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To think that 3-yr olds shouldn't be allowed to play out by themselves?

147 replies

jigglepuff · 22/09/2007 21:23

We live on a lovely quiet cul-de-sac. There are lots of kids playing out most of the time. They will usually have one or both parents watching them. However, one family doesn't come out to watch their children. I think that as one of their children is only 3, they should be keeping a closer watch on them. Would you consider this acceptable? I don't feel that it's fair that I'm effectively responsible for this child, whether I want to be or not.

OP posts:
denbury · 22/09/2007 21:58

my 3 year old and 1 year old play out in the street but i'm always with them.it's a quiet cul de sac and i'm happy for b to go to the end of the road but i'm always watching.i find if i'm out other mums come out to and we have a very social life.it also means that we can pop into our own houses for 5 minutes to do washing,do tea etc as one of the other mums will watch mine . get out there with your kid and you'll make friends and get your house work done to!!

Nightynight · 22/09/2007 21:58

jigglepuff, can you let the mother know, in a non-accusatory sort of way, what her dd was up to?
must admit, that would worry me.

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 21:59

"To let a 3 year old child play out side on their own unsupervised is utterly irresponsible."


"I don't like seeing unsupervised kids playing out"


are you all making your judgements based on your own children? Not all 3 year olds will run into the road if left alone.

MamaMaiasaura · 22/09/2007 22:00

I think it is wrong at such a young age to let a child out without supervision. They do not have the road sense and often dont understand that they should not run off/walk off. My friends little girl of 3.6 decided to play hie and seek in the changing rooms of the local swimming pool. She ran off and hid in a cubicle - locking door after her. We spent what seemed like an eternity trying to find her. All sorts of thoughts went through our heads. The little girl did not have the understanding of why we were worried, she is only a tot.

So imo I dont think 3 years old is responsbile enough to play out on their own.

kama · 22/09/2007 22:00

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jigglepuff · 22/09/2007 22:00

F&Z - I think it is wrong, because were it not for the other parents, this child would have come to harm before now. It has been sheer luck that nothing has happened yet. I dread the day that I'm not watching that child closely enough, and something happens, because I know I would feel responsible. It's hard enough keeping an eye on my own children.

OP posts:
FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:00

Jigglepuff I would go and tell the mother and say "your dd is cycling up to the road"

3andnomore · 22/09/2007 22:01

that would worry me too jp...not an idea situation...

kama · 22/09/2007 22:01

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MamaMaiasaura · 22/09/2007 22:01

denbury - but your dc are supervised.

3andnomore · 22/09/2007 22:02

yes, agree with f&z...tell the mum...

pointydog · 22/09/2007 22:02

you wouldn't just leave a 3 ytear old outside to his own devices though, would you?

I'd be making sure I could see what he was doing every 10 mins or so

nightowl · 22/09/2007 22:03

no, three year olds should not be allowed to play out by themselves.

what sort of road sense does a three year old have?

we live in a quiet cul-de-sac and my neighbour's daughter has been playing out in the road since she was two. everyone i've ever spoken to in this street has nearly run her over at least once. they know its likely she will be out and slow down, but she still runs out in front of them.

her sister is supposed to watch her but imo that is wrong too. the sister should not have that responsibility.

neither should the neighbours, but we've "saved" her on several occasions because her own mother cant be arsed to watch her.

GodzillasBumcheek · 22/09/2007 22:03

It's not just the safety factor either though is it? How long is this kid/are these kids out for on their own? Who's making sure they're not bullying other kids or damaging property? Alot of kids play out on their own in my neighbourhood and they end up getting rougher by the year, until they are suddenly the ones shoplifting the corner shop. No, parents shouldn't expect a 'get out' clause at other people's expense.

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:04

jigglepuff if the little girl is not playing safely I agree you are in a tricky spot

but you said is it ok for 3 year olds to play outside? Not, is it ok for THIS 3 year old to play outside.

The answer is sometimes, yes, it is ok for three year olds to play outside. My ds did understand that he mustn't go on the road and he wouldn't run off. He is a cautious person. I don't believe in minimising all risks to the exclusion of him having freedom when it is not necessary. People are makign sweeping statements about 3 y os based on their own children, and I think some of you are mistaken in your judgements.

jellybeans · 22/09/2007 22:04

I don't like to see unsupervised kids playing out as, frankly, it is dangerous on most roads. There are kids out on the street all day where I am and they are always nearly getting run over. A 3 year old is just not equipped to be on their own in potentially dangerous situations. If the parent is watching, then great, but many just don't know where their kids are and they wonder off. It's just too young IMO for a child.

vitomum · 22/09/2007 22:06

obviously i can't speak for all 3 year olds but there's no way i would trust mine to be out unsupervised. i also find he is less likley to obey groundrules when other kids are around too and is much more likley to do the 'naughty' (and dangerous) things he wouldn't normally do on his own.

vixma · 22/09/2007 22:06

No it is not acceptable....older children or no older children it is the parents who should be making sure their children are safe. If something did happen to them it is the parents responsibility to explain why it happend and if they were playing unsupervised without a responible adult. Cul-de-sac or no cul-de-sac.....3 year olds should be cared for. Would you allow a school or Nursery to allow them to play unsupervised...I am sure if an accident happened as a parent you would be furious.

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:07

If your child runs into the road then no they should not be playing outside

if your child is extremely cautious and aware of roads and will not even begin to cross the road unless he is holding onto your hand, and will then be looking around for cars when he is crossing, then I don't think that child is at risk of running into the road. I know my child. I presume you know yours but don't presume you know mine, please.

Clova · 22/09/2007 22:07

"Not all 3 year olds will run into the road if left alone".

No - only about 99.6% of them. Quite frankly I didn't bring a child into the world for him to come to harm due to my neglect which is precisely what letting a 3-year-old play unsupervised on the road is.

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:09

You think I neglect my child?

That's an interesting post.

nightowl · 22/09/2007 22:10

not just running into roads, three year olds arent that steady...what about falling into the road, stranger danger etc?

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:10

Can we tell cod? She has a theory I won't let ds get away from me and that he is still going to be living with me when he is 70. I can't quite combine the two bigoted views into one coherent judgement.

tori32 · 22/09/2007 22:11

Yes I agree with 3andmore. It depends on circumstances. I live on a green type affair and it just has a car park to one side which leads to another car park. I can also keep an eye from my lounge window. Its also on an army camp which is probably safer than a normal street, so I would allow it if the child is sensible. Some children are more mature than others.

vitomum · 22/09/2007 22:11

F&Z i don't think that providing supervision is restricting a child's freedom necessarily.

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