View Full Version : At what age...

Helen Dempster
15-11-2011, 01:28 PM
...would you let your child walk home alone? I'm asking, as mindee (boy who has just turned 10) wants to walk to my house after school cos all his friends do (their homes aren't as far as mine is). His mum's agreed to him to do so, but she's admitted she's worried. I've given her my advice...ie the road she's told him he must walk down is a side road, behind the main road, very quiet and some strange people live down there...it's also the street that a very young child gave me 'the finger' :eek: I suggested that he walk down the better lit/more pedestrianised road. It just made me wonder how old you would let your own kids/mindees walk alone. I know things were different in our day, I was on my own younger than 10 cos my mum was always working and there was no dad around, but these days...?

Also, how would you help - would you give him the lecture on 'stranger danger', do some activities that may help him etc? He walks very slowly and always looks down at the floor when he walks...I'm always picking him up on it (nicely btw).

Anyway, I would be interested in your opinions guys. Ta :thumbsup:

15-11-2011, 01:45 PM
I think it all depends on the area in which you live. We live in a quiet town not a city centre. The roads are a little busy at school time but no major roads. Im not saying we are exempt from danger but I feel safe enough to let them walk.

My son walked to and from school at 9-10yrs (Yr 5) and my dd is nine and doing so with friends. Its a 10min walk to and from school but I still walk down anyway so I would always be around if she needed to find me.
Son is now 12.5yrs and has to walk to and from school through town with major roads so letting him doing it from 9-10yrs was a good age for me.

I remember walking from the age of about 7 to school on my own, but those days were different, 30 yrs ago.:rolleyes:

But mindees are different..As a parent I wouldnt be too happy on son walking with friends if I was at work and as a childminder I wouldnt be happy with it in case he never made it back? Its hard when kids want more independence but circumstances dont allow. They dont understand and just want to join in with friends that are allowed. :(

15-11-2011, 01:47 PM
hmm - if you aren't happy , then I'd be inclined to say no. It's hard enough worying about your own kids, never mind a mindee!!!

If I lean out my kids bedroom I can see my ds's school, but I still walk him in and collect every day.

15-11-2011, 01:54 PM
I agree that it depends on where you are and the child. My ds is 10 next month and is sometimes allowed to walk to school on his own (although we are a couple of minutes behind!) He went to homework club yesterday after school and was allowed to walk home with his friend (who was coming here too) as we thought they are responsible enough and there are no roads to cross and it saved bringing the others out again. We live in a quiet town/large village. If I wasn't a childminder I'm sure I would allow him to come home himself but I'm there for the younger 1's anyway.

15-11-2011, 05:20 PM
Is he the only child you pick up, if he is could he walk with his friends along the well lit road, and you meet him at a pre arranged place where he would be walking alone after his friends have got home.

15-11-2011, 05:42 PM
My nephew is 10 and he has just started walking to and from school as his younger sisters now go to a school in a different direction. He walks with a friend and they have been told which way to walk and where to cross for their safety.

15-11-2011, 06:43 PM
My son started walking to and from school (initially with me 50m/100m behind him) the summer term after his 10th birthday - less than 10 minute walk with one zebra crossing. And I will be doing the same with my daughter next summer. I don't like them walking to and from school in the winter as it's often getting dark or very gloomy. But everyone is different and I'm aware of children aged 7 years old walking themselves to and from our school.

Alot depends on the child and how sensible they are and wise to road safety/stranger danger, etc. I don't think some older children should be allowed out on their own - I saw a 12 year old walk into a lamp post last week; he said he didn't see it!

nic t
15-11-2011, 06:47 PM
My son is 10 and sometimes walks to/home by himself.

He is going to be at Secondary School this time next year getting 2 buses by himself so I have to start giving him some independence now.

15-11-2011, 07:39 PM
I think the only way to tell that its going to work is to suck it and see as it were. But you MUST have a emergency plan arrangement with the child and parent. For example does e carry a mobile? is your number in his mobile? what time does he need to be at your house by? what happens if he is not there when he should be? how long will YOU leave it before you phone .....who will you phone? agree a route home - this will be the route you will take if you have to go looking for him. He needs to understand that the right to have freedom means he has a responsibility to follow the rules and regardless of peer pressure he cannot deviate from the plan.

15-11-2011, 07:50 PM
my son has been walking to and from school on his own for the last few months, hes just turned 11yrs, its a 5 min walk and he has one quiet road to cross.
If it were a mindee I would be telling mum and making her sign somthing to say that i wouldnt be responsible for him untill he reaches my door and that if he didnt turn up that i wouldnt be able to go looking for him as I have other children to consider however I would inform her if he didnt arrive and she would have to deal with it.
as previous said it depends on the sensiblness of the child.

15-11-2011, 08:02 PM
If your having doubts i wouldnt do it, like someone above has said if you do go ahead i would make sure the parent has signed and is fully aware you will only be responsible for him when he gets in your home, also have you thought about if he is late, how late will he have to be before you go looking for him, so what other mindees would you have that you would need to take to look for him, there pic ups etc what would the plan be

15-11-2011, 08:09 PM
My 10 yr old ds has started walking home occasionally - but I wouldnt let a mindee.

I'm too much of a worry wort and its a good 10 min walk - even in a small country town. But if anything were to happen, I'd be held reponsible and would never ever forgive myself.

Rachel x

15-11-2011, 09:05 PM
A 10 year old boy got abducted 5minutes from here on sunday, hes safe and sound and was found tied up in a house, next to school which has turtned out to be a half way house for people released on bail! :eek:

I wouldnt let a 10year old walk home just because you NEVER know!