Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)
Before I had a child, I would wonder what the heck the mother/caregiver was thinking.
Now that I have a child (a special needs child that doesn't look like he has special needs), I would think the mom/caregiver was smart. Honestly, there are many times I wish I had a stroller that ds (7) would fit in.
|I agree with this. I often see older kids in small umbrella strollers that aren't meant to hold a child their size. I will admit that my initial thoughts are not always the best, but I do make a conscious effort to understand that those parents are probably just doing the best they can with a difficult situation. Obviously I don't know their whole story. Then I feel bad. I recognize that this is a fault of mine, and I would never let it affect the way I deal with those parents or children. It's something I'm working on.
Hope I don't get flamed. I wanted to be honest.
I agree with the pp that said a properly fitted stroller would make all the difference in the world. Something about a too-small umbrella stroller that the kid is knees-to-chin in just puts me off.
to you and your daughter.
I have 3 and 5 year old boys. I would think nothing of it. I don't generally try to guess random people's kids' ages as we walk by! But mostly - we do it without a second thought, for no other reason than my 5 year old doesn't feel like walking, or I want to go faster than his pace. It's just a fuel-efficient mode of transportation! I don't use the stroller all the time anymore (used to when we lived in an urban area), but we've walked to the store or the nearby school for a concert, or from parking garage to museum when we're in town, and we use the stroller - we have a single stroller with a little bar on the back that the second kid can stand on to ride. Sometimes the 5 year old sits, sometimes the 3 year old sits. I'm sure nobody would bat an eye if I load up the kids in a car and drive them for a few blocks to the store.... so why not load them up and walk them instead??
Lots of people will automatically judge you or your daughter, but you should not let that get to you. You just have to do what works for you and her!
My DD has ridden in a stroller a lot since she came home from the hospital. I know some people were probably annoyed when I'd take her into restaurants in it, or push her through little aisles at the store. What they couldn't automatically tell just by looking at her is that she had several pieces of medical equipment in the back of her stroller and she had no head or torso control. I couldn't just sit her in the high chair at the restaurant, or hold her on my hip in small shops. I carried her in a sling a couple of times, but it just didn't work for us. I'm used to the staring for the most part now. Of course, now that she's older people can tell she has special needs and medical conditions.
As she gets older and bigger though, you may want to look into a medical stroller. Not to curb others' judgment (they will still do that), but because it will be a better fit for her.
Honestly I don't think 5 is too young for a stroller. I wouldn't even look twice or notice in that case. There have been times when my dh and I are at the mall, and I've noticed a really nice, comfy looking stroller and wished that I could climb in to ride for awhile.
I've never thought 5 yrs was "too old for a stroller".
North Idaho rural living mama to: 22 yo DD, 15 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
If I saw a child that was obviously happy and talking away I would figure the child was tired or out for a longish walk and needs a lift. Heck, Ive asked DH if I could just jump in the stroller at times when I get tired (its a joke, I never have but it would be nice!)
My 3 year old gets mistaken for a 6 year old all the time and she still rides in the stroller a lot. Its not that she can't walk (she walked a mile to the library the other day and a mile home with no problem) its just that usually we take long walks at night and shes tired. No big deal in my book.
*off to read the thread*
"invisible" illnesses make it hard to deal with strangers (heck, even the people who know the situation sometimes)...
If I even noticed it, I would probably think, "What a big child!" assuming she were younger but looked big, and then think, "Gosh, I hope she's big and not that she has a special need that keeps her in there." I wouldn't think those sentences all the way out. I just mean, if I did notice it.
Anybody who judges another parent for having the child in a stroller really needs to question what about her own parenting is making her so judgmental.
ETA- Why assume the child is not a healthy five? Well, most people I know have small homes and get rid of strollers and stuff when the child is pre-school aged. I do not know many people whose five-year-olds, if healthy, are not walking a couple miles to and fro. So that is why I would assume those things. Having read this thread, I guess it's not so unusual.
And so strollers are occassionally used for the Kindergarden aged children as that can be a long walk....
But I will admit that by the second month of K? The kids walk or bike (although I suspect that several "hitch" in a double stroller with a younger sibling at least part of the way).
The only stroller judging I have?
I will occassionally have a judgemental thought when I see YOUNG children IN THE PARK still strapped into their stroller as a nanny randomly shovels food into their mouths while chayting with the nanny friends...
I see kids there for 45 minutes strapped in. And maybe there is a legit reason, but I may get kind of eye roll-ey (it's a small, fenced in park)
But I know those judgements are not fair either/
My mother despaired of ever getting me out of my 'push chair' (UK terminology for an old fashioned stroller). I have a memory of someone walking with my Mum while she pushed me somewhere who said, "do you think she'll ever walk?' and them both laughing.
Suckers!! I was the one being chauffeur driven
BTW, I was a perfectly healthy energetic child (athletic even), I just liked my creature comforts apparently.
Later DP commented to me that the boy looked to be at least 7, and that he thought the boy was too old to be riding in a stroller and that the parents were just being lazy.
I didn't think the kid looked that old, maybe 3 or 4 at the oldest, and who knows maybe he's just a big kid for his age which I pointed out to DP. I also told him that it was probably easier for the parents to just push the kid around rather than making him try and keep up and follow along, especially since it was really hot and humid. I also pointed out that the boy may have some type of disability that prevents him from being able to walk long distances. After that he commented he wasn't thinking of those things and kept his judgements to himself.
I pushed DD in a stroller until she was like 5 or 6. And I'm glad I did. We both that yellow stroller and have such fond memories of our walks with it.
Sarah-Wife to Kelly, mostly organic crafty SAHMama to my angel, Canaan (11/01/07-03/15/2013) and Ezra (05-12-09).