If he is asking to do it, then let him do it. I dont see a problem with it. The only thing I would do is make sure he has a cell phone incase of emergencies.
Free rangers on? When do your kids start traveling alone? - Page 2
I think it is fine. You know your kid. And if you plan ahead, phone, backup... then your just being responsible and giving him the freedom to learn some responsibility in small steps. I think that is so much more valuable, and safe, then holding them under our wings until they are 18 and then letting them go all at once, like a time bomb.
Mine is 8.5 and he can go home from school by himself, which is 4 blocks, one on a busy street. But mine is really cautious, especially in traffic, so I am comfortable with it. He can also so this with a friend, if he has someone coming over. If he was a different kid, more day-dreamy like I was, then no, I wouldn't let him do it. It so depends on the kid, and imo arbitrary ages are useless.
thanks for all the thoughts and responses. these are good ideas. He is an aware and socially astute kid, who looks old for his age. He is an outgoing child but I don't think he'd get stuck talking to anyone who gave him the creeps. He is not generally a target of bullies, its just that this seems much more likely than stranger abduction. We have discussed on numerous occasions what to do if he is lost or separated from me (do not run- stay close to where you are, immediately approach a woman with children, any woman, uniformed police officer or bus or train driver, crossing guard, doorman and explain that you are separated from your adult). I've always said not to worry about being rude if someone is giving you a bad feeling or if an adult tells you to do something you know is wrong. My son can be really challenging but one great thing is that he doesn't really care what other people think about him.
This is what I always learned too... just tonight on the news they actually said not to trust women anymore either lol (laughing at not trusting women, not abductions).... Evidently there was an attempted abduction here just today outside of a school and a woman was involved and they went on to mention all the other recent cases where women were involved. It made me think of this thread.
....Shows teaching your kids to be streetsmart does work!
Kids should be able to approach strangers (and know what strangers to approach) in order to ask for help if they need it. The chance that that particular stranger is a pervert looking for a prey are very, very, extremely slim. I've read in the news somewhere about a kid who got lost in the forest and while the police and other people were looking for him he heard them, but thought they were strangers wanting to kidnap him, so he continued to hide.
I teach my ds that talking with strangers is ok, if he feels comfortable with it, going with strangers is not ok.
DH and I could never remember our code word. We had to ask the kids what it was.
Thankfully, we never had to use it.
I think it depends where you live. I would highly suggest the children have buddies when walking. Free range is fine, but there are steps between complete dependence and free range capable. Where I live there are coyotes, snakes, and believe it or not there are also some gangs nearby though we live in a nice area. My children are still learning about NOT panicking when they see wildlife and how to respond should trouble arise so at 3, 8, and 10, we are still working on their free range capabilities. I will say that bc we moved recently it has taken longer to allow more free ranging and less parent supervision. Had we not moved, I would have allowed more free ranging bc they were better equipped to handle our former environment and area.