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To have let my DD walk to school on her own?

(51 Posts)
vintagecrap Mon 12-Jan-15 10:28:53

She is 9 in a few days, we live a 3.5 minute walk from school.

since sept she has been asking to walk on her own. Its side streets and she has two tiny roads to cross. Most people walk to school, so there are always lots of people about.

The school doesnt like parents going inside the school gates, its a drop and go type thing where they go straight into school, rather than hang about in the playground for the bell.

This morning i let her walk halfway with next doors girl who is 8. I watched them go, and then went back, got in the car and drove past the gate and saw them go in, they were fine.

Thats ok isnt it?

EdSheeransGString Mon 12-Jan-15 10:30:34

Yes, absolutely fine especially when she has someone else to walk with.

Wellwellwell3holesintheground Mon 12-Jan-15 10:31:33

Yes. Definitely OK. It will build her confidence brilliantly.

TheWitTank Mon 12-Jan-15 10:33:41

It entirely depends on the child. I think what you described is absolutely fine. I couldn't with my 9 year old DD, but I know a few in her class do walk a short distance alone to school and back.

vintagecrap Mon 12-Jan-15 10:34:01

So, if shes ok with the walking halfway thing, for maybe a few weeks, would it then be ok for them to walk all the way?
like i say, its a 3.5 minute walk.

I think im ok with it, but a little bit of me worries that i wont know shes gone in ok?

and then at what point do you say that she can then walk home on her own and ill be waiting for her?

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Mon 12-Jan-15 10:36:43

Depends on school policy re walking home, only year six children are allowed to here with written permission from a parent. All other years are only released to an adult.

Riseoftheflarelovers Mon 12-Jan-15 10:37:07

From a parental view, totally ok. And fostering independence within safe boundaries.

However our head would have a field day with you. Even year 6 are not allowed to walk to or home from school without an adult. Head stands near the front gate and monitors. But she is crazy and believes its her life work to save all the poor kids from bad parenting.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 12-Jan-15 10:38:30

I think you have been scared off by too many threads claiming teens are to young to walk alone wink

Sounds fine. enjoy the benefits of being so close and knowing you have a capable dd

Gautami Mon 12-Jan-15 10:40:26

Yes, that's ok.

toomuchtooold Mon 12-Jan-15 10:41:54

Will the school contact you if she doesn't come in?

IMO, once you're happy with her walking in, walking home is no biggie as the walk home is so short.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Mon 12-Jan-15 10:42:12

Sounds ok to me. My dd walks home by herself and texts me when she gets in as I have to go pick her younger sister up. It's just preparing her for when she starts High school in September when she'll have to do it anyway.

longtallsally2 Mon 12-Jan-15 10:42:16

Sounds fine to me. If you think that they are sane people, you could check with the school what their policy is. Ours is happy for kids to walk to school alone and the office ring home if someone doesn't arrive. (We have to ring the school if kids are off ill, so that the school will contact us if someone doesn't arrive safely.)

Hoppinggreen Mon 12-Jan-15 10:44:31

It depends how you feel about it.
We have a park and stride scheme ( 2 minute walk down car free path) and my 10 year old DD does it on her own. I have to be there to collect DS anyway as he is only 6 and comes out 5 mins before his sister so I collect him and we walk down and wait in the car.
DD asked if she could walk 5 mins further down the road to the small supermarket one day when I wasn't collecting DS's and I agreed because " loads of people" were doing it. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life!!!
A couple of my friends stopped to offer her a lift and one texted me to tell me she had passed her but I was still really stressed until she appeared.
On a practical level I know it's fine but it was just too much for me.

Wafflenose Mon 12-Jan-15 10:48:24

Absolutely fine. I have a very sensible, mature DD, and have been letting her walk home after school clubs for a year, since she turned 8. It's a 5-6 minute walk with one tiny road to cross. We live on the main road through the village and she still isn't allowed to cross that - I stand outside and wait for her when she's due back, and cross her over. We agreed that if she isn't back by a certain time (15 minutes after clubs due to finish) I will walk down and meet her.

