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To make my 4yo DD walk to school?

(61 Posts)
ChangeYouFucker Tue 02-Dec-14 09:31:05

Need some perspective on whether I'm asking too much if DD.

School is a 15 minute walk away, she scoots most days, sometimes walks. It's an easy walk no hills, good paths for scootering.

She would rather we drive as her friends all drive. I hate to drive, parking is horrific and it stresses me out.

2 days a week when I work we drive.

This last two days have been horrific with her having massive melt downs about not wanting to walk/scoot as a result we have been the last to school blush

I tried to leave early today but the same happened. I got annoyed with her really angry. But now feeling massively guilty.

Perhaps I'm expecting too much of her and she is tiered???

Any advice??? Or am I being UR??

marnia68 Tue 02-Dec-14 09:33:39

Jeez You are asking if a 15 minute walk twice a day is too much for a 4 year old! No wonder we are a nation of fatties and couch potatoes!

iwantgin Tue 02-Dec-14 09:35:39


Set off in plenty of time so there's no rushing.

I wouldn't let a 4 yo dictate how to get to school.

SunshineDaisiesButterMellow Tue 02-Dec-14 09:36:26

Dd has been walking to school since she started nursery at 3. She's 5 now. It's a similar distance to you.
She has no choice as I don't drive. She does moan occasionally but knows nothing is going to change. We have started having a lovely cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows when we get in.

LoonvanBoon Tue 02-Dec-14 09:38:20

Well, I made my twin boys do a 15-20 minute walk to & from school at that age. They were tired & grumpy sometimes, but they got used to it. They didn't even have scooters then. Most of the other parents in the streets near me always made their kids walk, too.

The parking situation near their school was such a nightmare that, had I driven them, I'd have had to set off 20 minutes earlier than I did walking, so it was a no-brainer for me. And it's good exercise.

fairgroundsnack Tue 02-Dec-14 09:41:11

I made my 4 year old (now 5 year old) walk or scoot to school pretty much every day, it's about a 20 minute walk. I don't think it is too much.

Whatsthewhatsthebody Tue 02-Dec-14 09:41:52

I always walked my own children and walked my minded children too.

My walk is a mile.

If more kids walked there would be no need for wake and shake.

Keep it up op.

I used to make it a nature walk and collect leaves, cones, stones etc or tell a story. You start it and then stop half way and she has to make up the other half.

Tell her it's happening and any more melt downs will result in no tv/whatever treat after school.

4 year olds are not in charge in this house. smile generally wink

differentkindofpenguin Tue 02-Dec-14 09:42:33

I don't think you would tire her out unduly with that walk. My 4 year old walks for hours every day and doesn't get too tired, but we have always walked everywhere so I guess it's what she's used to

Valsoldknickers Tue 02-Dec-14 09:43:38

YANBU to get your dd to walk to school.

Play games along the way, I spy, not walking on cracks on pavement, collect nature stuff (a nice stone, feathers etc), sing songs. Tell her how lucky she is to be able to play these games and how if you were driving it wouldn't be possible.

TywysogesGymraeg Tue 02-Dec-14 09:44:06

There are kids the same age in some countries walking miles to school every day, and then home again, on their own (or with other kids).

Keep walking - you're setting her up for a much fitter future.

Arion Tue 02-Dec-14 09:45:35

My 3 yr old walks .9 of a mile to and from school for pre-school, and most days (when DH is not working from home) again in the afternoon to pick up big sis. It's not too much, they get used to it, and it is good, gentle exercise.

ChangeYouFucker Tue 02-Dec-14 09:45:43

oKay everyone had confirmed what I think. I was just checking. Is that not the point of MN????

Marnia - slightly aggressive for such an early hour!

She has actually been doing the walk for over a year to pre-school.

But I was just worried I was asking too much of her.

Clearly the answer is to leave earlier. My bad!

StarOnTheTree Tue 02-Dec-14 09:48:32

DD3 (7) was reluctant to walk at that age but I hate driving to school, walking is good for both of us and she needs the exercise.

