Children How old is old enough . . .

Wolfie

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to bike 6/10 of a mile to the park, crossing a residential not very busy street, alone?
 

Lord Snot

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Depends on the kid's maturity level. Some kids could deal with that fine at 10, but there are 14 year olds I wouldn't trust to not get into trouble on the way.
 
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Forster

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Depends on the kid's maturity level. Some kids could deal with that fine at 10, but there are 14 year olds I wouldn't trust to not get into trouble on the way.

I walked/rode my bike farther than that to go to my friends house when I was 7.
 

yakherder

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Depends on the place as much as the kid. I made grocery store trips, fixed dinner, and hunted on occasion alone by the time I was 10, but I had a non standard childhood given the modern norms. If I'd had to wait much longer than that to ride my bike to a park alone it would have driven me insane for sure. But every childhood takes place under a different context, so I guess it really depends.
 

Mel

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It really does depend on the kid, and the area. At 11, I'd ride my bike for about 3 miles to the nearest convenience store (Ha, talk about convenient!), and at 13 I was riding to a town that would take 25 minutes to drive to (about 2.5 hours on bike if I recall). That was also a different time.

I think some kids are ready at earlier ages than I was, and others wouldn't be until they were a little older.

Less than a mile to a park? Around 8 maybe? A lot also depends on how alert and aware the kid is of their surroundings.
 
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Wolfie

Wolfie

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My nephew just turned 7 and yesterday was his first time. I don't think he's old enough but not my say. He didn't stay long because he got scared. Probably because I had yelled after him on his way, "remember what I told you about strangers!" :p There are also a lot of dogs allowed to run loose in the neighborhood which I kinda forgot about at the moment I saw him. I haven't walked in that neighborhood for some time. So next time I see him I have to impart all my knowledge about dealing with dogs you don't know. :p

Seriously I know you shouldn't make a kid paranoid but all I could think of was the kids you hear about that made their first trip to school or the playground alone and wound up dead. Even though it's rare it happens. I think 9 or 10 is a better age. My mom was overprotective and you don't want to be that way either. I think I was probably 13 before I was allowed to do ANYTHING on my own. That sucked.
 

thefadedone

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I think 7 is too young, but then again I would be a very overprotective parent and freak out about every little thing (which is one of the bizillion reasons why I never want to be parent). :p
 
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mlp

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By the time I was eight or nine I was riding my bike to the old quarry two miles away and spending the day there by myself. Of course, I had all kinds of hiding places around the farm for when I wanted to be alone from age five on - I'd sometimes hide out for hours without the rest of the family knowing where I had gotten to.

It really does depend on the kid and the place. I think there are studies out there to the effect that kids aren't more at risk than they used to be - we just think so, because of how widely stories are now disseminated.
 

Jocelyn1

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I say it depends on the kid and where they live. Where I live, some parents will let their kids go out with friends to the park at 9 or 10, since it's a pretty safe area.

For cities, I say that you should at least be a teenager to go out alone, with a phone to contact somebody if something goes wrong.
 

KLS52

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My son was ten and that was 20 years ago.
 

SummerRain

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I say it depends on the kid and where they live. Where I live, some parents will let their kids go out with friends to the park at 9 or 10, since it's a pretty safe area.

For cities, I say that you should at least be a teenager to go out alone, with a phone to contact somebody if something goes wrong.

Yeah I'd agree with this. Some places I wouldn't feel confident walking around on my own alone now (at 20), and some places I'd feel happy to let my kid about at a young age.

Personally my parents wouldn't have let me do that untill I was about 12 at least. But then, to be fair, I had no need to - my parents give me lifts everywhere, or I walked with friends. My parents were overprotective in that respect compared to most my friends though, and I'd say most of my friends would have been able to at about 9 or 10. We lived in a small, fairly safe town.
 

KLS52

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I shudder when I think of what was acceptable when I had my kids in the late 1970's. People would walk downtown and go into a store, leaving their sleeping baby in the carriage outside or leave the baby sleeping in the carriage in their yard. My daughter (age 5) walked alone for the last 1/4 mile to Kindergarten class. I could go on...:eek:
 

Forster

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I shudder when I think of what was acceptable when I had my kids in the late 1970's. People would walk downtown and go into a store, leaving their sleeping baby in the carriage outside or leave the baby sleeping in the carriage in their yard. My daughter (age 5) walked alone for the last 1/4 mile to Kindergarten class. I could go on...:eek:

True but are there really any more child abductions (as a percentage) or whatever now than there were then? I don't think so (but don't know) and what damage are we doing to kids by being overly protective. Teach them how to look after themselves, never get into a strangers car etc, and how to find help if needed, how to cross streets, how to be aware... teach them the skills they need to be independent. I don't want nor do I want my kids living life afraid of everything and afraid to try things and being overly cautious. Risk is a part of life and as long as the potential rewards outweigh said risks go for it.

Honestly I think a huge part of the problems is the reporting, fear sells and I think too much weight is given to the real risks out there.
 

Lord Snot

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In terms of being killed, sexually molested or harmed, we'd do much better to watch who we're letting our children spend time with that when and where they're walking around alone. But for stuff like crossing busy roads or walking through neighbourhoods with a lot of gun crime, there's a lot more merit to restricting their movements until they can more fully understand the risks and how to be as safe as possible.
 

Forster

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In terms of being killed, sexually molested or harmed, we'd do much better to watch who we're letting our children spend time with that when and where they're walking around alone. But for stuff like crossing busy roads or walking through neighbourhoods with a lot of gun crime, there's a lot more merit to restricting their movements until they can more fully understand the risks and how to be as safe as possible.

Vast majority of people don't live in neighborhoods with lots of gun crime though, guns sure, but crime nah. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if every house in our neighborhood had at least one firearm on premise. Busy roads though, yeah, it's all relevant when I say busy road I mean a road that has cars on it regularly (like every few minutes or so) which is pretty tame compared some of the busy roads I've seen in cities. I wouldn't let my 7 year old cross some of them w/o supervision.
 
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Digger

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Times change so much... when I was growing up my parents never really thought about things like that. If I missed the school bus as a child I had to hitchhike... even though there was that scary man in the van that smelled bad and always seemed to be too nice. By the way... mom... thanks a bunch! :p
 
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