...I told my daughter it was too late to play outside on a school night.

I get it, the weather has been nice lately and the kids want nothing more than to spend time outside running around with their friends, riding bikes, and doing all those things that kids do when it's nice outside.


How late do you let your kids stay out on school nights? And by 'out' I mean outside in the neighborhood, playing with friends.

Where Did All These Kids Come From?

With it staying light out later these days, and the nicer temps we have been enjoying lately, it's no surprise that there's lots going on outside, but seriously, where did all these kids come from?  Do you even live in this neighborhood?  I live in a pretty kid-friendly area, but the past few days it's been like Grand Central Station at my house. The doorbell's ringing every few minutes with someone asking if my 6-year-old daughter can come outside to play, and when I look outside there's a handful of kids in my driveway that I've legitimately never seen before.

Pablo Merchan for Canva
Pablo Merchan for Canva

Sorry, It's Too Late To Play Outside

I'm usually all about her going out to burn off some energy, but, the other night someone rang the bell around 7:45 pm, and as the words 'sorry, it's too late to play outside' came out of my mouth, I wondered if I had turned into my mom, or if I was in fact 'being the worst' as exclaimed by my kid.

Now, we are certainly not the textbook example of how to operate as a properly functioning duo when it comes to kid-parent relationships and responsibilities.  Sometimes we eat dinner on the couch and I've been convinced, a time or two, to negotiate putting off homework for a board game or movie, but we try to keep some sense of order when it comes to after-school routines and nighttime structure.

FatCamera for Canva
FatCamera for Canva

How Late Is Too Late On School Nights?

With all of this in mind, how late is too late for your little ones to play outside on a school night?  Do outdoor activities end when they come in for dinner?  Is it 30 minutes before showers/bedtime that you start corralling the gang to come inside?  Is it a free for all until the streetlights come on (are there even streetlights where you live, we don't have them)? Help a mom out, and while you're at it, if you haven't weighed in on my last parenting dilemma about the age when it's appropriate to drop your kid off at a birthday party and leave, be sure to share your thoughts on that, too....

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