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To let mey10yo son do these things

(45 Posts)
tangerino Sun 08-May-16 09:42:15

My DS is 10 and quite sensible and reliable (for a 10yo boy smile)

We've been having various debates about what he should be allowed to do v what his friends are allowed to do- I can't work out whether I'm being over-protective or incredibly negligent and everyone seems to have completely different intuitions on the matter- I have a friend who won't let her 15yo walk 10 mins home from school, for example.

Obviously there are lots of factors that affect one's judgements on this sort of stuff, but just roughly, at what age would you let a sensible child do the following-

- go to the shops alone (5 mins walk, one quiet road to cross)
- stay home alone while you eg pop out to the shops for 10 mins
- stay home alone while you go out for longer (eg 30 mins to pick my DH up)
- walk to school (30 mins, one big road to cross but there is a zebra crossing)

If it makes any difference, we live in London but in a fairly leafy, non-edgy bit.

A1Sharon Sun 08-May-16 09:43:44

If your son is happy to do these things and you have talked of the dangers etc, then I think that is all fine.

BrandNewAndImproved Sun 08-May-16 09:46:45

My dd is 10 and does all those things apart from walk to school as both of my dc go to breakfast club. She does walk home on her own when my younger one has a club on and crosses with the lollipop lady.

Lolimax Sun 08-May-16 09:49:54

You are the parent, it's your call. But I think their independence is an increasing thing, you give a bit, they show they can be trusted, you give a bit more. That way you keep the lines of communication open between you.
As it happens I'd be happy with all those things at 10. Mine have got to 18 and 19 and we've survived. Sometimes we haven't always agreed on how much independence they should have but with discussion we've always found compromise.

EmmaWoodlouse Sun 08-May-16 09:52:29

I would be happy to let a 10 year old do all of those things - unfortunately DH wasn't (except possibly the staying at home for 10 mins, in exceptional circumstances) which led to DS1, at the age of 11, being really scared that he would get into trouble because he'd crossed a main road without an adult while playing at a friend's house. So long as he knows what to do in an emergency, go for it!

The person who won't let their 15 year old walk home is going to create a young adult who can't cope with life at all, if they're not careful.

NeedACleverNN Sun 08-May-16 09:56:18

- go to the shops alone (5 mins walk, one quiet road to cross)

Yes absolutely

- stay home alone while you eg pop out to the shops for 10 mins

Yep no problem

- stay home alone while you go out for longer (eg 30 mins to pick my DH up)

As long as they coped with being left alone for 5 minutes with no issue then yes

- walk to school (30 mins, one big road to cross but there is a zebra crossing)

As long as they coped with going to the shop ok then yes

Bogburglar99 Sun 08-May-16 09:57:10

Well my nearly 10 yo has SEN and the common sense of a goldfish so his independence is more curtailed for now. On the basis of what friends and neighbours do, and what I could picture sensible DD doing in 2 years time:

5 mins to shop sounds fine.
10 mins home alone fine (I might even contemplate this with DS!)
Home alone for 30 mins might make me more nervous but probably a sensible goal to work towards. Friends of his certainly have 30 mins - 1hr home alone.
30 minutes to school I would be scared stiff but mindful that in a years time most 11 year olds will be taking themselves to secondary. Would therefore probably start working on it now.

EatShitDerek Sun 08-May-16 09:57:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CodyKing Sun 08-May-16 10:05:31

My DS was a nightmare crossing roads - had my heart in my mouth when he went out -

However he's learnt and I'm happy with his ability to judge roads now.

He's often home alone - other kids to pick up ferry about and he doesn't move from the sofa! Knows not to answer the door etc.

Let go little by little when you know they are ready

Chasingsquirrels Sun 08-May-16 10:14:24

Yes to all, ds is 10.
He doesn't go to the shop alone because we live in a small village with no shops, but I believe he does at his dad's.
I'd happily leave him home alone for a couple of hours, although mostly 13 yo ds1 is there as well. They both have house keys and come home after school to an empty house sometimes.
He takes himself to and from school and has done since after Easter in yr 3, it's only about a 10 min walk or sometimes he cycles. Very quiet paths with a road to cross which is "village-busy" at going to school time because of all the parents dropping off.

rookiemere Sun 08-May-16 10:14:35

My DS is just turned 10, so in terms of those things:

- go to the shops alone (5 mins walk, one quiet road to cross) - he's allowed to go to post box on his own which is around 5 mins away, for the shop which is across the busy road a 10 minutes walk away he's allowed to go with his friends who are a bit older so 12-13
- stay home alone while you eg pop out to the shops for 10 mins - yes I let him stay home the other day when I was walking the neighbours dog for half an hour
- stay home alone while you go out for longer (eg 30 mins to pick my DH up)
- walk to school (30 mins, one big road to cross but there is a zebra crossing) - Probably not unless he was with friends but maybe when he's nearer 11

People have their own ways of doing things though. My friend walks her DS home from cubs which would be fine but they are literally 5 doors away from the venue, however it is a busy car park so I think she's worried about the traffic.

