What age would you allow your child to go to the mall with friends?

What age do you think kids are ready to be at the mall alone without any parental supervision?

15  Answers

4 1

It really depends on the child. Different children mature at different rates, so to give a blanket age would be foolish. I have a fourteen year old daughter who I would trust to go to the mall with friends - no problem. But I have another daughter who, if the current trend continues, will probably need to wait until she's older than that. Seems to me arbitrary age decisions are never smart with kids. It's silly to hold back a mature child simply because they haven't reached a particular number, and dangerous to allow an immature child privileges simply because they've managed to live long enough without growing up.

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3 17

I agree with you 100% I was watching a show on CNN and a reputable man, can not remember his name, that states that we have an issue of children wanting to grow up fast and then the parents holding them back. The amazing calls of parents not even letting their child get a job until they are 18 and in college, is astronomical and not good for the child. I have a child that is smothered by my ex. husband. It is horrible for her. Again, I totally agree with what you wrote.

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1 7

My eldest boy is just turning 12 and recently started secondary school. He has to catch the public bus to get there and so if he asks to stay in town after school with some friends I let him - with an end time of course! However, I'm not sure about my middle son who will be going to secondary school next year as he is less mature and less aware of the world around him - he still lives in fluffy bunny land - so I will probably not extend him the same privileges. So in short this question as stated by Jodi relies heavily on the maturity of the child - my 12 year old was so ready for some independence and I have seen a great change in him at home since we have given it to him - it also depends on where you live and how safe you think the environment is.

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32 9

It depends. I used to live in a very safe small city where there was very low crime. Now I live in a big city near the border of Mexico. I wouldn't let my kids go to the mall with friends here until they were 18, and even then I would probably go to the mall and spy on them. It's not that I don't trust my kids, it's that I don't trust the evil-doers out there.

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2,093 0

Depends on the kid, the friends, the mall, etc. I would entertain the idea around 12 or 13. Where we live kids take the subway to school when they're in grade 7. I can't imagine our kids taking the subway to school, but not being allowed to stop at the mall connected to the subway.

Our kids starting going to the corner stores on their own when they were 8 though.

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1 0

14 years old is a good age.

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1

the age they get a phone or you fully trust them

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1 0

My teenagers 13-15 years old started out by riding with me to the shopping centre where we arranged to meet at a certain time. This gave them a sense of freedom to roam around on their own while I was busy doing my shopping, close by. Before their 16th birthdays, they were allowed to walk or take public transport with a strict time limit. Enough time to browse but not enough time to hang-out for half a day.
After 16 they were working part-time and driving so it was time to let them make some of these choices. Where we are from, malls have been used by undesirables to recruit girls into prostitution, deal drugs and by groups of youth who like to shoplift. Can't protect them from everything but less exposure at a younger age means less temptation.

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15 0

13-16 is the best time. They will learn how to budget money. Make sure if they are girls they walk in groups of 5 or more. Make sure more than 3 girls in the group have cell phones and a least 2 of them can drive and all of them know their way home.

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9 26

I would definitely wait till they are in highschool. I have heard horror stories of men luring girls away (offering them nice clothes and to buy them things) and being abducted, so I am very cautious. You just can't be too careful these days. It does depend on the child though..

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6 16

My son turned 14 over the summer. Several factors played a part in allowing him to go without parental supervision. He is mature, he has never been into trouble, he has good friends whose parents have the same values as I do. He has a cell phone and can reach me at any time he feels he needs to. The most important factor is that I trust him and trust that he will make good decisions despite any peer pressure.

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5 13

I'm thinking 15/16 is good with a group. I did let my daughter walk around the mall recently with a friend on her own at age 11 but I was also at the mall and boy did she call me every 5 min to let me know exactly where they were...even when they visited the ladies room.

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29 29

No way would I let an 8 yr old go unsupervised to the mall. I don't care what CPS thinks. My daughter is 12, and I wouldn't drop her at the mall with friends unsupervised. Young teen girls are the most likely to be kidnapped in our area. Besides that, as a parent, I am responsible for her until 18. It only takes one girl in the group to decide to put the whole group in an awkward or risky situation that requires quick, clear thinking. I don't think she's ready for that. If I'm not there, and there's no one else supervising, I have no idea who is in that group once I leave or how the plans might change. I remember being in high school and being out with a friend who got straight As and came from a well-to-do family and still ending up in uncomfortable or scary situations a few times. When my daughter is closer to being old enough to have a job or drive herself to the mall, that seems to be a more appropriate time to allow her more independence to go off by herself- when she has shown she can handle more responsibility on her own.

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1 0

I still have worries letting my girls go to the mall...they are 13 and 14. I will let them go ONLY if they are with a group of friends that I can trust to stay together and not get too crazy, basically who are mature enough to do this. I usually make sure there is a group of them too, not just a couple. I tell the girls they need to have around 5 or so people in the group...though they really don't like it, they know the rules and always manage to get the amount of mature friends I require. I live in a nice area of Las Vegas, but hey, it's still Las Vegas and big crowded cities like this are a tad bit more dangerous.

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79 10

I let my 8 year old ride his bike to his mate's place, and I let him stay home with a friend or sibling of a similar age for no longer than half an hour on their own (if I'm only around the corner!) but I live in a town of only 5,000 people. In a city (Sydney or Melbourne, say - much smaller than many American cities) I'd say about 15 years depending on maturity and as long as they are with friends would be OK. I remember my mum not letting me go to the movies at 16 with my friends in a Sydney suburb, and that was pretty rough!

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3 17

CPS says that children can be left alone for two hours at a time at 8.....I would go wtih the child protective services guidelines. It also says it depends on the safety of where the child is at. I would not leave my child in D.C. for anytime alone under 13, but in general, I would say 11-12.

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15 29

Just because a child can be left alone for two hours at age 8 does not mean that its safe for them to be alone at a mall where they can't protect themselves from danger... I think CPS meant at home where you know they are safe. JMO...

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