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4 year olds in strollers - Page 2

post #21 of 197

perplexed why this is an issue ?

My 4 1/2 year old sometimes rides in a stroller. Sometimes because she wants to; she thinks it's fun. Sometimes because we have a bit less time on a particular day. She doesn't ride all that often, but I can't imagine feeling this is a bad thing if she wants to.

She gets plenty of exercise and we take lots of opportunities for exploratory walks.

OH, and completely agree with the PP who expressed surprise that anyone would consider a 3 or 4 year old a "big kid", or that the only reasons that a stroller would be used would be for containment or laziness. I just don't get that.
post #22 of 197
Moved to Parenting Issues
post #23 of 197
My healthy 3 year old loves to walk...but gets tired by the time (usually) that we turn around and go home. She's way to heavy for me to carry.

She also has a sister a year younger who tires more quickly so when the younger one is in the stroller the other one wants to be too. With #3 on the way, I've anticipated that all three will want rides together occasionally - especially on long walks or outing to the zoo. We now have an attachment so that the stroller can hold all three if needed (though I plan on wearing the baby as much as possible too - we'll see how quickly I tire in the summer heat!)
post #24 of 197
my 4 year old will still sometimes ride in the stroller. she gets fatigued easily (low muscle tone) and once she's done, she's DONE. i used to wonder about *big* kids in strollers too, but you really never know what's going on in a situation.
post #25 of 197
My 5 yo ds loves the stroller. It is very comforting to him to know he has a place where he can rest and relax. He is a very active child who hates to walk and needs naps/downtime in the afternoon. Frequently, I would take the stroller someplace for the sole purpose of getting home w/o having to carry a tired, cranky, 45 lb child for a mile or two.

It has been very annoying because for the past two or three years, I have gotten a comment "he should be pushing YOU" almost everytime we've gone out. We walk for ME to get exercise. Believe me, ds gets plenty! And it's nice to be able to walk at my own pace as well.
post #26 of 197
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
just a quick question: we've been to the mall a few times recently, and i keep seeing kids 3-4 years old or more being pushed around in strollers. they all look like healthy kids who can walk. not to be a b*t*h, but what's up with that? is this a way for parents to keep their kids "contained"? are the kids too lazy to walk?
Serious question for you, not being snarky. Would you think twice if the kid was riding in a wagon instead of a stroller?

I ask because a friend of mine says things constantly about a friend of hers who's four year old rides in the stroller. And yet, we both owned wagons for our kids and she didn't seem to think it was the same thing.
post #27 of 197
Well, while I will defend to the death anybody's wish/need to use a stroller at any time, I do think that stroller use is sorta automatic by some parents.... I can't tell you how many parents I see putting single kids into the stroller in the Y parking lot, and wheeling them 500 feet into the building for a class. Hey, if that's what they want to do, that's their business, but it seems like MORE work to me, loading a child in and out of a stroller instead of just having them walk.

I noticed that when DD started wanting to walk instead of being worn or pushed, she got a TON of attention from people. I couldn't figure it out at first, and then I realized that she was the ONLY kid her age walking anywhere, all the other children seemed to be in strollers. People constantly made comments like "hey, look at you go!" to her -- they seemed perpetually surprised to see her getting somewhere on her own two feet.

Frankly, it *is* the norm for most parents to push older children in strollers these days... but unless it's a very long walk for us, I certainly can't be bothered to load DD up.
post #28 of 197
Thread Starter 
ok, makes sense. got it, thanks.
post #29 of 197
We actually got a new stroller when dd was 4, which was invaluable when we went to Europe on holiday and spent long days exploring together. Oh, and we got a bike trailer that doubled as a stroller when she was 3. We used both of them all the way through her 4th year. They carried her, they carried groceries, and they were all-around terrific. Somewhere in there we sold our car, and we walked a lot exploring the city.

By the way, she's 5 now and walks miles at a grown-up pace without complaint.

For us, it was important to reduce our ecological footprint and get out a ton on foot around the city - honestly, sometimes we'd be out with friends who made a big deal out of insisting their child walk, and I'm not sure that it was that much more 'gentle' or 'attached' than a nice long walk checking out the neighborhood or a cool new city with a stroller with a picnic in the bottom...
post #30 of 197
I am anxiously waiting until my 19 m.o. can walk anywhere well enough that I don't have to use a stroller or a carrier or anything. As soon as he can, then he's walking on his own. I am tired of carriers and I'm tired of strollers. I agree with a pp and think people definitely overuse strollers just because that's the norm and because usually they are in a rush. It's just strange to me to see children who can walk well being pushed around in a stroller. It doesn't look as strange to see children being pulled in a wagon or on those little boards you attach to strollers. But that's me and I can appreciate that a child who looks perfectly okay may have other issues. To each his or her own. You gotta do you.
post #31 of 197
I let my dd ride in the cars that our mall provides or rent a stroller when we have to take the bus. It is to save her energy for the long walk between the bus stop and our home while I carry the stuff home that we got at the mall.

