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Is it so wrong to let my kids walk to school?!

Answered 1 month ago

I have 3 children between the ages of 6 and 11, and we live a kilometre away from the school. I realise to some people that may seem like a long way, but we regularly hike longer than that as a family, so I'm confident the distance isn't an issue for them. We live in a nice suburb, where everybody knows everybody. This year I returned to work, and thankfully I can work from home. Although I still have strict deadlines to meet. So some mornings (since the start of the year it's been around 10 times) I let my children walk to school on their own. My eldest has a phone to call me, and I have friends check on them as they pass their houses, just to be safe. We don't have a car at the moment, otherwise I'd just take the 5 minutes and drive them.
Usually I'm confident in my parenting decisions. But there's one woman who just keeps commenting negatively about letting my kids go to school alone. Honestly, I don't really like this woman anyway, but everytime she talks to me lately she brings it up. I usually try to avoid her, but lately she seems to be everywhere I am, and I'm too polite to ignore her.
Am I completely insane to allow my children this? Most days we enjoy walking together, but every now and then there's work that needs immediate attention that I can't do en route. Is it so horrible to let my kids walk?
My husband says we're fine, and the children are learning independence. But I'd appreciate your insight into this.
I've since scaled back my work, and am now walking them everyday again. But was it wrong to allow it in the first place??

  • You monster, how dare you let your kids walk

    24%
  • It's fine, let them walk if necessary

    71%
  • Some other third thing

    6%

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Answers

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ANSWER
1 month ago
Maybe that one woman is concerned for your child’s safety. Has had some kind of experience with pedos either personally or someone she knows.
There’s sick people out there regardless if it’s obvious, why risk these terrible experiences for your kids?
Maybe ask said woman if she’s able to run them to school on days you are busy, let her know you have no car. She sounds like she would possibly call the police.
You sound like you know it’s wrong, you’re looking for justification.
Putting the responsibility of a 6 year old on an 11 year old is unfair! The most an 11 year would do is hopefully get a car description if some sick pedo came along.

Replies

REPLY
1 month ago
Being Dutch this viewpoint is so bizarre to me.

REPLY
1 month ago
I lived in Amstelveen just out of Amsterdam for almost 10 years. Year the Dutch are definitely more relaxed when it comes to allowing their kids to walk to and from school etc.
It doesn’t make it okay though.
The community there was definitely more raise a village.

ANSWER
1 month ago
My son walked about 600 meter to school in year 2.
And him and his sister walked from her being in year 1.

We then moved 3km away when they were year 5 and 3 and they rode their bikes.

ANSWER
2 months ago
Wow if that's bad I'm just a down right irresponsible parent then!! My 12 and 14 year olds occasionally bike to school, daughter is about 3km son 5ish km. They cross the main road at the traffic lights. And OMG sometimes even in the rain!!

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REPLY
2 months ago
Thank you so much for your reply. It's really reassuring to know I'm not a complete monster to have made my kids walk some days.
I think I need to tell this woman to fuck off.

REPLY
1 month ago
Your kids are 12 & over! It’s legal

REPLY
1 month ago
Theyve been doing it for years!
They'd walk/bike/scooter together when they were at primary school (so one in Yr 3 other in Yr 6) then alone when my son went to a new school at Yr 7. Its not illegal for kids to walk to school before 12 where I live....... 🤦‍♀️

REPLY
1 month ago
Wondering where you live?

REPLY
1 month ago
New Zealand

ANSWER
2 months ago
Totally fine!!
Exact same position here. My girls are 11&8 and walk to and from school when I'm working. Maybe just over 1km. No main roads, 11 year old has a mobile phone. I don't see an issue with it at all.

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REPLY
2 months ago
Thank you! I appreciate your reply. I was starting to feel like a monster for it. This woman's a real piece of work. I've been polite with her until now. But I just spent my weekend stressing about this. I guess it's time to be more direct with her.

REPLY
1 month ago
Mmmm my bet is she’ll be contacting the police/child safety

ANSWER
1 month ago
It depends on your kids & the route. I drive mine & play dodgems all the way as kids are walking / biking / doing scooter tricks all over the roads, sitting in gutters on corners waiting for mates & cross roads without looking. Recently, one rode down a steep street that connects to the busy school traffic road I was on & straight across in front of me at breakneck speed without looking. I saw movement so braked, hard. Just missed him. He didn't even flinch when I blasted him (to frighten him into not doing again) & if someone had been behind me they'd have hit me. His parents will never know he nearly had a serious accident & probably think he's safe.

So, moral is, I personally think most primary kids are not responsible enough to walk or understand consequences as they get distracted. I don't judge because it's so commen but I think most parents would rethink if they saw the near misses their kids had. All parents who use the route seem to use heightened awareness but there's a lot of idiots who use those roads as well. It's just not worth the risk for me.

ANSWER
1 month ago
Do you realise it’s not even legal to let your kids walk to school unsupervised under 12yrs of age?

I also call BS on friends checking on the en route!

ANSWER
2 months ago
Totally fine as long as they are educated about strangers and traffic. You would be amazed at how many near misses there are around schools.

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REPLY
2 months ago
Thanks for your reply. They're very well versed in pedestrian safety, and I do try to teach them stranger danger.

ANSWER
2 months ago
Totally fine. It’s not that far, as long as they all stay together and know basic safety rules (don’t talk to strangers, watch for cars when crossing the road etc) then I see no problem with them walking to school.
We all used to do it when we were kids and we had no way of contacting our parents either so I don’t see what the big deal is.

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REPLY
2 months ago
Thank you! 🙂