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Help - parental advice

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Parenting dilemma, daughter wants to 'play out' i.e. be able to go down to the park with her friends that are allowed. Its in the village as such, maybe 10 mins walk away. She's 9 at the mo.

She went out with a friend last night to walk the dog, albeit with the friends childminder. Whilst out she decided to hatch a plan to ask for further freedom and put Mum on the spot on the doorstep upon return. It was sly but hey, that's what kids do. As I knew, Mum poo-pooed her cunning plan as she knows as well as i do that sadly daughter has next to zero roadsense. Despite trying to drum it in, half the time she seems oblivious to the world around her.

On the one hand i want to give her some freedom, (next year at school they are actively encouraged to walk to school themselves, to prepare for secondary school) she got most tearful at "feeling left out" of what the other girls can do.

On the other hand, shes my little girl, means the absolute world and i dont want to let her out of my sight to just 'go down the park'. We've tried to distract from this playing out with all manner of other activities and pastimes, which she does do, but i fear there's going to come a time where its going to have a reverse effect and she'll not want to do stuff if it means she cant go meet her friends on her own.

What to do?

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My kids are a fair bit younger than yours so I've not had this bridge to cross yet. 

 

But I do see some of the kids in the road I live in that run about (its a cul-de-sac) and some parents are always out with them others leave them to it.

 

When I was young I was walking too and from school way before the final years of school and personally I don't think society has change or we have more to worry about now than then. She is growing up and its probably better that she has a little freedom now her resenting her lack of freedom.

 

She might also learn more from walking with her friends than being brain off crossing roads with her parents. I keep telling my 4 year old that you only get crossing the road wrong once and thats it, its slowly sinking in and he always stops at roads when he goes ahead. 

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I'd echo CarMad almost exactly, we also live in a quiet Cul-De-Sac, and while my kids are also currently too young, I don't think I'd have a problem at 9 years old, that's easy to say when you aren't faced with the question though.

I'd probably say yes, but try and follow her without being spotted the first few times, just to make sure.

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I would walk to the park with her a few times, and the whole time keep talking about awareness etc - once you're happy that she's got it, let her go on her own and follow at a safe distance, letting her know that you will be.  Eventually, when you're comfortable (as you can be) with it, let her go on her own.

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I'd say 9 was a bit young to go on her own. I'd want to still see her from the house.

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Kids work well with dilemmas in my experience. Give her two choices. Choice one is she stays in. Choice two is that she goes out but you have to be able to see her at all times. Leave it at that and let her decide. I wouldn't let my kids out of my sight at 9, unless an adult present I trusted. Too many nasty things and people out there.

Edited by drpellypo

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Luke and DP, that's exactly where i feel i am right now. Its not just the lack of road sense, its the unforseen that scares the shit out of me. It would take literally seconds to bundle them into a car and that could be it. :( I wish i didnt think like this sometimes.

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I wish our society meant you didn't have to.

She's too young, although you are in a village which you might think is safer- it isn't you get day trip nonses.

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Arch - absolutely nothing wrong with being protective of your kids. Better safe than sorry most definitely applies here!!

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Our youngest is 12 - and I have only just started to let her go to a park that is about 10 minutes away on her bike, but only with friends.

 

She has been allowed to cycle or play around the path that circles our road for about 2 years with her friends, and if she has asked to go around it on her bike on her own I have always known when.

 

At 9, I'd have freaked out.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't allow it with friends of course, but I know I wouldn't have done.  I'm just too worried about a number of things:

 

1.  Roads

2.  The way girls behave when they're together, getting hyper and losing road and other senses

3.  Other kids

4.  Evil feckers who take kids

 

Are they all valid?  No, of course not.

 

Am I overly protective?  Yes, definitely.

 

Do I care if I'm over protective?  Nope, i couldn't give a flying shit.

Edited by NewNiceMrMe
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She'll probably be fine, and she won't fully develop awareness skills until she needs to.

But 9 is a bit young. Best work towards it via release to places you can see, first.

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Have to agree with many of that above.

 

9 is too young.  Especially with a 10 minute walk to park.  It's not a local one where it is likely a local parent will be either.

