Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your Turn

Would you ever let your child walk to school alone? At what age?

54 comments:

Violet said...

Don't be ridiculous. Of course. V jr 3 is 8 and walks to the paper shop every day. None of that mollycoddling in the Violet household.

sandybrook said...

I dont think I really walked to school aline until HS . But starting in second grade when we were able to cross streets we walked to school and home as a group of kids in the neighborhood. But a lot of parents didn't allow that.

Karen said...

I live a quarter mile from the elementary school, so yes. They'd never be alone, though, since there are so many other kids who will be walking at the same time.

snookiemonster said...

I was walking to school alone in 1st grade

Cheryl said...

My daughter is old enough to walk to school, and we live close to the school, but there is a dangerous intersection that she would have to cross and there is no crossing guard. I walk her to the intersection in the morning and pick her up on foot at 3. She is 9. My 13 year old walks to the bus stop every day and sometimes he walks her to school.

Renoblondee said...

I guess it would depend on how close we were. Right now we're too far.

Frufra said...

Depends on where you live, how old the kids are, etc. I'd let my kids walk to school now, but we live too far away. If we lived in town, I'd let them; they're almost 13 and 16, and there are plenty of sidewalks.

When they were elementary schoolers, we lived very close to our neighborhood school. We also had a crazy old man in our neighborhood who was always trying to get us to come in his house and see all the things he had preserved in jars (I'm not making that up). This guy was also a hoarder deluxe whose yard was chock full of so much shit that he build a privacy fence around the chain link fence to get the city off his back. So, no - Mommy walked them to school. I didn't want any of us to end up in a jar.

All Lace no Leather said...

Little Lace would sometimes walk, but never alone.

D Brown said...

I walked to school, four city blocks, from five years old in the first grade.

helen smith said...

Live in the Burbs. Major road, too far to walk and the road is way to dangerous for him to wait for bus alone. Wish it was different but it is what is.

helen smith said...
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Gayeld said...

I walked to kindergarten. At least until Stephen Staynor was kidnapped. In the same town I lived in.

Later I rode the bus. Until the busload of kids was kidnapped and buried alive. In the same county I lived in.

All three of our school age kids walk to school, the twins together. In September the five year old will walk with Grandma and get picked up by Mommy. Probably around third grade she'll get to walk without a grown-up (but hopefully with friends.)

NomNom83 said...

Baby Nom is complimented by total strangers ALL THE TIME for being a beautiful boy. No one has given me the creeps -- yet -- but I also don't expect the worst to bring attention to themselves in such an obvious manner. All that to say, it's my biggest fear that he'll attract a predator and be too young to defend himself or know what to do.

We're less than a mile from his school and, realistically, the bigger threat would be traffic, but until Mr. Nom and I felt he could really make good decisions about strangers, no way.

Frufra said...

@Gayeld - a busload of kids buried alive??? Holy moley. I've never heard about that.

Gayeld said...

When we lived out in the country, when I was in second - fourth grade, I walked and crossed the railroad tracks, and major street and canal (that was very inviting in hot afternoons.) Totally survived.

Seven of Eleven said...

Holy crap, @Gayeld, that is horrifying! I remember the Stephen Staynor story "I Know My First Name is Steven". So sad how he ended up after escaping that lunatic. :(

Rose Lizenberg said...

I would not. Only because I had a very traumatic experience when I was a kid walking home from school. I was in 3rd grade (i think) and we lived literally 3 blocks from the school. One day on my way home, one of our neighbors tried to force me into his brown El Camino, which he already had running. Luckily I managed to escape and ran home. My parents called the police and I never saw the guy again.

#Gitit said...

Not in today's world, I would not.

However,I walked to school in middle school when I was 12 and 13 years old. I lived in a quiet rural town with virtually no crime. Today there is crime everywhere.

Sincerely,Your Friend said...

@Gayeld. U got us all reel in here. Like others, knew about Steven and his tragedies, but I'm hafts google the bus load if children nightmare. That's horrific. I'm sure there were lots of positives in your area, but these 2 are certainly scary.

Sincerely,Your Friend said...

