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How old to use a wrist strap

(2 Posts)
nickia77 Sat 21-Jan-17 21:32:57

I am prepared for quite a lot of slating about this but.............I am going to London with my 5 kids for 3 days and am contemplating using wrist straps on some of them in certain situations even though they are older kids.

I am on my own with my 17, 15, 11, 9 & 6 year olds, the plan is that I will be in charge of watching the 6 year old, the 17 year old in charge of the 9 year old and the 15 year old in charge of the 11 year old and am thinking are wrist straps unreasonable?

I know a lot of you will be going 'NNNOOOOOOOO' but just for a bit of background information, we live in a large village (probably more like a small town - around 4,000 residents) so the kids are used to be able to wander around not thinking too much about safety, they understand the rules of the road and stranger danger and we often go out to the local city centres but they are Hull or York so not very busy at all in comparison to London.

It is the second time me and the 17 year old have been to London (no I didn't use a wrist strap on her when we went lol!!!) so we are vey much novices.

The older kids would keep hold of the younger kids by their hands if I asked them to but I don't want them worrying about losing them in busy situations (like the tube). If we are all out in York/Hull the older ones are allocated a small child to watch and they know the area so we allocate a place to meet if anyone strays (no one has so far, touch wood).

I basically don't want the younger kids spoiling the older kids experience of looking around and absorbing all the sights by constantly having to keep an eye on their sibling so thought a wrist strap may be a good solution in busy situations.

My reason for thinking of a wrist strap between the 15 & 11 year old is for the benefit of the 15 year old. He has anxiety issues and has occasional panic attacks, we are getting a handle on the panicking and he has coping strategies but I think certain places in London are likely to trigger his panic. My 11 year old is full of confidence so I thought (deviously) that the younger one will actually be helping out the older one. If they are linked together in busy situations then the 15 year old will be so fixated on being responsible that he wont have chance to panic.

I am not what you would call an over-protective mum, the youngest walk to school on their own and two of my kids sometimes have stays in hospital but I leave them alone for their overnight stays as I need to be home for the other kids.

I know the idea is all a bit odd but I don't want the whole focus of the break for the older kids to be about helping out with the little kids. The older kids are amazing, they watch the little ones in school holidays so I can work without having to pay for childcare and generally help out all the time.

Thanks for any ones opinions (please be gentle) x

MoMandaS Sat 21-Jan-17 21:39:53

I think it's a brilliant idea! Just think carefully about how you present it to them to avoid any resentment on either side, and also avoid exacerbating the 15yo's anxiety (so be careful not to go on too much about safety, more just keeping track of each other, as it sounds like you already do anyway).

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