 

With the middle daughter, she didn't seem to have much road sense at all at that age.  But once she started going to secondary/upper school at 11, things changed and she is much better now.  Goes to town, bus to school and freinds, meets friends, walks about town etc.  I have no worries, plus she has a mobile on contract so no issues with 'credit'.

 

Just today, I collected my youngest from school as I was off, and walked back to my place from her school.  She was still holding my hand, but as we crossed the roads I noticed she was looking both ways, as I have always, always talked to her about crossing roads. 

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I'm just going through this now, and I've agreed at the moment for my two to walk to and from school together - they are 9 and 10 and school is a 20 min walk.  This I feel is giving them a little freedom to 'do their own thing' - I've given them one route they must use, but allowed them to go to the shop on the way, get bread and milk and other 'important tasks'.  I will say though that this is a joint effort - its both or none, but I'm hoping this will given them a bit more experience on the roadside for when the park question arises.

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You is mean SK - bread and milk for lunch!  Those poor girls.  :roflmao:

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The ridiculous thing is that we (us Tyresmokers) all played out and walked to and from school.  I used to always be off exploring in my Kettler pedal car!  Very sad state of affairs that the country we live in has changed so much and so fast.

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Very sad state of affairs that the country we live in has changed so much and so fast.

It hasn't, the proliferation of media has just made us all paranoid, there are no more nonces or murderers about today than there were back then (less if crime figures are to be believed), we just hear about things that do happen relentlessly these days, and in much more detail.

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It hasn't, the proliferation of media has just made us all paranoid, there are no more nonces or murderers about today than there were back then (less if crime figures are to be believed), we just hear about things that do happen relentlessly these days, and in much more detail.

Exactly, if anything its safer not worse, but we have second by second reports by the media that this isn't the case and the constant ringing in our ears and a final thought of the what if, the worse happened. 

 

We are sleep walking into a generation that can't think for themselves if we aren't careful. We learn by taking risks and so do our kids. 

 

Anyway, I'm off to re-wrap the kids in more cotton wool. (#double standards) :coffee:

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Children do stupid things, they always have and always will.

There is a point in the development of kids that reduces the risk levels for events, and only the parents know that point and when to say yes and no.

When ours were sub 10 y.o. It wasn't just about being scared of pervs or elder kids causing grief, it was also the potential for accidental self harm such as climbing and falling, fighting, attempting an impossible feat, not paying attention to roads, bikes, cycles, cars, vans, buses etc.

The break point for us was the final primary school year when both were allowed to walk to school with friends. Then it was the play area in the park at the bottom of the road.

Am I thinking that like us, most parents will or have let the kids have freedom to and from school the minute they hit senior or comp education (11+)?

Edited by Calm Chris

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Little update. :) 

 

Thanks to a lovely gang of pikeys moving in a little while ago, playing out went out the window and it's not been asked for since. She was shit scared of them 'taking her' even had nightmares about it bless her, especially after they burgled all the local shops and cafe and chippy around the corner. :rolleyes:  

 

She walks to school with her friends now every morning and, with only one silly incident where she got found out and knew she'd been daft, all is going well there. 

 

Next year still freaks me out at the thought of having to take a public bus (school contract with bus company was cancelled..) to get to secondary school and back. Guess we'll deal with it when we get there.  :unsure:

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Yes, Secondary or the latter years of middle school and early upper school years are when you do have to let them go.

 

It does help and make them street wise.

 

This happened to Daughter number 2, she didn't seem to street wise until she had to walk and now walk/bus to her secondary school.  +++

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Well they say when you land in NZ that you should set your watch back 35 years and in this respect its true.  Kids here have lots more freedom than the UK. They play out anywhere, call on friends, go to and from school by themselves etc... Just like it used to be... The Uk has been repeatedly shocked in to over protection of kids (and I am not saying that is not justified)... but when you contrast to NZ you see it is rather over the top and kids are way better off with more freedom.... But it takes everyone to agree on that and you'd probably be accused of neglect in some parts of the Uk for giving the type of freedom we enjoyed as kids...

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