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What age is it okay to let your son out of your site?

My son is almost 9 and we have been letting him go to another aisle in the same area where we are by himself. I always keep a close eye on him, but he is breifly out of my sight. I also let him go to the boy's bathroom by himself while I stay near by. I just read a post about a child being molested in the toy aisle at a Walmart and the parents were just an aisle or so away. I am definitely re-thinking my decisions, but he's getting old enough where he does need some freedoms, so what age is this appropriate?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:04 PM on Feb. 3, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (7)
  • My son is 17 and I still worry when he's walking around the store without me! I know that's a bit overprotective! I think he was 15 when I let him venture to another part of the store or mall on his own. People are just crazy these days. It's just not worth the risk. I think 9 is too young to let wonder to another isle. But that's just me.


    Answer by BlessedMommy64 at 5:11 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • That sounds like a good age, also important to reinforce stranger danger etc.

    Answer by Apr1l at 5:12 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • I allow my son to go to the toy aisle in our local Walmart or Kmart but he is always within shouting distance and that will often deter anyone from messing with my child.

    Answer by robinsi2000 at 6:30 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • It very much depends on the area you live in, your son, and how far you're letting him out of your sight! We live in a rural area with very little crime, (although things can happen ANYWHERE!) my tween is 12, and he's a very big kid for his age so he'd be hard for someone to drag off. He's also not a kid who will talk to strangers or fall for a story about a lost puppy. But I still don't leave him more than an aisle or two away from me, and we both have cell phones so if I can't find him I call him right away. My now 20 year old still scares us sometimes. He thinks the best of everyone and loves to talk to anyone he meets. Awhile back my husband and son were working in a "bad" area of Chicago, and hubby was terrified by the casual way our oldest son walked around a gas station...paying no attention to anyone around him, talking to people in line, etc. So in his case, I'd say about 65 would be the right time!

    Answer by Junecleo at 2:14 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • My son just turned 11 and I do let him look in the toy or video game aisle while I shop nearby. I also let him use the bathroom alone. If we are in a bigger mall or stadium I am not comfortable with letting him use the bathroom alone there....luckily we haven't had to deal with that because he is kind of too old to use the ladies room! I think it depends on the child, and the area too. If is a very crowded busy place that might be too much.

    Answer by BJoan at 8:38 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • My son is 36 and I still worry about him. It's just a mom thing. One thing my mom taught me and my sister at a very young age is to holler like the dickens if a stranger even speaks to us. That scares them off big time. Teach your son to holler MOM! Even if there is no danger from the person it lets the person know what they did as an adult was wrong. We adults know not to speak to children. We are strangers to them and shouldn't make them choose to be polite to adults as taught or scream for help. That's just too much pressure for a child. If it's a misunderstanding then everyone can get a good laugh. If it's a molester after your child then he has power to save himself with just a simple yell. Even if you are not close by other ppl will look around and a molester doesn't want anyone looking.

    Answer by admckenzie at 2:25 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • When he's Seriously my youngest son is 12 and I still don't let him out of my sight unless he is with another adult whom I trust. admckenzie is right it is just a mom thing. My kids are 35, 30,28, 25, 13, 12, 12, 10 and I am concerned about them all the time.

    Answer by debj49 at 6:53 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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