Multiple concerns and skills come into play here. Here are some things to consider?
- Are the kids outside supervised or unsupervised. Being at a friend's house next door with parents home is a bit different then roaming the neighborhood.
- Is the age span of the children outside narrow? Beware of a 16 year old boy and a 12 or 13 year old girl. Three 11 year old girls giggling on the front porch is great.
- If its after dark, consider the rule being that an adult walks you home or calls to say you are on your way. Talk to your neighbors about a common policy.
- As always, L&L would suggest offering choices: "Do you want to come in now or in 15 minutes?" " Do you want to come in now and join the family for ice cream or come in later and head right to the shower before bed."
- Some families prefer together time for an hour at the end of the day... a time to wind down together. Do you want family time to be at 8:00 or 8:30?
- Some families say, "Be on our property after 8:30 and inside by 9:00 pm. OR, "Feel free to stay up a late as you want as long as you are inside and can get up at 6:30 am to help Mom get the little one's ready for daycare."
- If Friday night is a stay up late night for Mom and Dad, plan some fun outside activities in the yard with friends (Oh the thrill of flashlight tag!).
- What if they come in late? Be prepared to go "brain dead" if they argue. This cold also be the time for a "delayed consequence" or an "energy drain."