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Would You Leave Your Kids At The Park Alone?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 05.23.10
Would You Leave Your Kids At The Park Alone?
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If you have ever wondered what would be a good way to peel your child from a video game or computer screen, Lenore Skenazy may have the answer for you.  Skenazy recently declared May 22nd “Take Your Kids To The Park and Leave Them There Day”, in an effort to get kids active and teach them to be independent at the same time.


You may remember hearing about Skenazy, a former columnist for the New York Sun, a couple of years ago when she wrote an article about how she left her then 10-year-old son in Bloomingdales with a subway and bus map and allowed him to find his own way home.  There was mixed reactions from readers of her column.  Some thought Skenazy was doing a good thing for her son, teaching him some independence and letting him know that she trusts him.  But others thought what Skenazy did was irresponsible and put her son in great danger.


Skenazy’s new campaign is for parents of children age 7 and up to allow their children to play at the park without any parental supervision for about 15 minutes to start.  Skenazy believes children do not have as much freedom as they used to and as a result will find it difficult to take care of themselves when the time comes.  She also thinks that many parents today needlessly hover over their children, not allowing them to form connections with other children on their own or figure things out for themselves.


One of the biggest concerns parents face is the possibility that someone will take or hurt their child if they leave them alone for even a minute.  Though we hear of harm being done to children on the news every night, Skenazy argues that child abduction is actually very rare and children are much more likely to be abused by people they know and live with.


What do you think of Skenazy idea to leave your child at the park?


Is this something you would consider doing?


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  • dillonbobsmon By dillonbobsmon

    I would not leave my children in a park alone because I dont think there ready . So kidnapping is rare{I don't think it is very rare} my children are interested in a wide variety of things and could wander off get hurt and no one would know where they were I my self could not live with that. Thats is my opinion

  • Skyyblue77 By Skyyblue77

    I would NEVER leave my children alone in the park until they are older and can defend for themselves. This day and age, its not safe anymore. You can't trust people. I also don't think kidnapping is rare. I don't want my child to be the next victim because I decided to leave them alone so they get some independence.

  • doolmusicfan By doolmusicfan

    Absolutely NOT! Not only is it unsafe because of molesters, but what if they got hurt while playing??? Obviously they won't have a cell phone to call for help and don't expect strangers to help in emergencies. Not a good idea at all :( If you really need a break from your kids, get a sitter.

  • troeltc By troeltc

    I remember going to the park with my sister when we were 5 and 6 yr. without mom. The park was within hearing distance of my house. Mom could hear us, and knew the other mom's at the park. I think they rotated "keeping an eye" on us, but not hovering. I wish I felt I could leave my son at the park alone. He is still young, but I try to sit on the bench and let him play. I don't follow him around, and he isn't always in sight. That is the best I can do right now. But by the time he is 10 or 11 yr. I hope he is responsible enough that he can go play in the neighborhood without me around.

  • jenndta69 By jenndta69

    I live in a pretty big city where a lot of people don't know each other. It's not a community. My daughter is 13 and I still would not leave her alone in a park. If she were with a group of friends, that might be different. Safety in numbers, not alone!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    no way! i wouldn't even dream about it. no matter how safe you THINK your own neighborhood is, there is ALWAYS prowlers out there driving around. i would have a heart attack first before i think about doing this to my child. there is a fine line of showing a child independance and experiencing dangers of the world.

  • LongStoryShort By LongStoryShort

    Kidnapping may be rare, but it's still a possibility. Who's willing to take that chance? Or the chance that there will be older kids at the park who are unsupervised as well? What about falling and getting hurt? I'm sure there's an age at which kids are old enough to play at the park by themselves, but seven isn't it, no matter how safe you think your neighborhood is.

  • 1hotlilmama By 1hotlilmama

    Heck NO! Only an idiot would leave their sweet child alone without an adult at a park. Forget kidnapping for a minute... what about perverts, child molesters, bigger meaner kids and accidents? Good Lord, people should have to take a test before having children...this question should be one it.

  • BarbNelson By BarbNelson

    Yeah, I remember being left to play in the park on my own with my brothers when I was a kid. Here's the catch: I wasn't really "alone" My dad or mom was always off to the sidelines. They didn't hover like a lot of parents do now, but they also didn't just abandon us to the mercy of strangers and go off to do something else either. There's a medium ground between unsupervised and coddled and I think that that is what we need to focus on refinding as parents. Moderation. Where did it go? Do we have to be on the side of one extreme or another?

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    It's a different day and age...I would Never leave children alone in the park. We still have to be responsible parents, people!

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