Walking to school....

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My husband has made it clear that he expects me to allow my two youngest daughters to walk to and from school this year. One is 10, but a very small 10, the other will be 7 in a month. It is two blocks, but not a good neighborhood. We live in a small town, though, so a bad neighborhood here is better than a good place in most cities! Anyway, I don't want them to walk by themselves. I stay at home, I still have to drive my high schoolers(too far too walk) and it causes me no problems or really any extra work. His reasons are independance, and he says my 10 yr old can handle things. She has been taught safety and self-defense, but she only weighs 52lbs! It is NOT the kids I don't trust! My husband points out that she may stay small, and then what, will I drive her to classes then? (my response was no, I'll carry her in my backpack!) So, what do ya'll think? Am I being overprotective, or is my husband pushing too soon?

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Starfish - posted on 08/23/2011

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Normally I'm gung-ho about giving children independence, but walking to school is one thing I'm with you on. Boys, girls, big, small, walking to school is ducks in a barrel for someone looking to harm them. Even disregarding the potential hazards of someone intentionally hurting them, there's the risk of accidents.

No, there are many ways to show a child to be independent. I say keep on driving them - at least for the next 2 or 3 years.

Alison - posted on 08/31/2011

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Walking them to school at 7 and 10 isn't going to squash their independence. In high school, my mom would have me call her every time I switched locations hanging out with my friends. So we're at friend A's house and decide to go to friend B's house--I have to call my mom. I still managed to go to college on my own and move to a different state with my hubby and a brand new baby. I was walking to school at a young age with a sister 4 yrs older than me, but there were a lot of other kids walking those same 2 blocks because the school was also the bus stop for the junior high and high school. There's no way you can completely protect your kids, but how they get to school is something you can control. :O) It sounds like you're teaching your daughters well--when they do need to fly the coop, you can know you've protected them the best you can and given them the tools to protect themselves as well as or better than an average woman.

[deleted account]

I would let my child walk in my neighborhood with a group of friends. But I know nothing about where you live, so I can't say what I would do if I were you. Two blocks though...could you possibly walk halfway with them and watch them go the rest of the way?

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Heather - posted on 12/09/2011

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I wouldnt its your children and who cares if you are a lil over protective! I am certainly over mine. I even annoyingly called the school and got a bus stop in front of my house. Believe me it wasnt easy at one point the SUPERINDENT told me that she could walk to the closes bus stop which is 3 blocks away and on a busy highway!!!!! She is 5!! (and I couldnt walk with her because I babysit and dont have a car big enought this was also said to him) That set fire under my branch and he soon realized I was the wrong mom to say that to.

Sarah - posted on 12/07/2011

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I think 10,7 WAY to young maybe 12 and with a group with atleast 5 kids! I think your husband is pushing it and if that were my husband no no. lol I mean they are your kids to he doesn't need to be making all the decisiouns LOL. ( No disrespectfulness intended )

Hope this helps:)

Deb - posted on 11/28/2011

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If you are taking your otheres to high school anyway then I don't see what the problem is with dropping the oother two off at school.

[deleted account]

I walked to school with my little brother at that age. I was 11 and my brother was 8. It was four blocks from my house. I don't see where there is a problem with letting them walk. Especially sense it is only two blocks away. That being said I deff understand why your feeling that way.

Donna - posted on 09/11/2011

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I think your husband has a point, and so do you. If you are uncomfortable with your kids walking to school maybe you should sit them down and explain stranger danger and all that stuff. We too live a block away from our school but my daughters are in kindergarten and feel they are way too young and immature to walk to school on their own yet

[deleted account]

I think it totally depends on where you live. Over here there are kids that walk to and from school starting in K... depending on where they live, etc....

MY kids never have, but we've always lived out of district.

Jennifer - posted on 09/08/2011

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My oldest 9 walks herself to her bus stop about a 1/2 mile away, she is also a small girl for her age but my husband and I agree we have to treat her by her age not her size. (that is something we have to fight with both of our familys about for both our girls.) There are rules thou and I have been told by other parents I am paranoid and take things to far. Her bus is so far away bc we oppted to put our kids into better schools than the one that is set for our area and the distric is providing transportation. She has a cell pone that she talks to me on while walking to and from the bus with, it is turned off and tucked into her purse during school. With our youngest, 6 yr old, I still take her to her bus (she gets picked up close but not where I can see it.) A lot depends on the child our oldest is and always has been more independet and selfrelient our youngest is more clingy and less sure of herself. I think you should go with what you think is best but remeber there are also times you have to take a breath, close your eyes and let go a little. No they will not be harmed by you walking them but are you holding on to that for safty in reality or for yourself? If its for yourself then its time to let go BUT if you are truly concerned about thier safty then you should keep taking them to school. I freeked out before school started and I found out how far apart the girls stops were but now a few weeks into school its okay.