I also think that if it is a choice between continually telling your child not to touch things and getting very frustrated and angry or having your child in the stroller that the stroller is the better option, especially when you are already having a bad day. Besides that, as a pp said you really can't tell how old the children are for sure, my dd was a very tall child and looked much older than she actually was.
post #32 of 197
I don't get why people think wagons are ok when a stroller isn't. A good stroller is more comfortable for both the child to ride and the mother to push. And it is safer because the mother can see her child in front of her while she walks. Pulling a wagon is not very safe if you have a child who might climb in and out w/o warning.
post #33 of 197
OP- just curious, how old are your kids?
post #34 of 197
Heh. Man, this is one of those things that reminds me of the judgments I used to make before I was a mom of a <insert age here>. I remember going to lunch where we had to stand in line for an hour, and my friend we went with, took out a stroller for her 4 year old. I thought she was NUTS. And that the kid was rottenly spoiled (well, she was, but that's a different post). I swore to myself that Henry would NEVER ride in a stroller at that age. Hmmm...let's see....standing in line for an hour in 100* heat with a 4 year old. What did I expect her to do? Just stand there on her little legs in the sun with us, or would I rather see her in a stroller with an umbrella to protect her from the sun and allow her to rest and not get whiny and tired?! :

Of course, this is also coming from the same person who, when Henry was in a size 2 diaper, saw the size 5 and 6s and SWORE that he would NEVER be in diapers that big, because those parents were just LAZY.

One thing I've learned - each time I make a judgment about another parent, God manages to send me a lesson that is related to that situation and humbles me all over again.
post #35 of 197
Well, for one thing, I have more than one child to keep up with, yes. And no, I don't want anyone wandering off or touching anything. So I feel that it is safer for us.

The most important reason, however, is that my four year old has a mitochondrial disorder which causes fatigue and muscle pain. He cries when he has to walk very long at the mall, grocery store, or whatever. He says he tired, he says that his legs hurt.

We certainly don't use ours for every little thing, but we do also use it for doctors visits, because I don't want him touching or sitting on anything germy in the doctors office. BTW, he looks "normal".

All in all, I do think such a comment is pretty judgemental. Sure most of them can walk, but most children that age get bored, tired, try to wander off, or bump into shelves full of fragile things.

Sure, some parents are probably using them because they're lazy or "detached", but I really think that most use them for more practical reasons.
post #36 of 197
First of all when my oldest was 2 he was the size of many 4-6 year olds. Heck I know 6 yo's who aren't as big as he was

Second-there may be issues that aren't visible to you

Also sometimes kids like to ride. I had a double stroller so there was an empty space and sometimes one of the older kids wanted to ride. Sometimes my kids walked, sometimes they rode. I was okay with both.

I have heard of the phenomenon of kid being buckled in for short rides and that sounds weird to me but maybe it's a parking lot/street thing. Maybe the parents feel safer with the kid contained? It seems like a big hassle to me-I'd find walking easier in those circumstances but <shrug>
post #37 of 197
Originally Posted by daniedb View Post

One thing I've learned - each time I make a judgment about another parent, God manages to send me a lesson that is related to that situation and humbles me all over again.
LOL. You are so right. I know I've been guilty, too.
post #38 of 197
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
j not to be a b*t*h, but what's up with that? is this a way for parents to keep their kids "contained"? are the kids too lazy to walk?
Often, if you have to preface something like that, you may want to reconsider the question.

I have a 5 year old. He is huge. When he was 2, he looked 4. Now that he's 5, he looks like a large 6 or 7 year old. He is a regular stroller rider, and I really get pissy at the comments we get somethimes. DS has arthritis and it is mostly focused in his knees. Also, it is a systemic disease that makes him more tired than the average 5 year old.

Even if he was not sick, I could not practically expect a child to walk as far as we do in a day. We do not drive (well, DH does). I take the bus into town, then rather than drag my giant double stroller on and off the bus I walk 10+ miles to do my errands, up and down large hills and across busy streets. I don't understand why parents look at DS pityingly when he rides in the stroller, as they strap their kids into the car seat to drive 3 blocks.
post #39 of 197
My DD is 3, and at times I really wish I still had my stroller (damned airline lost it over a year ago : ). Cause carrying gets tiring pretty quickly, and she doesn't want to be in a sling.
post #40 of 197
My almost-four year old gets tired sometimes when he walks a lot. I prefer for him to walk, but I often have the stroller for my 21 month-old, and his older brother will ask to go in it. (They were both worn as babies, but yes we own two strollers). Should I just yell at him to walk and call him lazy?

I agree we're a stroller-dependent culture (I'm a big babywearer myself) but it's not like they don't have uses. I remember reading that generally, kids under three cannot be expected to follow a parent for any extended period (say through a mall, zoo, etc.) and I certainly found this to be true for my son. So I think three and four is still pretty young. Sometimes walking isn't practical when they're tired, or you do actually have to get somewhere fairly quickly.
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