Freedom

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SPCN319's picture
Joined: 06/14/06
Posts: 2118
Freedom

How much freedom do your blossoms have around your house? For example, would you let them hang out in the living room/family room while you went to your room to shower? How about mornings, what happens if they're up before you? Do they wake you up, stay in their room, etc? If you're cooking, do they have freedom to roam the house (within reason, of course), or are they gated/expected to stay in a certain area?

I ask mainly because I woke up this morning and Pax was downstairs in our living room reading books to himself. All our bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, so it freaked me out that he'd go down there alone. Normally if he's up before me, he runs right into my room to wake me up or plays on his own in his room. We were in a rush, so I didn't really deal with it at the time, but I've been thinking about it all day. Maybe it isn't a big deal to give him more freedom? Or is he too young? IDK, I can completely argue it either way! What do you do?

Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219

Aw, that's sweet he was reading books!!!! I think it's whatever you are comfortable with is the right answer.....

Colby can go wherever he wants upstairs or downstairs when he wants, including the basement where he has to close the door behind him because of Daphne. For the most part he'll stay wherever we are, and Daphne generally sticks around me. She can also travel around on her own with frequent check ins by me if I'm doing something like making dinner and she's gone into the front living room or dining room. When I do Colby's bath she's got free roam of the upstairs bedrooms since keeping Colby's door closed makes her scream bloody murder....baths are quick! Really when Colby does go out of sight upstairs or the basement, he doesn't stay gone for long, he usually just wants to get something to play with, or play with something he doesn't want Daphne to mess up. If I can't hear him for a bit, I'll just call out to him and ask him what he's doing, and he usually comes back because I'm sure he's afraid he'll miss something! Him getting up before me isn't an issue here, he's a really early riser and makes way too much noise in the process!

Karrie5's picture
Joined: 05/29/08
Posts: 2993

Mikayla has free reign of the house. Quite often she plays in her room alone or with one of the boys. If I haven't seen or heard her in a while then I'll call for her for a check in. Whenever she's been the first one up in the morning she sneaks into bed with me so that has never been an issue. The older boys will usually just play in their room or the toy room if they are up first.

But there is such a wide range of 3 years old behaviors that it really depends on the kid. So like Julie said, what ever you are comfortable with!

Joined: 06/09/06
Posts: 3264

Good question. I think I'd be a little freaked out if I found Noelle up first and downstairs by herself... especially because she still stays in her bed until we come get her. lol She's certainly old enough now to get up on her own, but I know my daughter and we are going to ride this wave as long as it lasts. Smile When my nephew was only a little older than our blossoms, he was known for getting up at 3am and pouring his own cereal, thinking it was time to get up.

Aside from that, Noelle pretty much has free reign of the house. I don't really like her to spend much time on the laundry side of the basement or in our study, but mostly because I don't want her getting into that stuff. She mostly hangs around me, though. I'm going to miss that (someday).

shefrn1's picture
Joined: 08/28/07
Posts: 4148

i agree with julie...i think the right answer is whatever you are comfortable with!!!!!

lyssa wakes and usually comes right into our room....we still have the gate up at the top of the steps so if that's closed she knows that noone is downstairs and she comes in our room...if that's open she'll go downstairs.....if she tries to open it herself i will hear it but she never does that anyway ...atleast not yet Smile

as far as during the waking ours...they pretty much have free reign although they are usually up my arse or in the playroom :rolleyes:.....like ruth..i don't let them play in the laundry room or the bathrooms or down the basement because i don't want them to get into that stuff....occasionally lyssa will run upstairs to get something but she usually doesn't stay up there and play....when i'm putting clothes away upstairs sometimes i let them play alone downstairs but i can usually hear them......I'm not sure i would take a shower though with them downstairs...not that that's wrong...but it's just my own paranoia that i wouldn't be able to hear them!!!!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'm sure it also depends on whether they have older siblings. Our last baby gate came down ages ago and all the kids have free reign to go anywhere. They know that I prefer them to stay out of my bedroom and certain parts of the basement, and no sword fighting is allowed near the china cabinet, lol.

