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How much freedom would you give a 4 year old? ***edit for clarity

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM
  • 34 Replies

As far as playing in the neighborhood. I let him play in the courtyard and in the neighbors houses who share our courtyard because i know the parents. I do not want him going around the corner or into the street to the other buildings. He keeps trying to rebel. I expect him to tell me if he is going from one friends house to the other or he comes inside. I keep my door and window open so I can study and clean.

Does this sound reasonable? My son is literally 4 1/2.

EDIT* I meant to say he needs to ask not tell me if he wants to go in a friends house. Our courtyard is small so it is easy to keep track of him. If they go from one friends house to another he needs to ask and let me know that is what they are doing. If he breaks my rules and leaves the boundaries he is in the house for the day. My garage has a back door that opens into the courtyard so I open that and let the kids play with the toys in the court yard too.

It all depends on the setup of your neighborhood. If I know one of the parents is going to watch the kids I will use that time to study. I go down and talk to the parents and I welcome their kids to play in my home as well. My son wants to follow some of the older kids out of the courtyard but I do not want him playing with those kids. For the most part the kids in our building are nice kids and I prefer he plays with them rather than the kids who come over from the other buildings. A lot of them are trouble makers. I am very aware of what the kids are doing. When they are outside I am usually the parent on patrol. But if I have to change a load of laundry I will run in and do it since it is right next to my door. If I have to study while they are playing it's when they are doing forts and things in front of my place in my view. It sucks but I usually look out for that neighbors 2 and 4 yr olds so they dont go in the street since their mom keeps her door and window shut with them outside.

 

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM
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reindeergames
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

In my opinion, no it does not. To expect a 4yo (my dd is 4 too) to come in & tell you that they are switching locations, well 4yo's get distracted or forget easily. But I do not know the set up of your house etc. 

For me, I live in an apartment building owned by my parents, also I have 2 sisters whom live on the property too. We all share the same backyard. I have a huge window that looks out over the yard. I will allow my 4yo out there with her cousins from the 8yo & up simply because if something happens I know they will be quick to say something or come get help, even with that though I still keep her in my eye & am only inside if I am doing something such as cleaning or something & I still walk out on the deck to listen to what they are all doing. Also our apartment building is large so to get to the roadway (of which the 8yo & older ones would not go alone) you have a ways to walk & with how often I look out the window or walk out on the deck they shouldn't be able to reach the roadway without me knowing about it. 

aj23
by Amanda on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:45 PM
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My son will be 5 in May and he doesn't go outside without me being able to see him, I always go outside with him. He's well behaved and listens for the most part but kids that age don't really think before they act and I don't want him taking off somewhere he shouldn't be.
No way would I let him go in a neighbors house without me or without an adult from the house talking to me first.
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Krystle21
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:49 PM
1 mom liked this
My kids play where I can see them. I'm outside with them always they are 5 & 6. Call me paranoid
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shajdinyak
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM
1 mom liked this
My DD is soon to be four and plays outside only if I am there. She also only goes on playdates at others houses w me.
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MamaJAG
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:54 PM
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I allow my kids to play in our blocked in yard by themselves where I can see them and hear them (of course I could hear them if they were a block away LOL).  They are 6, 4 and 2.  They are not allowed out front without me and never in a neighbor's house, but I also don't really know my neighbors.  I think you have given your 4 yo PLENTY of freedom, perhaps too much since he is threatening to disobey.

5BMom
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM
1 mom liked this
I live on two acres, so it is a moot point... But if I livef in Orange County, hell would freeze over before I would let my kid out alone. Hello??? Remember Samantha Runion????????
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StephMarie_Mom
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM
My kid doesn't play outside because there aren't any kids in my apt building. And even if there were, she'd only be able to play where I can see her. My mom was the same way with me, I could only play where she could see me. Every now and again when my daughter is at my mom's, my mom will let her play w/the kid upstairs but that's really rare.
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tyfry7496
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM
My son is almost 16 and wasn't outside alone until he was 9. If he wanted to go to a friends house, either I walked him there and back or the parents did the same. None of the kids in the neighborhood were outside alone until they were at least 9. We have no sidewalks so an adult was necessary.
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Kissybratzmom
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM
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I don't even think I allowed DD outside alone until she was 6 or 7, and we've always lived in a safe neighborhood. You can't trust people these days, or kids not to take off.
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animebuddy
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:23 PM
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My kids are 5 and 2 and they aren't allowed to play outside without me and won't be for some time.
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