I sometimes let my two older boys have a little freedom in the bike-riding department.
A little freedom.
They have to stay absolutely together, they cannot go more than one street away, it must be daylight and not even anything close to resembling dusk, they always wear helmets, and (the real clincher) they have to take walkie-talkies with them (one for them, one for me) and we have to stay in very frequent communication.
They really love that last part.
There's nothing like sailing down the street on your Huffy bike, the wind in your face, and your momma breaking in every 90 seconds to croak, "BOYS? Are you okay?"
In fact, today as they headed out the door for a quick ride, I KID YOU NOT, Stephen hollered over his shoulder, "Mom? Don't call us--we'll call you!"
Don't call us, we'll call you? I never expected to need to hire an agent to get the kids home for dinner.
All of this does, however, beg the question--how do you handle the issue of giving kids freedoms such as bike-riding or dog-walking without you? Do you have any particular age criteria in place? What are some of the guidelines you give your kids?
And don't you desperately wish we didn't have to worry about it?