Molly Coddled or Fool Hardy?

The other day I saw a man dropping his daughter off at kindy. He drove near the kindy. He couldn’t get right up to the front gate because there was another car ahead of him. The girl who was sitting at the back opened the car door herself and walked a short way to the gate on her own. She is my daughter’s classmate.

So far I have not seen any other parents do this. Most of them get down, open the door for the kid and walk the kid to the gate. I do this too. I do this out of my own fear because of a few near misses when it comes to car doors.

As a result, I do not allow the kids to open the car doors on their own. The car doors have child locks on and I open the door for them to enter and exit the car. Let me talk about the near misses.

1. My sis was on the driver’s seat of her MPV and she had swung the automatic back doors to close. It almost closed on my girl’s hands had I not jumped in on time to pull her away.

2. I was quarrelling with hubby over some dunno what small matter and I was still arguing while we were unloading our boot of groceries and then I slammed the boot door onto my girl’s fingers. I slammed really hard. We had to unlock the boot door because her fingers were trapped. Fortunately her fingers were caught in between a gap! My heart stopped that moment. I don’t remember what we were arguing about now but I will never forget that heart stopping moment. Thats why they say when in a fight, stop and think. Is this really important 5 years from now? If its not, forget it. Obviously its not because I can’t even remember what we were fighting about now but it almost caused my girl her fingers.

3. My boy had put his fingers in the space in between the door hinge and my husband almost closed the car door without realising it.

Coming back to car doors. As a result, I do not allow the kids to open or close the doors on their own. I am afraid that they may accidentally close the doors on their own or each other’s fingers.

I wonder at which age will it be safe to allow kids to handle car doors on their own? I wonder am I being over protective over my kids sometimes, raising molly coddled kids. I wonder is the man whose daughter got out so confidently and walked on her own to the kindy gates raising an independant child or is he being foolhardy?

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6 thoughts on “Molly Coddled or Fool Hardy?

  1. You’ve got a good point on the argument. Forget it if it is not important.

    I also had a scary experience on cardoor. My son was sitting in his bb car seat at the front. I was getting into the back and was talking to husb as i closed the door. I did not realised my son had reached back and put his fingers on the door frame. I slammed the door shut, and he told me, “hand pain pain.” Then only we realised that I had closed the door on his fingers. Luckily for me, it was a gap, or I would never forgive myself.

    Yeah. Same. I keep thinking I would never forgive myself ….

  2. Aren’t there any teachers to open the car door for the children at school gate? My kid’s school’s teachers do that, even if the car if parked opposite the school gate and some lazy parents not willing to step down the car to walk their kids across, the teachers always open the car door and bring the child into the school compound.

    JS slammed at WH’s finger once and I too did that once to one of them when I was busy unloading the stuffs and didn’t pay attention to them.

    Only one side of my passenger seat is child lock as it’s more convenient to have the other side un-child lock so they maid could get down to open the gate. Until now JS still likes to open the car door herself, but I make sure I’m out of the car, standing beside the door before she opens it. I always tell them not to/never open the door when I’m not ready to get down from the car.

    Thats good. At least you train them to be independant within controlled and safe conditions.

  3. Elaine is right, there shd be teachers opening the car door and waiting at the gate, no?

    I have a great phobia with doors of all kinds coz at 1.5 yo, Sherilyn, my 2nd gal’s left thumb got wedged by a steel door in the kitchen. It was a bloody scene… the bone chipped and the nail eventually fell out. Since that day, I have door stoppers on every door in my house, 2 stoppers on each door.. 1 on each side of the door.

    I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. I think we play by ear, some kids are very careful, matured in their thoughts and disciplined and even at a young age, they are really careful with things like doors, etc. SOme kids, even at age 10 are still careless and slap happy.

    Oh, there are teachers who open the door but when 5-6 cars stop at the same time, it can be hard.

    My goodness, what happened with Sherilyn when she was just 1.5 years old must have been such a scare for you!

  4. I think as they grow older it’s better to let them do it themselves. In fact, I’ve taught my eldest to unbuckle my No.2’s car seat cases of emergency. The best is to teach them adult things, but always under supervision. When they do it by themselves, you’ll have the confidence of them doing it right.

    Then again……talk is cheap eh? Hehehehheeh…sigh.

    Talk is certainly cheap. That is certainly the best method but I’d probably be standing there tapping my fingers and toes and saying “Hurry up!” while they fumble with the belts and the door. 😛

  5. I thought I was the only one who had slammed the car door on my kid’s fingers. Gosh. I felt so guilty then cos of my negligence.

    I’ve seen kids at my son’s school get out of the car, close the door and walk to the school themselves. And I thought these kids are so independent.

    Now, you know you’re not alone. Hehe.

  6. One thing for me to note! Totally scary if all the near misses had not been! whew….

    Yes, must be more careful, must be more careful, must be more careful. Oops sorry. I was talking to myself there.

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