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to let my daughter walk home from school

(93 Posts)
mymotherisveryold Sat 03-Oct-09 23:24:45

The school is about a mile and a half away. 25 mins walk.

My dd1 is in year 6 she is a very sensible little girl.

One day a week when my dh and I work we put our two small children in day nursery. Is it ok for dd1 to walk home from school, get a snack and then go to ballet.

When she gets back from ballet one of us will be back with her siblings and some dinner.

Or should I just get a nanny?

Ivykaty44 Sat 03-Oct-09 23:28:34

I wpould let my dd in year 6 walk home from school - even if it was a mile and a half away.

My eldest dd was walking to and fro school by the age of 11 and a few days - she had to walk a mile and a half and two nights a week come home and let herself in as I was at work.

Hando Sat 03-Oct-09 23:31:06

How old is year 6 then? About 10?

At that age I was allowed to walk to school, but only with a friend of the same age (same for her) and we only had a short 10 min walk.

I would say if you think she is sensible enough then YANBU for letting her walk home. But then being alone in the house, making a snack and seeing herself off to ballet (and home from ballet too?) is much different to just walking home. At that age she shouldn;t be left alone in the house. What about when it's winter, it gets dark really early... will she be walking home/ to ballet in the dark?

Northernlurker Sat 03-Oct-09 23:32:46

I let dd1 walk home alone last year and dd1 and dd2 (8) used to cycle to school alone. Check your dd is very confident in crossing roads and aware of unexpected traffic dangers such as cars reversing out of driveways. Check also she is confident in how to deal with the very unlikely event of any person behaving strangely towards her. Personally I would want to ring the house or have her ring me so i knew she was home safe and of course make sure she is confident locking the house.

itchyandscratchy Sat 03-Oct-09 23:34:43

I'm guessing most parents of secondary-age dcs would let them do this and she's only a year off this. You know your dd and whether she would be happy doing this.

Northernlurker Sat 03-Oct-09 23:38:25

Hando - what difference does it being dark make? hmm The dark is not a fearsome beast that eats our babies and I think it's REALLY important we teach our kids to be confindent when out in the dark.

mymotherisveryold Sat 03-Oct-09 23:40:51

I know, I obviously have my concerns over this, but more what will other people think, will I get reported to ss and is it legal.

Ballet is just round the corner from our house, less than a minutes walk.

And she is keen to have her independence.

We have arrangements in place for our toddlers at nursery, which we could change for the cost of a nanny and give us a bit more peace of mind, our dd1 is very sweet and we want the best for her, but we also remember what we did for ourselves at the same age...

Thanks for not jumping straight on yes you are being unreasonable by the way

seeker Sat 03-Oct-09 23:43:46

Absolutely. She's in year 6 - that's at least 10. She'll be fine.

frogs Sat 03-Oct-09 23:45:19

I'd let my 10yo do this, tbh. I'd want to make very sure he knew how to work the keys, and maybe that he had a mobile to call me in case of emergency.

And agree in advance rules re cooking, cutting bread, answering the door/phone etc. Where we are lots of dc are crossing London on public transport to get to and from school in Y7, so walking home from school by yourself in Y6 seems like an entirely sensible way to prepare for that.

I can't imagine SS would be even vaguely interested, assuming she doesn't have to cross a 6-lane motorway to get to ballet.

Hando Sat 03-Oct-09 23:46:06

Northernlurker. I think it makes a huge difference if it is dark or not. Being allowed out alone during daylight is much safer for young children than being out alone after dark IMO. If the Op's dd has to walk accross a field / down a lane / through a allyway etc then it's much safer in broad daylight than in the dark!

It is definitely important to teach our children how to stay safe when out alone at night, but I do not think 10 is old enough to be out alone at night!

Northernlurker Sat 03-Oct-09 23:46:30

YOu don't need a nanny. It's perfectly reasonable and legal. There is no minimum age that a child can be left alone but you can be prosecuted if harm comes to them. That isn't going to happen here - just set clear ground rules and talk about possible adverse events then let her get on with growing up. 7 years time and she could be off to uni and you won't know who she's with or what's doing. Best that she start taking responsibility for herself now in limited ways - which this is.

TeeteringOnTheEdge Sat 03-Oct-09 23:46:45

I wouldn't do it. Sorry.

valhala Sat 03-Oct-09 23:49:13

Its a worrying prospect for many of us, I'm sure - it certainly was for me. However, at Y6 age, as has been said, your DD is only a year from senior school where most go to school alone, be it walking, biking, or on school/public transport, and at some stage you have to let go. it took me a lot of time and fretting to get my head around that one!

I'd say that if you know your DD to be sensible then I'd agree with the advice given here to try it.

I must admit I wouldn't feel so secure about her coming home to an empty house though, despite the fact that so many do it and far more DC did in our parents/grandparents day. Thats not to criticise you though, thats just because I'm a natural "What if-er".

Northernlurker Sat 03-Oct-09 23:49:20

Why is daylight intrinsically safer? Why does dark = danger?

I assume the op doesn't live near mineshafts or cliff edges and traffic danger will i'm sure be dealt with. What's the problem - paedophiles do come out in day light too you know. They're not vampires!

I think it's a hugely bad message to give our daughters - that being outside in the dark is dangerous. That's how you raise a generation of women who are frightened to go out alone at night.

seeker Sat 03-Oct-09 23:49:26

Why not, teerering? She'll be at Secondary school next year!

TeeteringOnTheEdge Sat 03-Oct-09 23:59:43

Does it matter what school she goes to?!

IMO a 10 year old is too young to walk home alone for 25 minutes. When you add in the fact the fact that she's unsupervised for a least another hour and a half on top of that as well..

TeeteringOnTheEdge Sun 04-Oct-09 00:00:47

classy typing there huh..? grin

Northernlurker Sun 04-Oct-09 00:02:32

So teetering - do you have daughters of this age? Or will you have? Assuming this is it your plan to escort them to and fro school till they hit 18? Will you pop off to uni with them too?

KatiePriceRoleModel Sun 04-Oct-09 00:03:12

It realy depends where you live?

TeeteringOnTheEdge Sun 04-Oct-09 00:05:50

Yes, I have a daughter of that age. No, I won't be going to University with her, but I won't let her walk that far unaccompanied until she is around 13.

TheCrackFox Sun 04-Oct-09 00:07:39

Are you going to walk her to High School then? Bizarre.

Northernlurker Sun 04-Oct-09 00:10:28

Really? Well you'll find your resolution tested when she gets to secondary school. My daughter prefers me to be in another postcode when she's walking to school - or cycling.

Look your child, your choice but encouraging independance is very important and if you raise a daughter who can't be responsible for herself, keep herself safe you are doing her no favours. It's a process not an event. Just don't think she'll hit 13 and you can suddenly let her do everything her friends have been doing for years.

TeeteringOnTheEdge Sun 04-Oct-09 00:10:48

No, I'll drive her.

Northernlurker Sun 04-Oct-09 00:11:25

You're kidding?

TeeteringOnTheEdge Sun 04-Oct-09 00:13:56

Thank you Northernlurker for that excellent lesson is patronisation. I shall bear it in mind.

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