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Supervision of Skids

Mamma Jamma's picture

At what age is it appropriate to leave an intelligent girl on her own? Actually not totally on her own, her 10yo brother is here too. Also I mean as in a different room from a parent, not alone in the house.

My SD is 5 and DH thinks she must be watched 24/7. I say she is fine in another room within hearing of us. The house is safe and clean, not too much she could get into.

DH wants her to wait til we wake up to leave our room to play. (see blog; her room will be ready in a couple weeks due to remodeling). I got up this am and she followed me to the door. DH didn't see me, only her leaving the room, and freaked out.

I know I used to get up at ungodly hours and play before my parents got up, my nieces and nephews too.

If there isn't an issue, can someone please help me explain this to DH???
He hasn't lived with her full time since she was 3, I think that has something to do with him still treating her like a toddler I instead of a kindergartener.

TexasBelle_80's picture

Wow, ya... He's being paranoid. We let just turned six year old ride his bike in the back without us. He gets up before us and watches tv. He's going to have to let go or he might seriously retard her maturity level by not allowing her independence. I'd maybe let her teacher explain to him that she is a big girl. She knows better than to stick things in outlets and play in the middle of the street. It's only going to get worse if he keeps treating her like a baby.

Mamma Jamma's picture

Yeah that's what i thought. I asked my mom and she said yes she'd be fine on her own for a few. I figure since she's not been around him since she was three, he remembers her as 3 with a toddlers limitations. He offered to cut up her hot dog the other day afraid she couldn't chew it! I told him, honey she's FIVE! she can chew a hot dog.

I guess i need suggestions to help him see she's not a baby any more. She 'reads' us books, getting to actually reading...very smart and minds most of the time Smile like all kids.

Actually, ironically enough, i was upstairs and they were downstairs alone while i was typing that Smile DH is sleeping/sick. They were just fine...I knew they would be. I'll tell him i left them and she was fine. also remind him we were left slightly on our own at that age.

A big worry he has is we have a staircase with 7, then 2 steps down, and he's afraid she'll fall off the top steps, but only about 4 ft from the ground is unrailed (again temporary, this remodel was started before we knew there was even a chance they'd be with us this year. Sucks.)

He even wants to carpet the stairs so she doesn't slip. I put my foot down. i have no carpet in my house due to allergies and not carpeting them.

He just wants to be a good dad...I understand that but I know he needs to let go a little. Smile

caregiver1127's picture

Okay she is 5 - it is supposed to be getting easier right - how can it be getting easier if you have to be up her butt 24/7 - I let my daughter play in our back yard with out a fence - I check on her and she is just fine - if DH wants to follow her constantly his deal but you should not have to do that as well - I would tell him to back off a little - he is smothering her!

Mamma Jamma's picture

Yeah when he asked her the second time about cutting up hot dogs she was rolling her eyes at him. The thing is he knows they got very minimal supervision with BM [she is actually panicking at the moment about getting arrested for child neglect and endangerment...if that tells you how they lived], and i suspect he is overcompensating. we've only had them a little over 2 weeks.

MARLA_823's picture

My SD is five and I can leave her alone while I go take a shower. I even let her sit by herself with my 2 1/2mo baby in the house while the insurance guy came to take pictures of the damage on our car. I left the window open and told her to yell for me if she needed me. They just watched tv. Five is a good age to start INCREASING their independence! Not taking it away! Lol at her rolling her eyes!

Jouma's picture

My kids do the same, and have for the longest. I left my ex husband when my youngest was 2, oldest was 9. So I know since then, they'd come and shut my door, fix themselves some cereal, and watch tv or play quietly until I got up.

He should give the girl some space to learn to think and do for herself.

Mamma Jamma's picture

Yeah, I was cracking up at the eye rolls. I'm trying to convince DH she'll be ok. I left them 15 or 20 minutes downstairs this afternoon and they were fine of course. I am careful with them outside because we have a big backyard, but our front yard is small and people speed on our little secondary road.

Mamma Jamma's picture

He actually is getting there...I said something tonight about it finally. He's concerned about the steps we still need to get railings on, and will be better when we get her room fixed. We're gonna hurry on that you can bet!!!

starfish's picture

well, i wouldn't give her sharp scissors, a lighter or a butcher knife... but i think a 5 yr old is perfectly capable of watching cartoons by his/her self for a while... it's not like you & dh are in a different country ~~ a different room...

Bojangles's picture

Now I'm wondering if I'm too slack! My nearly 4 year old has been allowed to play by herself for over a year - she'll be in the living room and I'll be in the kitchen next door, or I'll be in the shower (bathroom door open) and she'll be in her bedroom. We have a fenced gated garden and she'll easily spend an hour out there on her own on her scooter and swing. If anything it's my furnishings and plants that are at risk not her! There have been a couple of 'let's spread cream on the carpet' and 'lets pick all the flowers on this nice new plant Mommy bought' incidents! Overall I want her to feel confident and independent and I think that's difficult to achieve if you're hovering over them all the time conveying the impression that your home and the world in general is a hive of danger.

Eddy82's picture

My 4 year old SD can happily play up stairs without supervision, people are over cautious with tier kids. Make sure the rooms are safe and there is no need to watch them 24/7. As long as they are not too mischievous that is, but then kids will be kids, if the rooms are kid safe (no sharp objects, sprays, chemicals etc) Any rooms that are off limits but a small bolt on the outside and lock it.


Anonymous_stepmom's picture

Wow, yeah he's def going a little over board. My 4 year old get's up in the morning, makes himself breakfast (easy stuff like toast or cereal), get's himself dressed and watches tv. I let him play in other rooms of the house without me right there, as long as I can hear him I am fine with that, he's a smart kid. I've also recently started allowing him to play outside, like in the yard or go to neighbors houses to play as long as he is with his big sisters.