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To feel sick with worry when i see a parent crossing a busy road with a "just" toddling toddler

(71 Posts)
Lucyellensmum95 Sat 02-Mar-13 09:38:30

I know IABU, i suspect I have done loads it but recently whenever I see a parent with a child out of puschair crossing a busy road my heart is in my mouth and i have to watch to make sure they they cross safely. I just worry that the child might slip from the parents grip and walk out...........sad

A woman in London the other day was doing this and actually crossed half of the road and then stood in the middle until there was a gap in traffic, ok there was heavy traffic and the cars were going slow but not slow enough to stop imo. I wanted to wind the window down and scream at her!

Now i know that would be a crazy woman thing to do and its sort of turning into a bit of a phobia thing for me (no background reason for this other than general anxiety which is quite high at the moment so maybe why i have been reacting)

I just can't help but think - oh my god, what if she lets go, what if the child trips? Seriously, my DP thought i had gone mad yesterday when i saw another woman doing it today - i was ranting away in the car about it.

So yes, over reaction i know but really? would it be so hard just to pick them up or have them on reins or those little rucksack things.

I think that toddlerhood is exactly the age to start talking to dcs about road safety. They should never, ever be making any decisions but they are old enough to start to learn about waiting and looking and being cautious. I would get my dcs to look and tell me if it was safe. I always held their hand and they were all tractable enough that felt sufficient and obviously it was always me who said whether to move or not but they were also encouraged to look and report. It's no good hoping that dcs will get to 8 or 9 and be able to cross roads by themselves unless they've had years of grounding.

Obviously if you've seen an accident that coloiurs your thinking. Worse still if you've suffered a terrible loss like Mrs Presley sad but we have to find a balance between keeping dcs safe and building their skills and independance.

What does shock me though is how many parents allow their dcs to run unrestrained in car parks. No awareness of reversing cars, no caution at all. We've always had 'car park rules' - dc hold hands and then when we get to our car they stand STILL by the rear wheel at the side of their car door.

Iggly Sat 02-Mar-13 13:40:30

I didn't let my ds walk unrestrained (no reins) until at least 2. Now at 3.5 I let him walk without holding hands but never before.

He was too young to reason with - now he's older he understands.

Dd is 15 months and walks but again no way on earth is she going to be walking on the pavement until she's much older.

JuliaScurr Sat 02-Mar-13 13:45:08

my dd never ran off - apprently this is common in childenn of disabled parents maybe because they can tell you can't run to rescue them

BinksToEnlightenment Sat 02-Mar-13 13:59:39

Queenofcats, that's awful. So sad.

Goldenbear Sat 02-Mar-13 14:19:00

Recently I saw a duckling toddler, looked about 2.5 but could have been older, walking behind his mum from the park, she trusted him to cross the road with the green man signal without holding her hand. They got to the pedestrian crossing in the middle of the road and the next one had reverted to the red man because they weren't quick enough to cross that bit of the road. The little boy ran ahead believing he was crossing correctly, unfortunately a van didn't notice him and touched him with the bumper and knocked him over but he had fallen rather than bounced off the bumper and luckily he was fine. The mum had a baby in a pram, was obviously shaken but also proceeded to tell him off for not crossing at the green man.

manticlimactic Sat 02-Mar-13 17:11:55

I hate seeing people with children stood in the middle of the road. Especially if there is a crossing not 10 yards away. It makes me anxious and I'm not one for anxiety.

What I have noticed lately is people, including older children without anyone with them, just crossing side streets without even looking.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 02-Mar-13 17:52:47

Really awful queenofcats. I can't imagine what that must have been like.

Ds is of an age now that I drill into him at every road cross "look left and right. Is anything coming?" etc, even though I still hold his hand. I know that he is a head in the clouds person though, and WILL blindly follow other children accross roads if I am not vigilant.
The traffic just rolling on accross the green man particularly terrifies me, since you tell your kids "wait for the green man" but even then you have to say "and still check the cars are actually stopping".
I have on occasion had to actually bang on car bonnets when crossing and scream "STOP!" when we have been crossing at the green man and they have just kept driving.
So, drivers, PLEASE pay attention at the lights!

Meglet Sat 02-Mar-13 18:00:02

julia that's interesting. On Child of our time this week Alison Lapper said her son never ran off, again it would make sense that children have sussed their parents can't dash after them. A sort of in-built survival mechanism.

