Second Annual Take Your Kids to The Park And Leave Them There Day

In addition to possibly being Judgment Day, May 21 is the 2nd annual Take Your Kids to The Park And Leave Them There Day.

Started last year by Lenore Skenazy, the “Free-Range Parenting” mom, the purpose of the day is, “getting our kids outside to meet each other and figure out how to have some fun. The idea is for us to take our kids to the park and, if they are about 7 or 8 or older, leave them there for a little while, with each other,” Skenazy explains on her website.

I spoke to Skenazy last year about raising “Free-range” kids. I’ll admit, she had some very good points, statistics about crime rates, rational ideas, but still, I don’t feel that a kid as young as she suggests should be left alone at a park. I’d be the perfect parent for her upcoming television show. She’s about to start filming a reality TV show where she visits the homes of overprotective parents who want a little help loosening the reins. If you’re interested in being one of the families, contact her here.

My oldest daughter is 7-years-old now, 7 1/2 actually, but as much as I liked to be more open and less fearful, there is no way I’m dropping her off at a park. Heck, I just let her have her first drop-off at a birthday party and I was a nervous wreck.

How about you? Will you be participating?

(Photo: Flickr/GoonSquadSarah)

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  1. The kids in Lord of the Flies were left on their own for awhile, too. Just saying.

  2. I don’t think it is wise, considering the numbers of predators and sexual offenders in the Essex Cty area, to do think in an urban setting. I think there are ages for kids to be allowed to be “out” on their own, but 7 or 8 seems a bit young for me. We don’t live in Mayberry, people.. 142 PAGES of offenders, people.

  3. Huh?

    Using your link:

    0 in 07043
    6 in 07042

    And considering how broad “predator” is defined, I question even whether those 6 pose any real threat to a kid at a park.

    Sadly jessepstein, you are trading in an unrealistic fear that, unfortunately, has far too many folks GRIPPED and has our kids fat, scared and insular.

    You realized that you have a better chance at getting into a car accident than being abducted, so are you going to suggest that we don’t drive our kids around?

    Check this:

    And this:

    shows that a kid has a greater chance at dying of the flu, than being abducted.

    But that is what fear does- makes you act irrationally.

  4. Here is the deal… to most people driving in a car or being exposed to the flu is part of life and unavoidable. Dropping your kids off at the park without parentable supervision is a choice.

    The odds may be lower that my children will get abducted than many other things in life. Exposing them to this avoidable risk that is just a risk I am not willing to take. End of story.

  5. So you don’t drive then, huh?

    Because every mile you drive “exposes” them to much greater risk? You can walk, to most things in town, or take public transportation.

    Really, why even leave the house? Danger lurks outside! EVERYWHERE!!

    Thinking further, your home poses greater risks (accidental deaths and poisoning are higher too), so– keep the kids LOCKED UP!!!

  6. I believe there are other considerations beyond child abductions and molestations. In my opinion the average seven or eight year old is not developed enough to deal with situations such as serious injuries (and some times minor ones) in a calm and responsible way. Or depending on the size of the park, perhaps getting lost. My son is only five, so of course I do not know what he will be capable by seven or eight and you really have to go by your own child’s maturity level. So, while I do not believe in over protecting your child, I also do not believe in putting them in situations they may not yet be ready for.

  7. I’m not (particularly) worried about predators. I’d be more worried about accidents on the playground with no adult around to handle the fall-out.

    Of course, my kids are still pre-school aged, so most of the kids on the playgrounds are larger than they are. With the decision still a few years away, I’m thinking that at around age 10 I’d consider leaving them at the park while I run to ShopRite. But in the back of my mind, I am pretty sure that when they hit 10, I’ll move it up a year. And so on, and so on.

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