To think just 4 is too young to play out alone?

(100 Posts)

Yes I know it's probably none of my business aside from the fact I live in fear of knocking the child over!

The child was 4 last week. He is playing out with his older sibling (7) and a few other children aged between 7 and 10. Our road isn't terribly busy being a cul de sac but it has three roads off it so there are quite a few cars in the evening.

I'm not so concerned about someone snatching him, very unlikely. More likely to be squashed as someone reverses off drive. Lots of parked cars as well which makes it trickier.

His own house is round the corner on a different road. He could actually be anywhere and parents wouldn't know. Presume they are relying on older sibling to watch him. However watched older sibling go into another child's house for about ten mins and leave little bro just riding around on his own. I kept my eye on him!

Aibu and judgey?!

VerySmallSqueak Fri 19-Apr-13 20:41:08

YANBU.
It is too young and it's unfair to expect the older children to take on that level of responsibility.

rhetorician Fri 19-Apr-13 20:41:28

My dd is 4, and plays out on the road, also cul de sac. But I am always hovering nearby, and I would hesitate even to pop into the house for something if she was still out. I'd put h in garden and close heavy metal gate. I like the fact that she plays out, but feel that it is not fair to ask others to take responsibility for her safety

auntmargaret Fri 19-Apr-13 20:42:32

My 3yo used to play in the street, along with the boy next door (same age) People used t o judge me for it, but what they didn't know was I was crouched behind front door, watching every instant. It gave the kids independence and confidence, they were delighted at the freedom. They are both 10 now, and still best friends even though we don't live next door anymore. YABU. You don't know what precautions parents are taking, and its very difficult to tell 4yo that his sibling can go out to play and he can't. Let kids be kids. Let them play.

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 20:47:38

DD was out front at 4/5 with her same age friends and their older sister and brothers they were safe the older children looked after the younger ones they never wandered or got knocked over <shrug> we could see them from the window friends granny could see them from her window, I think you are being a teeny bit Unreasonable

AnyFucker Fri 19-Apr-13 20:48:11

OP, how did you draw the conclusion you "must be a bit overprotective" from the replies to your thread ??? confused

VerySmallSqueak Fri 19-Apr-13 20:48:21

There are three roads going on to this cul de sac and there can be a few cars about in the evening.

This in't a quiet little dead end with no traffic and the parents watching from the window!

jacks365 Fri 19-Apr-13 20:49:42

I think it depends, i wouldn't where i live but i would where my parents are as it is a quiet cul de sac off another cul de sac but from your description i would say no chance. YANBU

Sorry, from some of the replies. It's about 50:50?

The thing is though, they can't see him. They are definitely not crouched nearby! I still wouldn't do it. I think ds would have to be 6 and in view of the house and I'd probably still be on edge!

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 20:58:28

I suppose it does depend where you live if a parent feels safe or not perhaps his parents feel it is safe, I do sometimes see strange little kids under 7 wandering about here and wonder where they have come from,

5madthings Fri 19-Apr-13 21:00:23

In the circumstances you describe op I wouldn't do it. But where we live I feel its fine but as I said I can see out the window and have the front door open and can call out to them etc plus our cup due sac is VERY quiet.

HappyHugs Fri 19-Apr-13 21:01:12

I think it really depends on your set up. My 4 yr old plays outside in front of our house because I have full view of her, she's with a bunch of other 3-5 yr olds and all the neighbours houses look out on the grassy area they play on.

She is very mature and responsible and, as its also a cul de sac, we dont have many cars. There are no local kids kept in, but parents are very close at hand (though usually inside). None of my friends let theirs out and in their circumstances neither would I.

bruffin Fri 19-Apr-13 21:02:51

Most of the dcs in our street pkayed out from the age of 4 including my 2. It is a cul de sac. It gave the street a lovely atmosphere. They taught each other to ride bikes etc and there was rarely any problems.

UnscentedStillRomantic Fri 19-Apr-13 21:03:46

I don't think older children/siblings should be resposible for younger ones.

My older dd was allowed to do things the younger ones weren't; their safety was my responsibility not hers.

YANBU. DD2 is also 4 in a couple of months and there is no way I would let her play out. DD1 is 7 in a couple of weeks and has been playing out since she was about 5 and a half. I trust her, she's road aware, and she knows not to go past certain lampposts in the street. But no way would I make her responsible for her little sister playing out.

Its hard though, because there are kids younger than DD2 playing out and I was wondering if I was over protective, but I don't think I am after reading this!

EmpressMaud Fri 19-Apr-13 21:07:45

Yanbu, and the seven year old should not have been in position of responsibility.

everlong Fri 19-Apr-13 21:09:57

The safest of places has seen children of this age abducted whilst playing out with friends.

expatinscotland Fri 19-Apr-13 21:10:42

LOL @ all these 'mature' 'responsible' and 'sensible' 4-year-olds. hmm

UnscentedStillRomantic Fri 19-Apr-13 21:16:41

As AnyFucker said earlier the ability to judge car speeds and make good road decisions doesn't develop until a child is older.

Even if a child is mature or sensible at 4/5, it doesn't come into it really regarding safety around traffic.

mrsjay Fri 19-Apr-13 21:17:18

TBF expat I didnt say my 4 yr old was mature or sensible just i let her out to play with her friend and the other kids if she was mature and sensible I wouldnt need to watch from the window all the time occasionally

everlong Fri 19-Apr-13 21:20:15

Children of 4 or 5 are not mature enough to judge traffic or being confronted by a stranger or a stray dog or a....

AnyFucker Fri 19-Apr-13 21:23:03

your kids of age 3-5 are "mature and responsible" ?

ok, I'll see you sat next to the bed on PICU then, doing the 24 hour vigil

fgs

5madthings Fri 19-Apr-13 21:26:15

Our cul due sac is a dead end, there are rarely any cars and the bit where the kids play means we can see any coming. They mainly play in our driveway, next doors driveway or right out the front with the kids from next door and the kids from the house opposite, all of us nip in and out, the blood opposite us often out cleaning his car and we can see them from front windows and be with them in less than a minute.

All situations are different, but we live in a quiet area and we chose this house partly because they can play out and my elder ones can go to the local shop etc.

rhetorician Fri 19-Apr-13 21:26:15

expat never feAr, my 4 yo is far from mature, sensible or responsible! She knows to watch the road, but would forget if there was a dog to pet. And her propensity for going up to random dogs is a problem. I also feel I have to stop her being a nuisance to people. She doesn't do anything terrible, but not everyone wants their dandelions picked wink

TattyDevine Fri 19-Apr-13 21:29:01

Hard to know unless we can see the street, for what its worth I let my 3 year old play out, with older brother and other kids, me with half an eye out but more often than not they end up in someones house (usually mine [grr] so the street thing is less of an issue. Very little traffic. No through. Etc. But you may well not be unreasonable.

Pigsmummy Fri 19-Apr-13 21:31:58

Its not fair on the older siblings to have such a responsibility, I have a friend whom's little brother was run over and killed whilst she was looking after him, it ruined her life as well. I think that you have to say something, start with the little boy himself, ask him who is looking after him? He will go home and tell his parents that someone was asking, this should set alarm bells off, if this subtle approach doesn't work then I think that you have to approach a parent, once you have done that then try to let them deal with it but maybe approach the local authority to put up a "children at play" road sign?

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