"Reeling". Not reel

cebii said...

I walked almost a mile to kindergarten with my best friend/neighbor, although that was on an AFB, so it might have been safer. My kids would walk if they went to their neighborhood school, with is only a couple of blocks away, but they go to a charter school.

Sandyjade V said...

Not a chance. I rarely let my 11 year old out of my sight unless she is with a friend.

Anjelicka64 said...
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KJ Kitsom said...

The 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping occurred in Chowchilla, California, on July 15, 1976, when kidnappers abducted 26 children and their adult driver from their school bus and imprisoned them in a buried truck. The driver, Frank Edward "Ed" Ray, was able to free the children, and the kidnappers were caught and convicted. SoCal parents freaked out, and rightful so.

teresa crane said...

I don't have kids but if I did NO

I walked myself to and from school beginning second grade though

MISCH said...

No kids….but I think I was 7, but it's a different world now

Tina Mallette said...

We always lived very close to public school in suburbia so I walked by myself to kindergarten or would meet a friend halfway. The big rite of passage in our town was when your parents would let you take the bus downtown, without any adults, ooh cool, which was age 12.

Anjelicka64 said...

My kids would walk with their friends together to Jr High but that was in 2000 I'm not so sure now with all the crap going on.

ethorne said...

Holy shit! I thought @Gayeld was joking about the bus! That's crazy!!

Gayeld said...

The thing I remember most about that was how freaked out my mother was when I got home from school five minutes late one day. I'd never seen her that upset before.

It still breaks my heart what he went through. Everything he survived and when he's just starting to get his life turned around, he's killed by a drunk driver. He left behind a widow and two small kids.

Then there's his brother, Cary.

Jessi said...

OK that is terrifying Gayeld. Both stories. I didn't realize Steven died. So tragic.

car54 said...

I started walking to school alone at 6 or 7. First my mom or dad walked me--then they would practice looking both ways crossing streets with me, then I got to go by myself, or ride my bike. I remember catching my mom following me a block behind me to see if I followed the rules.

I was allowed to go to the park by myself by 8 and to the swimming pool in the park after I passed my swimming lessons.
It was a much easier time.

Gayeld said...

I think as kids, we didn't really feel the impact of it (not the way our parents did.) Then the kids were found so quickly, less than 24 hours, I think.

As an adult, I can only imagine what those poor kids went through and how it affected them, but as a 9-year old I was more interested listening to the newscasters butcher Chowchilla.

Merced County isn't usually a hotbed of kidnapping. Mostly, it's almonds and boring. ;-)

Oopsy_Daisy said...

Two middleschoolers in this household and they can't go anywhere without the other and their cell phones. I was nearly kidnapped a few times as a kid walking to school. Call me overprotective, but I'd rather be a nervous nelly than a parent on the news begging for their child's safe return or worse.

Gayeld said...

SoCal parents? Try having Central Valley parents. All those buses picking kids up out in the country, I saw a lot more of my grandma after school after that.

Gayeld said...

"July 15, 1976,"

I remember it screwing up my summer school bus schedule. We had an awesome bus driver, Alfie, and after that happened they canceled bus service for the rest of the summer because they were afraid of copycats.

Gayeld said...

Steven's brother, Cary, is the one who killed Carol Sund and her daughter and other girl.

witwritergirl said...

We always walked to school, but no way would I allow my kids to walk to school. It was different then. No ones mother worked so there were a million nosy moms in the neighborhood. Now kids are walking through neighborhoods where no ones home to be on the look out for pervs.

witwritergirl said...

We always walked to school, but no way would I allow my kids to walk to school. It was different then. No ones mother worked so there were a million nosy moms in the neighborhood. Now kids are walking through neighborhoods where no ones home to be on the look out for pervs.

Lurker Girl said...

Baby Lurker walked with a group of kids when the elementary school was less than a half mile from my house. Now it's all central campus in another town and she goes by bus. I live in a rural area though and everyone is always up in everyone's shit, so nothing would happen around here without 90 people knowing about it in 2 seconds

Paint Chips said...

We live just two blocks from our elementary school. I will never forget my son, right before he entered the third grade, informing me that I would no longer be walking him to school.

