The boy is four and a half and has several friends on the street, who are 1 to several years older. Several times a week, in the afternoon, he’ll hear them playing outside and always begs to join them. Historically, I’ve always walked outside as he hurries down the sidewalk to play with the neighborhood kids. They are good about staying on our street, usually within a few houses of ours, but not always. Often, another parent is outside so I chat with parent(usually a mom) as we watch the kids play. But recently, if another parent is not outside, I don’t go out, I’ve let Will go out on his “own.”
His ‘rules’ are to stay within three houses (not past Emily’s) and he can NOT cross the street. I remind him of the ‘rules’ each time. Normally, I’ll look out the window, to keep him in site every 5 or so minutes but it ain’t easy to let him go or for me to give up this control. Currently, still struggling with how much and how often should I check up on him as he plays outside….
How protective should you be with a 4 year old? (nearly 5) He is pretty good about following the “rules”, especially the do not cross the street one. And the few times he has broken a rule, he lands quickly in a time out and receives a stern ‘reminder’ of the rules. Also, our street is not a heavily traveled artery, so not that busy…I know it only takes one car….
Lastly, I don’t think Will is a typical 4 year old, he is a pretty darn good listener. We are fortunate. If he was a poor listener, there is no way i’d leave him outside without being close by.