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Old 04-08-2009, 10:19 PM   #16
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You asked for opinions and here is mine.

I think a 4 year old has no business playing in the front yard (or back) unsupervised. Period. Sorry but that is my opinion.

I don't care what the neighbor kids do my rules are my rules. So the whole "Eve can do it!" argument means nothing to me. I am my child's parent.
I get to decide what rules I want them to follow.

No, you don't have to let your kid play 24/7 with anyone. When the kids come rushing up just tell them that you are having family time today or that you are busy but you will see them tomorrow and if you are not busy then the kids can play.

I still don't get why your child at 4 years old is out all day and evening unsupervised, and I don't mean the occassional peek out the window. She is a preschooler!

These are my opinions and you asked for them so please don't take this as some kind of personal attack.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:31 PM   #17
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I do think 7pm is too late for a 4yo to be playing outside. I don't think 4yo children should be outside playing unsupervised at all. An adult should be out there with them, IMO.

Upon reading your post my first thought of was poor Samantha Runion. I think she was about 5yo when she was taken from her front yard. If her grandmother had been outside with her, instead of inside the house, that poor girl would still be alive today.
I have to agree with pp. I have a 4 year old DS, and I would NEVER allow him to play outside by himself or with other kids his age unsupervised. You CAN NOT take your eyes off kids this age for a second when they are outside. You said yourself that she doesn't follow your directions of not going in the street. Constant supervision is required at this age, you never know what they are going to do. To tell you the truth, I really can't believe that in this day and age you would take that chance with your daughter! Do you watch the news??? And as far as "curfew" goes, my DS is in bed at 7pm. Different strokes for different folks, I guess...
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mouse House Mama View Post
You asked for opinions and here is mine.

I think a 4 year old has no business playing in the front yard (or back) unsupervised. Period. Sorry but that is my opinion.

I don't care what the neighbor kids do my rules are my rules. So the whole "Eve can do it!" argument means nothing to me. I am my child's parent.
I get to decide what rules I want them to follow.

No, you don't have to let your kid play 24/7 with anyone. When the kids come rushing up just tell them that you are having family time today or that you are busy but you will see them tomorrow and if you are not busy then the kids can play.

I still don't get why your child at 4 years old is out all day and evening unsupervised, and I don't mean the occassional peek out the window. She is a preschooler!

These are my opinions and you asked for them so please don't take this as some kind of personal attack.
I agree with Mouse House Mama. 4 year olds (and 3, 5, and 6 y/o in my opinion) are entirely too young to be outside unsupervised, especially until 7:00. OP, you need to take control of the situation. Set some boundaries for your child and enforce them. It sounds to me like that is what you are searching for, and you know what's right. JMO.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:11 PM   #19
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I have to agree with pp's 7pm is a little late for a 4yr old to be outside but thats jmo.

As for the other girl, i'd let the mom know that "both" girls were doing it just so she knows and she doesnt feel like your jumping on her.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:28 AM   #20
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Don't worry about it

She is your daughter, you do what you feel is right. Heck- I don't let my 4 year old go over to our neighbors house to play by herself with her friend. I feel like I know the neighbors but do I "really" know them. And sometimes I make her play outside with us in our yard even when the other kids are out too. The kids do not have to spend every moment together. We need our family time too. Call me selfish or over protecting but she is only 4.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:30 AM   #21
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I have to agree with pp. I have a 4 year old DS, and I would NEVER allow him to play outside by himself or with other kids his age unsupervised. You CAN NOT take your eyes off kids this age for a second when they are outside. You said yourself that she doesn't follow your directions of not going in the street. Constant supervision is required at this age, you never know what they are going to do. To tell you the truth, I really can't believe that in this day and age you would take that chance with your daughter! Do you watch the news??? And as far as "curfew" goes, my DS is in bed at 7pm. Different strokes for different folks, I guess...
My kids played outside unsupervised at that age, as did I. I'm living in the same town I grew up in, and in the past 40 years, there have been zero abductions. I don't think it's any more dangerous today - actually, I think my kids are safer, because thanks to the media, we are more aware of the dangers. There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, and I know each one of my neigbors well (I was laughing this morning when one neighbor called to borrow an onion - just yesterday I got a cup of vegetable oil from another neighbor).
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mouse House Mama View Post
You asked for opinions and here is mine.

I think a 4 year old has no business playing in the front yard (or back) unsupervised. Period. Sorry but that is my opinion.

I still don't get why your child at 4 years old is out all day and evening unsupervised, and I don't mean the occassional peek out the window. She is a preschooler!