Made me sad. I would peek out the window every afternoon waiting for him to show up.

Gayeld said...

We're on the same block as the school (it's literally behind my house,) and my biggest fear is that as soon as Princess Grace starts 1st grade and is set loose in the big playground, she's going to be up and over that fence before the yard duty teacher knows what happened. I can see that damn IKEA circus tent that's lying sideways against the fence everyday when I pick her up from day camp, so can she.

RustyJ said...

I am way too paranoid. I walk my daughter still and she is about to go into grade 7. I walked my son most of the time up until grade 8 but, I was dropping off/picking up my daughter too so he just came along, I let him start going to the store, to school and to friends houses by himself in the second half of grade 7 when he was 13. I see it as good exercise for me and we can talk about school issues, I can meet their friends and I know they are safe.

Violet said...

Rusty. That's sweet. But honestly? 13? V jr 2 is 13 and would be laughed out of the playground if I still walked her to school.
The world is no worse a place than when we were children. Whatever the media might have us think. IMO children need to learn to be independent.
No judging though honestly. We all do the best we can. (And as I tell the V jrs it's the best you're going to get so suck it up).

auntliddy said...

These days? I honestly and truly dont know, as my kids are grown. Mb with a crowd of buddies.

kit said...

Kit the Younger is 12, and we're negotiating this now. She wishes to walk. Her mom says yes. Her grandmother says no. I am ambivalent but understand the ask. School is 10m walk down sidewalk of 4 lane major street. Other kids do it. As guardian, I may say yes and stalk her in the car...

Renoblondee said...

Phew! Violet, once again I agree with you completely. I raise my kids to be independent and can't stand seeing my friends baby their 10 year olds. Ugh. Not speaking of the walking thing, everyone does what's best for them.

Jennmcn said...

When I was a kid, my Mom made me walk a mile or so everyday to and from the same school where she taught from kindergarten on. My kids walked when school was fairly close, although I felt safer when we lived in Okinawa than Virginia Beach even though by that time they were teenagers.

Kassandra said...

The past is the past. Hell, when i was a kid, i literally "walked a mile" uphill (and downhill - both ways) to the bus stop on a very remote but public road.

Hell, no. I have girls that are 19 and 24 and did *not* let them walk alone for any length until they were around 15/16. Too many creepers out there.

audrey said...

My eldest walked to and from school with friends from about grade 3 on. I was working full time so I didn't have time to hang around and worry about the details. It had to be done and so it was. My youngest was born in 1989. We lived fairly close to the school, and she told me at the beginning of grade four that I wasn't allowed to walk her to her class. I could stay at the corner and pick her up there. The following summer she negotiated the terms of her walking to school with friends. Sometimes kids want to grow up way before you want them to.

rosetrame said...

I totally agree with you, just more info out there now!

Trashaddict said...

Walked with my sister who was 4 years older until she went off to junior high, then walked on my own, a mile each way. But no busy streets to cross. Took the bus later - one day a guy tried to offer me a ride from a block from my house - I'm still wondering if that's when Ted Bundy was en route from the West coast to Florida. Luckily a neighbor had her eye out. Another guy driving through exposed himself while our neighborhood gang of kids was out playing on the street. This was a nice suburban DC neighborhood. So I wouldn't let my kids walk on their own for the longest time. Every time I get more relaxed about something like that, something new happens. I text my daughter to make sure she's on her way home, but then I worry someone will see her phone and jump her for it.
It's really tough balancing letting them learn street smarts with worrying about their safety. Drives me absolutely crazy.

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

I'd be afraid to let them walk to school, only because there's a crapload of parents that have been arrested for stuff like this. One recently let her kid go to the park alone, along with several other moms who let their kids play in their own yard! These aren't little kids, either.

Cee Kay said...

You know what? It's really not a "different world now". The only difference is that thanks to the internet, every single time something happens to a kid (or anyone else) you know about it. We live too far from the public school my kids attend, but I wish we didn't because they'd absolutely have walked. My son is now walking home from jr. high. I should bloody well hope so - he's 12!