Many times I had to hold her hand tightly and kind of pull her along gently whilst chattering brightly about anything that came to mind. On the occasions that this caused her to scream her head off I still pulled her along but ignored her. Getting to school on time was non-negotiable.

Only1scoop Tue 02-Dec-14 09:48:47

No the walk sounds just perfect ....we do the same.... only go in car if its chucking it down with rain.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Tue 02-Dec-14 09:48:53

Keep up with the walking. Mine have no choice as we don't drive. Doesn't do them any harm.

MillionToOneChances Tue 02-Dec-14 09:50:22

We do it, 15-20 minutes walk with my kids at that age and now with childminding clients. When they whined I just said they were obviously finding it hard work so we'd have to do it more often so they could get fitter.

It sets them up for the day, gets the blood pumping and gives to you chance for a proper conversation.

Why don't you start playing a verbal game like the disgusting cake game to distract her? 'I baked a cake and in it I put... eyeballs' 'I baked a cake and in it I put... eyeballs and snot' 'I baked a cake and in it I put... eyeballs, snot and dirty tissues' (yes, we're a yucky family but we have fun on the walk to school and trying to remember/think of grim stuff distracts them).

MillionToOneChances Tue 02-Dec-14 09:51:14

gives *you a chance for a proper conversation blush

fuzzpig Tue 02-Dec-14 09:54:13

Of course YANBU, lots of families don't have a choice and DCs can usually cope with it once they're used to it smile our walk was the same at that age. DCs are pretty good with walking lots because they've never had a choice!

Agree with distraction games - thanks for the cake idea million - will make a change from the shopping list game, they'll love it!

ilovesooty Tue 02-Dec-14 09:54:22

I don't think Marnia meant to be aggressive to you. I read her post more as exasperation at what so many parents and children see as the norm, resulting in child obesity.

ChangeYouFucker Tue 02-Dec-14 09:56:34

Thanks for the suggestions! I think it's me that's needs to change not her.

I find the mornings so stressful and really worry about being late. So by the time we are outside getting ready to set of I'm already stressed, she probably picks up on it.

Getting out earlier is the answer and making it 'fun'.

Thanks MN for making me see sense!

FannyBlott Tue 02-Dec-14 09:58:09

No, it's perfectly reasonable to expect her to walk. I don't drive so my four yr old has no choice but to walk (it's a 15min walk also), the past few days he has ran the entire way but sometimes he has tired days or days where he can't be bothered and goes really slowly (his record was taking 45mins to get home). If he starts complaining or deliberately going slow/sitting on pavement refusing to move etc, I tell him he'll be late and I'll tell his teacher why. We have never been late as that is enough to get him up and walking again.
He very rarely complains now as he's used to the walk.
My two yr old even walks the school run sometimes he is faster than my four yr old.

AdventCaroline Tue 02-Dec-14 09:59:18

It's probably hard for her to understand why you don't take the car, when it is just sitting there on the driveway.

We walk, but we don't have a car, so DC know there is no point complaining. I bet if we had one they would want to use it, but as it is, they have to walk. 15 minutes isn't too far at all.

Could you do something visual with her like having a chart to mark off how much petrol you have saved by not taking the car? And once you have saved enough, take the car to go on a fun day out somewhere?

northernmummeh Tue 02-Dec-14 10:02:38

No it's not too much. Think of how much distance she'd cover playing at lunch time. Far more than what you'll do in a 15 min walk that's for sure

eeyoreeeyoreoh Tue 02-Dec-14 10:04:58

YANBU but I feel your pain. My 4yo cries and says her legs hurt, she's too tired, sits on the pavement and moans etc.

Her sister was fine about the work but she's a different kettle of fish and it really is stressful!

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Tue 02-Dec-14 10:11:36

definitely not unreasonable.

we moved house and while waiting for a new school place we had to to do 40 mins walk each way. dd was knackered by the end of the day but we had no choice as I don't drive.

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