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Am I being over protective of my son?

(28 Posts)
natty1982 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:03:26

So over the weekend we went out with another couple we know.
This involved walking a fair distance along a pavement at the side of a very busy 50mph limit road.
My DS (4) ran off with their DS round a corner and I couldn't see them.
Almost had kittens
The other mum did not seem bothered that she couldn't see her DS or that he was scootering along the side of this stupidly busy road.
I felt like I was overreacting by telling my DS to slow down and walk with me.
AIBU and OTT? Do I need to chill out a bit and trust my DS or is he too young?

corythatwas Mon 18-Jul-16 14:06:43

I would not have trusted mine at that age. And that is really what matters. You know your ds, you make rules for the safety of the child you've got.

The one time I gave way and let dd do something I knew she wasn't capable of, just because I was embarrassed in front of another mum, she ended up unconscious in hospital.

RB68 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:08:31

Still far too young

Her child her business
Your child yours


Flisspaps Mon 18-Jul-16 14:09:20


bumsexatthebingo Mon 18-Jul-16 14:10:20

I wouldn't let my older child run off around a corner. He knows he needs to stay in sight if he's going ahead. I wouldn't want him running at all if it was a narrow pavement. All the mums I know have slightly different rules for their kids. Stick to your guns I think you are being sensible.

MidnightVelvettheSixth Mon 18-Jul-16 14:11:53

yanbu, both of mine were not allowed to go out of sight aged 4.

ToastDemon Mon 18-Jul-16 14:12:12

I would have freaked. Not unreasonable in the slightest.

natty1982 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:13:20

I just don't understand how some parents are so 'relaxed' about it though? It sends a shiver down my spine thinking about it now.

honeysucklejasmine Mon 18-Jul-16 14:17:14

Its not just a out trusting your child, it's trusting all the people driving past him too. Which I wouldn't

Primaryteach87 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:21:01

I think it depends on how sensible your child is near roads. If they would definitely stop at the end of the path and wouldn't balance on the edge of the pavement etc then you will be more relaxed. If they are a bit unreliable about safety (like many young kids are!) then you will want to see them.

I've taught a lot of 4 year old and there are huge, huge variations in this sort of thing. So it's totally possible that you were both being reasonable, given your knowledge of your child.

Katastrophe13 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:21:38

My DS is 4 and very sensible, but because he's 4 he can also be unpredictable, so I also have a stay in my sight rule. I would also have had kittens in your situation. They could so easily fall off their scooters into the road.

Oblomov16 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:27:17

"I've taught a lot of 4 year old and there are huge, huge variations in this sort of thing"

Some kids are unreliable, some aren't.
Some parents worry more than they need to, some parents don't worry enough.

Hopefully most kids and most parents are somewhere in the middle!!

youshouldcancelthecheque Mon 18-Jul-16 14:27:36

I have been in your shoes and posted about it. DD's in our case and a bit younger. Go with your instincts, I won't let DD run ahead like that.

MintJulip Mon 18-Jul-16 14:29:24

Oh no, and its not really how great the child is - but how silly drivers are?

mzS1990 Mon 18-Jul-16 14:29:49

I would have been the same as you.

But some parents trust their children more for all kinds of reasons. Child is steady on scooter. Child knows area. Child is sensible and good with road safety etc

gymbummy Mon 18-Jul-16 14:32:25

I absolutely hate my 7 year old being out of sight near a busy road. I don't judge other people's parenting but I wouldn't be prepared to compromise for my own child on this. I'd rather be the bonkers over protective mum next to someone more relaxed than take the risk. My child is sensible but can be distracted and there are some bloody terrible drivers round here!

A mum I know lets her son use an alleyway to cut through on the way to school and meets him next to the road at the other end having gone the long way round. She looked at my like I was some judgy batshit idiot when I made my child walk with me I wonder if she's changed her mind since the day her son wasn't waiting for her when she got there and she was frantically trying to find him after he wandered off without her

AppleSetsSail Mon 18-Jul-16 14:36:30

No, a 4 year old needs to be in sight at all times when walking alongside busy roads.

VioletBam Mon 18-Jul-16 14:37:56

You are not. Kids can fall. Some fall into roads and under cars.

My friend used to let her THREE year old walk ahead on roads like this and I used to nag her and my heart would be in my mouth.

She was blase until he DID fall towards the kerb. He was fine but it was close and she realised then. Also kids of 4, 5 and even older have been known to make sudden unthinking dashes towards dogs, random birds or people. ...across the road.

PokemonGo Mon 18-Jul-16 14:44:18

I'm all for being chilled out but when they can actually get killed then I think it's important to do something and to do something IMMEDIATELY. I had a rule that if it might result in a wee cut or even a minor injury then I would be 'cool' but if it might actually kill them or result in a head injury then I'd take action.

My kids were very sensible and never bolted off but I still wouldn't have trusted them at 4.

ElodieS Mon 18-Jul-16 14:48:30


My 4 year olds also have a 'stay in my sight' rule and we talked lots about how I can only see properly them if they can see my eyes, so they need to look back regularly if they're scooting or running ahead. They also know to stay on the inside part of the pavement and pass people on that side.

As many have said, you need to have rules and reactions that suit your family, and that's your business alone.

marblestatue Mon 18-Jul-16 14:50:17


BeckyMcDonald Mon 18-Jul-16 14:52:47

I'd not let my nearly four year old out of my sight but I'd have no qualms letting my 5.5 y-o out of my sight. He's very sensible. I think it makes a huge difference once they've started school. They tend to be much safer then as they're a bit more used to being left to their own devices.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Mon 18-Jul-16 14:53:27

4 year old, on a path alongside a busy 50mph...I'd have been holding their hand in my 'carpark grip'. Running around a corner could just as easily have been running onto the road. They can be as sensible as anything, until the minute they're not. They're 4.

Risk assessment & management is a strange thing though isn't it?! I'm normally saying we use too much cotton wool in the uk & that parents are far too restrictive, but in this situation I think she was being far too lax.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Mon 18-Jul-16 14:58:30

YANBU, I cut down on playdates with someone for this exact reason, yeah fine her child her rules, but it was causing problems with mine, because mine was beginning to not want to hold hands crossing roads when she saw her friend running across with her mum 5 pases behind because "she doesn't like holding hands"

And it wasn't fair on my DD to keep being told off every time she followed her friend who was running (way) ahead near busy roads. I felt like I was being mean to my DD even though I knew I was being totally reasonable/sensible.

MatildaTheCat Mon 18-Jul-16 15:03:09


4 year olds do not have the necessary judgement to keep safe by any roads. If you cannot reach your child in seconds they are not safe.

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