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To think a five year old should not be left to play outside...

(75 Posts)
yerblurt Wed 06-Aug-08 20:01:14

daughter 5 1/2 yr old (although looks a lot older, she is in 7/8 yr old clothes and is 122cm tall)

daughter is with ex partner atm for a couple of weeks during summer school holidays.

anyway I phoned ex for the normal "night night" phone call at 6pm and ex answered, sounded a bit disinterested and distant, said "oh, she's outside playing in the street with some kids, I'll just see if I can get her"

... naturally I was shocked as ex lives in a pretty rough innercity area.

I asked concerned "who is she playing with? Who's looking after her? Are you supervising her". Ex said they would search outside and get daughter... at this point I was feeling quite worried actually.

Eventually daughter came on the phone, said she had been playing outside with a couple of other children (one name i recognise from school), said they were playing in the street, then said they were playing in the street area infront of the house. I asked if an adult was with them and she said that XXX's mum was there (but couldn't work out if she was watching through the window/in the general area/within earshot etc)

... am I wrong or over-reacting that ex didn't seem to know or be keeping an eye on daughter when she is in ex's care? At 5 years old I'm really really NOT happy about this. Especially in the area ex lives in , it's well rough, it's back-to-back terrace housing with cars regularly racing down the street, kids running out, there is also a history of knife and gun crime in the area.

I mean ffs a 5 1/2 year old???

sarah293 Wed 06-Aug-08 20:02:38

Message withdrawn

morningpaper Wed 06-Aug-08 20:05:06

I would be very worried about the cars racing up and down the street, to be honest.

twoGsinBuggerOff Wed 06-Aug-08 20:05:53

the 'roughness' of the area is unlikely to be a problem for a 5yo imo. knife and gun crime tends to go on in a higher age group.
i dunno, sounds ok to me. but then, im removed and can look at it objectively (i also played out all day without adults when i was 5 and younger and i lived in a 'rough' area too)

my 5yo, pampered little sod is currently tearing round the field in a quadbike-with-rollcage thing. at at least 20 mph. scares the shit out of me so i know the nervousness of mothering a 5yo. my sympathy smile

luckylady74 Wed 06-Aug-08 20:07:28

I think it depends on the child - my ds1 has no road sense and doesn't know when people are serious or joking so needs close supervision, but I was on the street whilst my mum was in the house with the door open from younger - if she knows the kids from school and that's what they're doing your ex may have just assumed it was fine. I do think it's your right to have some input on this - perhaps go from the 'she's not good at looking when she's crossing the road and she looks older than she is so older kids could hassle her' rather than 'you live in a shit area' angle.

kitsmummy Wed 06-Aug-08 20:09:27

I would feel exactly the same way as you - I would be mightily worried, pissed off and wondering what other crap parenting stuff the ex got up to whilst in charge of your daughter. Don't want to scare you, but I'd be just as worried as you are.

apostrophe Wed 06-Aug-08 20:09:46

Message withdrawn

Hulababy Wed 06-Aug-08 20:10:03

I don't allow my 6y out of the garden unless she is supervised. The area isn;t the problem, it is cars - who just do not look out for little children playing on the whole.

I wasn't alloed to play out of the garden until I was about 8 or 9 (when I went to middle school) and it never harmed me not too.

mrswoolf Wed 06-Aug-08 20:46:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ninah Wed 06-Aug-08 20:48:17

I would be OK with it

frankiesbestfriend Wed 06-Aug-08 20:50:53

It depends on the road.

I live in a quiet cul de sac and dd has been allowed to play in it since she was 5.

If it is a busy road, YANBU, and I would be worried too.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Wed 06-Aug-08 20:52:52

kids are 20000 times more likely to die from obesity than at the hands of a paedophile. A kid dies every 10 days in the UK, in a fire in their own home

Means nothing, apostrophe, if yours is that one.


Too young at 5.

Hulababy Wed 06-Aug-08 20:56:14

"kids are 20000 times more likely to die from obesity than at the hands of a paedophile. A kid dies every 10 days in the UK, in a fire in their own home"

It would be the cars racing up and down, as described in OP, that would be my concern, not someone abducting a child.

OP doesn't seem to have mentioned paedophiles or that risk in the first post either IIRR.

mummy2olivia Wed 06-Aug-08 20:57:10

I dont think you are being unreasonable but then I think that there is a paedophile on every corner and they all want my daughter blush

A friends 5 year old plays out in our street and no matter how much DD screams, wails and cries, she is not allowed to play out in the street unless we can be there. But that is just me and my gut feeling- if your gut feeling says 'no' then you have to go with that.

My friends and family think I am mental for being so precious but its my daughter, my decision.

Go with how you feel, not what others do and think. smile

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 06-Aug-08 21:01:23

I live semi-rural and still dont let my 5 year old play out alone. If DS wants to go in the garden one of us stays with him.

ShyBaby Wed 06-Aug-08 21:03:16

I would not be happy about it. We live in a council street (not estate) and its not rough by my standards (but probably would be by mn standards). Ds was not allowed out of the garden until he was over six years old despite the fact that mostly, there's always a neighbour out. Nice neighbours. But I still dont like it. There are some idiots who live at the end of the road who seem to think its cool to race up here. yanbu.

tweeni Wed 06-Aug-08 21:03:50

YABU. It's common to do this from about the age of 3.

jellybeans Wed 06-Aug-08 21:04:24

YANBU, too young IMO to be out unsupervised.

tweeni Wed 06-Aug-08 21:05:20

sorry only just read about the cars.

oi Wed 06-Aug-08 21:06:18

I think there are a few different issues

1. I don't think playing out at 5 is wrong.
2. However, playing out at 5 requires an adult to keep an eye on what's going on.
3. It SOUNDS like there was someone watching your dd but where your ex has fallen here is that he couldn't tell you that. Did he perhaps know that and just not say anything?

I don't know what sort of relationship you have with your ex but if it's friendly, perhaps just mention that you'd prefer it if he kept a watch out if she was playing outside. Like you say, it's the cars she needs to watch out for. At 5, they are too little to judge the traffic.

Mine were playing out at that age but I always knew either me or another adult on the street was either sitting out the front of their house or keeping an eye out.

Hulababy Wed 06-Aug-08 21:07:29

It is definitely not common round here to see yound childre, especially not 3yo toddlers, out playing on their own unsupervised.

Actually when out and about today I did see three young boys out playing on their own unsupervised. The youngest was definitely under 5y, the older too not much bigger. The litlest one made a dash for the road and car in front had to stop sharpish. As it happened the LO didn;t actually go ont the road - I think the car stopping suddely stopped him going frther, but he just wasn't looking.

IMO that definitely makes him way too young to be outside on his own.

Sexonlegs Wed 06-Aug-08 21:09:23

My dd is 5, and she does play out in the front on her own. We are at the end of a cul de sac and there is a grassy area in front that she cycles around. There are usually other children out there who are 11+ and all the neighbours know B and look out for her. I do of course keep checking on her.

I think it all depends on the area, but if you are not happy, then you need to let ex p know.

tweeni Wed 06-Aug-08 21:10:11

All the ones I know who play out aren't allowed to go into the road - they have to stay on the pavement.

pointydog Wed 06-Aug-08 21:10:52

Withough knowing all teh ins and outs, this sounds ok to me.

Hulababy Wed 06-Aug-08 21:13:11

tweeni - I suspect this little boy wasn't supposed to be on the road either. But young toddlers and children IME don't always do what they are told, espeially when not being supervised.

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