When do you think is the right age to let your child walk to school by themselves?
This is a question that keeps popping up in our household quite a lot recently. This is because our nearly eight year old daughter keeps asking when she can. Her school is at the most, a seven to eight minute walk from our house. There are three to four small light traffic roads to cross, a main road which is looked after by a lollipop person and the road in which the school is on.
I have said she can walk by herself when she is nine, which is another fourteen months away, as I feel she will be ready at that age and have enough road safety knowledge and stranger danger awareness. I am confident that she will have her wits about her and know how to behave. I wouldn’t be fair behind her as I will still have our youngest daughter to take to school, so I will be able to keep an eye on her. She wouldn’t walk home by herself as that would mean she would be at home by herself which at nine I am not comfortable with.
How do you prepare your child and yourself for this next step though?
I was talking to a friend about writing this post and she now let’s her daughter go to a friends house which is four doors away from them and she stands at their front door, which I think is a great idea. She also said that when her daughter turns eight, she will allow her to walk from our friends house to school, which is opposite me. This would mean two small roads and the road the school is on that they would have to cross.
We did both agree that we may get to our children being eight or nine and decide to change our minds and just stand at the gate to watch them in. I may take this further and then stand on the other side of the road and then move to the corner of the street. My husband believes that nine is too young to let our daughter walk imdenpently to school. Although I’m not sure what his reasons for this are and keeps telling me it won’t happen at that age.
Who knows if there is a particular age for this, or if we as parents, have to trust our instincts and knowing our children and just allow them to take this step.
I would love to hear your opinions, whether you have already been in this position or are like myself and starting to think about it.