freedom and play time at 3 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-03-2011, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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we're mostly relaxed letting DD play outdoors. she can get really crazy indoors sometimes and i send her outside if i need to. she loves climbing, jumping, swinging, and she's three. if we're at the park i don't help her climb, i've always told her if she can't do it herself then she's too little and can try again until she gets it. very rarely will i give her a push up. i feel it builds confidence and motor skills.


we were at the park and she saw kids about her age climbing on rocks. there was a mom standing with her kids while the climbed. she ran over to join them and i can see/hear her and was maybe 40 ft away. the rocks we're tall, the tallest about 2 ft high. i figure, no problem she's always climbing stuff. well, she jumps and does a little tumble, and i can hear her say "i'm okay" and gets right back up and climbs again, jumps, climbs, jumps, climbs, ect. the other mom was looking at me like i was nuts. she's telling her kids not to jump because it's too dangerous. i could tell she thought i was being neglectful just by the looks, and was just glaring at me waiting for me to stop my kid from jumping or as i see it, just having fun. i knew DD wasn't getting hurt and she was doing just fine without me. i like to give her space when she plays and didn't see a reason for me to interfere. i wasn't really worried about her getting hurt, she was jumping into grass. i guess she could have bumped on a rock, but kids get hurt, it happens. i figure if a kid's going to get hurt, it's going to happen eventually no matter how much some one tries to stop it. maybe i have the wrong attitude about play time. if she was about to run into the middle of a road, i'd stop her, if i really felt she was in danger i wouldn't let her continue.


am i giving my three year old too much freedom when it comes to playing? i know every kid's skill level is different, but how much helicoptering is really needed? if i can see and hear her how much worrying do i need to do? i don't want to be restrictive at out door play time but maybe i've been too passive?

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#2 of 4 Old 12-04-2011, 07:48 PM
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I'm with you.

I let my almost 2 yo DS go play in the indoor play place alone.  I knew he could do it.   And the worst that would happen was me having to go get him.  lol  DS was horrified.   The sign said 3 and up and he's only 2! 


I think a parent knows their kid best.  If you know your kid can do something then I don't think a parent needs to be right there (climbing..etc).   I think you have to (to a point) let your kid learn cause and effect.   I know my 7 yo DS can climb the tree in the back yard.   And I let him, But I know my 4 yo DD wants to try so bad, but is a little un coordinated.  lol   I am so not a helicopter parent tho!!

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#3 of 4 Old 12-05-2011, 12:59 PM
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I'm right there with you. I don't help DS up things for exactly the same reasons (also figuring if he can get up, he should be able to get down) and have often wondered if other, more "attentive" parents see me as being neglectful. Even DH tends to hover around DS at the playground way more than I can stand, but I spend more time with DS so probably know his limits better.


Honestly, DS goes MUCH better if he can't get help from me everytime he turns around. If I'm there he defaults to "I need help" even when he can do it himself. So in many ways I think I'm doing him a favor in having him (allowing him to?) test his own limits.


Everyone has their own comfort limits but I'm not going to change my approach to appease another parent.

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#4 of 4 Old 12-05-2011, 01:22 PM
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2-ft-high rocks, onto grass? I'd have absolutley no problem with that either. I try to give as much freedom as I can.

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