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

Miles has free reign but, like others, rarely goes anywhere for any length of time alone.

TV time is usually while I'm in the shower but that's more of a distraction thing - if he were forced to play by himself he'd be in the bathroom a zillion times asking for something.

Allie01979's picture
Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 4706

I would love it if Aidan woke up and read books lol!

I agree with Julie though, it depends on your comfort level. Aidan can go anywhere he wants in the house, if he wants a fat lip he can even go in SD's room lol.

tybaysmom's picture
Joined: 04/08/07
Posts: 483

When I'm upstairs and he's downstairs I'll only leave Jayden alone for a short amount of time. He's a little sneaky, so he can get into too many things if I'm not right there.
There's no way I would let him be downstairs while I shower, I make him stay in my room so that I can hear everything going on. Wink
I also close the gate upstairs so that he can't go downstairs when I'm in the shower.
It's funny, I think when my first son was this age he probably had more freedom then Jayden does....I think it's because I'm just too nervous he will get into something he shouldn't. He's a sneaky little bugger!

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

Our baby gates came down the fall of 09, but went back up last spring because of Abigail. Jax opens and closes them and roams around the house at will. In the morning he gets up and comes to our room and crawls in bed with me. So far this works just fine. ALTHOUGH, I'm not sure how I would feel if I woke to find him freely roaming the house without my knowledge. It's different than when I'm awake. I 'know' where he is and what he's up to just be listening, and I do intervene quite a bit with stuff he's not supposed to be doing. Roaming around the house while I'm asleep and not aware of him kind of gives me the creeps. That boy can get into some serious business. Last week, he started going into Abigail's room before coming down to me, I didn't like that one bit and put a door knob cover on her door.

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

i'm very comfortable with free reign.......i leave abby in the house when i go to put lucy on the bus....i leave abby in the house when the fruit lady is here.......that can be 20-25 minutes......she is a very well behaved girl......and if i say, sit and play in this room........she does. i have no problem with letting the kids get up and go downstairs......on the weekends......they are sometimes down there for 15-20 minutes before i role out of bed.......if jack is sleeping, i'm in bed......i can usually hear everything......but they dont' NEED me for supervision......i have no gates.......so it is free roaming for all........

SPCN319's picture
Joined: 06/14/06
Posts: 2118

"luangwa" wrote:

Our baby gates came down the fall of 09, but went back up last spring because of Abigail. Jax opens and closes them and roams around the house at will. In the morning he gets up and comes to our room and crawls in bed with me. So far this works just fine. ALTHOUGH, I'm not sure how I would feel if I woke to find him freely roaming the house without my knowledge. It's different than when I'm awake. I 'know' where he is and what he's up to just be listening, and I do intervene quite a bit with stuff he's not supposed to be doing. Roaming around the house while I'm asleep and not aware of him kind of gives me the creeps. That boy can get into some serious business. Last week, he started going into Abigail's room before coming down to me, I didn't like that one bit and put a door knob cover on her door.

Yep, this is kinda where I am with this. I think I was mostly freaked out because I was sleeping. With kitchen stuff there and doors he could possibly open (although everything should be locked), it seemed scary somehow. I'm really not sure what I could do about it though...gates are worthless against him, he's a monkey and will climb over anything. I guess I could've punished him, but I'm not entirely convinced it was a bad thing. He WAS just reading. Maybe I just need to remind him what's OK when I'm not in the room and what's not and hope he listens.