It does depend on the child though - I can't imagine letting my younger one do this at 8. She doesn't concentrate or watch where she's going!

vintagecrap Mon 12-Jan-15 10:53:02

Im ok with it, she is very sensible, ive been sending her into shops and things for a while and waiting outside.

But then i suddenly think, that shes my baby and im terrible and what if something happened.

but she wants to do it and i know she can.

bloody hard this parenting thing, isnt it.

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Mon 12-Jan-15 10:58:02

I have been building my two up to walking to school (all of 5 min, one minor road entrance, one major road with crossing patrol on it) for over a year, I started off dropping them when they were about 7 and 9 and watching them run into the gate, building up to walking alone there together (aged 8 and 10) and now walking to and from together (aged 9 and 11).

My husband was walking to school on his own since aged 6 in a European country so thinks we are all completely neurotic anyway!

Becles Mon 12-Jan-15 10:58:16

Of course. At that age, I was walking 10 minutes to the tube, changing lines then to a bus to get to and from school.

If she's asking, she's ready for the independence and it's important to separate your anxieties from her developmental needs.

WilsonWilsonWoman Mon 12-Jan-15 10:58:51

My 7 yo DD walks to school by herself. We are lucky to live round the corner from school so she walks to the end of our street where the lollypop man stands and takes her directly across and there is the school gates, always lots of people around obviously. She walks home with an older girl who lives opposite us. She wanted to do it and me finally relenting coincided with some fairly horrific morning sickness so it gave me a push to let her do it. There's been no comment from school about this.

Sixgeese Mon 12-Jan-15 11:01:53

I let DS (9) walk part of the way by himself if he wants to, I have to walk the school run anyway anyway as I have to walk his DSis (7 and 5).

We have one difficult road to cross, so he has to stay with me until we are past there, it's a t junction close to the local secondary school, so there are a lot of parked cars and cars trying to squeeze through small gaps.

And while there are a number of ways he could go, he has to walk the route that I am walking. It gives him the opportunity to run to catch up with his friends and walk with them, and he has one side road to cross and a main road with the lollypop man. In total it is probably about a 10 minutes walk he does by himself. It helps that I know that I am following so any problems he knows where I am and the school will phone if he doesn't turn up.

It is not long until he will be travelling to secondary school by himself, which if he goes to my preferred one it is an hour trip on two buses so he has to learn, he would prefer to go to the one around the corner from our home.

steppeinginto2015 Mon 12-Jan-15 11:02:47

no problem, my dd has done the same since last year. She is 9.5 and year 5.
Most schools have some kind of recommendation, ours is that they should be dropped off/collected by adult until year 3, then from year 4 it is up to parents.

I think it is a great way to encourage independance

steppeinginto2015 Mon 12-Jan-15 11:03:12

rats 'independence'

Stinkle Mon 12-Jan-15 11:04:33

I think it's fine.

I've been doing this with my 9 year old, although mine will be 10 in July (year 5). Our school allows children out on their own from year 4

She's quite immature and struggles with anxiety but at the same time she's absolutely desperate to walk home on her own as most of her class already do. We've been gradually working our way back from school - I now drop her/meet her half way and we'll continue gradually increasing the distance until she's doing the whole lot on her own.

ChippingInLatteLover Mon 12-Jan-15 11:09:40

3.5 minutes or miles?

Miles I can understand the reluctance, minutes... Really...what is this country coming to?

vintagecrap Mon 12-Jan-15 11:11:38

just checked with the school. they said its fine, its usually years 5 and 6, and shes year 4, but if shes fine and im fine thats ok.

And that if i just write a letter and let them know.

Also, that she can take her phone ( just got this xmas) to school and other children call their parents or send a text and then leave the phone with the office, so i tihnk thats a good thing to do, i will know she is fine and it will help teach her about letting people know.

vintagecrap Mon 12-Jan-15 11:12:54

minutes. 3.5 minutes. of my rather slow walking.

its literally round the corner.

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