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When do you let them out ?(pre teenage)

(7 Posts)
sogrownup Fri 10-Jun-11 09:35:33

DS not a teenager (11yrs) but the attitude is developing if you know what I mean.

The problem is he wants more freedom to go out and about. We understand that but we have the usual concerns. Some of his mates are allowed freedom to come and go with little/no supervision and some are not let out of sight.

We are really struggling with this. Any advise from those who are there or have been there?

AliceAirhead Fri 10-Jun-11 10:03:58

Have had similar issues with my 11yr DS. A couple of years ago we started letting him call on friends who lived nearby (could phone parents to check he'd arrived!), then, if his friends' parents were ok with it, going with one or two others to the local rec. He's often walked to school (v near, no busy roads) on his own too.

About a year ago we let him 'run free', i.e he 'might' call for one friend or another, then 'might' go to such and such a place. Basically he'd be out of the house and I wouldn't know exactly where he was. I was ok with this though as we are lucky to live in a fairly small village with few busy roads or places to go and where everyone knows who's who. We also gave him one of our (very) old mobiles and a time to be back by. Has worked well. Knowing he's got a phone with him gives real peace of mind.

We've sinced moved to a small town (though still fairly quiet and safe) and he's starting secondary school in the nearby bigger town in September. I think it's very important that children have a sense of independence and responsibility by this time. I wouldn't be doing my son any favours if I kept him cacooned and ferried from every A to B. There's a big wide world out there that I want him to be fully part of.

Whether I'll have the same confidence when my 8yr old DD wants to go it alone, I really don't know...!

sogrownup Fri 10-Jun-11 10:16:20

Thanks Alice, that sounds like a balanced approach.
My main concern is the roads to be honest. When he gets excited all sense seems to go!
It's that awful feeling of needing to let go but not wanting to...

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Fri 10-Jun-11 10:39:53

My 11yo DD is allowed to get the bus into the centre of our small town and go round shops for a couple of hours alone.

It is 10 min journey and town is very safe.

She has to have her phone with her at all times and has been warned that if she fails to answer it when i ring to check up on her she will not be allowed out again.

I allow her to do this as she has proved herself to be very sensible and i trust her judgement. She has not let me down.

it is important that DCs are allowed as much freedom they can cope with.

Otherwise they will end up being thrown out into the big bad world of uni at 18 with absolutely no idea how to cope. This would be far more dangerous than allowing sensible amounts of freedom as soon as they can cope with it.

HarrietJones Fri 10-Jun-11 10:50:28

Dd1 is 11 & in year 6. She goes to & from school often via a club. She can nip into town (10 mins walk) or the park (5mins) but isn't out for more than 30mins unsupervised & v rarely on her own.

sogrownup Fri 10-Jun-11 11:03:24

Thanks all, much appreciated!!

cory Fri 10-Jun-11 11:11:28

My only-just 11yo takes himself to and from school and has been doing it since he was 9. He goes to local shops and to the library and plays out with his mate. He sometimes goes into town on the bus with his 14yo sister, and I have recently let them know that I don't mind if they split up briefly to go into different shops as long as they make sure to meet up again. In fact, I wouldn't mind awfully if he wanted to go into town on his own.

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