Walking to and from school in yrs 7 and 10

(74 Posts)
bambicat Thu 03-Oct-13 11:54:11

Help and advice needed to resolve a parenting conflict!
Is it better to let 2 brothers walk half a mile to and from school, weather and health permitting, or should they be driven by car? Many thanks.

HavantGuard Thu 03-Oct-13 12:35:26

Walk, whatever the weather. The only exception would be if they lived somewhere seriously dangerous.

motherinferior Thu 03-Oct-13 12:35:30

Surely one of the whole points of school is the after-school Loitering In a Pointless Sort Of Way, interspersed with Trying To Attract The Attention Of Girls? You can't do all that if you're being hustled off in a car. You can only gaze wistfully at everyone else Loitering.

exexpat Thu 03-Oct-13 12:38:01

True, motherinferior. There is also the 'pooling small change with your friends so you can buy a huge bag of doughnuts from Sainsbury's to share and still arrive home claiming you are starving' thing. Very important for growing boys.

oh yes the loitering. It takes ds1 about an hour to get home from school because of the loitering.

Heymacarena Thu 03-Oct-13 12:42:03

Of course they can, and should, walk.

My DS has to walk 1/2 mile to the bus stop - from there he catches the public bus to school which is 5 miles away.

He has been doing it since Year 7 without incident.
On the other hand DSSs have been chauffeured to and from school by their DM, now in 6th form- and have yet to master the art of catching a bus..

bambicat Thu 03-Oct-13 12:54:07

Dad completely agrees with motherinferior! smile Opinion seems to be unanimous, which is a relief... it's hard to be sure what's the best thing for the children when one parents is so adamant. Thank you!

curlew Thu 03-Oct-13 12:59:50

I hope this isn't going to be a drip feed and they live in downtown Beiruit or something.........

bambicat Thu 03-Oct-13 13:04:29

Don't worry curlew, they live in a nice part of an ordinary northern town, route is not too bad, mostly residential roads.

Feelslikea1sttimer Thu 03-Oct-13 13:05:08

My children Yr 8 and yr 11 have been walking to school since starting middle school in year 5 and that was 1.5 miles away. (my youngest actually walked home from the end of yr 3, but that was only down the road with no roads to cross)

They now go to school 4 miles away and get the school bus, but if they miss the bus or get a detention, I make them walk!

They're plenty old enough to be responsible and they have only missed the bus once... They soon learn ;)

AnythingNotEverything Thu 03-Oct-13 13:06:27

My 13yo DS walks almost half a mile to the bus stop in all weathers. He only gets a lift on the rare occasion that someone is leaving the house in the car at the same time as him.

HavantGuard Thu 03-Oct-13 13:06:42

Children need physical exercise and most don't get enough. Daily walking is ideal. It's hardly far!

DS1 (Y9) and DS2 (Y7) walk (unaccompanied by an adult) 1.5 miles each way in all weathers (further on Games afternoon as the field is at a different site). They would both be too embarrassed to ask for a lift for a 0.5 mile journey unless they were on crutches or something.

DD and DS3 (both Y5) walk 0.5 miles each way unaccompanied by an adult. It will be further once I am confident they can safely cross roads unsupervised. We are working towards this happening by their tenth birthday.

Now, I do walk with him at present as he is only 7 but my ds has walked that distance in ALL weathers simce nursery. I don't drive so no exceptions, even if its bucketing it down. But, he is still walked when dh is home.

When in year 7 ( before year 7!) he will be walking alone.

LifeHuh Thu 03-Oct-13 13:10:36

Definitely they should walk! If only my DS (13) could have a walk like that instead of being cooped up on the school bus.
I am with the poster who said it would be kind to take them in if they are accompanied by any large cardboard models though - is "making a motte and bailey castle" a nationwide rite of passage? smile

I did pick DS1 up from school on the day he brought home the full-size coffee table he'd made in Tech Club.

hettienne Thu 03-Oct-13 13:16:12

Half a mile is what - a 10 minute walk? Maybe 15 if the dawdle?

Getting in a car is more dangerous!

SatinSandals Thu 03-Oct-13 13:33:51

Dad is right, of course they should walk.

motherinferior Thu 03-Oct-13 13:36:02

I reckon that counts as picking up the table, with DS1 as the accompaniment grin

DD2 now gets highly offended if I even suggest accompanying her to school. I get a walk home with her twice a week, as a reward for good behaviour. (I am one of those people who rather loves the school gate.)

titchy Thu 03-Oct-13 13:39:32

' it's hard to be sure what's the best thing for the children '

Errr really? No, it's not hard. Even if you don't have children. It is NOT difficult to see that a 15 minute stroll to school is perfectly normal, and to think otherwise is completely and utterly barking. I assume their mum has some, err, issues?

bigTillyMint Thu 03-Oct-13 13:43:39

Half a mile? It's a 10min walk, probably with friends. A no brainer for me.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 03-Oct-13 13:49:44

OP I'm going to hazard a guess that you are stepmum?

If so, I congratulate you on wording your post - common sense prevailed in the replies wink

NoComet Thu 03-Oct-13 13:50:12

Ny DDs jump of the bus a stop early and do that on purpose to go to the shop quite often.

Only on wet nights in the depth of winter do I ask them not too as its a single track lane with dark hedges.

But if they had to do it in all weathers they would just have bright colored macs to stick on once out of sight of their mates.

bambicat Thu 03-Oct-13 14:07:26

Thankyou ChinaCupandSaucers smile And everyone, for your honest, reassuring and helpful replies. It shouldn't even be an issue, but has caused so much upset. Mumsnet, you are ace x x

Lottie4 Thu 03-Oct-13 14:38:20

We're really lucky to live close to the school, but many of my daughter's friends have over a mile to walk and have been doing so since the start of Year 7 on their own. Often end up at our house enroute but I have all parents tel nos. if there is a problem. I'm surprised your boys aren't protesting at having parents drop them off, many wouldn't want their parents anywhere near the school. The only thing I would say is to make sure they both have a mobile. That way they can get in touch if they have any worries. They will probably enjoy meeting up somewhere with friends and walking with them.

Starbuck100 Thu 03-Oct-13 15:10:20

Out of curiosity, do most parents let an 11 year walk to school alone (versus walking to school with a parent)? I just moved here and have a child to start secondary next fall. Perhaps its just where I'm from and what I'm used to, but I can't imagine letting him go alone. I asked him what he thought, and he had no desire to go it alone either. Granted we just moved so he's still settling in, but still. Am I going to be the lone parent playing the over-protective role next year?

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