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Would you be comfortable with this? - Page 3

post #41 of 120

This is a curious thread to me because I understand the cultural implications.  I've lived in Europe quite a bit (including southern Germany, which, no offense to the Swiss, is actually pretty similar, culturally) and I'd probably let dd do this if we were still living there.  And I lean toward the *over-protective* side, so take that in to account. 

 

In the US, though - no way, no how.  Even at 9, socially savvy, and with great common sense... I still wouldn't do this in the US.  It's a completely different animal we're talking here.  In Switzerland (in which I've spent a fair amount of time), and with the circumstances, I think I would have been comfortable with MY dd doing this at 6 years of age.

 

The interesting thing is that in Europe (and well, around the world, actually), a lot of kids have to take public transportation just to get to school.  I often saw young children (usually with a friend, not often alone, though) in their little uniforms, on their way to school on the S-Bahn in Munich.  I don't think they were 6, but definitely they were 8 or 9.

post #42 of 120



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by acdmama View Post

6 was not an abritrary number selected by me, it is the age of the child in question.  I am disturbed by the attitude that "if your child wants to" should be the deciding factor.  If your kid wants to go out on a boat without a life jacket, is that okay?  Even good swimmers can panic in open water.  Kids need boundaries and the adults resposible for them need to make tough decisions sometimes.  EVERY 6 year old (9 year old, 12 year old) has SOME level of immaturity and does NOT have the decision making skills of an adult.  That's why they don't move out and get their own apartments at those ages.

There is a huge amount of difference between the decision making ability required to sit for 3 minutes on a train, and that needed to live independently, so that's not a valid comparison.
 

 

post #43 of 120

My DD will be six next month, and she could probably handle it.  I would definitely talk to the conductor and let him know what was happening.  He would probably make sure that she got off at the next stop, in that case, and assume some responsibility for her safety.  And honestly, this will probably open a can of worms, but I would bet that he'd consider it part of his job to do so.  Much like if your child goes on a plane trip solo, which could also happen at this age.

 

I'm not sure I would do it, though, to be honest.  I don't have huge issues with it, but I do know that sometimes DD will beg me to stay in the car while I run an errand, and when I come back out (a minute later) she will be in tears because she changed her mind.  I wouldn't want that to happen on the train, you know?  She's pretty mature but sometimes she lets you see just how little she actually is.

 

The other reason why I'm not sure that I would let her ride the train one stop at this age is that there just doesn't seem to be any reason for it other than curiousity?  And I think it would inconvenience the conductor a bit.  How about, riding the train together but sitting apart?  So she can drink her coffee in peace? wink1.gif

post #44 of 120

 

  • Quote:
Originally Posted by acdmama View Post

6 was not an abritrary number selected by me, it is the age of the child in question.  I am disturbed by the attitude that "if your child wants to" should be the deciding factor.  If your kid wants to go out on a boat without a life jacket, is that okay?  Even good swimmers can panic in open water.  Kids need boundaries and the adults resposible for them need to make tough decisions sometimes.  EVERY 6 year old (9 year old, 12 year old) has SOME level of immaturity and does NOT have the decision making skills of an adult.  That's why they don't move out and get their own apartments at those ages.

 


  • But you won't say WHY?  You said 6 year old period.  Why not a 6 year old?  What is your reasoning?  What could happen to a mature and ready 6 year old that wouldn't happen to an immature 7 year old? An eight your old?
  • Are you really comparing a 3 minute train ride with a parent on each end to living independently? shake.gif

 

Did you read my posts? Some of the other posts? It is not about sending a child just because they "want to".  We are talking about a child who wants to and a parent who is evaluating their readiness.  Clearly this is a concerned parent who is weighing the risks.involved with the benefits (confidence, empowerment, etc.  

 

Quote: this is what I wrote:

We are not talking about sending a child who isn't it ready and has not shown signs that she is ready.

