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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:
vixma · 22/09/2007 22:26

3 and unsupervised, not on, road aware or not.

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:27

My ds scoots up and down on his scooter, and picks grass to make 'nests', mostly

when the other children are out, they play all sorts of things - bikes, football, races, guns, fighting, superheroes, etc

nightowl · 22/09/2007 22:27

i wouldnt ask my ds to keep an eye out for the girl i have mentioned. why? well one day i was standing outside watching them all (and i dont always, he's 10). she went steaming down the road on her little tricycle as normal straight into the path of a car. ds threw himself into the road and knocked her out of the way.

luckily the car was going slowly. but if my ds had been hurt trying to help i would have been furious with that girl's mother.

debinaustria · 22/09/2007 22:29

I'm with you 2 harpsichordcarrier and Franny - I used to live in the UK in a similar sounding cul-de-sac arrangement and from the age of 3 my boys played outside without me constantly being there, I could see them from the house, and checked on them, they had rules and set boundaries. I gave them freedom that so few children experience in the UK now, and I think it's invaluable.

Now here in Austria they have even more freedom and it's great, when they start school at 6 they walk to school alone. My 7 year old goes to the shop for me now . He's confident and independent, and I don't think he'll be shoplifting in a few years because of it!


jigglepuff · 22/09/2007 22:29

HC - no, my children are younger still, hence the reason they're not out of my sight

It was the case of the little boy drowning that brought this into my mind - were the CSO's responsible for not attempting to rescue him - no - because we apparently (unlike other countries) have no law that requires us to act as good samaritans. However, that's another debate!

IMO, unless you have specifically asked somebody else to look after your child(ren), they are unsupervised at this age.

Maybe SS is the way to go? I could at least talk through the situation with them, and get their opinion on whether this is right or not.

OP posts:
expatinscotland · 22/09/2007 22:30

I didn't have this 'freedom' when I was 3, and you know, I can't honestly say it did me any long-term damage.

3 years old is too young to play out alone.

debinaustria · 22/09/2007 22:30

social services?? the child is just playing outside

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:31

Well is she debs or is there more to it? Jigglepuff has now mentioned her being outside for hours with her parents having no idea where she is

so I presume that means she wanders off to other places? Is that what is happening jiggle?

Alliebongo · 22/09/2007 22:33

we live in a very quiet cul de sac and i don't let my 7 year old play out the front unless i'm out there, so i do not think it is safe to let a 3yr old out alone.

maisym · 22/09/2007 22:33

I don't live where kids play on the street but there is a housing estate in the area where kids do play outside. They are mainly bigger kids who ride bikes and skate - not little kids. I wouldn't like to have my little ones outside on their own - I'd have to be there with them.

ChantillyLace · 22/09/2007 22:35

surprised it's actually still a discussion, thought everyone would say 3 yr olds should not play outside on their own and that you shouldn't feel responsible for an unsupervised child! I really am shocked! As I said before cars are not the only issue, there are so many other things that happen to these little kids!!

Keep them where you can see them!

Just my personal, but very strong, feeling!

GodzillasBumcheek · 22/09/2007 22:35

I wish i felt enough confidence in the way other people's kids behave to let my kids play out...and they're 10! Mind you there is a building site at the back of our house, and the stretch of path on our block is pretty small...maybe i'm justified...or maybe not.

tori32 · 22/09/2007 22:35

What do you mean in this day and age? I seem to remember some notorious child killers in the sixties. Remember Hindley and Brady? Its no worse now than then in that respect. But I am certain someone would notice a stranger in a cul-de-sac.

harpsichordcarrier · 22/09/2007 22:36

well I did have the kind of childhood where I did play out in the street with other children.
it was great. it wasn't risk free, and thank the lord for that.
I think this kind of freedom is ideal for children, to play together in a group.

but I thnk there are elements to jiggle's situation making it more worrying

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:36

Well you see Chantilly other people can have different experiences and different views in life to you

I know it is a bit shocking but there we are

harpsichordcarrier · 22/09/2007 22:37

Children can fall down the stairs in the house
drown in the bath
pull wardrobes down on top of them.
they are far more at risk every time you take them for a drive in the car.
life is not risk free.

FrannyandZooey · 22/09/2007 22:38

No our perception of risk is very skewed and more to do with what is seen as culturally acceptable IMO

I think we have lost / are losing the ability to honestly weigh up the danger inherent in any situation

and of course, and more worryingly, that goes for our children too

3andnomore · 22/09/2007 22:39

with harpsi is really sad that people feel now that it such an unsafe thing to general playigng outside with your friends is a really important life experience, and it seems to be taken...fgs...I must be horrible, my now 11 year old has gone to school by himself for the past few years....
and again, i shall say can not put all 3 year olds in one really can't...

nightowl · 22/09/2007 22:39

i wouldnt notice a stranger in our cul-de-sac. could be anyone visiting a neighbour.

MamaMaiasaura · 22/09/2007 22:40

harpsi - I guess it is for each parent to assess the level of risk tho. Which we all do constantly. The choices we make are a result of these. That is why you dont tend to leave small children un attended in the bath, use a stair gate, use car seat and seat belts. Minimising risk. Hence, for me, supervising a small child is resonable.

3andnomore · 22/09/2007 22:40

saying that, by all the op mentions...obviously for the lil girl mentioned playing out by herself is NOT a safe thing

ChantillyLace · 22/09/2007 22:41

I'm fully aware that my views are different to others but where the safety of my child is concerned and knowing through OHs experiences how evil some older kids can be I think it is sad that people presume their children are safe. We live in a lovely quiet cul-de-sac but I am not prepared to take the risk so she is allowed to play outside and ride her bike if Im there to watch over her.

I'm not saying people should think the same as me, far from it, I just like to think that ALL scenarios are considered.

As I said, just my opinion

3andnomore · 22/09/2007 22:42

gosh, do eople automatically now assume the person taking a child is a stranger...if any harm would be done, it apparently is more likely by someone they know...

MamaMaiasaura · 22/09/2007 22:42
harpsichordcarrier · 22/09/2007 22:42

yes and no-one would suggest a child of three should play on his own without anyone being nearby.
but if there are adults and children nearby, then taht reduces the risk. imo.

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