These are my opinions and you asked for them so please don't take this as some kind of personal attack.
I definately welcome and appreciate your feedback. Thanks. I just wanted to clarify that I'm actually parked in my front window watching constantly. When Eve's mom goes out to sit on her porch I'll take that opportunity to go to the bathroom, etc. When I see dd doing something, like the puddles, etc. I'll go out and talk to her. I would never feel comfortable not watching her, I'm a big time paranoid, worse case scenario type person. The first thing I thought when I saw her drink the puddle water was, "I hope I don't find worms crawling under her skin". This is probably another reason why I want to monopolize more of her time, because I know when she spends time inside with me she's safe. It's just very difficult letting go.

DD goes to bed between 10 and 10:30p. On non school days, she sleeps until 9-10am and on school days she sleeps until 8:30am and has a nap at school.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:31 PM   #23
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My DD just turned 3 and I can't even imagine letting her play outside by herself in a year. We live in a similar situation - quiet dead end street (only 7 houses), we only have a front yard, no backyard to play in. I am hoping that in a year I can trust DD to stay outside while I go pee or grab a drink, but I think we may have to wait until 5 for that. If you are just sitting in your front window, then why don't you take a chair and go sit outside instead? You'll be better able to supervise her play from out there and stop the going in the street, water drinking, etc.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mouse House Mama View Post
You asked for opinions and here is mine.

I think a 4 year old has no business playing in the front yard (or back) unsupervised. Period. Sorry but that is my opinion.

I still don't get why your child at 4 years old is out all day and evening unsupervised, and I don't mean the occassional peek out the window. She is a preschooler!

These are my opinions and you asked for them so please don't take this as some kind of personal attack.

I have to agree here. My youngest DD is 6 and still not allowed outside by herself. I am out there with my kids and they are not at the friend's house or whatever. You just never know who may be out there watching the kids or thinking of harming the kids. We had a girl in a nearby city here spend the night at her "friend's" house and end up with an STD. Friend's daddy molested her. He was already a convicted sex offender and no one thought to check. As a parent YOU are your child's protector. My girls both play soccer and even though i know the League does a background check, if I do NOT know the coach I also go to the court and do a search on criminal past as well as check sex offender registry. I also stayed at their practices until this season when they both have overlapping practices one day a week. I know both sets of coaches (youngest dd's coach is family friend which works out so much better) and do trust them with my children enough that I can run the one to practice and leave her to pick the other one up and then head back. I just have a hard time understanding how some parents just leave their kids without really knowing a person or out to play without the parent being there with them.
IMO, if it is too cold for the adult than maybe it is too cold for the child.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:24 PM   #25
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I agree with the others that 4 is a bit young to let a child (boy or girl) play outside without an adult. If you're going to sit in the window watching her why not sit outside and watch her?
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:49 PM   #26
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OP: When I was preschool age we moved to a neighborhood with a lot of kids. The mothers would sit outside and watch us play or we'd be at each other's houses. I was the only one that had to go in at dinner each night (6ish don't remember exactly). I got a bath after dinner and I'd sit and look out the window in my pajamas at the other kids playing outside on warm summer evenings.

Was my mother mean? Not at all. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were playing with my friends those early summers, but also that time alone with my mother after bath. That time was ours. I still remember my skin smelling like bubble bath and the way the light looked in our living room playing Candyland on the floor. She worked and that was really the only time that was just for us. No work, no errands. At the time I longed to be outside with my friends. Looking back I wouldn't have missed a second of it.

Make the rules and routines that are right for you and your family. Enjoy your kids while they are young and they'll enjoy you back.

Oh, here's some advice for the "Evie does it" arguement. I tell my DD that now she knows something that Evie doesn't so next time she can tell Evie why she shouldn't do that. Ok, I'm feeding off DD's desire to be a know it all, but it seems to work so far...

