Friday, March 26, 2010

Kids on the Street

A neighbour stopped me this week to tell me that I could be fined for allowing my children to play in the street.  I checked out her story and this is what I found.....

The tension between protecting - or over-protecting - our children (and our neighbours, I suppose!) on the one hand (which by-laws and child protection agencies encourage) and, on the other, providing them with a healthy lifestyle and some element of independence and responsibility for self (advocated by child psychologists) continues.

Some things to consider if your children do play on the street:
  • are your children safe?
  • how heavy is traffic?  is it a through street? are there particular times when traffic is heavier (rush hour or garbage pick-up for example)
  • are you supervising your children?  how much supervision is adequate?
  • do your children know what to do when a car comes?
  • are there parked cars or anything else that can be damaged?
  • do your children have a boundary safely away from the corner of the street?
  • are your children polite to neighbours and pedestrians?
  • do your children play nicely with other neighbourhood children?
  • how loud are your children and how long are they playing outside (we all have our tolerance limits after all!)
  • are they playing outside a house with very young children who may be sleeping?