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Do you allow your children to go to school by themselves? How old are they?

My DS is 9 and wants me to let him walk to school by himself. School's only 2 blocks away, but I still feel he's young to walk there alone. Am I too overprotective?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:56 PM on Dec. 4, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (12)
  • It depends upon where you live. I lived in a country town and my daughter was walking when she was in kindergarten. But everyone knew each other and everyone walked. Were I live now, NO WAY. It's just how safe your town is.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:06 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • I wouldn't let him, but I'm probably over protective too. I didn't let my son start walking to school until he was 13 and that was only with a group of kids. I would never let him walk alone. Better to be over protective and still have a child...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:06 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • I've gotta go with the "it depends where you live" theory on this. My 11 yo has been walking himself to school since he was in grade 3 (so 8 years old). Now my 7 yo walks with him. I wouldn't let my 7 yo walk alone this year (and he doesn't want to yet so it's not an issue), but next year he could if he wants. But like I said, it's going to depend on where you live.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 12:14 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • I live in Athens, Greece. It's a capital, so you know what it's like...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 AM on Dec. 5, 2009


    Answer by lightbulbe at 12:48 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • In Athens, Greece probably not simply because it seems like that would be like him walking 2 blocks in New York City. I live in a village that is 1sq. mile by 1 sq. mile in size and it's a short walk to walk 2 blocks. I let my children walk to school from the time they were 8, with their siblings and other children from our street. We don't have school buses here because it's so small. Children walk with a parent, walk with siblings, walk with a friend or are driven by a parent to the elementary school and to the middle/high school they are either dropped off, walk or drive themselves if they are old enough.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:56 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • My son has been walking by himself for 3 years. He started walking when he started middle school (6th grade 11 yrs old). He walks 3 blocks and there are a lot of other kids walking too. He couldn't walk to elementary school because there were no sidewalks and he would have had to walk on 2 very busy roads with drivers that don't understand speedlimits or school safety zones.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:40 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • My kids have a couple times. They are in 1st, 2nd and 4th grades and the school is 3 1/2 blocks away. We live in Chicago. I usually only walk them half way and then they go the rest of the way on their own. they'd walk home by themselves every day if the school would let them but they aren't allowed to leave without a parent until the 5th grade.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 3:57 PM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • I can see the kids' playground from my yard, so they did start walking to school on their own at 9. It all depends on how far, what type of town you live in, how many streets have to be crossed, etc. I find that it's best for them to walk with a group so if you know a few of your child's friends parents, talk with them to see if they can all walk together.

    Answer by Lish26 at 5:05 PM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • my dd is in 3rd grade, and i just recently began allowing her to walk around the corner to the bus stop alone. i finally realized that you know, we hear a lot about screwed up things happening, but the occurrence is actually quite small. the media makes a VERY big deal, and then parents panic.
    different world or not, i began thinking about what i was doing when i was her age... and realized that unless she has a small amount of exposure, that she will never learn how to react appropriately IF something were to happen (approached by stranger, potential abduction, bully, etc.)... so, keeping in mind that her bus stop is directly in front of the home of a child that rides with her, and she is out of sight for about 60 seconds before she gets there... i think it gives her an opportunity to assert her independence in a productive, and relatively safe way.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 6:03 PM on Dec. 5, 2009

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