Becky - posted on 09/05/2011

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My daughter started walking to school last year on her own (she was 9 then). Then again, it's 3 blocks away, and there are crossing guards. We live across from a middle school & her school is so close, there are groups of kids walking every which way in our neighborhood! She often walks with other kids from our street, or meets up with friends a block away.



Then again, we live in a pretty good neighborhood. I can't say that I know everyone, but everyone that we have meet in the area are great people & they all watch out for the kids, doesn't matter if it's their kids or someone else's. There are lots of Mom's & Dad's walking kids of various ages to the same school at the same time my daughter walks - all & all the risk of anything happening to my daughter on her way to & from school is very small.



If our neighborhood was was not a good one, then I would second guess allowing her to walk on her own. As it is, it's no trouble for me to drop her off because it's on my way to work anyway. I actually still drop her off if the weather is to cold or raining. But she likes to walk if it's nice out, and the opportunity to walk motivates her to get ready more quickly in the morning.

Jodi - posted on 08/25/2011

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My son was walking home from school at 10, and if he'd had a 7 year old younger sibling, I would have been ok with it. BUT we live in a relatively safe school community. I know shit can happen anywhere, but in all my years of living here, nothing has ever happened, so the risks are minute. My son is now in high school and catches the bus because it is too far to walk. But he also catches the local bus to other places too. My 6 1/2 year old, however, is still way to young and small to walk to school and home. If I lived just up the road, I'd be okay with it, but it's a bit of a hike, and too many roads to cross for her.



Now having said that, you say you don't live in a good area, and you know your children best, your gut is telling you no......do a deal with your hubby that you are not comfortable with it right now, but you will be willing to review how you fell about it again in 12 months, or something like that......and in the meantime, start letting them have a little independence, like if you have a nearby park (not too far), let them go on their own, or just little baby steps.

Rosie - posted on 08/22/2011

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i think 10 is old enough, not so sure about 7 though...the neighborhood thing, i'd have to obviously know personally how it is, and since YOU do know it, i'm more inclined to think you should go with your gut. especially since it's not an inconvienance in anyway. they are going to have to learn some independence at some point though.

Nikki - posted on 08/21/2011

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Hell no, your gut instinct is obviously telling you no so don't let them.

Jenn - posted on 08/21/2011

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No. As soon as you said your neighborhood was not a good one, my answer was a quick NO! Ten is very young and to expect her to tend to a 7 year old sister as well? No way. Your daughters can and will gain independence in other ways and in due time. If you are able to drive them to school, then I strongly encourage you to. I would not allow my daughters to ever walk to school at such young ages in a good neighborhood, much less a bad.

Mary Renee - posted on 08/18/2011

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I think it 10 and 7 is TOO young! And I was a latch key kid from 11-17, but I think there is a big difference.

When I was 11 (and started middle school, 6th grade) I started walking about 3/4 a mile to school with a GROUP of friends (about 4 of us) We never walked alone, we always walked together. Also, all of our homes were less than a block from the "main drag" so that we were on a busy well-trafficed street (meaning it was less likely that someone would grab us or something because there were always other people around) In my opinion, a busy street is a lot safer than a rural road somewhere.

There was another girl, I remember, whose parents didn't want to let her walk by herself (she was also 11) and her mom wanted to walk WITH us. Of corse, starting middle school, we did NOT want to walk with the girl whose mom insisted on walking with her. As a result the poor girl didn't really have the same bond or friends.

All that said though, I had a little sister who was 9 at the time and she did NOT walk to school. I started to walk to school at 11, but she continued to ride the bus because 9 is elementary school and still too young.

Here is a suggestion. How about you continue to walk your little girls to school (if you're the one who does it I don't know why your husband even has an opinion) and towards the end of the year, if your 10 year old finds a group of girls that walk together, you start to allow the 10 year old to walk with her friends, while you continue to walk with the 7 year old? That what I would do.

Once I did start walking with my friends, it taught me responsibility and independence. Now I was the one responsible for getting to school on time and I didn't want to make my FRIENDS late. I'd say it was a good experience, but I don't think it needs to be rushed till middle school.

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