Gransnet forums

News & politics

What age do you think......

(8 Posts)
jingle Tue 15-Nov-11 18:49:21

children should be allowed out on their own?

My GS is 10 now and is allowed to go up the road to the postbox. I don't want him allowed to do even that after this.

nanapug Tue 15-Nov-11 19:41:54

I think it depends a lot on the sort of area they live in and also the type of child. I have started to discuss this issue with my DDs (although the GCs are only 5,6 and 7) as to when they feel it suitable. It is an horrendous thought but they need to do it at some time. My husband used to walk, across town, to school when he was only 5. I don't agree with that but he did it with no ill effect. I also don't think there are any more "strange people" out there than there was when we were young, the unfortunate cases are just reported on and so we hear about it. I am lucky in that we live in a very safe area and think I would be happy for the children to go out perhaps sooner than if they lived in somewhere like London. I know I will hate it when the day comes, but we all did it and you can be over protective. They have to learn how to cope.

Gally Tue 15-Nov-11 20:52:00

Our children went to school, on the train and then a bus from the ages of 10, 8 and 6 (by the time the 6 year old went, the oldest one was 13) but they were always together and with other older children travelling in a gaggle. Of course I worried about them, but it made them confidant from a very young age unlike their contemporaries who were delivered to the school gate by car and picked up in the same way and whose Mothers used to wave their hands in horror at the thought of letting their little darlings travel on, dare I mention it, Public Transport and alone! It obviously depends on where and when but you have to let go some time and I started by letting them go up to the village, then on the bus into the nearest town and then by train into Edinburgh - and this was before the mobile phone was de rigeur. There were rules which had to be adhered to and, thankfully, there were only a couple of occasions when things went a bit pear shaped (man threw himself in front of the train which was delayed some hours and snow and the wrong kind of leaves on the track) but they coped and were better for it. Every parent knows when their child is ready for the big outside world.

glammanana Tue 15-Nov-11 21:46:46

There is always going to be stranger danger with relation to our youngsters doing the things they enjoy and having the freedom to do it,we are always going to come across people who will wish to harm our children in one way or another it has always happened and always will,you can never be sure who is living near to you as is shown in the report concerning the little boy in the report.My DGCs are never left to come home from school on their own and the two big one's always have travelled home together,now DD has to let go of the apron strings as the two big one's are in senior school but as long as she know's they are with good friend's and keep to the time's arranged she try's not to worry.

Mishap Tue 15-Nov-11 22:33:46

When I was 6 I was given the responsibility of escorting my neighbour's child (aged 5) to school - this involved a walk, a bus journey and a walk the otehr end. It did not seem strange to me.
My children were allowed to roam about the nearest (small) town from quite a young age (6/7) - we live in the country and I would drive them in and they had strict instructions about where they could go - luckily there was a big pedestrianised area so it did not involve much in the way of crossing roads. And their godfather owned a shop in the precinct and I knew they would head off there if any problem arose.

GrannyTunnocks Tue 15-Nov-11 22:44:46

Children have to learn to go out alone. You start by allowing them to go to a neighbours then a little further each time till they gain confidence. Hopefully by the time they go to secondary school they can go alone.

em Wed 16-Nov-11 19:26:34

I agree that it should be a gradual and well-supported process. The sad fact is that children are more often harmed by family members, or others that they know, than by strangers. That doesn't mean we shouldn't warn them about the dangers out there, but I find I told my pupils (and now my GCs) that if anyone says or does anything which worries or upsets them they should tell one of their trusted adults.

Grossi Wed 16-Nov-11 20:26:06

I was five when I was allowed to go to the shop round the corner and cross the quiet street where we lived.

I was reluctant to let my children out alone as there is so much more traffic nowadays, but my eldest began walking to school with a friend at eight and the others at a similar age.

I think it depends a lot on the child and where you live though.