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What age can kids bike/roam the neighborhood?

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  • #16
    I had a pretty open range childhood. My parents generally had a pretty good idea what we were doing. If all else failed, it wasn't a big town and they could find us pretty easy, if needed. It was one of those places that if you did something bad (and got caught), your parents knew about it before you even got home.

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    • #17
      I’d like to think I’ll be more towards the free range end of the spectrum, but hard to know since my oldest is not quite 3.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
        This isn't the 90ss. We did back then, but it's become a very different world.

        Closed neighborhood or in at least 3 kids is our minimum. That along with the smartphone enabled alarm and tracking system . 12 at the very earliest IMHO
        I agree with this. I remember basically spending my entire day outside and unsupervised roaming around and playing, but things are different now. I think a lot of it depends on the neighborhood too. If it's more close knit and everyone knows each other, then maybe that's slightly safer, but I'd still keep it at 12 even then.

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        • #19
          Not happening in our "neighborhood." Unless kid wants to wander in the brush and collect ticks

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          • #20
            Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post

            Take away the screens 😁
            Last time I checked, you had the authority to do that😎. Dr. Laura listener here, though.[/QUOTE]

            No screens in the bedrooms (other than a kindle.) But do I take the books and pillow too? I took the door off once for a few days. It helped a little.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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            • #21
              Originally posted by AR View Post

              I'd love to do or have done this. The problem is that you have to live in a neighborhood that's conducive to it. We're in a plenty safe area. But no other families with kids their ages. There is no practical way for them to hang out with friends unless they get a ride. They're not great bike riders yet and even if they were closest friends would be a long ride away on some high traffic roads.

              I guess they could ride buses. But I don't even do that.
              Agreed. It only works in the suburbs. Hard to do if you're too rural (too far to go to get to anyone) or if you're too urban (safety issues0. You know, everyone bags on suburbs, but there's a lot of great things about suburb culture.

              The fact that people have fewer kids is part of the issue. Another part is that there are a lot more helicopter parents (I mean really, you can't trust a 10 year old to walk down to a friend's house a block away?) But part of it is kids. Houses are bigger and there is a lot more to do in them than there used to be, so kids don't leave out of boredom or to get away from their parents.
              Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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              • #22
                Originally posted by childay View Post
                Not happening in our "neighborhood." Unless kid wants to wander in the brush and collect ticks
                Tick-borne illnesses are a real character builder.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by The White Coat Investor View Post

                  Agreed. It only works in the suburbs. Hard to do if you're too rural (too far to go to get to anyone) or if you're too urban (safety issues0. You know, everyone bags on suburbs, but there's a lot of great things about suburb culture.

                  The fact that people have fewer kids is part of the issue. Another part is that there are a lot more helicopter parents (I mean really, you can't trust a 10 year old to walk down to a friend's house a block away?) But part of it is kids. Houses are bigger and there is a lot more to do in them than there used to be, so kids don't leave out of boredom or to get away from their parents.
                  Suburbs are good for a kid going to a friend's house, IF they have friends in the same neighborhood. Since they usually require a car to accomplish any other activity, and kids can't drive, I don't think they are good for developing independence overall.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by childay View Post
                    Not happening in our "neighborhood." Unless kid wants to wander in the brush and collect ticks


                    Here in the west we have the western fence lizard which reduces Lyme burden in the environment.

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                    • #25
                      Age 3-4: play only in the backyard unsupervised. Can play in the driveway and front yard only if older sibling is out there too.

                      Age 5-7: play independently outside any part of our property. Bikewise once we are confident they look for cars before turning around, they must stay within 5 houses of our house.

                      Age 7-8: there's a nature area just beyond where we can see them at the house. they can go play there.

                      Age 9-10: My youngest is 8 but has a friend who is 1/4 mile away. I think I'll be okay with him biking to friend's house when he's 9 or 10, depending....I'd have the parent text me my kid is there as soon as that happens. I have no idea when I'd let them bike further than that unsupervised.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by The White Coat Investor View Post

                        Agreed. It only works in the suburbs. Hard to do if you're too rural (too far to go to get to anyone) or if you're too urban (safety issues0. You know, everyone bags on suburbs, but there's a lot of great things about suburb culture.
                        It also depends on the suburb. My location can pretty much only be described as suburban. Just a weird combination of factors make it not work where I happen to live.

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                        • #27
                          Oh this is absolutely area dependent. I grew up rural. It was a 1/4 mile to the next occupied house. My closest friend (both distance and relationship) was a 10 minute drive. I guess I could have biked it but I never tried. Would have taken forever in the mountains. I snowmobiled there a few times.

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                          • #28
                            I was riding my bike without a helmet in the middle of the night to my friends house when I was a little over the age of 10. On the other hand, we panicked when my 10 year old decided to walk back to school to pick up his homework instead of walking directly home with an apple tracker in his backpack. Just read a story about a 10 year old girl who was killed as well. I think that I am more for "artificial" independence where the child thinks that they are not being monitored/watched over but they actually are. There are too many crazy people in this world.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by dayman View Post

                              Suburbs are good for a kid going to a friend's house, IF they have friends in the same neighborhood. Since they usually require a car to accomplish any other activity, and kids can't drive, I don't think they are good for developing independence overall.
                              That's what bikes are for. Bike to the mall. Bike to the movies. Bike to friends' houses etc. But there might be traffic risk there once you're out of the neighborhood onto bigger roads.
                              Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by The White Coat Investor View Post

                                That's what bikes are for. Bike to the mall. Bike to the movies. Bike to friends' houses etc. But there might be traffic risk there once you're out of the neighborhood onto bigger roads.
                                Agree, bikes are a great way for kids to develop freedom. My kindergartner already knows how to ride to the bakery, park, ice cream shop. (Granted I am with him, but he leads the way)

                                Most suburbs I am familiar with are heavily car dependent, and biking anywhere outside your neighborhood safely is a challenge. But I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule.

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