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Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,243
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

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

[ Edited ]

I never see kids of any age walking through my neighborhood alone except to get to the bus stop sometimes. Even then many of the kids have someone drive them to the bus stop and wait inside the cars until the bus gets there. Same goes for when they come home. It's different today, that is for sure.

 

If I had a kid, I would not let my kid walk alone anywhere...in my neighborhood or anywhere else.

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

 Impossible to answer because there are 99 variables.  Like what is this neighborhood like, where are  these kids going, how far, what are the other kids like....oh....it goes on and on.  It's a question that only parent can answer.  

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


@msh8970 wrote:

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..


In general I say it depends on the child and neighborhood.  I know mid-teens that shouldn't be allowed out without adult supervision and I know 7-year-olds that have the maturity and social experience to be able to travel the immediate neighborhood with their friends.

 

I suspect your neighbor is either not ready to extend the apron strings or doesn't feel her son is ready to be without oversight. In either case I would suggest baby steps.  Perhaps let him go but with a line of sight restriction as he earns mom's trust in his ability to handle being alone with friends.

 

As to your thought about the kid still requiring a babysitter are you thinking daytime sitter or just when the parents will be out for the evening?  IMO 13 would be the minimum age when an evening babysitter is not needed.

The more I learn the more I realize how little I know.
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Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎04-16-2010

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

In my community, children are walking to school alone in second grade. By 5th, they're everywhere without an adult in site. Our community is ranked A+ by the police department meaning we average 1-2 calls a YEAR. 1800 homes in my community.  Groomed paths are everywhere. 

 

Where a friend of mine lives, this would NEVER happen due to the level of violence in her community.

 

No set answer as it depends on the child and where you live.

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Registered: ‎05-22-2016

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


@SahmIam wrote:

In my community, children are walking to school alone in second grade. By 5th, they're everywhere without an adult in site. Our community is ranked A+ by the police department meaning we average 1-2 calls a YEAR. 1800 homes in my community.  Groomed paths are everywhere. 

 

Where a friend of mine lives, this would NEVER happen due to the level of violence in her community.

 

No set answer as it depends on the child and where you live.


 

 

 

It does not matter if you live in the most elite parts of town. Bad things happen there, too. 

Esteemed Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

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

[ Edited ]

I can remember walking to school by myself in the second grade in the early 1960s.  I walked several blocks in the heart of Brooklyn, past Brooklyn college....out of site of our apartment building so my mother couldn't see once I crossed Ocean Ave. (a fairly busy street). 

 

I was also allowed to walk to the local library by myself while we lived in Brooklyn.  My family moved to Queens when I was 9 1/2 and I walked to school there too by myself.

 

I now live in a VERY safe and quiet suburb.  If you look up crime stats for my area there is almost nothing...an occasional DUI and some theft in local businesses.  Yes bad things could happen anywhere but I have to laugh to myself when I see parents lined up at the school bus stop for their kids.  We are talking about less than a block away!  ...Many homes are in full view from being able to see the kids get off the bus. 

 

I don't believe that things are more dangerous today...there were plenty of bad people in the good old days...the difference is technology is so advanced that we hear about bad things constantly today.

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


@SilleeMee wrote:

@SahmIam wrote:

In my community, children are walking to school alone in second grade. By 5th, they're everywhere without an adult in site. Our community is ranked A+ by the police department meaning we average 1-2 calls a YEAR. 1800 homes in my community.  Groomed paths are everywhere. 

 

Where a friend of mine lives, this would NEVER happen due to the level of violence in her community.

 

No set answer as it depends on the child and where you live.


 

 

 

It does not matter if you live in the most elite parts of town. Bad things happen there, too. 


@SilleeMee   I think teaching a child to live in fear is not good.  Yes it's better to be safe rather than sorry and it's good to teach them to learn to be cautious but we can't live life in constant fear.  Particularly if you live in a very safe area.  One should weigh the maturity level of each child and community safety.

 

Of course bad things can happen anywhere...with that line of thought since we have a lot of school shootings now perhaps most parents would feel better about keeping their kids at home (and safe!) and just do home schooling.

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Posts: 2,763
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

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

Depends on the neighborhood.  I walked to school starting in the 1st grade.  Times are different now, and that is probably too young for most anywhere.  But, if I still lived in the town I grew up in I still probably wouldn't hesitate to let them make that walk by 3rd or 4th grade.  Walking and playing around the neighborhood is different than walking to school and I would encourage it with the proper precautions.  I knew even at 6 not to get into cars with strangers.  In fact, a couple pulled up next to me and asked if I wanted a ride home and I refused.  Turned out they were friends of my parents and I probably should've known them.  

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Registered: ‎03-27-2010

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

[ Edited ]

There will always be concerns as a parent.  I agree with others that the maturity of the child and the environment dictate at what age you abdicate control, but that doesn't mean that you ever lose concern for your child's safety.

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

@haddon9 

Unfortunately I think living in fear has become the norm for some people and that isn't necessarily coming from being taught to live in fear. It just happens, especially in the world as it is today.