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To think 4 year olds need adult supervision on the street

(36 Posts)
ThunderAndFrightening Fri 17-Jul-15 06:54:09

Please tell me if I'm being PFB. A friend very kindly offered to look after DS(4) and DD(6) yesterday evening. We were chatting about what they had been doing, partly as they had grafittied the front of the house with chalk (not the issue) and she mentioned she had been in the house at the time. So, DCs were outside at the front of the house unsupervised for 5-10minutes maybe more. To give some context, front garden has no gate, we're on a busy road with lots of cars and pedestrian traffic and the garden is very small and open (more of a yard) - so road very close. Am I being precious to think they should have had an adult within sight? Friend looked at me like I was bonkers when I asked if she was out there with them. DCs are reasonably road and stranger aware, but DS in particular can still forget easily.

HighOverTheFenceLeapsSunnyJim Fri 17-Jul-15 06:57:31

Does your friend know your DC well? I would let mine out front unsupervised (similar ages, similar set up) but I would err on the side of caution with someone else's kids...

HagOtheNorth Fri 17-Jul-15 07:00:53

YANBU, but at least you know now and nothing bad happened. I wouldn't let her look after yours again until they are older.

HagOtheNorth Fri 17-Jul-15 07:02:04

'So, DCs were outside at the front of the house unsupervised for 5-10minutes maybe more. To give some context, front garden has no gate, we're on a busy road with lots of cars and pedestrian traffic and the garden is very small and open (more of a yard) - so road very close.'

Would anyone be happy if a reception teacher had allowed that situation with a couple of children in her charge?

Hellionsitem2 Fri 17-Jul-15 07:04:08

Not appropriate to have 4 year old playing on busy streets unsupervised

dontcryitsonlyajoke Fri 17-Jul-15 07:04:36

We live on a main road, though set back a few metres. We have a gate but if my kids (4 & 7) want to go out I don't always close it, eg if I'm busy with tea or the baby, and I keep a eye on them from the window but not constantly and don't supervise. They're definitely sensible enough round the road now, and have had safety drummed into them (and lost playing out privileges if they don't follow those rules).

Because I don't know how their friends are around roads, I will always close our gate if they're here. However, tbh I wouldn't expect them at that age to go near the road. And chalking walls is so exciting for them that I would expect that to remove any attraction of the road.

So I think maybe you're being a bit precious, but your friend could probably have been a bit more careful!

ThunderAndFrightening Fri 17-Jul-15 07:05:45

Yes, she knows them really well, so maybe judged they would be fine.

Hellionsitem2 Fri 17-Jul-15 07:06:23

Has she got children? It seems such a thoughtless thing to do

Hellionsitem2 Fri 17-Jul-15 07:09:01

Non of my friends would allow my 4 year old to play next to a busy road unsupervised.

ShadowFire Fri 17-Jul-15 07:14:12


Especially as they aren't her children, so she'll be less familiar with them and how they're likely to behave near roads.

Pippa12 Fri 17-Jul-15 07:14:43

No chance. IMO Neither of them are old enough to be left unsupervised on the front- busy road or not. I wouldn't let this lady watch my children again.

chrome100 Fri 17-Jul-15 07:32:46

I think it's fine actually. At 4 and 6 they should know not to run into the road.

ThunderAndFrightening Fri 17-Jul-15 08:00:48

Interesting mixed responses. Thanks.

Hellions, she has a baby of her own, but she also childminds and works in a school as a TA sometimes so knows children of different ages.

RachelRagged Fri 17-Jul-15 09:10:59


bookbag40 Fri 17-Jul-15 09:53:01

No way would I let a 4 year old out the front unsupervised. I would not let anyone look after my child who thought that was ok!

hiccupgirl Fri 17-Jul-15 09:56:53


We live on a quiet street in the middle of a huge housing estate so very little traffic. I've just started leaving DS (5) out at the front on his own if we're doing something like washing the car and I need to go and turn the hose on. But that is literally 1 min max. I wouldn't trust him enough yet to remember to not wander over the road or to wander off if someone asked him to.

Hellionsitem2 Fri 17-Jul-15 10:49:33

I'm surprised she took such a risk. I would really worry about her childminding ability and her ability to appropriately work in school

Purplepoodle Fri 17-Jul-15 10:51:31

Mine do but our roads not too busy

CrapBag Fri 17-Jul-15 10:53:12

My children are 4 and 7 and I wouldn't let them do this. You are not being PFB at all and I'd be reluctant to leave them in her care again.

I was old enough at age 9 to know how to deal with roads, didn't stop me being run over though.

Artandco Fri 17-Jul-15 10:54:01

No I wouldn't let my 5 and 4 year out alone. They wouldn't run into road, but I don't think it's safe at all

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Fri 17-Jul-15 10:56:52

Is she a registered childminder.

I am and I am horrified by this.

Absolutely no way with my own kids but hell would freeze over before I treated mindees this way.

SirChenjin Fri 17-Jul-15 11:00:22

I wouldn't if it was a busy road, no.

Ours all play outside in our very quiet cul de sac and the older ones look out for the younger ones, but the number of cars coming in/out is negligible.

Sickofthesnow Fri 17-Jul-15 11:03:28

My son was out playing on the street a few days ago (8 next week) and we live in a quiet scheme so to speak, and there was this little random nursery age child following him around! He said she was 3 and I spoke to the girl and said where does she live? Shes like "away down there" pointing to a couple of streets away. I said to her she shouldn't be wandering off, and she actually said to me "Ma mum doesn't care, I can do what I want". Then some more chat about how she's allowed and her big sisters watching her. Big sister who was about 8-9 was further up my street playing with her friends.

I totally admit to being extremely judgey but I just think pre-schoolers, even kids in first few years of school, shouldn't be out unsupervised to wander the streets :/

Seriouslyffs Fri 17-Jul-15 11:05:27

What did you do sickof?

SirChenjin Fri 17-Jul-15 11:13:12

She said her mum doesn't care - and she was only 3?? Poor thing - most 3 year olds would be very upset at the thought of being so far away from home and their family sad

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