 

We are talking about a 3 minute train ride where her mom puts her on the train and her father picks her up.  This same child has been riding this train already, this train is regular part of her life.  This not a parent forcing her child off to ride a strange train in a strange town alone.

 

Who knows? The child themselves may change their mind once given the option and the scenario is laid out for them. My 9 year old is desperate to be left alone when my husband and I go for walk in the park behind our house or when I run to the grocery.  He has been begging since he was 7. However every time I walk him thru the "readiness" test he himself changes his mind and admits he is not ready and I agree that he is not.   But I do I take him seriously each time he asks. I listen to why he wants to, I acknowledge his growing maturity, We discuss the "what ifs". One of these times he is going to know he is ready and so will I. At that time we will do a tiny test run (like the 3 minute train ride) and then go from there building up the time alone. I want *him* to feel confident and secure as much as I want to feel confident and secure.

post #45 of 120
Yeah, sure. I would. In the circumstance you described, absolutely, and it wouldn't worry me a bit. I have a six year old, and I don't agree that she's too young to be unsupervised. She spends quite a bit of time roaming the neighborhood, unsupervised, and I am very confident that she is safe. She walks to her school bus stop every morning, and walks home, too. She can also be left alone in the house, as long as I am no further away than maybe in the neighbor's yard. Independence is something a kid needs practice with-- opportunities to learn, and make mistakes in relatively safe circumstances. It doesn't just appear suddenly when a child arrives at a certain approved age. And I think the situation you describe is a very safe opportunity to experience some independence in a controlled situation.
post #46 of 120

I'm from Chicago and public trasnportation is also a big part of life there but I cant remember riding alone until about 12. In your situation it's very unlikely that somthing would happen to her but if somthing did you know you would never forgive yourself. idk what i would but consider that after this one time she might want to do it again and again without these special percausions. Then what will you do?? If you do go through with it mabey hav someone jump on the train with but out of sight like in the car behind just to be safe. If not help her find other, safer ways to explore her independance

post #47 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post

Her 6th birthday is in a few days and I was thinking about her request again and I think I have come up with a solution I am comfortable with. 

 

 



However you decide to celebrate, I hope your daughter has a GREAT birthday!

 

post #48 of 120

Absolutely.  I think it sounds like a fine idea.

post #49 of 120

Wow! Hot topic! Actually kind of freaked me out. Six is no where even closely, remotely, under any circumstances an acceptable age in my very strong opinion! In the US, there are laws about how old your child has to be to be left alone at home let alone on a public transportation line. Where I live, it is 8 years old at home for up to three hours. I would not personally do this with my children but to think of them in a public situation like a train?? No way ever in a million years. Six may sound arbitrary but laws in the US don't much care for what we think our kids are capable of until they are older. If it were to happen here, CPS could surely get involved. Granted, I am sure that there are safer places in the world than we have here (I actually got lost once in Switzerland, hopped on a train and figured it out with the help of a friendly adult, when I was 11!) but if she wants to do it just to say she did, I say why bother. Would you really let her do it as a common occurrence? If it is safer in Switzerland, that is great. I am curious why American mothers are shocked that anyone would be opposed to it when it is not even legal here?? Teach her a new skill like knitting or dialing a phone if she needs to be independent.

post #50 of 120

i haven't read all the replies. but have you checked with the train company? in the U.S. i believe they have rules regarding when a child is old enough to ride the train themselves. if so, this would be my first reply to the child's request.


Edited by ElliesMomma - 5/28/11 at 10:18pm
post #51 of 120

oh, and i thought of another reason to NOT do this without having someone ON the train know she is unaccompanied -- what if there is a significant delay? problems on the track, another train hits a pedestrian, etc. for that normally 3 minute train ride, she could wind up sitting alone on that train for HOURS. it can happen.

