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How do I manage this?

(18 Posts)
onemoredayplease Thu 02-May-13 21:51:13

Dd currently in first school and goes to an after school club as I work full time. In September she moves to middle school and has made it very clear that she does not want to go to after school club once she moves schools. She can walk from school and we have been practicing this. However if she walks home she will be home before me by approx 90 mins. She's a sensible girl and assures me she would just sit and watch tv. The other problem is when it gets darker. I would worry about her walking home then. How do I manage this. I have to work full time to pay the bills. I don't know any other parents. I'm at a loss and very worried. How do I do this? Anyone?

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 02-May-13 22:07:28

What age is middle school? Ds1 is in the 'middle school' class of his primary, which is year 3 and 4. That's too young to go home alone IMO.

onemoredayplease Thu 02-May-13 22:17:35

Dd is 10. Middle school here is year 6 and onwards.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 02-May-13 22:30:40

Ah ok. It would be so much easier if all schools had the same system, would save so much confusion!

Ok. So you say she's responsible, and that she says she'll just sit and watch tv. Do you agree that she is sensible enough?
Could you get to know other parents?
Do you have a neighbor that can keep an eye out? Or a rule about her phoning you when she gets in?

My.dc are younger, so I have no experience of this yet.

onemoredayplease Thu 02-May-13 22:42:31

I do believe her. She loves her tv so to have the freedom to watch what she wants for a while would I am sure keep her busy grin she is a good girl and I can totally see why she doesn't want to go to after school club. I feel so guilty- but I don't know how I can cut hours and keep us in our home. Work are supportive and occasionally I could work from home but I can't do that every day.

onemoredayplease Thu 02-May-13 22:45:21

She does have a phone and has been letting me know when she is home safe. I just don't know the other parents as I have always had to work. Our neighbours are either elderly or out at work. I just can't see how I'm going to do this.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 02-May-13 23:06:34

I don't know. Hopefully someone will come along soon who does. X

LowLevelWhinging Thu 02-May-13 23:10:07

It depends on the child, and your child sounds sensible.

Fleecyslippers Thu 02-May-13 23:12:33

I'm sorry but she is far to young to be home alone for that length of time on a regular basis, particularly on dark winter nights. Surely at 10 years old, she just has to accept that she has to go to after schools club ? It's not ideal but maybe you need to give her a bit more information about why you have to work, what would happen if you didn't work and why she needs to be in a place where you know she is safe and secure after school.

I know how hard it is - I actually find all of the logistics are getting more difficult as the kids get older! But I honestly couldn't consider this at her age.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Thu 02-May-13 23:13:48

Is it easy for her to walk to your work or is it too far? Just wonder if she could meet you there or in a cafe over the road or something when it gets dark? Any neighbours you can ensure will keep an ear out if not?
You may find that she can car share with a friend she makes once there, or perhaps a nice mum who won't mind her being around for an hour or so after school smile

butterflymeadow Thu 02-May-13 23:45:25

Why does she not want to go to afterschool? I would be looking at addressing that issue - is there something staff could offer or change to suit older kids?
I would not consider this for my dd, I think you need to impress on her it is for her safety and try and find out how to make afterschool work better for her. If you can arrange a friend or be home yourself one night a week, that shows some compromise, but she is old enough to realise you need to work and to work with you on a better solution at afterschool.
Hope that does not sound harsh. DD is the same age and also at afterschool.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 02-May-13 23:51:00

I think winter would be too much and I would make her go to Afterschool club or find a childminder. I would let her walk home alone at ten but to be honest an hour and a half alone is too long. What if she's ill or upset one day?

PurpleThing Fri 03-May-13 03:27:28

Sorry my dc is much younger so I have no idea about being home alone, depends what the walk is like etc etc.

But what struck me is I think you need to engineer being friends with some of her friend's parents. Start now, invite a couple of friends for sleepover, day out, whatever. Call the parents to arrange and chat about things to build it up from there. It's sounds a bit underhand but you need back up as a single parent.

keelyboo Fri 03-May-13 09:49:47

hmm dd is 9 and id not let her and shes very sensible wouldnt move from the tv! what if she lost her key i dont know 90 minutes is a long time when shes 10 if god forbid something happened while she walked home.

Im afraid at 10 shes far to young to be calling the shots imo and i would put her in afterschool clubs

HerrenaHarridan Sun 05-May-13 09:48:31

So black and white folks!

How about a compromise? Tell dd that you will experiment and work up to it.
Starting one day a week with club the rest. For the first term sometimes surprise her by being home. Ask your nearest friendly neighbour to check up in her randomly. Plus if course calling you as soon as she's in the door!

Not wanting to start a fight but in wondering how many of the no way she's too young voters would let same child go up town, too the local park etc unsupervised

Fwiw at 11 I was walking home from secondary school and spending about that time at home, I think it's healthy to encourage her to be responsible for herself.

chitofftheshovel Sun 05-May-13 21:18:21

She sounds more than capable to do what you suggested. And not only that it is a good grounding for her teenage/adult life. As long as she is happy with it then no problem.

Earlybird Sun 05-May-13 21:23:16

How far is the walk and how long would it take her? What is the area like that she'd be walking through?

Do any other dc at the school live nearby? Could she walk with them?

I'd tell her that you'd be willing to try in the spring term, but until then, she will need to go to the after school club. BTW, suggesting spring as autumn will be her first term at new school/new routine, winter it will be too dark to walk alone, and spring might be just fine.

onemoredayplease Mon 06-May-13 10:45:56

Thanks all. I decided to talk my work options through with my line manager as I had reached the point where I was considering looking at different jobs to give me a bit more flexibility. Thankfully work where amazing and I now have agreement that I can work from home as needed. So in summer dd can walk home and I can meet her here but in winter I can leave in time to pick her up. There is only one day a week where this will be a problem and on that day she will go to an after school club but I will collect as soon as able.
Dd and I have discussed and she's happy with this. I may be giving her more control over this than some would but I do feel after 5 years of after school and holiday clubs where she has never really complained if she is saying so strongly 'enoughs enough' I have to listen. Thankfully I have amazing employers grin
Phew! I feel so much better. Thanks again.

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