Whereas mine know mummy goes running so maybe they think they're giving me that extra bit of exercise tearing off to the road hmm. They were perfect children when I was in bed with flu the other week, they knew I couldn't do things for them.

penelopepissstop Sat 02-Mar-13 19:20:17

I hear you fellow anxiety sufferer.
I hate seeing kids hanging over the edge of balconies at theatres, kids scooting too close to the road, running toddlers heading for a side road or blind drop kerb. Some of us are just hyper-alert in times of personal stress.
I did once stop a kid from using a crossing because she hadn't seen the approaching high speed ambulance though. The father didn't give two hoots, nor did he thank me for holding her back (only by putting out my arm). He just told her to stop and expected her to comply. Cared more she'd disobeyed him than the fact she had started running onto the road...Me, my nerves were jangling the minute I heard the ambulance and saw how many children were about to leap out because the green man was about to start beeping.

Startail Sat 02-Mar-13 20:09:59

DD1 got way better about escaping when her sister came along. I think she realised I couldn't chase her with the pushchair.

Thumbwitch Sat 02-Mar-13 22:21:28

ifNotNow - I'd been doing that with DS1 since he was walking, but DH didn't so I had to drum it into him as well to make sure he took extra care with DS1 around. He would just walk across carparks without checking anything as well - he just doesn't have the built-in extra awareness-of-small-child-needing-guidance thing - but once I'd told him, he did start doing it.

I did nearly get both myself and DS1 killed while he was in a pushchair though - we were crossing on a zebra crossing, halfway across and this woman in a big 4WD just kept going (far side of the road from us, plenty of time to have seen us crossing the road but she wasn't looking ahead) - she was close enough for me to be able to step forward (around the pushchair) and bang on her car, if I'd wanted to. shock Since then I have always waited until it's obvious that the cars halfway down the road are going to stop, and have taught DS1 to do the same - just as well as only the other day we would have been taken out by a trail bike walking to school.

SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 03-Mar-13 01:22:32

YANBU at all Op. I'm shocked that people on here are saying you are.

I shudder when I see toddlers on the pavements of busy streets who arennt holding an adults hand. It only takes one second them to get distracted and dart off. Anxiety has nothing to do with it. Its common sense. There are many situations where lessons can be learnt from making mistakes, but not road safety.

JuliaScurr Sun 03-Mar-13 14:37:29

interesting that Alison Lapper said that, meglet
Though I do sometimes think it's not fair they have to be 'good' because we can't run - on the other hand, dd got more freedom in another sense because shewas allowed to run ahead , hide and 'surprise' me by jumping out smile
Aaah - happy days

jellybeans Sun 03-Mar-13 16:00:13

YANBU OP. I am simelar. I used backpack reins till DS3 was 3.8 because he was a bolter. He is 4 now and still has to hold hands on all roads unless at the park etc. I sometimes felt stupid with the reins on as DS was so tall and i felt judged but I remembered Mrs Presley's terrible loss of her son sad and carried on knowing it was better to be safe. Could have even saved DS3's life as he really would have bolted into the road so thank you Mrs Presley for speaking about it to safeguard others. DH once got distracted at nursery pick up and let DS3 bolt out into the road/car park. He was lucky no cars were coming/reversing. But it always annoyed me that he never took holding their hands as seriously as me. i think some of us are more anxious than others.

jellybeans Sun 03-Mar-13 16:01:08

I also get very nervous when little kids are in front on scooters near busy roads! Only takes to go the wrong way into the road!

LahleeMooloo Sun 03-Mar-13 16:57:57

You sound unhinged.

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 03-Mar-13 17:55:05

Wow - thats a very thought out and intelligent post there LahleeMooloo, especially with a name like that, you call ME unhinghed?? grin

Chottie Sun 03-Mar-13 18:05:18

I'm with the original poster. Children are so little and move so quickly. When a car breaks, it can't stop immediately.

OP - I often have my heart in my mouth too. I always used reins when my children were little.

jojane Sun 03-Mar-13 18:08:06

I cross the road with 2.5 yr old ds2. He likes to walk everywhere now, but I hold his hand in a way that means he can't pull his hand away, hard to explain but my first two fingers and thumb are holding his hand like a normal hand hold but my little finger and ring finger are wrapped around his wrist iyswim?

My pet hate is when you are waiting at a crossing and people cross when it's in red, kids aren't going to know they shouldn't follow.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 03-Mar-13 18:17:52

Some drivers are total idiots Thumbwitch.
I actually had a card drive into me once, while standing outside a shop(on the pavement) with ds. Luckily she drove into me, not ds.
She stopped just in time, when she felt the car hit me,and when I yelled, but then drove off.
Nice.
I did wonder if someone had taken out a hit on me!

Thumbwitch Sun 03-Mar-13 18:24:05

shock IfNotNow! Thank goodness she stopped - I wonder if she was drunk?! And how bloody rude to just drive off without checking you were ok, or apologising. angry

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