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walking to school on their own, when did you let them, how did you go about it?

(17 Posts)
manitz Mon 29-Jun-09 13:43:42

dd is 6 she is very keen to know when she will be allowed to walk to school on her own. my sis was killed by a car at 7 when playing outside the house so obviously i have major issues about road safety.
I want to let my kids have freedom responsibly and also not to let my experience colour their lives. I'm thinking she'll be ready about 8/9 years old but how to do it best? she will go down our road, cross a main road at a zebra and walk up it, cross one more road, then turn down the road the school is on, which she also has to cross - it has humps and parked cars along it.

i will then be walking dd2 to school who will be six, do I let dd1 go on ahead? do I take them both to the end of the school road and let them both walk down that road on the school side and graduate up? what did you do? any tips?
ta

mumeeee Mon 29-Jun-09 15:49:35

I think around 10 is the right age to start walking to schol on thier own. When my eldest started doing this I still walked the 2 younger ones all thw way to school.

foofi Mon 29-Jun-09 15:52:08

DD1 was 10. We lived quite close to the school, but there were a couple of busy roads to cross.

OrmIrian Mon 29-Jun-09 15:56:39

Yr4 onwards. But in the case of my eldest 2 there was always a younger sibling who I would take to school so I could check up on the older one when I got there. Once DS#1 started secondary he had to go on his own - somehow it just seemed OK, didn't worry about it.

mrsruffallo Mon 29-Jun-09 15:57:17

Sorry about your sis that must be awful.

My 6 yr old dd wants to know when she can go to the shop on her own, stay home alone and walk to school on her own.
Our school only allows pupils arriving alone in yr 6, so that's that one sorted.

Shop- well I was half way home from ourlocal shoponce and had forgotten something and I sent her back alone to get it. She was thrilled. I was going to walk home but chickened out and walked back to the shop and watched her choose and pay for item. She looked so pleased with herself!

Roads are my biggest fear actually.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Mon 29-Jun-09 16:12:58

My DS1 is 5 he is desperate to go out on his own, go to the shop on his own etc.

We live in a quiet little village and the shop is about 250 meters from the house, but he would have to cross a the main road through the village. I am not happy with him doing that alone yet. BUT he has been up the road to a neighbours house to drop something off for me (he didn't have to cross a road to get there!)

I will read the other replies with interest, I have no idea about the norms for this as I lived away from home when I was 7 so had lots of independance from an early age.

pluto Mon 29-Jun-09 16:27:24

DS started when he was nine. I walked with him to school but allowed him to walk home on his own, meeting him at agreed spots which increased the distance he walked on his own over a few weeks until he was walking all the way. Now he walks all the way home on his own most days. He is the only child in his class (Y4) who does this though; there are a few others who walk home without an adult but they have other children accompanying them.

manitz Mon 29-Jun-09 17:55:44

thanks a lot. looks like the consensus is 9/10. might check at some point if the school has rules on it which would help me sort it out.

know what you mean mrs r sent my two to the dentist, just up a road as we were late and i had to get the baby in the buggy. they looked so important going up the road and gave each other advice as they went. really want to give them some freedoms as it's so nice to see them take responsiblity - also they have swimming one after the other and I feed ds so dd1 (whose lesson is first) gets dressed and meets me in the leisure centre cafe afterwards, she even works the locker and we both love it.

best go as dps are back and have been babysitting, wont like me mucking round on mn!!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 29-Jun-09 17:57:31

My son is 8 and keen to walk to school on his own sometimes but I am not happy for him to do it yet. Too far, the road is too busy and I wouldn't like it.

sarah293 Mon 29-Jun-09 17:58:41

Message withdrawn

trefusis Mon 29-Jun-09 18:00:11

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trefusis Mon 29-Jun-09 18:02:57

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manitz Mon 29-Jun-09 21:01:28

thanks again everyone was rushing earlier so didn't read everthing properly think maybe it's a good idea to let her walk home first then move up to going to school. then i will know if she doesn't return and it isn't such an issue for dd2 as they wont be leaving teh same place together. ie coming from diff classes.

thanks trefusis, i see you understand where i am coming from. it's hard when it's the thing that actually killed them. we specifically chose to live near a park for example because i know i will never let my kids play in the street but i want them to have the freedom to play unsupervised in the way we used to.

we live in a london suburb and i am too scared to ride a bike on the road, i'm not sure how i will feel about the kids wanting to. Definitely not b4 cycling proficiency ever.

dunno if it helps i used to work for hte government in road safety (helped me work through a few issues) they compared our country's safety record with france and holland - who have lower child pedestrian deaths - and tried to work out why, they reckoned, amongst other things it was because in the uk we have major roads through the middle of towns and residential areas whereas in holland/france the roads are around those areas so their children cross minor roads when they are younger, like on school run and then major roads as they grow older when they already have basic skills. Also there is a peak in deaths at 12 here which they put down to people thinking it's alright for kids to walk to high school but often not to primary, in some cases they are driven so don't learn any skills b4 being allowed out on their own.

thats part of the reason i want the dcs to get those skills on a shorter journey b4 they go on a longer one iyswim.x

SoupDragon Mon 29-Jun-09 21:07:18

DS1 has just started walking home from school and he's 10. We walked the route home, identifying the best places to cross and to ensure he knew the way. We did this a couple of times and then I let him do it - it was from an afterschool club so I wasn't up there picking up DS2.

I've also let him scoot to school on a couple of occasions although this isn't as easy since one of the roads is very busy in the morning with school traffic. DS2 went with him (he's 8) and I have let him scoot home with DS1 before, even though I was at school to pick them up. DS2 is under strict instruction that DS1 is in charge - I wouldn't let him do it alone.

I was hit by a car as a child (thankfully only bruising) so I am nervous about traffic.

Jux Mon 29-Jun-09 21:15:16

We lived very close to the school - 5 minutes walk. One road to cross but that was a difficult one - not a big main road but a tiny side road with one lane (just) which was v busy at school run times, obv.

We had walked her there and back for a year or so before we started talking to her about how to manage that road and letting her make a few decisions - when to cross, when to stop walking and get into a drive to let cars past etc.

Then we would walk her down to that road, see her across it and let her go the rest of the way on her own. We would meet her after school in the same place. After about 2 weeks of this we let her go the whole way on her own.

She left that school last term, but interestingly, she would often ask us to walk with her, or meet her at school to come home etc. Sometimes it was due to problems at the school but sometimes she just felt like being met/walked. She's in year 5 and we are hoping that by September she will be able to get a bus to her new school. Some hope grin

Emsy32 Tue 30-Jun-09 22:52:57

I think i would be very reluctant to let my 6 year old walk to school on thier own. Our school is a good 15 minute walk though. Plus you just don't know who's about. I think for me they would have to be about 10, id worry too much any age before that.

juuule Wed 01-Jul-09 08:41:44

MIne started walking to school on their own once they started secondary school.

Before that they didn't want to, I didn't want them to, I was going to the school with other children anyway, so they walked with me.

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