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Super Contributor
Posts: 313
Registered: ‎02-06-2017

At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

My neighbor was wondering this, and her boy is 9, he is very advanced for his age with book smarts, but, he is still a kid. She was asking how old in personal opinion should a child be, before he is allowed to walk through a neighborhood by himself, or with a friend who's the same age..? I would say at least 10...but curious what others' thoughts are..? The neighborhood is all in all very safe, but there are always worries, regardless.. 

 

I know I was about 10 when my mom started to let me walk through the neighborhood by myself or with friend(s)..and that was almost 40 years ago, and it seems like the world is crazier these days..? 

 

So, what age do you think a child should be allowed to walk through his/her neighborhood..? I don't have kids myself, but in this day and age, I think  at least 10, if not 11..? I do see some kids riding bicycles in the neighborhood by themselves, who look to be 7 or 8 years old..but obviously every parent is different....that;s hard, because the kid might feel 'babied,' but....still, better safe than sorry, imho..  

 

I think my thought is, if the kid still requires a babysitter, then the kid should probably not walk alone by  himself/herself through any neighbohood, no matter how safe the neighborhood seems..jmo..Curious to hear others' thoughts on this one..

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,904
Registered: ‎07-15-2016

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

Depends on the child and the neighborhood. There is no "one size fits all" answer to this.  

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,101
Registered: ‎07-27-2015

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

I think it depends on the maturity of the child (at least 9) and the overall neighborhood. With that being said I would not allow my child in this day and time walk the neighborhood at all unless they were going a short distance. Call me overprotective but there is just too much going on. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,319
Registered: ‎09-22-2010

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

The kids all run loose in my neighborhood.  I think the youngest is about 5.  They are riding scooters, skateboards, bicycles, etc.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,627
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

How old? 35.

 

 

Seriously though, all I know is that no matter what the age, I'd be all kinds of nervous until they got back home.

The Sky looks different when you have someone you love up there.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,023
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

Times are so different today ,than when I was young. I think I was about 11 or 12, when I was allowed to walk downtown, alone. Mothers back then, worried more about traffic and getting hit by a car, than dangerous people

 

I don't think there is any pat answer to your question. It is up to each family to weigh the odds and come to a decision

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,671
Registered: ‎07-09-2010

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

As another poster mentioned, there was more fear of cars than bad people. I was buying cigarettes, newspapers or coffee for my dad much younger than ten but it was at the corner and I didn't have to cross the street.

 

I can ride my bike up and down the sidewalk or around the block but I cannot bike cross the street at age 11 or 12 yet I can walk to school by myself (6 blocks) at the same age.

 

There is no perfect answer and you can encounter a bad person at any age. Child should be aware of surroundings and walk with a buddy or 2. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,419
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

Is this a child mature and smart enough to know what to do should the need arise. Some kids are still to young and some too small in stature to protect and react if the situation should present itself.  Mom should know his amount of smarts and maturity.  In today's nutty world..................man, don't let go of that protection too soon.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,676
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

[ Edited ]

As a 50s child, we were everywhere in the neighborhood, no restrictions.  When my 80s kids were young, they could go to certain places as long as I knew...but I made our back yard the neighborhood playground so all the kids were here and I could keep track of mine.  I would not let a child under 12 out of my site now except for a few neighbors or riding bikes on our street.  It's too easy for someone to hurt/take a kid.   

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,023
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: At what age should a child be allowed to walk neighborhood alone or with a friend?

 I just want to add, I think traffic is a bigger hazard than when I was a child. We didn't have cell phones ,and smart phones, and all sorts of hand held devises ,that distract drivers