Morag - posted on 05/15/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )
My daughter is 9 (10 in August) and she has expressed a wish to start walking to school. Slowly over the past few months we have been training her to learn the way to school, safe places to cross the road etc and she's been doing really well. School is around 3 blocks up and 10 blocks along. Its not far but its far enough for me to be worried... so as a baby step introduction we said she could walk to her wing chun classes (4 blocks up, 3 blocks along). If she could prove she could walk there safely we would allow her to walk to school at the start of next year.
My husband starts a new job next week and his working hours mean that my daughter might be late to wing chun some days, so we thought it was a good time to give it a try. My daughter was very excited at the idea of getting her own set of keys and that we trusted her enough to go to walk on her own and it was only there during the day and with lots of people around. We live in Spain in a smallish town and many children her age walk around alone, plus people here love to stick their ore in if they think something is up, and to see an adult trying to grab a screaming child, some busy body would stick her nose in!.
However, my parents have put a boycott on this. They are saying my daughter is too young (I was 14 before they let me out on my own and only if they knew everything and they still took me there and picked me up) Also they are saying we are neglectful parents and are threatening to report us to Social Services and are looking to get custody (I just want to add my mum is nuts and my dad is terminally ill, so there is no way they would get custody).
I've also found out from my daughter that my parents will be going behind my back and will be taking my daughter to wing chun anyway regardless of what we decide. My mother told her not to tell me this as I wouldn't let her see her anymore. Which kind of put me in a cleft stick because by that I shouldn't let my mother see the girls again, but if I do that I only prove her right and upset my daughter.
What I really am looking for is some advice on what other parents feel is a decent age for a child to go out on their own? My parents would have kept me chained up in the house until I got married off if they could have so I don't really have a clear view of what is too young? Are my parents right is 9/10 too young?