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Do you let your kids walk around your neighborhood?

There is a commercial on the radio promoting people walking instead of driving. While I agree we need to walk or ride bikes more, the commercial has a grandfather and a child asking to be taken to the library. The grandfather basically tells him to walk there. Back when grandpa was a kid that wasn't too dangerous. Now though, you cannot trust people enough to let kids walk to the library. So I get angry when they seem to be promoting letting children walk the streets by themselves.
Do you let your children walk to the library, store etc... How far is it and how old were your kids if you let them go by themselves?


Asked by SalemWitchChild at 7:04 AM on Jul. 1, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 23 (15,594 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • My kids are 11 & 5. No, I do not let them go around the block alone. Altho I think this neighborhood is safe, its easy to get in & out of & I know that a registered sex offender lives in the next neighborhood over. I do let them ride their bikes on alone (well, together) on our rd only b/c its short & I can still see them. They know if they want to go further than that, they must wait for either daddy or myself to walk w/them. & we don't live close enough to town to walk/ride a bike to the store/library, so those promoting that will just have to get over it! Or bring me my groceries! Lol

    Answer by bridgeh2o at 7:46 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • When we moved here my kids were 12, 10, and 7. We moved from a big city to a place where we don't even lock our doors. Yes I let them walk around town. My two boys had more street smarts then most of their friends.

    Answer by Chrissy629 at 7:34 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • My son was 9 and I pregnant with my daughter when we moved to this town that holds less than 1000 people. We don't have a library, but my son has walked around town by himself since he was 10 and now he takes his sister with him (she's 9 now). Here, the worst thing that will happen is that someone will bring them home. If we lived in a larger town, I would probably not grant them as much freedom as they have.

    Answer by kustomkrochet at 7:47 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • No, but my children are still very young (2 and 4). When they get older it will depend on where we live.

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 9:31 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • "Now though, you cannot trust people enough to let kids walk to the library. "

    Things are no more dangerous now than they were 30 years ago. Kidnappings have always happened, the TV just makes them seem more common. Thirty years ago, if a child disappeared in NY, it wasn't on the news in Kansas.

    Yes, I let my kids walk around town. Most everyone in my town does. The streets are full of kids during the summer, riding bikes, going to the library and the park, etc. My boys nine and eleven.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 9:53 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • No way no how! Not these days. My oldest girls are 16 and 18 and I don't allow them to walk places. There are no do overs when it comes to your children being abducted. When they are little they are at risk, and even when they are the age of my girls...there are girls getting kidnaped for prostitution rings etc. You cannot be too careful when it comes to your children. I am horrified when I see little ones walking or riding bikes with no adult in sight. The first thought that comes to my head is "where is your mother?"
    I am all about physical activity for kids, not enough of them "go out and play" or are into a sport etc. But I don't think encouraging them to walk the streets is a good idea.

    Answer by salexander at 10:41 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • I live in a pretty safe city, but I don't let my 14 year old dd walk around town! I know she has a friend down the street who is allowed to walk everywhere. This is my last child at home, she is alittle more "babied" then the others were, but I just don't feel it's safe.

    Answer by robinann5 at 11:09 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • Not yet, but maybe soon. They are allowed to play from one end of our block to the other, including in some friends' back yards and I'm not out there. And they walk home from school alone (even though I have to go to the school to pick them up because of school rules, but once I've gotten them they take off on their own and are home about 5 minutes before I am).
    If I could trust them to stick together and not kill each other and to watch better when crossing the street I might let them go to the park alone.
    I advocate kids having freedom just like when I was a kid. I'm actually more worried about nosy neighbors calling the cops because they are out alone then someone grabbing them. They are 9, 7 1/2 and 6 1/2 (and they take their 3yo sister out to play with them most of the time).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:09 AM on Jul. 1, 2009

  • My daughter is almost 14. Since she will be taking public transit to high school, we have recently started letting her walk with a friend to Target or our local mall; both are less than a mile away. We also let het take a bus/train downtown, again with a friend.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:50 PM on Jul. 1, 2009