Otherwise Pax pretty much has the freedom to go where he wants in the house. There are areas that are off-limits, but mostly he's free to roam. Regardless, he's usually where I am as well, 3 year olds don't like to miss much, do they? If he does play in his room alone, he usually comes to get me every 5 minutes to show me what he's doing. lol

chefkel's picture
Joined: 08/06/07
Posts: 2190

Owen has free reign .. if he wakes before us he just calls to me from bed.. he will not get up.
I usually do not leave him in a room alone for more than a few mins... I shower at naps or at night.
my goal is to get him to play alone in his room... it never happens LOL

mommyvolc's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 1296

Our kids are gated into their bedroom, so if they are up before us, they usually play or read until we come to get them. They have the freedom to roam on the main floor of the house, and can go upstairs to their room. The other rooms on the upstairs are closed and they haven't figured out how to open the doors yet, lol! The basement is strictly off limits. I do shower with them downstairs, I usually put on the television and they will happily watch that for 15 minutes or so. After that they're upstairs wanting to know what I'm doing. When I'm cooking they are usually in the kitchen with me, they love to help and will tear lettuce or wash their sippy cups etc while I am making dinner. They both know they have to touch the fridge when I'm going to open the oven door. The only outside door they can open is into the backyard, and we shut the inside door and latch it (at the top) to the sunroom at night, so they can't get out until we open the sunroom in the morning.

Nicole

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

ROFL Oh my, Nicole, I read your answer too fast the first time - it looked like you locked your kids in the sun room over night! I was going to say, that MIGHT be an issue with the foster parenting thing, lol.

mommyvolc's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 1296

Ha! Yep, that might be a problem! We close the sunroom and latch it as we have a lever handle on the back door and Alicia can open it if we forget to lock it at night. She got out once when I was busy changing DJ, scared the bejeezus out of me, so now the sunroom is locked off unless we are around. Its actually scary the amount of childproofing required for foster parenting...did you know you have to LOCK up all your tools..yep, every single ding dang screwdriver. Fortunately the workshop area is lockable. Oh, and your knives, and all drugs have to be locked as well. I have to buy a lock box for the tylenol.

Nicole

regdahl's picture
Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 777

Would you let them hang out in the living room/family room while you went to your room to shower? Yes. (This applies to Cohen only obviously...no other younger children in the pic) I usually turn on a show for him to watch while I go shower. He plays in the basement by himself a lot. He knows where is not allowed to go and we are lucky he's a rule follower so I know we can trust him to only play where he's allowed.

How about mornings, what happens if they're up before you? Do they wake you up, stay in their room, etc? Eventually. If he wakes before us he goes in his toy room or living room to play. He eventually comes in our room and tells us he wants to eat or watch "Jake". We have all the doors secure so we know he can not get outside of the house.

If you're cooking, do they have freedom to roam the house (within reason, of course), or are they gated/expected to stay in a certain area?
Free to roam the house.

I think it definitely depends on the kid. Like I said, Cohen is a rule follower and likes to please. He isn't a kid that gets into things. He knows his boundaries and follows them. Therefore we can give him quite a bit of freedom. Our neighbor on the other hand is 6 days older than C and you just can't give him much freedom because he's curious, mischievous and destructive. It's dangerous to leave him alone, LOL! KWIM?

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Well, hummm, I guess my kids have free reign and they don't??? There is no where that is off limits, except our bedroom if the door is closed. If it's open, then they can go in. I shower and leave all the kids out to roam as they please. Sometimes Aidan comes in the bathroom with me if Odessa doesn't want to watch him, usually she doesn't mind. When I cook they roam as they please as well. In the morning they do not come out of their room until I give them permission. The girls all share a room. Ellie is usually the first to wake up and ask to come out. She stays in bed until I go in and get her. When the others wake up, they know that if Ellie is already out then they can come out too. I guess I don't really worry because they are pretty much always together and looking out for each other. Smile We have no gates or baby proofing of any kind. I teach them what they can and can't do, and that's it. Of course I don't leave knives or anything like that laying around though!!

