Jenn - posted on 11/13/2011 ( 54 moms have responded )
Apologise ahead for longish post:) I have a five year old son (He just turned five yesterday and is in kindergarten) whom I walk to and from school daily. Along the way i have noticed a few other kindergartners walking to school alone or in groups of two or three. Although i am confident my son could get there by himself as far as finding his way, the thing that worries me is he would have to cross a crosswalk (without a guard, just the button you push and shows the walk/don't walk sign) on a very busy road. It is only down my street, across the crosswalk and then straight up another street to the school, but the street the kids walk up is the really busy one. Yes there are sidewalks but kids tend to horse around and stuff so it makes me nervous. I noticed there is a group of three that the mom walks across the crosswalk and then allows them to walk the rest of the way themselves straight up that one street, and they all hold on to each others backpacks like a chain. I thought it was actually a pretty good way to get them started walking alone but wasnt sure if i felt they were too young as obviously i don't know the type of children they are. I am not sure how i feel about it as i do see them dawdle and horse around sometimes and makes me a little anxious. However i have no issue with her for doing this as i don't know her situation, and I do want my son to be able to walk to school himself in the next couple years. Back in the day kids walked to school all the time from kindergarten up and it wasnt an issue, but now days with all the stranger danger and such people tend to trip out when young kids walk alone. I am not concerned with stranger danger or my son getting lost, it is the traffic that is my main concern. Anyways, my question is at what age would you/will you begin allowing your child to walk to school alone (or with friends)? I pride myself on being a pretty relaxed and "free-range" parent and i have a lot of confidence and trust in my sons abilities, he rides dirtbikes, skateboards, goes hunting with daddy with his own pellet gun, plays outside without me, etc but this is one thing i am not quite ready for yet. So what age do you think is ok? Why or why not? What age did your children start walking alone at?