 


Edited by ElliesMomma - 5/28/11 at 10:19pm
post #52 of 120

Velochic -

 

What is it about the US that makes you say "no" here when you might say "yes" there? Is it because most kids here have less experience using public transport? Or because our public transport in many places tends to be used by sketchier people? Is it the public transport part that would make you say no, or the independence part?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

 

In the US, though - no way, no how.  Even at 9, socially savvy, and with great common sense... I still wouldn't do this in the US.  It's a completely different animal we're talking here.  In Switzerland (in which I've spent a fair amount of time), and with the circumstances, I think I would have been comfortable with MY dd doing this at 6 years of age.

 

 

post #53 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by acdmama View Post

6 was not an abritrary number selected by me, it is the age of the child in question.  I am disturbed by the attitude that "if your child wants to" should be the deciding factor.  If your kid wants to go out on a boat without a life jacket, is that okay?  Even good swimmers can panic in open water.  Kids need boundaries and the adults resposible for them need to make tough decisions sometimes.  EVERY 6 year old (9 year old, 12 year old) has SOME level of immaturity and does NOT have the decision making skills of an adult.  That's why they don't move out and get their own apartments at those ages.



 


I don't think this is a fair comparison, though. Learning to ride a train by one's self is a life skill. Riding on a boat without a life preserver is not.

post #54 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post

Velochic -

 

What is it about the US that makes you say "no" here when you might say "yes" there? Is it because most kids here have less experience using public transport? Or because our public transport in many places tends to be used by sketchier people? Is it the public transport part that would make you say no, or the independence part?

 

 

 


I can speak for myself-- for me, it's neither. It's the general level of acceptance in the society for children being alone in public. My biggest concern would be whether the people around the child are likely to be disapproving and contact the authorities.

I don't believe the child would be more safe in Switzerland; I would put my child on a train in a similar situation, here, and feel perfectly safe about it (as described by the OP-- a few minutes on the train, with a parent at each station.) Rather, I think that here in the US we are more likely to wind up in trouble with family services authorities.
post #55 of 120

Nope, I wouldn't feel comfortable with this.  At minimum, I would send an adult friend of mine to watch her like a hawk (you don't have to tell your DD about that plan).  I understand it is only a 3 minute ride.  I also understand that it could take less than 3 minutes for a monster to do something horrible.

post #56 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

I can speak for myself-- for me, it's neither. It's the general level of acceptance in the society for children being alone in public. My biggest concern would be whether the people around the child are likely to be disapproving and contact the authorities.

I don't believe the child would be more safe in Switzerland; I would put my child on a train in a similar situation, here, and feel perfectly safe about it (as described by the OP-- a few minutes on the train, with a parent at each station.) Rather, I think that here in the US we are more likely to wind up in trouble with family services authorities.


 I can totally see that, Llyra. For me, I hesitate letting DS do certain things here that I'm pretty confident he could do himself because a) we live in the suburbs, and our neighborhood is like a ghost town. If he were to get into trouble, heaven forbid, it is unlikely anyone would be around to see/help, and b) if someone were around to see, I'm not confident an adult would go over to check on him because people are so hands off or scared or whatever about talking to kids they don't know here. Like you said, they'd be more likely to go in and call CPS than actually help.

 

That said, I still give my son opportunities to assert his independence, because I think it is important.

post #57 of 120

Dear OP, 

 

Is it your DD's bday yet?  Have you decided what to do?  

 

I sense that you're not 100% comfortable eventhough it's something that's acceptable in Switzerland?  Do you have any particular concerns in mind?

 

 

 

post #58 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post

It doesn't sound like a good idea to me, and frankly, I don't see the point. 


I agree. Her safety is way more important than independence at this age.
post #59 of 120

I'd be comfortable with my 5 year old doing that (we are in Canada) my only problem is that it is not the norm here and the police would probably come. I love finding ways that he can be independent and feel comfortable on his own. 

post #60 of 120

I think you need to be 8 to ride the train by yourself here (and by train I mean skytrain/subway)

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