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Old 04-11-2009, 07:44 AM   #27
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My advice would be to set rules and make consequences. I don't think it is wrong to allow your daughter to play outside with friends and I understand that they are being supervised. I disagree with others that think that you need to be "on top" of your kids in order to supervise them. I would not talk to Eve's parents about her, I would monitor and discipline my own child as needed. 4 is old enough to understand rules. If you tell her not to do something like play in the street, or eat grass or drink puddle water then make sure you enforce that rule. If you see her doing it call her in and tell her she cannot play with her friends for the rest of the day because she broke the rule. I like the PP who explained that "different families have different rules, and our rule is XXX." As for the amount of time spent playing with friends, you can set the time. Explain to your daughter that she needs to come in at a certain time, for whatever reason. ...but do it ahad of time, so that she knows to expect it. Tell her it is quiet play time. That you are tired, and want to relax instead of sitting at the window watching kids play. Or that you are going to watch a movie together. ...but do plan some special things to do to bond. Make cookies, play a game, color, do make-overs, whatever, so that she won't see her time away from her friends as time lost.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:10 AM   #28
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My advice would be to set rules and make consequences. I don't think it is wrong to allow your daughter to play outside with friends and I understand that they are being supervised. I disagree with others that think that you need to be "on top" of your kids in order to supervise them. I would not talk to Eve's parents about her, I would monitor and discipline my own child as needed. 4 is old enough to understand rules. If you tell her not to do something like play in the street, or eat grass or drink puddle water then make sure you enforce that rule. If you see her doing it call her in and tell her she cannot play with her friends for the rest of the day because she broke the rule. I like the PP who explained that "different families have different rules, and our rule is XXX." As for the amount of time spent playing with friends, you can set the time. Explain to your daughter that she needs to come in at a certain time, for whatever reason. ...but do it ahad of time, so that she knows to expect it. Tell her it is quiet play time. That you are tired, and want to relax instead of sitting at the window watching kids play. Or that you are going to watch a movie together. ...but do plan some special things to do to bond. Make cookies, play a game, color, do make-overs, whatever, so that she won't see her time away from her friends as time lost.
ITA with everything above - and I want to add that my dog (I know, dogs don't equal people, but go with me) drank out of puddles and standing water and developed an intestinal disorder that caused diarrhea, loss of appetite, and required extensive medication. The vet said it was caused by water with bacteria and / or rodent droppings or urine . Again, I don't know that humans would react the same way, but suggesting that puddles might have mouse pee in them might dissuade a puddle - taster.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:09 PM   #29
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DS is 5 and we are just starting to let him be outside in our yard for a few minutes at a time. We too live on a quiet cul-de-sac, and I have no problem letting him play in the street. We live at the end of the cul-de-sac, and he knows to watch for cars. We have a small yard, so this is where he gets to play, ride his bike, scooter, etc. We only let him out for a few minutes at a time without us there. Last summer, he was often up till after 7:30 playing- and will be this summer, too!

Do what you think is right for you and your family.
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #30
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My kids played outside unsupervised at that age, as did I. I'm living in the same town I grew up in, and in the past 40 years, there have been zero abductions. I don't think it's any more dangerous today - actually, I think my kids are safer, because thanks to the media, we are more aware of the dangers. There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, and I know each one of my neigbors well (I was laughing this morning when one neighbor called to borrow an onion - just yesterday I got a cup of vegetable oil from another neighbor).
ITA - it is actually a FACT that there are LESS abductions in this day and age than ever before, it is just the media circus that surrounds them that has increased. There is lots of information to state that we are raising a generation of kids that are overprotected. I am not saying that young children should be outside alone for hours at a time, but I am saying that some of the pposts have been a bit alarmist. I guess we are all entitled to our own opinions.....

So here's mine. I try to teach my children that we all have to do what's right for us, and to keep ourself safe. I know there is a risk of them being taken, but in reality it is a TINY risk, they have a greater risk of dying in a car wreck (btw, how many of you have your 3,4 year olds in booster seats? They are at a higher risk of dying by being in a booster seat too young than they are of being taken by strangers) I have taught my kids to the best of my ability about strangers, but more importantly about trusting their instincts - they are more likely statistically to be taken, molested by someone they know. I also try to teach them to follow what they know is best, not what their friends think is best. Lots of people have different beliefs, and different rules, which is fine. So even though your friends might eat grass, we don't and here's why.....it's a good life lesson, and as they get older, even more important. Respect for others, staying true to yourself.

About the street, it's a tough call, for us, our rule for the pre-school set was not allowed off our yard. Youngest DS had to be taught this, and taught it a LOT. He would watch his older DB and DS run off to the park, and he would just stop short at the curb and come back to the house to ask if I would come with him (which I would usually try to accommodate). I agree that unless an adult is out in the street, 4yo is too young. We live on the corner of 2 cul-de-sac's and even so, some of the drivers are way too fast. This is the first spring I have let DS be on the street with the other kids, and me not right out there, and he is still not allowed to ride his bike on the street without an adult. Maybe you can make friends with some other parents on the street, sitting out on the curb watching the kids is waaay more fun with an adult to chat with Anyway, jmo, do what's right for you!
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