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6 year old walking to school alone via a woodland track
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Loveagingernut · 06/12/2021 22:17

I am looking for others views, maybe I’m being too protective and should be promoting independence.

Back story….
School walk via roads and pavements is over a mile long, however there is a short cut through woodland area where the track is just less than half a mile but it is classed as a forest. On the left of the forest is an industrial estate with approx 60 different businesses. Due to the nature of 80% of these businesses, they mainly employ men. On the right of the forest there is a residential area and the primary school.
The track is popular with dog walkers, teenagers going in the opposite direction to the secondary school use this short cut, and lots of men that walk or cycle to their employment in the industrial estate.

So this is my concern…..
A young mum, that I support, was walking her 6 year old daughter to school via the track, but I have found out that in the cold, winter, dark mornings, the child is now walking to school alone on this route. She doesn’t need to cross any roads so no safety issues there but am I being over protective thinking it’s not acceptable for a 6 year old taking this route on her own.

Mum isn’t taking her, because she has to be elsewhere for 9am and doesn’t have the time to take her daughter to school, thus allowing daughter to walk through the forest alone.

Am I being too protective or do I promote independence.

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Loveagingernut · 06/12/2021 23:21

I also think you need to ask yourself whether you are actually enabling neglect and standing by while a child is (possibly) in danger. Is your need to feel 'helpful' to or 'needed' by the mother greater than your need to protect this child? Don't discuss it with the mother. Report it.

I agree, if I don’t do anything constructive about this, then yes I am part of the neglect, as I have said, tomorrow, discussions will happen

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UserOfManyNames · 06/12/2021 23:23

as pp states its normal in Germany or Nederlands and many children do this, they don't walk alone though but with their friends

in the uk though it is unusual therefore it becomes a safeguarding issue

It’s not a safeguarding issue because it’s unusual though surely @ivykaty44?

It’s a safeguarding issue because young children are vulnerable, would probably not have the capacity to get themselves out of dangerous situation, don’t have the spatial awareness to judge crossing the road safely (if there is one) and are kids who can do stupid things as is totally natural. There are also people and situations which could be a danger to children in every country, not just the UK. The fact that Germany and the Netherlands think it is OK to put young children at risk is not a good thing. Hmm

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Dontgetyerknicksinatwist · 06/12/2021 23:24

@Loveagingernut

I also think you need to ask yourself whether you are actually enabling neglect and standing by while a child is (possibly) in danger. Is your need to feel 'helpful' to or 'needed' by the mother greater than your need to protect this child? Don't discuss it with the mother. Report it.

I agree, if I don’t do anything constructive about this, then yes I am part of the neglect, as I have said, tomorrow, discussions will happen

I know you have said you will but please do everything you can to stop her walking alone again. This is very worrying. Thank goodness for people like you OP.
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ivykaty44 · 06/12/2021 23:29

UserOfManyNames

in the uk you have a child walking along through an area that sounds secluded

in other countries you'll have different set ups and with many children going together, you'll have a safety in numbers effect

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Psuedoshoes · 06/12/2021 23:30

This. The OP has clearly stated she's older generation. I agree 6 is too young, it's less than 2 decades ago that walking to school alone at this age was completely normal. OP was just politely looking for advice yet the arseholes of mumsnet saw it as a great opportunity to take a bitchy swipe. Nice folks.

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Avocadoseed · 06/12/2021 23:32

God this is horrifying.

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AlwaysLatte · 06/12/2021 23:34

Good god, no.

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oakleaffy · 06/12/2021 23:35

No WAY should a 6 year old be walking anywhere , alone! FAR too dangerous. I say this as as a child who was allowed freedom, but not til age 11 or so.
No 6 year old should be put at huge risk like this.

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oakleaffy · 06/12/2021 23:38

@Psuedoshoes

This. The OP has clearly stated she's older generation. I agree 6 is too young, it's less than 2 decades ago that walking to school alone at this age was completely normal. OP was just politely looking for advice yet the arseholes of mumsnet saw it as a great opportunity to take a bitchy swipe. Nice folks.

We live in a different era.
a far more dangerous one.

No one is being ''bitchy''.
What if the little girl was abducted, what then?
Six is far too young, and always was.
I don't care how ''Old'' someone is.. my stepmum is 82, and even she wouldn't have been allowed to walk to school at six.
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SinoohXaenaHide · 06/12/2021 23:38

Age 9 or 10 would be fine, after some serious talks about how to recognise and avoid danger and plans for what to do if there was a creepy person watching the path. Not ok for a 6yo.

