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What age is safe to let kids out?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Maggot, 4 Jan 2008.

  1. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    Maggot Jr(8) has just returned safely from his first solo trip to Tescos Metro, complete with a box of Oxo cubes and a sherbet dip. The shop is about 10 minutes walk, along a traffic free cycle/footpath, the only road to be crossed is the entrance to the car-park. He took his walkie-talkie and, unknown to him, I followed with his sister about 3 mins behind, so we are talking remote supervision. He had no idea we were doing it though. He is dipping away now, chuffed to bits, and feeling mighty grown up.

    However, he met one of our neighbours in Tescos, she is appalled I took such a huge risk:ohmy: What do we think?
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    I'd say, you know best. You know your kid, and his level of responsibility and maturity. I bet there are 16 year olds out there who really oughtn't to be out alone. If you never let him do little stuff lie this, he'll never learn how to avoid risk and so on.

    I was 10 before I went anywhere alone, but until then we'd lived in Belfast, and things were a bit different. Once we moved over here, and had a house in the suburbs, my sister and I were out and about all the time (sister is five years younger than me - I reckon she would have made her first solo trip earlier, maybe at 8?)

    Mind you, my Mum still worries about me now....
     
  3. Sh4rkyBloke

    Sh4rkyBloke Jaffa Cake monster

    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    I agree with your neighbour.... think what could have happened if he'd accidentally mixed up the sherbert and the oxo cubes??? His tastebuds would never have forgiven him.


    I'll get my coat. :tongue:
     
  4. trustysteed

    trustysteed Guest

    i was hitch-hiking into the centre of town about 8 miles away when i was between 8-12, never had any problems. a 10 minute walk for an 8 yr old shouldn't even be considered a problem.
     
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    You should give them as much freedom and responsibility as you can at the earliest age practicable.

    The only real threat out there is the roads, once they are old enough to act responsibly around roads then they are old enough to do almost anything.
     
  6. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    Location:
    Southsea
    My kids were flying to Canada on their own at age 12 and 10. Admittedly, BA would look after them on the flight. but it demanded getting a taxi to Heathrow from school and then reporting to the BA desk.
     
  7. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    Location:
    Llangollen
    That's a good age to do it. Any older and they notice that they haven't got return tickets. :thumbsup:
     
  8. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    I nearly got run over crossing the road aged about 17, I ended up lying on the poor bloke's bonnet. My fault entirely.
     
  9. Jaded

    Jaded New Member

    Ours have gone out on their own from about 8. Short trips, admittedly. The boy earlier than the girl.

    A neighbour made a comment about it being dangerous, them going up to the park on their own. "I know", I said, "However we teach them where to cross the road and how to, so we are comfortable with that." Got a great no-comprehend look back.
     
  10. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    I think the best thing you can do is set a good example, drum the rules into them, and let them get on with it. My Dad always told me to look before crossing, even at lights, because the green man doesn't actually physically stop the traffic, and that habit has saved me before now, when a car has gone right over a red. I think part of it was that he explained WHY I still had to look, so it didn't just seem like a pointless rule. And when I was about 8 or 9, I saw a girl knocked down in the road, and it made a big impression on me.

    It's the same sort of thing for all dangers I guess. Lay down the rules, but credit kids with the intelligence to understand an explanation of why the rules are there.
     
  11. Landslide

    Landslide Rare Migrant

    Location:
    Called to the bar
    There was this interesting article in the Grauniad before Christmas:
    http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/family/story/0,,2224008,00.html

    By and large, the feedback was very supportive of the mother's actions in trusting her son:
    http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/family/story/0,,2227748,00.html

    Maggot's example appears to show very responsible parenting - giving the child a taste of freedom and responsibility, whilst retaining a measure of guardianship and responsibility.

    I hope if and when I have kids I'll be able to act in a similar fashion.
     
  12. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    There's an interesting part in Peter White's (the blind journalist) autobiography. He goes into great detail about his first independent trip down to the local shops when he was a child. He didn't find out until years later that his mother had already been down and told the shopkeepers to look out for him, and then she followed him at a distance.
     
  13. Agree with landslide :thumbsup:
     
  14. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    My first independent trip was to a grocer's, about 50 yards from my Gran's house, to get potatoes.

    I got the wrong sort of potatoes.:thumbsup:
     
  15. ...bet you had your chips when you got home Arch...