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pushchair politics - AIBU?

(90 Posts)
TheLaminator Mon 01-Aug-11 13:37:34

I have a friend who lives on the same street as me. Our boys are both 3yrs old with just a few weeks between them. They play together really well & we see quiet alot of each other.
Although me & my friend are pretty much on the same page when it comes to parenting, her son has definatley had more `freedoms` than mine, which has sometimes caused small problems, but nothing major.
Now that the boys are a little older we go out & about for the day, into town, museums etc.
My issue now is that my friend NEVER straps her son in the pushchair. He is free to jump in and out when ever he pleases. My son is strapped in the pram at all times that I feel is nessecary, busy roads, getting on & off the bus, when we`re in a hurry etc.
I also have a 5 month old, whenever we go out 3yr old is on the buggy board or I take the double buggy.
The last few times we have been out together I have had problems with my sons behavoiur - manily due to the fact he is not aloud to swing round like a monkey on the bus, or run around freely like his friend is. I had to abondon a day out the other day (get off the bus early & come home, as this is what i had threatened to do if he didnt start behaving properly - he was basically sceaming and shouting at me because I wa asking him to sit still & not to wriggle out of the pushchair).
If we are walking up the street at the same time, my friend lets her little one walk ahead & she trusts him to wait at the crossings for her hmm. we are practically in the city centre & are surrounded by really busy roads. A couple of times now my boy has jumped of the buggy board without warning to run up & join his friend.
Recently my friends son has started to laugh at my son whenever he is strapped in and he isnt, doing`NAHnahnahnah - nah - your a big baby in a pram` My friend will tell her son off for this, which is fine. but I just wish she could see that if for the ten minute tops we are in transit she strapped her son in, this wouldnt happen. They have plenty of opportunity to run around & play when we get to where we are going.
She thinks I`m a nervous mum & that its different because I have a baby to keep an eye on too. I dont think I am nervous, i think I`m sensible and want to keep my little one safe in busy places. Even if I didnt have the baby I wouldnt let my son walk alone along a really busy street alone, I dont think 3yr old should be practsing their road saftey skills alone on a really busy road.
To add to this, she`s using a pushcahir I loaned to them & its now knackered & dirty because the boy literally jumps in & out (my fault though, should never have loaned it in the first place - lesson learned there!)
I dont have many friends really & do get on really well with my neighbour, it would be easy to just not spend as much time with them, but the boys are friends & I need friends too. I`m not sure how to approach this with her, i`ve made little hints, but I`ve never quite had the balls to say to her, `could you strap him in for 5 mins please`

ruddynorah Mon 01-Aug-11 13:40:28

At 3 my dd was out of the pushchair. Maybe see if he will walk alongside as you push the baby.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Mon 01-Aug-11 13:42:12

At three they ought to be walking. Buy a wrist strap if you are worried and on you go.

Nothing you can say to your friend. She's not doing anything wrong, merely annoying to you.

HeadfirstForHalos Mon 01-Aug-11 13:42:36

My youngest is three and I trust him to run ahead a little way and to stop before roads. I have always drilled road safety into them though.

pjmama Mon 01-Aug-11 13:44:40

I think I'm definitely more like you in my approach and wouldn't feel comfortable allowing my DCs the "freedoms" that your friend seems to find acceptable. But the fact is that the two of you have a different approach to this and neither is wrong or right - she most likely disagrees with yours as much as you do hers. For you ask her to strap her child in would probably cause her as many problems as his not being strapped in causes you. As long as she's telling him off for teasing your DS (which is not fair clearly), then I think you just have to do what you are comfortable with and let her do in her way.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Mon 01-Aug-11 13:47:23

Well, it's not up to you to ask her to strap her kid in..just concentrate on your own. We all have different ways of parenting and what one sees as ok another doesnt.

With my DS I always say to him I am not interested in what so and so is doing, I am only interested in what he is doing.......dont make your DS's behavior in the buggy all about your mates DS - just keep him safe, keep him strapped in and make sure he knows that is non negotiable.

ohrubbish Mon 01-Aug-11 13:47:29

Sorry but I think you are being unreasonable. We all have different ways of parenting. You can't ask everyone else to use the same methods just for your benefit. How would you feel if she asked you to allow your child more 'freedoms' in order to fit in with her?

mousymouse Mon 01-Aug-11 13:54:37

at that age you really should start serious street awarenes training with your dc. I can see why it causes tension, but relax, give your son a little bit more rope.

cjbartlett Mon 01-Aug-11 13:54:46

3 year olds don't need to be in a pushchair

maybe just say to her 'I find it really difficlt when we're out and about with all 3 kids would you mind keeping an eye on the 2 boys while I push the baby'

or limit visits with her to her house or yours to prvent the stress

AuntiePickleBottom Mon 01-Aug-11 13:57:11

a 3 year old doesn't need a buggy

TattyDevine Mon 01-Aug-11 14:00:20

There is no way I'd have my 3 year old in a pushchair (unless he wouldn't walk or there was some issue like that - though at 3 I'd probably be encouraging him but that's a different issue)

From a safety point of view, no. I took my 3 year old into London with my DD who is still in a pushchair and I too either trusted him to stop at crossings (which he does) or basically I get him to walk nicely alongside.

