Would You Leave Your Kids At The Park Alone?

   By drodriguez  May 23, 2010

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?


Make a Comment

hopeEternal by hopeEternal | Adkins, TX
Aug 12, 2010

This one really hit a nerve with me, here some of us are working our butts off daily to make sure all our kids are safe and here we have this idiotic woman suggesting we place them in dangers path. Yes kidnappings are rare but is that something we are willing to risk saying to our child if something horrible should happen to them because of us making such a stupid decision? This lady should have been investigated when the first incident took place and not be allowed to continue posting harmful suggestions to others.

nerdlover by nerdlover | new franklin, MO
Aug 07, 2010

i wontnt leave me son there by himself! not that im worried about he would do but more worried about the sex offenders out there that just wait for a parnet to not b lookin and grab ur kid. no thank u they dont have that much freedom anymore cause ppl are crazy

Aspiringauthor09 by Aspiringauthor09 | LAKEVILLE, PA
Jul 14, 2010

It all comes down to the circumstances. If other mothers who I know are there and my child and their child are playing, then yes. But I definitly wouldn't leave my child at the park if there was no body we knew there. I refuse to risk the life of something I LOVE SO MUCH!

roldancate by roldancate | COLUMBIA, TN
Jun 28, 2010

This is one of those situations where you think it could never happen to you, your family, children, etc. I would never recommend leaving a child alone in a park, mall,movies, you get the point. Where do you think a pedifile would be? Where the children are. A child who is alone is the perfect target. Even though we raise our children the "right way" it is not your children that you have to worry about.

jrosales721 by jrosales721 | FAIRFAX, VA
Jun 28, 2010

I do not feel comfortable allowing my child to play in the park alone or in a group. Growing up my mother would not allow me to leave the front gate unless I had one of my brothers with me. Also we were not allowed to ride our bikes past the corners or around the corners. I think it all has to do with the way you grew up, the place you grew up in ,and the place you live in now. I live in a military town and kipnapping is far from rare over here. I get an amber aleart atleast once a month and I am sorry that does not make me feel comfortable at ALL WITH ANY CHILD ALONE AT THE PARK. If I lived in a tighter knit community with a local community park I could see playing in the park alone for an afternoon with familiar faces all around.

Diana60 by Diana60 | COLUMBUS, IN
Jun 20, 2010

We live in a small town and there is not a lot of crime and I still would NEVER let a 7 year old go to a park with out me. My youngest is now 12 and he will go to the school playground with a cell phone with a group of other kids. Things are not the same as when we were kids..and our kids will say the same things to there kids.."when I was young I got to do this"..that is called life!

tsoko22 by tsoko22 | GREENFILD TWP, PA
Jun 18, 2010

It most likely depends on their age and he area I would be leaving them. My kids are 10, 7 and 1 so obviously I am not ready to leave them anywhere alone.

honugirl by honugirl | Wahiawa, HI
Jun 13, 2010

As kids, we lived at the park! No parents around! But in this day and age, NO WAY! There are too many predators out there and it just takes a second. It doesn't have to be a kidnapping, its a grope, a stare, how they would speak to your child. No child deserves to have that happen to them. Keep them close, they grow up way to fast!

nisselokeo by nisselokeo | harlingen, TX
Jun 10, 2010

I would not leave my children alone at that age at ALL! Don't get me wrong, i trust my kids, but its everyone else i don't trust!!!

Innergy by Innergy | MARIETTA, GA
Jun 08, 2010

Teaching a child how to find his/her way around the city and leaving them in the park are 2 totally different things. What if someone gets hurt or a child gets bullied? I know I'm thinking the worst but I think it depends on how old they are and if there is a way to get help if needed (pay phone, adults nearby, etc.)

j9sjeep by j9sjeep | Willowick, OH
Jun 03, 2010

I trust the way that I raised my children, so I do not have a problem with them going to the park alone. I am hoping that the use the good judgment that I taught them in the past. I do however make sure that when they do go to the park, they are in a group!

cheerfultulips by cheerfultulips | Frisco, TX
Jun 02, 2010

I realize that children need to be given opportunities to be independent and its extremely important for their self esteem and confidence ...but I dont think leaving them alone in a park is way to do that ...they could get hurt and confused ..and it would be risky too...I wouldnt leave my child alone in a park ...

jellybeanr by jellybeanr | STATEN ISLAND, NY
Jun 02, 2010

i would never leave my children in the park alone. You can not do this now a days because of so many missing children.

mommaduck by mommaduck | SAINT CHARLES, MO
Jun 02, 2010

No I would not leave my kids alone at the park. I'm sorry but if they are at the age where they are still going to a park to play on the playground then they are to young to be left alone. there are to many crazy people out there that pray on kids that go to the park alone. No thank you, they can go with me or another adult

chinnmom by chinnmom | DACULA, GA
Jun 01, 2010

I have 3 girls (10,12, and 13). I would not leave them alone in a park at all! I don't think it is responsible parenting to allow any opportunity for your children to be exposed to danger!