Is is ok for a mom to stay inside the house while her 5 yr old is outside (out of her view)playing? I know someone who does this and normally the child stays close by, but recently that 5 yr old keeps wondering off farther and farther. So I guess my question is a two part one.
1) should this mom continue to allow her child to play outside unsupervised?
2) and if she does, how to teach that child to stay nearby and not wonder off?
My son is now 5 and he is allowed outside alone, but:
- He will not leave our garden. He knows where he is allowed to go and where not and he will ask if he wants to go anywhere else.
- He will not take any gardening tools unless allowed and he will not operate anything with electricity. and there are no dangers in our garden (such as a pool or pond where he could drown).
- He climbs trees, but when he does, he wants asks to come and watch.
- We removed all poisonous plants from our garden.
our place is quite rural. There are no more than 10 cars per day on the street in front of our house and they drive slowly. Any stranger walking by would cause the neighbors dog to bark and alert everyone.
I think it's Okay if you can trust that the child sticks to some basic rules and if there are no obvious dangers anywhere. Kids need to have some opportunity for adventure. If you pack them up in cotton and have them safe and sound without a scratch, they will miss important childhood experiences.
I would not let a child venture off to places that are out of my reach until they are responsible and will be reliably home at a given time.
My 11 year old is allowed to go away with his friends. They build a tree house fort somewhere in a piece of forest that belongs to one of his friends' grandfather. Sometimes he comes home with wet feet from crossing a creek. Sometimes he comes home with torn clothes from crawling through bushes. But he's always home on time.
Okay, well, there are factors to consider here such as mental maturity of the child, the general security of the area she lives in, etc.
Some would say that it's okay to leave a 5 year old unsupervised for brief periods of time if that child is in a secured area and has been taught (and understands) specific safety rules.
From what I'm understanding by your question, however, is that this child is being left alone for long periods of time, and that she is in an area that is not fenced in, allowing her to walk away, or the possibility for someone to kidnap her.
In this case, the mother needs to be told that what she's doing is dangerous and, if the behaviour is not corrected, child welfare may need to investigate the situation.
In general, that age...definitely not !