Put Away The Stroller

My girls in our jogging stroller last year.

My girls in our jogging stroller last year.

First off, I would like to state that I don’t have anything against strollers. There are plenty of situations where I think a stroller would be a lifesaver. If you’re a car-free family that walks miles every day, I’m sure it would be great to have. Or maybe if you have kids close enough together that the first one isn’t big enough to walk yet and you already have one on you. Or along that train of thought, some medical conditions don’t allow for babywearing, which under normal conditions I consider to be a far superior way of carrying a small baby. There’s a whole host of reasons someone might regularly use a stroller and I have no problem with 99% of them.

There’s one situation that I keep seeing, even more so now that the weather is getting nice. One situation that makes me want to pull out my hair in frustration. It’s the big kid who is in the stroller for short walks.

I’m talking 3 and 4 year olds (I’ve even seen older kids) in strollers for walks that are a mile or less. Walking to the park, going to pick up siblings from school, walks around the block, etc. I’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that the majority of these kids have no physical reason that they cannot walk.

So why aren’t they walking?

Is it because they complain? Is it because they expect to be carried halfway there? Is it because they are crazy and try to run in the road? I don’t know, but I do empathize. I’ve been there multiple times.

But just because it’s hard on our kids or annoying for us, should we give up and push big kids around in strollers all the time? What about exercise? What about learning rules of the road like holding hands? What are we setting them up for later in childhood?

So I urge you to put away that stroller. Start off small and make them walk around the block. Go bigger and walk to your library or park. You can do it, and they’ll be better for it.

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2 thoughts on “Put Away The Stroller

  1. We made my 3-year-old sit on the front of our double stroller the other day on a .7-mile walk home from the fro-yo place, but that’s because he was eating his frozen yogurt in the SLOWEST manner possible and we needed to rush home for bedtime (with a 2-year-old & 6-month-old riding in the stroller and me wearing the other 6-month-old), but I’m with you – once they reach the point where they’re capable of walking on their own, we do it as much as possible! I frequently take all 4 kids out for walks on my own with one baby in the stroller, one on my back, and the 2 & 3-year-old walking on their own!

  2. My twin daughters stayed in the stroller longer than my son, as they were quite late walkers and very very very slow… They were not quite 2 when their older brother started kindergarten, and were in no way steady enough to walk 1 km each way to school and back. By the end of the year, they were starting to walk him along with us to school, but had a hard time walking it twice a day, so I would tuck them in the stroller so it wouldn’t take us an hour each way. 😉 The stroller was well out of the picture by the time they were 3 though. I do find crowd control difficult sometimes, so I just don’t take them places where I know they will bolt. I can’t handle the stress of large crowds and two runners.

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