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Would you let your 7yo walk to the shop alone?

(21 Posts)
containher Fri 31-Dec-10 14:54:33

My son just turned 7yrs old. He is very keen to be released from the apron strings. Within a contolled environmnet, I let him have as much freedom to explore as possible ( ie- on my grans farm/mums big garden etc) He really want to go to our corner shop on his own. The shop is about detached 10 houses away, with a very quiet road to cross. I can see the shop door and his walk to it from my house. Would you let your 7 year old walk to the shop, if you stood on the door step to watch him go and come back?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 31-Dec-10 15:00:29

Yes, I would, assuming I felt he was responsible enought to cross the road safely. And I would try to make sure he didn't see me watching either. Good luck. smile

polarfox Fri 31-Dec-10 15:02:15

Based on how my 6 and 8 years old DSs mind works no I wouldnt!! I get your point about how safe the route is and how short the distance is etc, but minds wonder.. they would not think about cars reversing out of drives for example, and you wouldnt have the time to react should something happen.

FairyTaleOfNewYork Fri 31-Dec-10 15:02:42

yes in the situation you describe.

i wont let my 8 yr old walk to our local shop as it involves a very busy road and a lot longer walk.

rabbitstew Fri 31-Dec-10 15:22:45

Quiet roads can be quite dangerous, on the basis that you tend to cross them in the expectation there won't be a car coming... But if your ds is very sensible at crossing roads and you feel confident he wouldn't get distracted, or over-excited, on his way back to show you how grown up he has been, then maybe, on the basis it is close enough to see what he is doing (and to shout out to him if necessary?)...

I certainly wouldn't trust my nearly 7-year old - he is definitely the type that would walk into the back of a car reversing off its drive, and cross the road without noticing it was a road just because nothing appeared to be driving down it at the time, and that's before you account for the fact that even if he were paying attention, he has no sense of the speed of approaching vehicles. But then he also has no desire whatsover for independence, so I expect I'll have to force him to walk on his own to the nearest shop when he's 10 in a drive to instill some independence in him!!!!!

Lamorna Fri 31-Dec-10 15:23:14

Yes I would, it seems perfectly safe. Just don't let him know that you are watching.

It would seems sensible to ask him to watch out for cars reversing out of drives, rather than say that he can't in case it happens.

ChippingIn Fri 31-Dec-10 15:28:14

Absolutely under the circumstances you describe above, I would have been allowing it for a while now - but it does depend on the child doesn't it!

I think it's fine to let him know you are watching the first couple of times.

Also, I would tell him that if anyone tells me they have seen him crossing the road without looking properly or doing anything silly he wont be allowed to do it again for a good while.

itsawonderfuldarleneconnorlife Fri 31-Dec-10 15:29:47

He's never going to learn of he doesn't get the pratice.

I let my DS 8 go to our local shop which is pratically within shouting distance but it does involve crossing our (a busy) road.

He walks further, but no busy roads, to school everyday.

RealName Fri 31-Dec-10 23:05:20

Yes I would.

bruffin Sat 01-Jan-11 01:16:13

I let both mine walk to the shop at 8, it was just round the corner with no real road to cross.

potplant Sat 01-Jan-11 01:25:16

I wouldn't let either of my 7 to DTs do it, not least because they would come back with a fivers worth of ben 10 cards or some such.

Perhaps I need to rethink my over protectiveness.

Tee2072 Sat 01-Jan-11 08:45:58

Depends on the child. My own is only 18 months so I can't comment on him, but my nieces are 11 and 7.

At 7, the now 11 year old could have done it no problem. The 7 year old, however, has her head in the clouds and I wouldn't trust her to pay attention.

IlanaK Sat 01-Jan-11 08:55:39

I let my (then) 7 year old go on his own. It involved going downstairs in a large block of flats, out the door and round the corner. I could not see him once he had left our flat. If there had been a road to cross I would not have let him. This was central London. Where we are now there are shops extremely close but he would have to cross a road with no safe crossing point. So he is not allowed to go. He is 9 now.

CuddlyNotFat Sat 01-Jan-11 08:59:19

i have just had the same dilemma and solved it by buying a cheap walkie talkie so DDs can tell me when they've got there!

Smallstuff Sat 01-Jan-11 09:01:46

In the circumstances you describe then definitely. I let my two DS who are 6 and 5 go to the post box which is across our estate road and down an alley. Yes cars can reverse out of drives (altho they should be checking for kids first!!) but it's a small risk and I believe kids need to know how to deal with a low level of risk for themselves or otherwise how will they learn to deal with the larger risks life will eventually present?
Obviously mine have been learning traffic awareness with me for years and they know that when I am with them any mucking about by roads means withdrawal of this freedom...

Plonker Sun 02-Jan-11 23:27:09

I let my 7yo go to the papershop which is about a 5min walk from our house. She has to cross the road right outside our house and then another road a little further on. Both quiet roads. She is allowed to go alone and has been fine and very grown up about it.

She's not allowed to go to the shop on the main road without her big sister (nearly 11yo). It's about the same distance, with two even quieter roads to cross, however it involves about a minute of walking along the main road, which puts me off letting her go alone.

In the circumstances that you describe, I would definitely let dd go.

Dancergirl Mon 03-Jan-11 11:39:35

In your situation, definitely!

My older two are 9.5 and nearly 8 and last summer we let them walk together to the paper shop. About a 10-min walk away, out of sight and a couple of side roads to cross. They're fine going.

Unfortunately I seem to be in a minority round here as there seems to be lots of over-protective parents who don't let their children out of sight for a second. You've got to let them get a bit of independence, bit by bit - it doesn't happen overnight.

It's the children who aren't let out alone who will be vulnerable later on because they haven't had the chance to develop streetwise-ness (is that a word?!)

exexpat Mon 03-Jan-11 11:43:29

Yes. Sounds like a very straightforward walk, and you're the best judge of your 7-yr-old's maturity and the amount of traffic.

mumbar Mon 03-Jan-11 11:49:33

Yes I would. DS is now 6.4 and has been to the shop with friends DSD 11 and ger DDs 5 and 6. He has asked if he can go with 7-9yo on our estate and I have said that in the summer when its light in the evenings he can. He will be almost 7 then.

containher Tue 04-Jan-11 20:40:10

Fortunatley- although there are houses, there are no driveways for cars to leap out of, so i guess I only have to worry about the small road. I think I will start walking that way to school, and letting him be in charge of when it is safe to cross ( when I am with him) and then, if his judgement is good, I shall give him the good news, that he can walk to the shops. He is so keen to go, that I think for the first few times, he will be very sensible and concerntrate on the task in hand. Thanks for all of your advice.

CardyMow Tue 04-Jan-11 22:49:21

My 7yo DS2 - NO, he has no road sense, and TBH I don't think he will be safe to do this for a few years yet.

My 8yo DS1 - YES, even when he was 7yo, he is very safe crossing roads etc.

Moral of this is, it depends on how sensible the 7yo is!!

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