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to think 8 year olds are too young...

(20 Posts)
Mislou Mon 11-Jul-16 22:40:27 walk the streets alone.

My friend is a nanny to a 3 year old and 8 year old. She lets the 8 year old have one friend over at a time in as she doesn't want to be responsible for too many kids at once. However, when we get to the playground two boys who wanted to come over, turn up at the park without parents. We were both surprised that the boys were allowed to just walk around the streets at this age. It's not a village but city, a city suburb which is a high socioeconomic area. There are people around as it has a few touristy areas nearby the playground as well as a busy road . Also these boys come round for a play after school and the mums tell my friend to let them walk home afterwards. My friend doesn't feel comfortable doing this so I think she goes with them half way and watches them . I would feel the same.

RachelGoldberg Mon 11-Jul-16 22:49:01

It is daylight. They are not alone they are with each other. Their mums know them better than your 'nanny friend'. If she can walk them halfway and see them get home from that point they obviously do not have that far to go.

bumsexatthebingo Mon 11-Jul-16 23:06:23

Depends how far away from home they are.

Iggi999 Mon 11-Jul-16 23:17:30

My 8 year old doesn't cross roads alone so he wouldn't do that - I think children obviously differ as to road sense but looking at his classmates I know of two who walk home alone, none of the rest do.

WorraLiberty Mon 11-Jul-16 23:30:45

I used to ride my bike to the park at that age and meet my best friend there.

It was a pretty common thing to do during the 70s.

I'm not sure when or why attitudes changed really. Some people say it's due to more traffic on the roads, but I'm not so sure. Afterall, it only takes one car to hit a child anyway.

Bowlersx5 Mon 11-Jul-16 23:32:33

I have a 9 year old. We live on a street that loops in a circle . At the opposite side of the loop is our local playpark and his best friend lives opposite. It's a quiet suburb and we know a lot of the families in between - most of the kids go to the same school. I let my son go to call for his friend and play at the park unsupervised for short periods after school before dinner. Often I follow on with the younger children as they want to play too, but I think 9 is old enough for a bit of trust and freedom, obviously within reason and defined limits. In a little over a year I will be expecting him to catch buses and navigate to high school completely independently and will feel much more confident in this if he can develop these skills gradually.

Iggi999 Mon 11-Jul-16 23:33:48

But your chance of being hit by one increases with each car on the road! I grew up more freely in a suburb, bringing dcs up in a city with crazy traffic.

Sirona Mon 11-Jul-16 23:35:37

It would be common here. All the kids at that age walk about alone or visit the park in groups, my own ds included. Suppose it would really depend on the area and how responsible the children are though. Personally I think they need a little bit of freedom at that age.

MilicentKing Mon 11-Jul-16 23:39:21

worra for me it's most definitely traffic.
The B road my sister and I used to walk and cycle on growing up in rural Norfolk in the 70s is not somewhere I'd want to go on myself as an adult, nevermind my children.

mushroomsontoast Mon 11-Jul-16 23:46:14

I would say 8yo is on the cusp of being allowed to do things like that alone. My DD is 8 and is desperate to be allowed to walk to the corner shop on her own. I won't let her as it involves crossing 2 (quiet) roads, but other friends do.

Round here kids tend to start walking to school alone in Y5/Y6 so it's good to start building up their confidence in small doses I guess. I just can't bring myself to do it yet!

wigglesrock Mon 11-Jul-16 23:48:03

My 8.5 year plays out, calls for her friends, runs to the postbox and is beginning to walk to the shop by herself. Pretty standard where I live - I Iive in a city suburb.

ItsABanana Mon 11-Jul-16 23:58:45

Hmm, I don't know. I think it all depends on the type of area you live, and how far away you live from the playground before you can say whether it's too young or not.
For example, I have an 8 year old, but I don't let him go to the local park by himself or with friends yet even though it's literally 5 minutes away.
This is because we're in a town, and there's several roads to cross including a major, busy one.
Whereas when I was 8 and growing up in the 80s, I was in a village and used to roam free around it with my bike, visiting friends at the opposite end of the village, and going to the park.
All depends on the circumstances, and I'm hoping the parents have weighed up what's acceptable and what isn't.
Impossible to say as a bystander.

Cantplaywontplay Tue 12-Jul-16 10:45:02

I am lucky to get across the road next to our house sometimes. You always have to make a judgement call, it is never clear of traffic.

corythatwas Tue 12-Jul-16 10:51:04

Anything like that depends on where you live.

My dh who grew up in a busy part of London wasn't allowed to ride a bike in the 60s. My nephews otoh, who spend their summers in a quiet rural location where geography forces the very small number of cars to drive very slowly, were allowed to cycle to the shop by age 8. Both families were sensible and worked within given parameters.

Snowflakes1122 Tue 12-Jul-16 10:54:20

I won't let my 10 year old, but a good friend of mine lets her 10 year old and he's ok.

I don't think my dd is streetwise enough, and idiots drive and park stupidly around here. That been said, they need to learn independence sometime.

GreatFuckability Tue 12-Jul-16 10:55:45

My 8yo plays out with friends. They all call on each other and are back and fore to the park. Their parents know them better than you or your friend. Myob.

sorenofthejnaii Tue 12-Jul-16 10:58:40

You should live where I live. 5 and 6 yr olds wandering around the streets alone.

An 8 yr old would be the experienced street wise one here.

dingdongdigeridoo Tue 12-Jul-16 11:30:11

The traffic would be my main concern too. You can teach road sense at that age, but they aren't always sensible. Then again, I've seen plenty of adults wander across the road without looking.

I guess it would depend on the density of traffic, time of day, whether they can use crossings etc. There are lots of variables. I wouldn't be so worried about stranger danger if it was kids walking together in broad daylight.

Gottagetmoving Tue 12-Jul-16 11:33:22

Depends on where you live, What roads they have to cross and depends on the child.

poaspcos Tue 12-Jul-16 12:43:16

I live in a city but on a fairly quiet residential area - kids play out some of them are 5 here even

I did do a hmm when someone tried to let their just turned 3 year old play out with them however there are lots of parents and old folks watching out the windows and there's usually a whole group up to about 12-13 year olds

I live in a very fortunate area though which I know is unusual but it still feels like everyone knows everyone and looks out for each other

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