

i didn't think fences stopped crazy people that want your kids and you shouldn't either.  also dogs and toddlers should not be left alone

Hellmom Hellmom

 SOmetimes I let my 3 yr old play outside in the backyard by herself, but I open the sliding doors so I can see her from inside, she plays with our dogs ( 2 of them are giant dogs and all 3 of them are very protective ), and I lock the backyard gate, so she can't get out.

 Sometimes she plays in the front yard when her big brother is here ( he is 11 ) or with her big sister ( 14 ).

mommyk5 mommyk5

When I was growing up I not only played in my yard but everyone else's down the street, all day!  what Happened to that??. 

I wish I could let my kids do the same, but I am freaky about them staying where I can see them at all times.  This year, with the addition of the baby, I have let up a little, I will open the windows and doors and leave them for a couple of minutes while I tend to the baby, but I can still hear and see them in the back yard.


lizzy... lizzyg9601

NO WAY!!!! im with Butterfly872 & SO many things happen there was an incident not too long ago in AZ, there was a little boy playing in his front yard when a man rode up on his bike (the yard was fenced AND the kid was older) starts talking to the kid, the mom sees this and DOES NOT  go outside, next time she looks up the kids gone, she runs outside and sees her child walking with the man down the street, thankfully she got smart THEN and chased her child down... not two hours later the man tried to lure another kid, unsuccesfully... there is NO substitute to PARENTS watchig their kids, in my experience ( i know a few parents like this) these parents that would let their kids play outside alone or with an older sibling are just lazy...

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