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4 Bumps

When did you let your kids go off by themselves?

My 5 1/2 yr found a friend around here in the apartment complex I live in and he lives on the other side of the street and he really wants to go but I just think that he is too little to going off by himself. The other little boy is 6 and he wonders around and that is fine and all but I just feel my son is just still to young to go off by himself.

What do you think?

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Asked by jnb71584 at 10:52 PM on Apr. 5, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 18 (5,349 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • my kids were 10 before I let them go to a neighbors alone or cross the street alone.

    Answer by vbruno at 10:54 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • My son is 4 and I allow him to go to the neighbors house, but not roaming outside. Their parents are home the whole time, and their children come to my house, which they are 4 and 7. We walk them to each place though, we never allow them to run freely on their own when they want.

    Answer by allen.moriahd at 10:54 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • In my opinion no he's to little.I think children need supervision at that age and shouldn't be crossing streets by themselves.

    Answer by sarah389 at 10:57 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • Let me add that we live in the same townhouse complex, and a side walk connect our homes. no street crossing, and always by our sides while en-route to each house.

    Answer by allen.moriahd at 11:04 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • i think it depends on the child and the street. if it's a side street with minimal traffic and your child understands fully the meaning of looking both ways and listening for the sound of cars and carefully crossing, i think that age is ok but only if you think your child is to that level. some 6 year olds aren't and some are. i have a 6 year old (will be 7 in july) and i let her cross the side street we live on to the neighbors house but i watch out the window, which she doesnt know and she's careful. but i wouldn't let her cross the main road through town depends on the situation and the child

    Answer by huntin_mama at 1:11 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • It depends on the kid. my 19 yr old has always been the more mature one and she would go 4 houses down to a neighbors house but I would call that mom and keep her on the phone til my kid showed up and when she sent my kid home I would have her call me. and that was when she was 5 yrs old.
    Now I have a 6 yr old that I will not rust outside the yard, even if I did call the house that he was going to. it just all depends on the kid

    Answer by alotleft2do at 1:33 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • My 9 year old is not allowed outside without me or his father. The world is not what it used to be, just is not safe anymore. I would never in a million years let a 6 year old wander around any apartment complex, or cross a street by himself. That is one big invitation for trouble. You are wise to keep him in and wait. Just remember it takes only one time for an accident to happen and some accidents can not be reversed or erased or fixed. Just not worth it.

    Answer by spottedpony at 1:44 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • I'd agree with 'too young' in a way, but I don't know how mature your son is. My daughter's 3.5 years old and I still won't let her play without me around, nor will I allow her to go play at other complex apartments - even with the parents around. Mostly it's because I don't know the other parents and if they allow their 5 year olds to run around unsupervised, I don't think I want them "watching" (I say that loosely) my daughter. But rabbit trail aside - she still doesn't show signs of any sort of maturity and understanding of why I put certain rules on her. No one is a 'stranger' to her. Streets are still just open running areas. Sidewalks are optional. Everything found on the ground is free to play with whether it toys or trash. But I also remember playing unsupervised when I was 6 or 7 but I knew where I was allowed to go. It really depends on the maturity of your child. Quiz him on safety things and see how he does.

    Answer by Cenchan at 5:29 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • That's how kids get kidnapped and molested. I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old and neither one of them have the capabilities of making decisions like "should I talk to this stranger?" or anything even remotely close to making me feel like they can take care of themselves without my supervision. I would say 10 is the minimum age that children should be allowed to run around alone, but even then *shudders* there are some sick people out there that are just waiting for that one opportunity.

    Answer by slw123 at 8:48 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • Slw123 is on the mark. Clearly there is much more at stake than whether the child knows how to look both ways to cross a street. Whether or not the 6, 7, or 8 year old is mature, if a creep wants to take them or do something to them around the corner, they will make it happen with a child that age and size. A six year old is like a sitting duck target for these predators, this really should not be an issue of maturity or traffic. It is an issue of safety, protection and making damn sure it doesn't happen to your child. One time... that is all it takes. The parents who allow children this age to run around without any supervision seriously need to have their heads examined in my opinion.

    Here is a great resource for child safety


    Answer by spottedpony at 10:07 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

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