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I said DS could walk home from school by himself

44 replies

MarioandLuigi · 12/05/2011 10:21

And now I am feeling a bit nervous about it.

He is 10 and in year 5, he is sensible and can cross the road well (only one road). His friends all walk home by themselves now and its only a 5ish minute walk.

Told my Mum and she was horrified that I would let him walk home, and she has made me doubt myself.

OP posts:

pooka · 12/05/2011 10:24

YANBU. Sounds completely fine to me - I'll be aiming for dd to be walking home at similar age probably. THough our journey more like a 20 min walk with 2 or 3 roads to cross. Saying that, will still be making trip to school for her little brother and so will probably spy a little.


speakercorner · 12/05/2011 10:27

My DSS walked out to local shops etc - crossing quiet roads - when he was 10. My sister was horrified - because her DD didn't do it until 10.5! I think people just have an instant reaction to this, often an irrational one.

DSS loved the independence and it was a good way to get him used to travelling alone, which he now has to do at secondary-school level. Your son's school walk sounds perfect.


squeakytoy · 12/05/2011 10:27

At 10 he should be able to walk home from school on his own. Its perfectly normal if he is a sensible kid with no learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

Surely you let him play out on his own with his friends anyway, so there is no difference.


cumbria81 · 12/05/2011 10:34

I am shocked you have waited this long. 10 is quite old, imho.


slightlymad72 · 12/05/2011 10:35

My 9 year old walks to and from school on his own and has done since September. He has only one road to cross and the school is 5 mins away. There is not a chance he will ever let me accompany him nowSmile


Eglu · 12/05/2011 10:35

My DS is 7 and walks home by himself. It is 10-15 minutes walk, so I think it is perfectly reasonable for your DS to walk home alone. In a couple of years he will be in senior school and will surely be travelling himself.


aliceliddell · 12/05/2011 10:36

We practiced with our anxious 9 yr old, got her to say when/where to cross, when she obviously got it right every time, let her go alone. Improved her confidence a lot. Bet your ds will be fine, too.


IloveJudgeJudy · 12/05/2011 10:37

You're right to let him walk home on his own. You know your own DC and whether he's capable of it. Don't let your mother put you off. I bet he'll be so proud of doing it. It won't be that long until he goes to and from school on his own - secondary school. It's a great step for DC to take. My DC did it at the beginning of Y5. Y5 teacher was a bit horrified, but DC need the independence. They made friends from other schools by doing this which has been great. Keep strong.


fedupandfifty · 12/05/2011 10:38

What's taken you so long?! Mine's been doing a 20 min walk since she was 8, in a busy urban area. Think your mum is being completely U, IMHO.


MarioandLuigi · 12/05/2011 10:40

This was what I was thinking this morning, its only my DM's doubts that have got to me.

He doesnt play out very often, he is a bit of a home body, but he goes to the local shop by himself.

OP posts:

missnevermind · 12/05/2011 10:42

My DS is doing this today for the first time too.
He is not walking alone, but it is a 20 min walk with 2 major roads to cross. We have discussed extensively where and when to cross and to only use the crossing and safe points.
I have not told Mother as I know she will worry me! Even though I did it myself at 7yo.
DS is 10 and yr5 as is the one friend he is walking with, the other is in yr6


Niecie · 12/05/2011 10:43


Just as a matter of interest - what age were you allowed to walk to school alone? Did your mother not give you your independence either.

I reckon so long as your DS is happy and can cope then your DM needs to let you do what you think best.


kreecherlivesupstairs · 12/05/2011 10:45

YANBU. Your DM OTOH is. DD is driven to school now, but for two years prior to leaving Switzerland she would do the 6 or 17 minute journey (depending on cows being there to talk to) to the school bus alone.


Mollymax · 12/05/2011 10:45

It is odd that your mum is agaisnt it, as at this age we were all off here there and every where.
You know your son best of all, if you feel the time is right, i am sure he will be fine.
A good start ready for high school soon.


AppleyEverAfter · 12/05/2011 10:47

10's fine IMO if it's only 5 mins. I did it from that age, up a quiet country lane with other kids, about 10 min walk. I think it's great to give them responsibilty, not to mention save you nipping out. See how he gets on.


MarioandLuigi · 12/05/2011 10:48

We didnt walk to school - the school was in another village so we got the bus outside our house.

OP posts:

ImeldaM · 12/05/2011 10:50

YANBU, as long as he wants to & feels ready.

I have neighbour who has encouraged her DC's to walk home alone from about age 8 and I feel youngest didn't really want to, she does so on her own and often used to run to catch up with me & DS or wait with me to collect him. IMO, she didn't want to walk home on her own.


Niecie · 12/05/2011 10:54

Sort of explains it then - your DM has never had to make the decision about whether you walk to school. I suspect she would have been very unusual for her generation (not knowing how old you are of course) if she hadn't been encouraging you to walk to school by the age of 10 if the option had been available.

Just tell her that all the other children do it and it is normal but don't doubt yourself.


cannydoit · 12/05/2011 11:02

my 10 year old has since she was 8 she also twice a week walks her 8 year old sister too school its all good not to worry.


bruffin · 12/05/2011 11:12

At my dcs' primary they mostly started to walk to school by themselve in yr5.


prettybird · 12/05/2011 11:15


Remember: you are his mum and you make the decisions for him, not your mum.

FWIW: ds has been walking to school on his own, intermittently from 7 (followed by us initially), regularly from 8 and walking home on his own, intermittently at 8.5, all the time from age 9 and is now, age 10, cycling to school on his own. (10-15 minute walk, inner city "suburb" of Glasgow)

Little steps - but ones we are confident that he can take.


monstermissy · 12/05/2011 11:20

At our school kids are not allowed to leave without an adult till year 5, my 8 year old is desperate to be allowed to walk/bike alone but with a busy road im reluctant to let him. I have to go anyway with his little brother and he normally bikes off ahead fine. My eldest started walking at ten i think. Its a good age to start.


sausagesandmarmelade · 12/05/2011 11:21

Sounds about the right age to me...

We bring our kids up to become independent's the first step to independence I think.


WannaBeMarryPoppins · 12/05/2011 11:21

I think it depends on where you live as well as how your child behaves around cars, strangers etc.
For what it's worth I am from Germany and everyone walks from age 6. I lived in a small town but had several crossings etc as well and no lollipop men. I think it's great for confidence.

My mum told me later that she followed me the first few times to see whether I looked left and right, really took the shortest way etc. And would have otherwise walked the way with me a few more times.


treas · 12/05/2011 11:24

MarioandLuigi - I empathise completely, it is nerve racking when they begin the walk to and from school on their own. However, your ds is going to love it, before long he'll find friends / other children he knows who walk a similar route and so won't be on his own.

From my own experience I wished I'd set a time to be home by for my ds's first walk home as he enjoyed the independence so much that the 5 minute walk home took 45 minutes as he stopped chatting to friendsSmile

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