CPtart Sun 08-May-16 10:19:47

My 10 years old DS (nearly 11, almost secondary) would be OK with those.

He regularly walks out of school and crosses a road to meet me 5 mins away.

I have recently started leaving him home alone for up to half an hour.

Next month he will get a phone and one day a week walk home alone. It's a good 20-25 minute walk, one zebra crossing across a busy road and ten mins further down a country lane. He will then be with his 13 year old brother at home for an hour. The country lane is a worry as for part of it there is no footpath, but he's under strict instructions to walk right in on the grass verge. We'll probably have a practice run next week with me walking 20 mins behind grin

Floralnomad Sun 08-May-16 10:23:17

I would have let both of mine do all those things at 10 .

TheSnowFairy Sun 08-May-16 10:27:01

All of them fine but with this one

- stay home alone while you go out for longer (eg 30 mins to pick my DH up)

I'd want to know a neighbour or someone could be there in case something happened (eg car broke down).

MsJamieFraser Sun 08-May-16 10:28:38

ds1 is also 10

We let him stay at home if we go shopping, he hates shopping.

We dont allow him to go to the local shop, only because there is a pub attached to the shop.

School is a none issue at the moment as he has a younger brother age 6 so we walk to school together.

He's allowed to play out to the next street, this we are UR on, we have no issues not to allow him further, its something we are going to work on over the summer, as hes a sensible boy and hugely trustworthy.

Ludwaysl Sun 08-May-16 10:30:39

My dd is 10 and I'd let her do all of those things. She has done all of those except the last one, I usually drop and pick up as that's what suits us, rather than it not being possible.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sun 08-May-16 10:34:57

All of those well before 10.

HeteronormativeHaybales Sun 08-May-16 10:38:57

Yes to all.
My 8 and a half year old comes home from school alone, 5 min round corner, no roads.
My nearly 11yo catches public bus to school alone (secondary starts at 10 here).
The two of them go to suprmarket round corner/bakery across 2 quiet roads together and stay alone at home for up at an hr or so (rarely - I'm more comfortable with 45 min tops).

stoopstofolly Sun 08-May-16 10:44:05

Yes to all. DD 10 also lets herself in one day a week after school with a key. I get home 15 minutes later and the key was the only option when 2 children have clubs at the same time at different places. Panicked at first, but now wondering why I was so stressed!

NatashaRomanoff Sun 08-May-16 10:46:19

I let both my 8 and 9 yo's do all of those bar walking to school - and that's only because they have to be year 5 to walk to their school. They'll be walking (if we're still close enough) by 10 for sure! I think if they can't do those things by 10/11 you're doing them a real disservice when it's time to go to senior school where it's all expected.

BertrandRussell Sun 08-May-16 10:46:56

All of those things- if he wanted to and was happy to do them.

Sgtmajormummy Sun 08-May-16 10:50:45

Yes to all of them. Especially considering most secondary kids get to school by themselves and that will be next year for him.
Does he have a mobile phone or an old one of yours he could take when necessary?
My DD (10) does all these and has been known to stay at home for up to 3 hours. The gas is off, she can use the phone and there's a password system at the door. We live in a flat and she knows the neighbours are all on hand to help.

Mishaps Sun 08-May-16 10:54:38

- go to the shops alone (5 mins walk, one quiet road to cross) - Yes

- stay home alone while you eg pop out to the shops for 10 mins - Yes

- stay home alone while you go out for longer (eg 30 mins to pick my DH up) - Yes, but he needs some rules to go by - e.g. if someone rings do not tell them you are on your own - mine use to say I was in she shower!; how to contact emergency services; sensible actions in the event of a fire etc.

- walk to school (30 mins, one big road to cross but there is a zebra crossing) - if it is a proper crossing with green man then Yes.

A lot of course depends on the child - some are scatty as can be at that age, while others are solid and dependable. You know your own child best. But I do think you are right to encourage this sort of independence. I would not be keen on a child of mine doing any of these journeys in the dark though - but you probably have street lights where you live! - we don't.

When I was 6 I used to take a younger child to school - it involved a walk to a bus stop (which included two roads to cross), getting the bus, getting off at the right place, crossing a main road (zebra crossing) and a long walk down a road to the school. This was a few years ago, it has to be said, but it does illustrate how protective we have (?had to) become of our children now.

500internalerror Sun 08-May-16 10:57:29

8,10,11,10!

Niklepic Sun 08-May-16 11:01:59

My Yr 6 10 year old would technically be allowed to do all those things. I say technically as he uses a wheelchair outdoors so at the moment needs assistance when out.

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