When only one child misbehaves should the other kids have to miss out?


We live in an apartment. During the working days I am at work all day long. We have three girls: 6-year old, 4-year old and 3-month old baby. The two older kids have been adopted three years ago and still have behavioral and learning problems. When our older girls are allowed to go outside (6 and 4 years old), my wife (or a babysitter) has to accompany them, because it is not safe for them to be alone outside. Besides going for a walk with kids, my wife also spends a lot of time teaching them at home and in specialized educational centers for kids (their skills are below the average skill level according to their age). We also have a 3-months old baby, who needs to be taken care of, but the time devoted to the baby is much less than the time devoted to older girls. We support the idea that it is good for older kids to play outside, but it turns out that my wife devotes all the time to three kids altogether and she would like to find some spare time for other activities. Right now the older kids are usually outside for 1 hour before dinner with a babysitter and around the same time after a day-time nap with my wife.

With regards to the abovementioned situation we have two questions: Question 1: How much time should be reasonably devoted to outside activities for older kids per day given the fact that one adult should supervise them? If we decrease the time they are outside from two hours to one hour, is it too little?

Question 2: Due to behavioral problems older girls have, we impose consequences to them in the form of not going outside. But if one of the older girls is punished and has to stay home, another girl automatically has to stay home as well, because we do not leave the kids alone at home. Do you think we may try to leave 6-year old girl alone in the apartment, when she is punished and cannot go for a walk?

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