10yo going out on their own?(26 Posts)
I'm under increasing pressure from DD (10) to be able to walk round to the park and play there on her own. Am I being over protective? She knows the way well enough. There are two roads to cross but they are 30 limits and not too bad. I think she would be very careful. I'm more worried about her hurting herself and me not being there, or being exposed to older kids and inappropriate behaviour?
She's under the impression that everyone else goes there on their own.
Am I being over protective or is this too young?
Everyone will be along in a moment to tell you that it's fine etc but for me, I think it depends on how far it is.
Our local park is quite far, not far off a mile away and the road does not have pavements as we are in the country. So I have hung back, and the area the park is in is a bit rougher too. So it all depends...can she go with a friend? For a certain period of time?
How far away is the park? Will she be going with a friend or alone?
The park's 5 mins walk away at the most. We're in a village so it's all pavements etc. It's not in a rough area, the kids round here all seem OK.
I may be able to line up a friend for her to go with, but the current idea is that she'd go on her own and play with whoever was there. There'd certainly be a time limit, and I should say she has her own mobile phone so could always call.
Lols I'm being paranoid aren't I.
The key is the nature of the child in question. If they are trustworthy and good at risk assessment then let them go. If worried get a cheap pay as you go phone so they can call if they need to
and you can phone to check up on them If you don't feel they are capable then no matter of "all my friends can" should pursuade you. My eldest went out alone at 8 but ds2 is now 9 and no way would I trust him alone yet.
mine were allowed to got to local park 5 mins walk away at that age, two roads to cross, but they had to go with friends or each pther, and at first i set strict time limits so they had to be home in 45mins, that gave them 30mins or so in the park. I wouldn't let her go alone.
It's t something I want to say, but parks can be a bit dodgy with areas of bushes etc ...I wouldn't let her go alone. I saw countless flasher sat Parks when I was a child/ teenager.
It sounds fine if she's sensible and trustworth. It wouldbe better if she was going with a friend or arranging to meet afriend there .
From what you say, it sounds fine. But then, I'm probably not the best person to advise as I let my seven year old go to the park (similar circumstances to yours) with her older sister (10).
If you want reassurance watch last week's itv programme on cotton wool kids about how parents are over thinking the risks to their children playing out the damage we do to them by restricting their freedom too much. It makes interesting viewing.
Thank you everyone lots of helpful food for thought here. Thinking about it i'd be more than happy if she was with someone. But if she just got herself to the park she'd probably meet lots of the other kids and make more friends to be able to go to the park with... IYSWIM.
I will definitely watch that ITV programme that's exactly what I want to be wary of, and might help me to relax a bit!
My dd is 10, we don't have a park near by or any children her age but when she goes to her friends house she walks to another friends house and is fine. I will be buying her a mobile phone ( a basic one ) soon so she can phone me if she needs too. I would prefer that she was with a friend rather than walking on her own but I know the time will come when I will have to let her out alone, luckily we are on the edge of a village and there's no reason for her to want to go anywhere ( as there's nothing near by ).
I think it's fine with a friend but from what you say it seems a bit of a dilemma as she will make friends by going alone a few times! Mmm I think I would let her go, she is clearly ready in her own mind and not afraid to make friends. It will be a bit scary but just have a time limit and
find reasons to walk past park every 5 mins keep an eye as best you can
I think what you've described sounds fine as long as she can cross the roads safely.
If she's going to be meeting (by arrangement or just overwhelming likelihood) classmates and other known children, then I'd let her go.
Walk with her, if you're concerned about the roads, and leave her when safely over.
If she's not safe crossing local roads (which, if en route to the park, she must have done hundreds of times) then road safety might need to be a priority in this coming year before she goes to secondary.
My dd2 is 10yo, we don't really have a local park but she walks the 10 mins (one road crossing but it has a traffic light) to her friend's house - and calls me when she gets there to let me know if she's staying or coming home.
She's a very sensible 10
when she's not bleating on about dyeing her hair and we don't live in one of the more <cough> salubrious parts of Glasgow, in fact, it's one of the less posh bits, by a long stretch. Which means that she'd be looked out for because folk round here are great!
I have the opposite problem to you. I would love my nearly 10 year old to be able to go to the park alone but none of his friends are allowed.
Letting them out alone is scary, but necessary. I am pretty laid back but I still worry. When my older DD started going out on her own I started with short bursts of time so an hour then home, to get her used to keeping an eye on the time etc. Often she would come back with a friend begging for longer which was fine.
Why not start by letting her go with a friend, with a phone, for a very clearly-defined amount of time. See how that goes. And get used to it yourself, before deciding how fast to expand her freedom.
DS is 10 in September but has lots of friends in the year above. He goes out into our town with them and when he starts secondary school next year (he is probably starting a year early) I will let him go into our local city (it's a small city where his school will be)
Given that my elder dc have been going alone to the park around the corner (no roads to cross) since Y3, walking to and from school without me since they were in Y4&6, and allowed to walk to local friends and into town alone since Y5, then yes, I think you are probably being over-protective.
But if your dd hasn't been allowed out alone until now, then you ought to start small and work your way up to bigger freedoms. The park, with a wristwatch and "be back by 1 o'clock" is a good starting point. Also discussing acceptable behaviour first.
After all, she will be getting to and from secondary on her own next year...
I'd be (and was) perfectly happy with going to the park at that age, but not if it involved crossing main roads. (Having said that my dd was a bit of a space cadet at that age, hence the worry about cars.) If you're feeling a bit twitchy, could you suggest to her that you'd be happy for her to go so long as for the first few times you know she's arranged to meet up with a friend there? As SixImpossible says, it won't be long before she'll be making her way too and from secondary on her own and wanting much more freedom!
In my opinion no your not, my DD is the same age and was like this but i told her no and explained the reason why. I then orchestrated lots of opportunities for her to meet up with her friends and play but with an adult there. She doesn't seem bothered anymore
It is incredibly important that children play outside on their own. It is a crucial part of learning social independence, cognitive development, problem solving, deing with risk and choices. Parents who do not let their children socialise independantely without adult support how they are restricting their development and independence.
The risks of them being hurt or abused are less than when we were young. If you don't believe me read up on some studies.
Let her go. You will be surprised how grown up she is.
DS just turned 11 and cycles to school alone. He goes the the park (5 mins 1 road) or friends. The rule is that I have to know where he is. He did have a basic mobile, but after he put a wash load on for me, it went through a full cycle... (Whoops, thankfully was a real cheapie).
He has been doing so for this last year, if that helps. Few roads to cross, and the one time when he wasn't where he said, he wasn't allowed out for a fortnight. No repeats!
I felt it was important to give some freedom etc before high school, but Dreading what high school expectation might be...
Join the discussion
Please login first.