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To let nearly 8 year old walk to shop alone?

(88 Posts)
ClaireH26 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:28:23

DH and I in disagreement about this. DD1 very sensible, trustworthy girl who will be 8 in April, oldest of 4 kids, very responsible. She's desperate to be allowed to walk to the corner shop alone. We live in London, in Hackney but in a reasonably quiet, nice residential street with lots of families; the shop is at the end of the road, not quite visible from our house but close, no roads to cross- maybe 30 houses away.

I think going to the shop in broad daylight at her age is fine. My DH says no way, she should be at least 10!! That seems ridiculous to me, when I was her age I was off on my own all day playing although I grew up in the countryside. He grew up in London so I guess he knows more about kids in the city. I just think she's ready to take some small steps of independence but he says she might get abducted. I think he's being overprotective. AIBU? When is it ok to let a child do short errands alone?

Sirzy Mon 27-Feb-17 21:31:27

Can you follow her from a distance behind a few times to see how she copes?

WildBelle Mon 27-Feb-17 21:33:17

I don't think I would let her that age, and I'm proper slack and live in the small rural town. 9 seems to be age that schools are ok with kids walking alone, I think by then they are more ready.

Crispbutty Mon 27-Feb-17 21:34:50

I think that is too young in a busy traffic filled city.

MyschoolMyrules Mon 27-Feb-17 21:37:10

I think 7 is too young, I am also on East London and my boys started to walk to friends' houses and local shop at 9.

Happyandhungry Mon 27-Feb-17 21:37:30

No way in Hackney as well. Wow thats too young for that. If you lived in a sleepy country village then yes thats fine but anyone could be around in London. I used to live in Camden when I was younger than that and had a lot of issues with strangers around so i would be reluctant.

Mingewithafringe Mon 27-Feb-17 21:37:35

OP I personally wouldn't feel comfortable and would agree with your DH. How we grew up is massively different, sadly I just wouldn't trust it if my kids had half the freedom we had

RedBugMug Mon 27-Feb-17 21:37:46

I think that's ok. my older dc started to go to the corner shop for ice cream at that age.
comes in very handy if we urgently need potnoodles milk.

Avioleta Mon 27-Feb-17 21:38:34

My DD is about the same age and I wouldn't allow this yet.

ClaireH26 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:39:42

Crispbutty our Street is very quiet and residential, and there are no roads to cross

early30smum Mon 27-Feb-17 21:41:54

We are in London too, and my DD is also nearly 8. I let her go to the shop by herself, however I can see it from my window and basically don't take my eye off her except when she goes into the shop itself, obviously! She loves the little bit of responsibility and going off to spend her money on a magazine/chocolate bar etc. I'm not sure I'd do it at her age if I couldn't see the shop though? Also we know the people who run the shop v well now, and they know my DD. You are right that they need some degree of independence especially as where we are it's v common for kids to be taking the train/tube across London to secondary school- that's not that far away really and if they've never been allowed any independence... tough one.

happy2bhomely Mon 27-Feb-17 21:42:54

I live in a similar area and mine have been 10 before I allowed them to walk to a shop with one road to cross. Then a bit further at 10 1/2. Then walking to school alone from 11.

They are also incredibly sensible but that doesn't mean they aren't at risk from traffic.

I wouldn't worry about child abduction.

Astoria7974 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:44:24

Not in London.

sirfredfredgeorge Mon 27-Feb-17 21:46:03

DD is 5, trustworthy and sensible and does a similar trip to the corner shop, she's met and chatted to other families she knows, TA's at her school, she normally carries a phone being live tracked so we know exactly where she is. None of the people who've met her have expressed any concern.

I cannot imagine limiting such a trivial trip to a 10 year old, the trip to the corner shop, whilst not appropriate to everyone by 5, is certainly a very sane step on the way to independence and I'd be surprised if most kids needed to be 8, it's simply too overly protective, and not enough time to give the kids the confidencce to be alone outside the house.

DearMrDilkington Mon 27-Feb-17 21:46:47

Yabu, too young.

DearMrDilkington Mon 27-Feb-17 21:47:44

fredgeorge are you being serious?

kateyjane Mon 27-Feb-17 21:47:53

Why would you risk it if you don't have to? There are other ways to develop freedom and independence without the same risks.

RhinestoneCowgirl Mon 27-Feb-17 21:49:26

I live in a city (not London) and I let my DC go to the bread shop at the end of the road from age of 8. It's out of sight of the house but no road to cross, although the shop itself is on the main road.

RedBugMug Mon 27-Feb-17 21:49:30

there are areas in london that are very much like a village but with pavements
we live in a similar area to op and I agree it's small but important steps towards independence.

ClaireH26 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:50:35

early30smum this is exactly my thought process. You can't just shove them out the door at age 11 with an Oyster card, you've got to work up to it.

Jenniferb21 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:51:52

Absolutely not a chance. Abductions happen anywhere and everywhere and often by opportunists. If anything happened you'd never forgive yourself I would try to develop her independence another way


ClaireH26 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:52:41

katyjane that's what he says. I guess because she's keen to do it and I thought it's a reasonable request? But maybe it's not. IDK!

MajesticWhine Mon 27-Feb-17 21:55:48

I let my kids go around 8 or 9 I think. Similar London borough but with a road to cross to get to the shop. So I think YANBU.

Radyward Mon 27-Feb-17 21:57:47

Absolutely no way on earth. Too young

MojoMoon Mon 27-Feb-17 22:02:14

Why would she be more likely to be abducted by a stranger in London than a sleepy village?

There are also far more people around so if something does happen, there would be people to help.

I live in Hackney as well. No kids but my neighbours kids who are 9 go round the corner to the little shop to get milk. They always seem V excited to have this responsibility. I grew up in London and could go to the corner shop around 8 with my brother who was two years older, it was about 20 houses away.

Assuming no roads to cross, it seems fine- traffic is the real danger. But good practice to start making her responsible for deciding when you cross the road when you are out together and get some practice in.

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