It is practice which means they do this. You start small and short times and get longer and more as you go.

Children of this age DO go ner ner ner ner etc and the mother should discourage that but it is babyish, sorry it just is.

A new approach, which doesn't necessarily mean letting him jump about and be a nuicance might be in order but only you can decide that.

I think you are being a bit unreasonable, though I can see why the wild difference in styles is causing you problems.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 01-Aug-11 14:02:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TattyDevine Mon 01-Aug-11 14:02:22

Also, you say "she trusts him to wait at the crossings for her" - well, he obviously does as he's still, well, alive? Sorry if that sounds flippant but he obviously is?

muminthecity Mon 01-Aug-11 14:04:00

YABU. My DD was out of her pushchair by the age of 3, and I used to let her walk/scoot off ahead of me, she always stopped when I called her/when she reached a road.

HowNowKernow Mon 01-Aug-11 14:04:03

I agree that at 3 in principle children ought to be walking but at 2.5yrs my DD is still in her buggy plenty because I have the baby to keep an eye on too, like you OP.

If I only had my eldest then she would walk everywhere and I would be able to focus on her and ensure she is safe, walking where she should be. In practice, with a baby screaming, traffic on the roads and DD1 deciding she is going to test her boundaries ie. leg it - she is back in the buggy. If we are somewhere I feel is safe then she walks but otherwise its too stressful and she gets in the double.

In your circumstances I would try to arrange it so they still see each other to play but try to avoid walking places together, maybe arrange to meet them somewhere.

superjobee Mon 01-Aug-11 14:05:48

DD was out of her buggy at under 2 we only took it out if we were forced to go out during her nap time. if you both have to have your 3 yr olds in buggys then yes she should strap him in its dangerous not too, trippy kerbs etc.

Quinquagesima Mon 01-Aug-11 14:07:41

Interesting. I think you will find it hard to stay friends in the long run. I had a friend who allowed her children similar "freedoms". I ended up thinking she was immensely irritating for letting her children get up and wander round cafes; she thought I was a control freak for making mine sit down. After her DCs used their freedom to smash up our play house, it became easier to meet her alone once the children were at school.

squeakytoy Mon 01-Aug-11 14:08:49

YABU, your child wants to walk, and you are forcing him not to. That is wrong.

Quinquagesima Mon 01-Aug-11 14:12:43

PS muminthecity, I'm sure you don't intend to sound preachy and smug - but you evidently have never had a bolter. grin

I did have a bolter, and expected subsequent DCs to be the same. I was therefore surprised when they actually walked beside me and stopped when I asked them to.

squeakytoy Mon 01-Aug-11 14:13:58

If your child is unlikely to do as they are told, and will run off, then you use reins or a wrist strap to keep them under control.

MumblingRagDoll Mon 01-Aug-11 14:14:38

My 3 year old sometimes uses a buggy....if we're on a long walk then I take it. On mN if you use a buggy at this age people ALWAYS tell you hw badd it is...but it's fine!

However..I dont strap my 3 year old in either....she knowswhat will happen if she leaps crossings, I tell her "Hold tight and dont move or you might get squashed by a car!

Cruel but it seems to work.

She hates straps and a 3 year old should be able to follow basic instructions.

RitaMorgan Mon 01-Aug-11 14:18:28

You can't really expect your friend to parent differently to make things easier for you.


27tilly Mon 01-Aug-11 14:22:08

YABU My 3 year old is in and out of the buggy, He had learnt to not run off. Teach him to walk holding hands

jade80 Mon 01-Aug-11 14:23:52

Regularly using a buggy at 3 years old is bad for his physical development. So YABU.

Dawnybabe Mon 01-Aug-11 14:24:47

My dd1 was walking out and about at 2.6 when dd2 came along. She's really well behaved and wouldn't dream of running off anywhere.

Dd2 is now 2, is a perfect nightmare and bolts as soon as she gets the chance. If I haven't got the patience to have her on the reins she goes in the pushchair. She's ok once she's in it, barring the odd tantrum, but it goes without saying that I'd rather have a tantrum than be chasing her down the road. She will not come back when called and if anything it spurs her on. She is a little demon.

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