brandifawn's picture
Joined: 05/28/07
Posts: 348

I guess I would say that they have free roam of the house too. William doesn't quite have teh opening doors thing down yet, so if a door is closed he can't get into anything, but he'll tell you about it if he wants in. Nicholas goes wherever he wants whenever he wants, except he knows if our door is closed he may not come in and will knock first.
When he wakes up in the morning he used to come directly in an get me, since we have introduced Sam, our elf, he goes and finds Sam first and then comes and tells me where he is for the day. There have been a few days where he has gone to retrieve a toy or a book from the play room before coming to get me, but not many, and I'm fine with that.
For showering I tell Nicholas I am going to shower and to come get me if he needs me, he is usually so busy building something or playing that he wouldn't notice if I was gone, LOL. William gets a choice, come in the bathroom with me, watch a show in my room or play with his brother, but he knows once he makes a choice that's where he stays. Since he can't open doors if he wants to come in the bathroom with me then he is stuck, although the watching a show and going to play he can go back and forth. If William is doing something he shouldn't Nicholas is a great tattle tale and I get to hear all about it, so I don't worry too much about what he's getting into, he is either in my sight or hearing range or with his brother pretty much all the time.
I also think the layout of our house has a lot to do with the freedom the kids have too. Our house is all on one floor with an open concept living area with the bedrooms off of it, so from pretty much anywhere in the house, except in the master bathroom with the doors closed, I can hear where the kids are and what they're doing. If they were on a different floor than me I might think differently, so I don't know what I'd do if I found one of them downstairs in the morning. Right now Nicholas walks straight through the living room to get to my room, so I wouldn't be too upset if he got distracted and just stopped there to play.

MamaArty_RMT's picture
Joined: 11/09/05
Posts: 805

We are fairly liberal with the freedom around here. We haven't had gates for well over a year. G usually wakes up first and comes in to wake us up. But occasionally he's gone downstairs by himself (very rare) or will go down to the basement to wake up his uncle. I have left him on many occasions in the livingroom while I shower or do some quick chores. We will even let him play in the back yard by himself if we're in the kitchen or livingroom where we can see the yard. The yard is completely closed in. He basically has free reign of the house, but usually stays where ever someone else is. He's not much for alone time.

The one thing that scares me and we're working on is opening the front door. He loves to answer the door and he can unlock the dead bolt and open the door by himself but he doesn't understand the concept yet that you don't just race to the door and open it for any one who happens to ring the doorbell.

Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 366

Would you let them hang out in the living room/family room while you went to your room to shower? Yes. Really no choice here for me. I go in to work some days at 1pm, and Im so not a morning person. Waking up before Alex to shower is completely out of the question! I shower every day while he watches toons or plays on the computer. Its been that way, well, forever so its not an issue.

How about mornings, what happens if they're up before you? Do they wake you up, stay in their room, etc? Alex always is up before me! Haha. He comes into our room first thing and wakes me up. If he didnt I would be okay with him playing in his room or playroom, but if he came down the stairs I would hear him (our bedroom is right at the bottom of the stairs).


If you're cooking, do they have freedom to roam the house (within reason, of course), or are they gated/expected to stay in a certain area?
Yes to roam the house. We have no gates up, havent since Alex mastered stairs.

I know our routine will change with the new baby, but so far things are working well. Alex has toys on every level of our house (3 stories), and he roams between the 3 at his pleasure. Its not babyproofed anymore, but Alex is really good about not being naughty with things. I think I take for granted that he is, actually. I cant say I would lay down and sleep while he was awake, but if Im awake and in the house I dont care where in the house he is we just do check in once and a while. I always know what is going on, you know?

I dont allow him to play outside if there isnt an adult outside- that scares me. I guess thats my only freedom limit!

mbowman's picture
Joined: 08/22/07
Posts: 1063

Pretty much free reign here. I try to keep her out of the girls' bedroom in the basement and she usually won't go down there unless they are in their room. Mostly Delaney prefers to be where we are. On weekends, she usually wakes up first and just comes and gets in bed with us. During the week, I have to wake her up.