Being the fourth child I was a little more ‘relaxed’ with my parenting. Having a large family forces you to relax and not sweat the small stuff.

These are the things that I let my fourth child do:

  • Stand on the dining table, regularly.
  • Walk around on the dining table, regularly.
  • Play with thumb tacks on our homemade geoboard while I read on the couch (gotta embrace those moments of joyful playspiration right?)
  • Eat KFC chips for lunch in the car while I eat some too, parked with the air-conditioning on and reading.
  • Watch Peppa Pig on the iPod while I lay on the couch and pretend to be asleep.
  • Take off all her clothes and run around naked in the dirt at the playground.
  • Do her own toothpaste application and brush her own teeth (before I “help”).
  • Ride the cat.
  • Draw all over herself and myself in washable markers (actually I highly recommend this activity for long car rides).
  • Learn to say “oh shit!” and congratulate her correct appropriation of context.
  • Eat three bowls full of frozen blueberries (naked) if it means she stops hanging off my tits for five minutes.
  • Sit in the small sink (naked) and pour water all over herself while I use the big sink next to her to do dishes.
  • Paint her own hair with chalk.
  • Eat pages of books (one less meal I have to prepare!).
  • Draw all over the walls with washable pens.
  • Wee on the deck.

In contrast…

Things I’d let my first born do at the same age:

  • None of the above. Oh, the horror!

Ahhhhh the ever evolving journey of parenthood, hey? You realise that children are not only really resilient but they’re innately intelligent too. Your priorities change. And you learn to be resourceful and find the quiet moments within the daily chaos whenever you can.

Anything you let your 2nd, 3rd or 4th child do that you didn’t let your 1st? Please share in the comments below.

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  • I really dont know. I think my kids were very lucky that they had a reasonable amount of freedom as they grew up. We live in an area where in those days everyone knew everyone else so they could wander off and it wasnt an issue as there were many people who would look out for them.


  • An interesting article, thanks for sharing.


  • Never would I dream of four kids. But even if I did, I would never let them do any of these things. Each to their own I guess, and I hope that the article is tongue-in-cheek


  • I cracked up at dot point one and two. I let my second do that already. I wonder what I’d let my fourth do…!


  • Well, we only have one child but I am one of 4 kids. My brother, born 4th and the baby in the family could get away with most things. I think Mum didn’t know what to do with a boy after 3 girls so let him get away with most things. She was most lenient on him and mothered him more than the rest of us.


  • so true! love the berries bit ha ha! that’s why I’m only having 2 kids


  • Yep the first has to endure us learning to parent and subsequent babies reap the rewards


  • Yep, definitely ! My fourth eats sand, leaves and dirt and I’m not too bothered by it :)


  • This was an amusing read, thanks heaps ☺


  • I love this article. Some of these things I let my second one do!


  • Nothing like that… She got introduced to some stuff (like TV) earlier than the oldest, just because it was around for the older kids.


  • Um, I don’t thinking I’d ever be that relaxed. With my 3rd, I stopped helicopter parenting. I let him take risks, get dirty and fail. He’s a much happier child because of it. I am learning to parent every day and hopefully I’m a better version for my newest number 4.


  • Oh gosh; my first child does almost all of these…


  • I only had 2 kids and still the older one used to say ‘you’ld never let me do that at her age!’ I didn’t think my parenting had changed that much in such a short time


  • I only have one child, but I have 3 siblings. I was the 3rd child and apparently was just ‘there’ in the background taking it all in. My brother, the 4th child, got away with anything and everything, and Mum did far more for him than she ever did for the rest of us. Hence why he stayed at hoem until he was 30!!!


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