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AIBU?

To allow my son to walk to school on his own?

88 replies

tresdreg · 13/10/2018 23:11

He's 9, it's not that unusual is it? It's about an 8 minute walk, through a village.

OP posts:
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Bunnybigears · 13/10/2018 23:13

Ive let mine do it since year 4 so 8 at the start. 5 minutes through a city. I did wait until after winter though so it wasnt dark.

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SleepingStandingUp · 13/10/2018 23:13

It really depends.

Who else walks that route ie friends?
Any main roads?
How sensible is he?
Why would you be letting him do it?
Do school have a minimum age where thry won't let him walk back alone?

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SuburbanRhonda · 13/10/2018 23:15

Most schools ask you to give written permission.

Ours only allow it in year 5 and 6.

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MarthasGinYard · 13/10/2018 23:16

No I wouldn't

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flumpybear · 13/10/2018 23:19

No way! My child just turned 10 ... nope! It's more about external influencing factors than then - they don't know how to deal with them

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Claireshh · 13/10/2018 23:22

My daughter is in Yr 5 and is walking to school now. It takes around 7 minutes or so to get there and she only crosses one tiny road. It’s a very recent thing and I certainly won’t be letting her walk home from after school clubs yet.

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arethereanyleftatall · 13/10/2018 23:23

It's expected and encouraged that children walk to school and back alone from year 5 at our school.

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Outnumb3red · 13/10/2018 23:27

No. Mine is 10 and has walked to school since 7/8.
It is a 10/15 min walk. Has a busy road to cross but there is a green man crossing.
They need to learn independence and walking to school is part of that. Won't be long till they are going to high school and I'd rather he was comfortable getting himself places himself in plenty of time for that

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arethereanyleftatall · 13/10/2018 23:27

So that's at 9 yo. All 30 children in dds class walk alone, some from a mile or so away. A few mums turned up the first few days, but now none do. It's done dd the world of good allowing her this independence.

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Goldenbear · 13/10/2018 23:29

Why is expected, I can see more by the end of year 6 in preparation for secondary school but what's the significant advantage. My year 7 child now works to and from school about a mile away. He didn't in year 6 and copes just fine.

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LadyofMisrule · 14/10/2018 07:27

My daughter has been cycling to school via a friend’s house since she was 8.

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continuallychargingmyphone · 14/10/2018 07:30

Could he go with a friend? Nine is a little young, I’d say personally but I am probably a little protective.

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thatmustbenigelwiththebrie · 14/10/2018 07:31

I absolutely would. It sounds fine to me.

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somewhereovertherain · 14/10/2018 07:36

I would and did with ours

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DragonGoby · 14/10/2018 07:37

Our school allows it from year 5.

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pinkhorse · 14/10/2018 07:41

It is encouraged from year 4 in ds' school. He's in year 4 and will start walking home after Xmas. It's 0.6 miles away from home. I can't believe people still pick their kids up from school in year 6! Shock

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JollyAndBright · 14/10/2018 08:04

We live in a small town and a 10 minute walk along a straight road (having to cross three small side roads and one busy ish ‘main’ road, but that one has a zebra crossing.)
At our primary it is encouraged that yr6 children walk/cycle to school with friends or alone.
It is allowed in year 5 but only encouraged for ‘sensible’ and confident children.
The school actively discourage children walking to and from school alone before year 5, they go as far as to refuse to allow the DCs to leave the school without an adult collecting them.

DS cycled to school with two of his friends for all of year 6, in the spring of year five we would let them cycle half way alone, but still do the walk into school so we knew they were getting in/out ok.

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AamdC · 14/10/2018 08:22

I would if its a shoet walk , i didnt let ds1 walk home from primary school because it was about twp miles and many road s , he did walk to the top of the road cross at the crossing and wait for his. dad to pick him up though , the thing is they are expected to make there own way there and back in high school so its good to be prepared

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CherryPavlova · 14/10/2018 08:23

Yes, it’s only quite recently parents started walking with children of that age.

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LittleCandle · 14/10/2018 08:27

Sorry - the school requires written permission for the kids to walk to school alone? What a load of bollocks. The school would be told to politely fuck off! None of the their bloody business and of course 8 is old enough to walk to school alone. Good grief, no wonder there is a generation unable to care for themselves!

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ImFreeToDoWhatIWant · 14/10/2018 08:27

I'd be worried I was beginning to fail my child if at 9/10 and neurotypical they couldn't manage an 8 minute walk through a village to school. It's the perfect age to start preparing them a bit more. And yes, it's up to us as parents to put the effort in. We don't just abandon them to life, we have to work at their skills, talk about it, do accompanied practise runs, walk behind a few times, talk about scenarios, review, etc, and then let them go. We have to make judgements about where we live, what the demographic is like, where our children are at with development etc. Some will be ready at 9, some 10, some 11. Then there's going to the park with friends but no adults, going to the shops for you, staying at home for a bit without you, starting to make basic meals etc. It's a long long process and doesn't happen quickly, we're talking years of continual preparation, skill and judgement building, and letting go. This stage of parenting is probably one of the most intense I think.

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BumbleBored · 14/10/2018 08:28

No way.

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continuallychargingmyphone · 14/10/2018 08:30

It’s not about them not being able to manage it. Of course they can manage it. But children left alone are vulnerable, it’s as simple as that, really.

That’s why we don’t leave them alone in the house even though the chances of anything happening are tiny.

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Namechange8471 · 14/10/2018 08:32

As pp said some schools vary on year group when allowing them to walk to and from school. Ours they have to be in year 5/6 only.

Mine walks, she's 9 (nearly 10) and autistic.

I cross her over a main road then she makes her own way there. I then meet her after school at said main road.

They need to learn independence, you can judge your own childs capability.

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Fisharesexy · 14/10/2018 08:34

My 9 yr old sons school is a 5 min walk away, in a quiet, safe residential area. I walk him half way round and then watch him go up the hill and into the school gate. He walks back on his own with friends. After Christmas he can walk to school on his own.
It depends on a number of factors, such as distance, traffic, safety, type of area you live in etc.

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