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19/02/2013 at 13:42
...at what age do you or do you intend to start letting them have a bit more freedom?
I mean things like - walking to/from school, going to the park, going to the shops in the next town, going swimming alone.
I can't remember at what age I did all this stuff, but being 10 in the early '90s is much different to being 10 nowadays!
19/02/2013 at 13:47
Not sure (he's only 5!) but probably not until Yr 6 at least - to get to school/village from our house means crossing a main road, so I'm reluctant until he is a lot older. Not sure on going to the shops, it depends how responsible he is at that stage and how sensible his friends are.
Definitely agree that growing up is a whole different kettle of fish these days!
19/02/2013 at 13:50
How old are they? Its hard isn't it? My H thinks I don't let E have enough 'freedom' but I disagree.
She has just turned 9yrs. Since the summer she has been allowed to go to what the kids call 'the field (a big open green space with tree swings etc) ' which is 2 blocks behind our house but she has to come back every half an hour to 'check in' with one of us and she knows that if there is anything going on or older kids causing trouble she has to come straight back.
She won't need to walk to primary school by herself because J starts reception in September so me or H will always be going there and back, much to her disappointment. She'll be able to walk to senior school by herself.
She is allowed to go to the shop by herself but its only 100m up the street. There is a better sweet shop across a zebra crossing but I haven't let her go there yet.
I remember going swimming by myself when I was about 10yrs, that was getting the bus there and back with friends but I don't think I'll let her do that for another couple of years. I think I would trust her to go swimming by herself if I was to drop her off and pick her up and hour or so later but still not sure on it.
19/02/2013 at 13:51
We live in a town and it was in year 6 that we started letting K go to places on her own with her friends, so things like we'd walk her into town, she'd meet her mates & go park, then we'd collect her. A lot of kids walked to school in that year but it was always easier for us to drop her off.
Then when she started year 7 it became Bluewater where they wanted to hang or 'go shopping' so we'd drop her off to meet her friends and pick her up or she would be dropped off. Then in the Spring term of that year, so she was 12, she started getting the bus to school which then in turn meant bus to Bluewater & home.
She doesn't hang out on the streets or in parks though. The kids just don't seem to do that round here - well her friends don't anyway.
19/02/2013 at 13:55
C is 9, but I still walk him to school. Well, I walk him until he's about 10 metres from the gate. At his age, I was going to the cinema on my own, down town etc, with my 7 yr old sister in tow. There's no way i'd feel comfortable letting C do that. He is very mature for his age, but there's so many stories about kids being taken, hurt etc.
I've said he can walk to school on his own when he starts High School, and only because it's 5 minutes from our house
19/02/2013 at 14:02
E's 10 (nearly 11 ) and she has walked home from school alone a few times and after clubs. Not necessary for her to walk herself to school as her brother goes too.
She's been to the corner shop 200 yards from our house, and the park 100 yards beyond that. That's about it. But we're starting to get her friends knocking on the door asking her to play out further away again. Yesterday she was invited to go swimming with them and I said no. I am a mean Mum.
I trust her, but I don't trust some of her friends to be honest. The trouble is, lots of them are given free reign of the entire town. They come from a couple of miles up the road to knock and ask if she can go out to play, I feel bad (but entirely justified!) saying no. Their parent's haven't got a clue where they are or who they're with and it drives me bonkers.
19/02/2013 at 14:08
Sshh I don't think its mean, especially if you don't trust some of her friends.
We don't live in the greatest area and there are some horrible kids around. We have a family with 10 kids live behind us and they are allowed to just roam the streets at all times of the day and night. The other week I saw one of them aged 7 walking to the local leisure centre which is nearly 3 miles from our house and across some really busy roads and a dual carriage way.
This week I've left E and her friends at a play scheme run by the council, they don't have to sign in or anything its a come and go as you please but I've told them they aren't to leave the building and I trust her not to do that and behave while she is there.
Not a mean mum ssh, a sensible one. Secondary school age things change but for now, keep with what you are happy with.
19/02/2013 at 14:27
I regularly see kids E's age out and about in charge of younger siblings. They go out riding bikes without helmets in the middle of the road, I may have shouted at them several times for this. I probably have a terrible rep at the school.
Happy for her to have a bit more freedom once she's in secondary Belle, hopefully she'll make nicer and more sensible friends there!
19/02/2013 at 14:29
Not mean at all Sshh, I think a lot depends on who they are with and whether or not you can trust those people too. Thinking about it, Joshua will never walk to school on his own as I will always be taking Jacob or #3 as well.
19/02/2013 at 14:36
Does she start this September?
19/02/2013 at 14:48
Yes, we find out which school in a couple of weeks. Eeek!
19/02/2013 at 14:51
Fingers crossed you get your top choice.
19/02/2013 at 14:57
I have eleven in my head.
A who's ten has never played outside, or walked on her own to/from anywhere. None of her friends do either. It would be seen as 'wrong' in our area. But hoping when we move it'll be different.
I looked at the NSPCC website for some guidelines on this and I found it really useful actually. Mum works in social services too so I am probably more over protective in my mind.
19/02/2013 at 15:31
mine all started having a bit more freedom in year 6, I did it that way so hopefully then would learn more street sense for when they went up to high school. even in year 6 it worried me.. I used to let them walk to school, 3 mins from home and no busy roads, the corner shop, 2 mins from home and no busy roads, I think it was only when they started high school I would let them out more, although O did get run over by a car 2 months after she started high school... through her own stupidity. (She has developmental issues as well)
19/02/2013 at 17:04
J (7) keeps asking when he can walk to school on his own. I keep saying we'll talk about it when he's older. When he's in year 6, A will be starting in reception so I'll still be walking to/from school. I may let him walk a few paces in front though.
I do agree that things are different now to when I was his age. I was playing out with friends at his age. But we live on a busy main road so I won't let him play out.
19/02/2013 at 17:09
Its an interesting issue isn't it? When I was my daughter's age (5 nearly 6) I was walking to school on my own. But this was the 70s, there were fewer cars anyway, and no roads to cross. But we've had a note home from school about not leaving our children in the playground on their own in the morning (just before the doors open, even though a teacher is present). Seems like we are afraid to trust our children at all and I'm not sure it helps them to recognise dangers around them.
But at the same time I'm not sure what age I'll be happy leaving her to walk to school on her own even though its round the corner as cars whizz down the road and its impossible to see over parked cars. Of course mostly its parents dropping their kids off which causes the problem....
They do encourage year 6 pupils to walk on their own as when they start secondary its a much longer walk.
So I've no idea what I'm going to do!
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