Son *thinks* he walks to school alone

(385 Posts)
alwaysinamuddle Wed 01-Jun-16 15:23:33

My 6 year old son has been asking for 4 months if he can walk to school on his own. He's friends with a lot of older children who all do and he wants to join in.

During the week before half term I "agreed" for him to use his scooter and scoot "alone" as usually when I'm with him he's miles ahead of me anyway.
We live about 10 minutes from his school and he has to cross two main roads which are traffic-lighted, and one by his school which isn't. I told him he's not to cross that road unless other parents and children are crossing too. He carries a watch with him so he can check the time and decide which entrance to the school he would like to use. We've had many conversations about Road safety, stranger danger and the like.

Anyway, all of that is explanation to my question. When he thinks he's alone, I am actually following from a distance and he is always in my line of sight. He hasn't noticed me yet, and I'm able to let him build his independence while satisfying my protective instincts IYSWIM.

Yet, I had a phone call from the school telling me that DS is not to walk to school alone, and even when I explained, and even with other parents being able to confirm I had been watching they have told me it's a cause of concern for them and they would have to treat it as neglect and report it if I were to continue.

AIBU to think that there's nothing wrong which mine and DS setup and the school are being very OTT?

LadyPenelope68 Wed 01-Jun-16 15:26:25

I agree with the School. He's 6 years old, he should be fully supervised on the way to school.

MrsBed2b Wed 01-Jun-16 15:26:45

Are you near enough to get to him quickly should anything happen, when he's crossing the road etc?

I would imagine that is the issue the school has, although 'neglect' seems a harsh term to us.

HypodeemicNerdle Wed 01-Jun-16 15:26:46

Sorry but I agree with the school and I'm quite a lax parent when it comes to stuff like that. 6 is too young.
At my kid's school you have to physically hand them over and receive them back until year 3

x2boys Wed 01-Jun-16 15:26:57

They probably are but ds 1school are not keen on kids being left in the play ground even in ks2 let alone ks1 .

dustarr73 Wed 01-Jun-16 15:27:12

6 is too young to walk to school alone.I think you should just walk with him and tell him hes not allowed to go on his own.

My son is 8 and recently started walking to and from school.I also have a 6 1/2 year old who is rocked wtht sense and i could trust him to walk but i dont.As hes too young.

Lweji Wed 01-Jun-16 15:27:55

Tell them to report it, then.

I might be slightly concerned in case he decided to suddenly cross a road, or if there are any other hazards on the way, but I certainly wouldn't class it as neglect.

We get here people reporting their children of similar ages going alone to school in other countries.

AlanPacino Wed 01-Jun-16 15:28:49

Gosh no. I wouldn't let a 6 year old that close to a road without close supervision. If he wants to feel grown up give him a list of housework.

EarthboundMisfit Wed 01-Jun-16 15:29:03

I'm with the schjool, sorry.

AlmaMartyr Wed 01-Jun-16 15:29:19

I agree with the school. A mum near here lets her kids scoot on ahead (6 and 4) and it bothers me seeing them.

fuctifino Wed 01-Jun-16 15:29:30

I don't get it. When you walked with him, he was out of sight. Now he scoots alone you can see him at all times. Has he slowed down?
Anyway, that's by the by.
If I saw a 6 year old walking/scooting alone, I would be looking for an adult as it just doesn't seem the done thing at that age.
It is usually yr 5's and 6's that walk alone.

At the end of the day, do school let him head out alone?

NoahVale Wed 01-Jun-16 15:29:41

it is not fair to put the responsibility of road crossing onto another parent op

ladygracie Wed 01-Jun-16 15:29:44

Yes at the schools I have worked in, ks1 children needed to be supervised so could this be an issue? It seems very young to be doing that alone for a 10 min journey.

fassbendersmistress Wed 01-Jun-16 15:30:16

I think YABU, 6 is too young to take on the responsibility of getting yourself to school, not least a 10 minute scoot with roads to cross.

Does your DS get everything he asks for?

Lweji Wed 01-Jun-16 15:30:53

Ups, sorry, didn't reply straight away and forgot he crosses two roads.

But, yes, I would be concerned that he wouldn't follow instructions and put himself at risk, particularly if other people took some time.
But you know your child (mine would probably be ok).

So, you have two alternatives, explain it all to child protection or start walking with him. It is up to you.

Lilaclily Wed 01-Jun-16 15:30:53

Too young

GreatFuckability Wed 01-Jun-16 15:31:54

i think the school are being ridiculous. and are contributing to a generationa of children who are ridiculously helpless because they build no skills.

Lweji Wed 01-Jun-16 15:32:55

Just to add that whereas I'd be ok with my son, because he is responsible and careful with traffic, I wouldn't with some other children.

alwaysinamuddle Wed 01-Jun-16 15:33:36

mrsbed2b I could get to him in seconds if anything were to happen.

Pretty much all of the children at DS school scoot ahead of their parents from reception age, the only difference is DS doesn't know I'm there.

NoCapes Wed 01-Jun-16 15:33:39

I agree, although you can see him it doesn't sound like you're close enough to do anything should he step out into traffic for example
And I think it's really unfair to tell him only to cross when other parents do - it is not other parents responsibility to watch your child, it's yours

Why do you do this exactly? Because he wants to feel like a grown up? You simply tell him he's not a grown up he's 6 and 6 year olds aren't old enough to do things like that, no matter how many times he asks
My 6 year old regularly asks to drive the car, doesn't mean I'm going to let him hmm

Hockeydude Wed 01-Jun-16 15:34:18

You should have told him no. The school will definitely report you if you do not closely supervise his travel to school. It is very, very wrong to allow him to cross when others are crossing without you. What if someone runs quickly as the green man is about to disappear and then your ds thinks it's ok to step into the road and gets run over.

wineandsunshine Wed 01-Jun-16 15:34:37

I personally wouldn't at 6 and agree with the school.

My son only started walking to school (across one main road) in year 6.....and I will do the same for the other three!

ceebie Wed 01-Jun-16 15:34:49

YABU, sorry

Lilaclily Wed 01-Jun-16 15:34:52

Greatfuckability
Both my two started walking to school alone in year 5, age 9/10
No problems at all
Just because they didn't start at 6 didn't mean they were unable to do it 3 years later

acasualobserver Wed 01-Jun-16 15:35:33

At least you will have a straightforward reason to give him when you explain he'll have to come with you in future.

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