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to be concerned about a child age 7 possibly 8 taking self to school?

(58 Posts)
LargeLatte Mon 17-Dec-12 19:18:36

or is that reasonable?

Child dresses self, lets self out of home, walks maybe half a mile in total to school alone.

Concerned because last week it was -3 degrees and child did not have a coat which is how it came to light that child does this on their own.

Not actually me who saw this but a family member who asked me what I thought and what we should do.

Family member raised it with school and they spoke to child telling child to remember to bring coat next time but otherwise didn't seem concerned.

So its a genuine AIBU? Should I be concerned or is that old enough to be so independent?

MrsKeithRichards Mon 17-Dec-12 19:20:10

A friend of mine in another town lets her 7 year old walk alone over 3 roads. Ok their quiet roads but I'm still a bit hmm about it.

Greensleeves Mon 17-Dec-12 19:20:55

Not having a coat isn't great, but walking to school - do you know how far the child walks? Do you know how frequently the child walks alone?

Not really any of your business if another parent decides their child is old enough to walk to school at 7 or 8.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 17-Dec-12 19:20:55

I wouldn't do it. But loads of people would because they can't be arsed to take them because they say its teaching valuable independence

MrsKeithRichards Mon 17-Dec-12 19:21:55


peaceandlovebunny Mon 17-Dec-12 19:22:02

i was four. it was half a mile with a busy road to cross. 1962.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:22:38

Perfectly normal to walk to school alone at 7yo, per se. However there are other factors here. Half a mile is a long way, and the coat issue is very concerning. If the family member wishes to persue it with school, they should do so inwriting and copy to the govenors, asking for it to be noted as a child protection issue. This would hopefully trigger the necessary procedures.

RogueEmployee Mon 17-Dec-12 19:22:39

I did this from age 9, I'd say it's possibly younger than lots but definitely not abusive.

KitchenandJumble Mon 17-Dec-12 19:25:40

Well, I was walking farther than that to school at the age of 6. By myself. Crossing roads (not extremely busy roads, though in a city). It wasn't unusual then. It shouldn't be unusual now, IMO.

And dressing him/herself? Surely most 7-year-olds dress themselves, don't they?

Yes, he/she should wear a coat. But many kids refuse, take off coats and stuff them in schoolbags, etc.

3b1g Mon 17-Dec-12 19:25:55

My younger three (10, 8 and 8) walk half of the journey to school without me. I walk with them half way then cross with them over the only road we need to cross, then off they go. They meet me in the same place on the way home and we cross the road together and then either walk the rest of the way home together or one or two of them walk ahead. They are wearing coats though.

beamme Mon 17-Dec-12 19:27:51

At my children's school they are allowed to walk to and from school alone in Year 4, so age 8/9. I would be worried about the coat issue though.

PorkyScratching Mon 17-Dec-12 19:28:52

Mine walked themselves to school at that age, I see no prblem.

mercibucket Mon 17-Dec-12 19:29:20

Mine do all the above, although it's a 2 minute not 10 minute walk. Seriously - dressing themselves? A 3 year old should be starting to do this! Did they forget the coat or just not want to wear one? That's not great.
Plenty of kids round here play out and call on friends from 6 or 7. Going to school alone is no different.

mercibucket Mon 17-Dec-12 19:29:21

Mine do all the above, although it's a 2 minute not 10 minute walk. Seriously - dressing themselves? A 3 year old should be starting to do this! Did they forget the coat or just not want to wear one? That's not great.
Plenty of kids round here play out and call on friends from 6 or 7. Going to school alone is no different.

threesypeesy Mon 17-Dec-12 19:29:26

We still walk our 2DDs to school gates and pick them up there 7&9. We only live 5mins away with no major roads but id worry rhat they qould be to busy gossiping with friends to pay attention to roads even though there very sensible girls.

No jacket at -3 thats a bit worrying and school will have noted complaint as if its a regular thing to be under dressed for weather its a form of neglect. Im a qualified nursery nurse and education support teacher and that would be our procedure.

holidaysarenice Mon 17-Dec-12 19:31:52

Walking to school alone is fine, but do you mean get up to an empty house? Leave empty house and come to school?

MogTheForgetfulCat Mon 17-Dec-12 19:34:14

I wouldn't let mine, but live in a busy area, lots of traffic, longish walk to school. I walked on my own from 9, probably about half a mile, no problem. To me 7 is a bit young (DS1 is 7, and is far too silly and daft to do this!), but from 8ish onwards (depending on the child and the route) probably alright.

Wallace Mon 17-Dec-12 19:43:03

Half a mile really isn't very far...

Coat, could have been a one off.

Wait til you have a teenager. Ds1 did wear a coat one day recently. It was -11

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Mon 17-Dec-12 19:44:39

At 8 we walked to the bus stop and caught the bus to town for school for a year until they extended the infants school to accommodate us. I don't think walking himself is too much at all.
Not sure I'd let my Dd though, she's bit of a wanderer and would get to distracted.

Dinglebert Mon 17-Dec-12 19:49:07

I know someone who lets their recently 6 year old walk to school - way too young imo. I'd be worried about the no coat as dressing children inappropriately for weather can sometimes mean parents are struggling.

fanoftheinvisiblebigredman Mon 17-Dec-12 19:49:42

Ds is 7 and I cannot imagine him taking himself to school. He is still at infant school and I cannot imagine allowing him to take himself to school without being sure he had got there.

But everyone is different as I wouldn't allow a child of infant school age to the park alone either. But to be honest, ds wouldn't want to do these things alone yet either.

ChoudeBruxelles Mon 17-Dec-12 19:51:51

I'm hoping that DS will start to take himself to school so days from next September (he will then be in year 3 - aged 7). The school is 2 mins walk from our house and you can see it from our front door and no roads to cross.

cory Mon 17-Dec-12 19:58:07

Depends on circumstances. On the continent, dressing yourself and taking yourself to school at this age might well be the sign of having loving and involved family who had put a lot into helping you to achieve independence. A child of this age who was receiving help to dress or not allowed out unaccompanied might be seen as having unhealthily involved parents- or just lazy ones who couldn't be bothered to teach him. But in this country, it might be a sign of neglect.

LargeLatte Mon 17-Dec-12 20:16:32

Sorry - when I say 'dressing self' I wasn't very clear. I meant that the child said mum was still asleep so from the point of waking up they did it all on their own - decided to take self to school. Mum used to take child part way to school so this only started happening in last week. So my ds feeds himself, dresses self etc in the morning, but I am there to help get breakfast ready, supervise getting dressed etc. I didn't mean that dressing self was sign of problems.

It's interesting to hear what other people think - that's why I asked.

ReallyTired Mon 17-Dec-12 20:25:35

I think that a seven year old walking to school on their own without a coat is a cause for concern. A seven year old should be able to dress themselves, but they still need a parent to keep an eye on them to make sure they are dressed appriopiately for the weather. I think a seven year old is capable of walking to school provided there are no dangerous roads to cross.

The level of independence a child has depends on parental opinon. One of our neighbours still walks her eleven year old to school and insists on holding the poor boy's hand. Other children in the street tease the poor boy merilessly about being a baby.

My son has been walking to school by himself since the age of eight. My neighbour thinks I am lazy allowing my son to walk to school by himself and I think she is over protective. Its a difference of parenting opinon.

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