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ShineySparkleyChrissmassy · 06/12/2021 23:38

Yes I am an older generation & if mum shuts me out, that wee one literally won’t have a trusted adult in her life.

All the more reason for you to report it (not discuss with the mum) because via manipulation and lies the mum is already shutting you out.

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biwinoone · 06/12/2021 23:41

Does the school know about this? They certainly would want to know about it as it is a safeguarding issue.

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Redsquirrel5 · 06/12/2021 23:42

@BestZebbie

Usually schools don't allow pupils to walk alone until year 5 or 6?
So by general rule of thumb, 6 (year 1) is Too Young.

Really?
Where are you?
In Scotland they went on the bus from 5 year olds.
Where I used to work it was from Year 3 but staff preferred Year 4. We couldn’t disagree. Most of the kids were out on the street anyway when home. Some as young as three.

OP I would flag it up to the safe guarding lead which will be one of the Senior Management Team. I don’t think you are overprotective. If you support the family and you are going that way could you not offer to take her?
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whymewhyme · 06/12/2021 23:44

I'd have to inform social services

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oakleaffy · 06/12/2021 23:44

@Loveagingernut

The reason I asked on here is because mum is very manipulative, lies to me all the time, she tells me what she thinks I want to hear.

I asked because I needed to hear from others that agreed with me, that it’s not acceptable for a 6 year old to walk alone to school .

Tomorrow I will have discussions with mum, I might even show her this thread as back up .

Thank you everyone

The 'Mother' sounds appalling.

In the light of recent events {Arthur L.Hughes} it's astounding that the feckless 'Mother' has care of the little girl being as so many risks are being taken with her vulnerable child.

She {the little girl} is lucky to have someone like you @Loveagingernut to look after her safety.
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Loveagingernut · 06/12/2021 23:46

Some days I do take her in the car, but due to my own circumstances I cannot make a daily commitment

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EmmaMaya · 06/12/2021 23:52

I wouldnt start discussions with the mum incase she shuts you out . . I would however call the school and ask to speak to safe guarding lead and call social services to report. I would continue to call each morning I knew she was walking alone to encourage a quicker follow up from school and encourage accountability on there part to address. This is so sad and neglect. The fact it is dark and it is via woodland is horrifying.

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Psuedoshoes · 06/12/2021 23:54

If you don't think some of these comments are bitchy, then that only reflects on you. Let go of your pearls for a second - I said that 6 is too young ffs. But of course this was indeed normal even when I was a child. Don't be so ignorant Hmm

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Rangoon · 06/12/2021 23:57

I am an older person and this would not have been acceptable in my day either or earlier. There's a reason why we have the tale of little Red Riding Hood - it's to remind us that young girls on their own in isolated places could come to a bad end.

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ABCeasyasdohrayme · 07/12/2021 00:00

The mum is, of course, wrong. But you know this anyway.

Why you feel the need to get validation from Internet strangers in order to show this girls mum the thread I don't know.

You say she's manipulative, sounds like she isn't the only one tbh.

If you're this womans self appointed support, and this little girls only trusted adult then you should perhaps behave in a supportive way, and act like a trusted adult, and either help and guide the mum to make better and safer choices, or make the appropriate reports to protect this little girl.

Coming on here and painting this picture of a crap mum making crap choices to rile people up so you can show her that lots of people think she is shit is just nasty.

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Psuedoshoes · 07/12/2021 00:00

OP has stated it's not at all isolated 😂 again as I've said, 6 is too young (for "these days" but SO much bitchiness directed at the OP is awful, someone who is clearly trying her best to support the mother and child

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PerpetualStudent · 07/12/2021 00:01

@Grimbelina

I also think you need to ask yourself whether you are actually enabling neglect and standing by while a child is (possibly) in danger. Is your need to feel 'helpful' to or 'needed' by the mother greater than your need to protect this child? Don't discuss it with the mother. Report it.

This! Has the awful news this week shown you nothing? If you have concerns report, to social services.
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Psuedoshoes · 07/12/2021 00:03

Enter ABC to perfectly prove my point. Awful behaviour

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NoSquirrels · 07/12/2021 00:05

If you’re in the UK, I would be absolutely staggered if school had not already noted this as a concern.

Six year olds don’t walk to school alone in the UK.

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spotcheck · 07/12/2021 00:07

@PeachesPumpkin

OP you should report it to children’s services. Don’t just leave this up to the school - you have identified the problem so you need to act.
Child protection is everyone’s concern.

Jesus!


Report to children's services BEFORE offering to help the mum?
Really?
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