60 answers

What Happened to "Sending Your Kids Outside to Play"-- Vent

I am wondering if I am the ONLY mom-to-be or mom that believes in sending kids outside to play. I mean, I grew up going outside for entertainment, and playing in the fenced in backyard on our swingset. Now, kids are so consumed by t.v, video games, and other things.

I just dont' understand why parents are not sending their kids outside to play anymore. I have a fenced in yard and plan to send my kids outside when they are old enough.

I am a nanny for 6 and 7 year old boys whom don't know what to do with themselves when I send them into the back yard to play. It's like they don't know how to go play on their play structure or kick a ball around or anything.

Can someone shed some light on this?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I am not talking btw of sending them outside unsupervised or out of my site playing on their own. I am talking, doing dishes while they play in the fenced in back yard, which is viewable from the kitchen. They just went out there were completely clueless...

Jessica--no offense, but I spend nearly 45 hours a week with them, and more in the summer. I just was asking a general question, using my nanny kids as an example. I just wanted to see other people's perspectives on the topic. I am not being judgemental of them, I am being honest, as I do see alot of what happens with this family. I have been with them almost 7.5 years. Good grief!

Featured Answers

I sent mine out to play all the time. They would sometimes think it was punishment, but it wouldnt take long before they were playing, digging, climbing or something..... then they didnt want to come back in,. lol. Silly rabbits.

5 moms found this helpful

My kids go out and play all of the time :) If they are cooped up inside they get on each others nerves...and mom's....lol!

4 moms found this helpful

How about this: A lot of parents do have their kids play outside, you're just not around those kids. And you're being awfully judgmental about the parents and children that you nanny for. It's very easy to judge other people before you're a parent in their position.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Ok, see... how many posts have you seen on mamapedia in the past few weeks absolutely bitching about neighbor kids? "I don't want the neighbor kid in my yard!" "I don't want to watch the neighbor kid!" "The neighbor kid is annoying!"

When I was a child, ALL of the neighbor kids were outside playing, not just me. Collectively, the parents would keep an eye on all of the kids.

We can't have it both ways.

You're lucky enough to have a fenced-in backyard to send the boys out but not everybody does. And it's not safe if you don't. Further, what made it fun when I was a kid was playing with the neighbor kids. That's why Mom had to scream at me to MAKE me come in the house when it got dark! We had a neighborhood full of friends!

With the mentality I'm seeing even from Moms right here on mamapedia, no wonder we can't send our kids out. Everybody is sensitive about everything, nobody is willing to be a part of a community any more, it's all about me, me, me, and MY privacy.

I have taken my children outside to play. They know how to scooter, ride their bikes without training wheels, and roller skate. We trace each other with sidewalk chalk. But there are NO other kids outside playing, just us.

Just my two cents.

8 moms found this helpful

I believe there is a lot of over-parenting and too much emphasis placed upon the 'constant parental engagement' of your child. Many women are told that they need to be constantly interacting with their baby, their toddler, their preschooler and the kid becomes dependent on mom to entertain them. The kids never learn to self-entertain because mommy is still attached to the kid. Also, many parents get caught up in the concept of mommy and me classes. Not that they're bad; they can actually be good, but every once in a while mommy does not need to participate in the class (age appropriate of course). Everything is so structured - Little Gym class at this time, followed by the library reading group, followed by the neighborhood playdate, etc. I think having a routine is good because kids often take comfort in knowing what to expect but flexibility is also important and other activities, including self-entertainment, should be explored.

We have a fenced in backyard and when my kids are old enough, I too will be sending them to the yard to play. Now, I will likely be sitting in a chair under a shade tree supervising them but at least they'll be able to self-select activities and run wild.

7 moms found this helpful

Honest answer? Some people are just lazy. Sorry, I know that this isn't going to go over well, but it's easier to pop in a DVD and get things done around the house than it is to go outside and supervise or take their children to a safe outdoor place space.

We have a 3 yr old, so he really can't be outside by himself, but we are outside with him every day (sunshine, snow, light rain, whatever) letting him run around and play. Given his choice, he would be outside digging in the dirt. We both work full time and dinner still gets on the table every night, the bills get paid and all the other "stuff" that needs to get done. TV is reserved for just before bedtime and (in all honesty) if I HAVE to get something done quickly.

It kind of scares me how locked-in my preschooler will become when the t.v. is on. Our neighbors all send their kids outside to play and they all play together- regardless of age. My little guy LOVES playing "ball" with the big boys and they are wonderful to him-

It's not all parents, just some.

6 moms found this helpful

Did you ever see The Sandlot?
The mom says to her son "Go outside, climb trees, jump fences...get in TROUBLE!"
When I was a kid, we were outside all day, everyday til dark, coming home only for lunch & dinner.
Granted I grew up in a pretty rural area with about 8 other kids within a mile but we were ALL over the neighborhood, in each other's yards, walking to the little store, etc.
It IS a different time now (although I suspect weirdos surely existed then, but we just didn't HEAR about pedophiles, kidnappers, etc. everyday then) but now we have moms posting things like "my neighbors kids keep coming over" or "how can I keep other kids OFF of our swing set"! It's crazy!

6 moms found this helpful

I sent mine out to play all the time. They would sometimes think it was punishment, but it wouldnt take long before they were playing, digging, climbing or something..... then they didnt want to come back in,. lol. Silly rabbits.

5 moms found this helpful

Girl bye!!!!!!! I can't stand these lazy kids today! my son is 5 and he must have been in the womb knowing that tv all day was not an option, he loves to go outside, rain,snow,sleet he does not care. but all this playstation, Wii, xbox all day is not an option for me PERIOD!!! these little bums now days think they will melt if they go outside, God forbid if they go outside and ride a bike or get an old fridge box and go to town with imagination! i used to go hunting for big stove or tv boxes so i could bring them home and play in them for hours. these kids now days are just what i said lazy bums! and their parents are allowing!!!! i purposely don't buy those video games so they can't miss what they don't have. even the older kids in my house have to get out! they have the game systems at their moms house( my boyfriends kids) i may get one later one but not right now! i am in full agreement with you! lol i used to bring my record player outside with me too and play disco/dance club!!! i miss those days!

5 moms found this helpful

My kids go out and play all of the time :) If they are cooped up inside they get on each others nerves...and mom's....lol!

4 moms found this helpful

I don't believe tv and video games are the cause. *I* had tv and video games and managed to spend plenty of fun time outdoors.

I do believe general society has adopted a strange idea that children need to be constantly entertained and scheduled, whether that be by tv, video games, family game night, year round activity enrollment, busywork homework, or portable computer apps, leaving fewer kids with the ability to figure out how to entertain THEMSELVES when they do have a few minutes of freedom.

4 moms found this helpful

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