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Would you let your 11 year old

Poll Results: Would you let your 11 year old son swim by himself?

  • 63% (51)
  • 36% (29)
80 Total Votes  
post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Go swimming alone with friends? (At a public pool-with lifeguards)

DS really wants to go, and all the kids in this area go by themselves... but I am really leary.
He is almost 11 (In July) and he has never really been 'away' from us.
I always try to know where he is at, who he is with, and what he is doing.
DH surprise visits with him alot, so we know he tells us the truth.

But I am scared... I think my 'baby' is wayyyy to young to be doing this... so I am really interested in your views.
post #2 of 16
I have a 10yo boy, so I understand! I would let him IF the circumstances were optimal; meaning, I knew and was comfortable with his friends. I felt okay about the public pool (the ones I went to as a kid were good, the lifeguards would yell at kids who weren't following the rules), and I had faith in ds to act responsibly.

You could always work up to it: go with him and watch from a distance. Then go, stay for a while, leave and come back to pick him up. Then start letting him go by himself. And when you say "by himself" do you mean letting him walk there with friends and them come home? That I'd be more leary of. But if you're dropping him off and p/up, then I'd let him. HTH!
post #3 of 16
I think that it really depends on your son. If he is reliable and mature for his age, then I think it would be fine. I would also make sure that his swimming skills are adequate; I don't think that I would want to rely on the lifeguards if my son didn't really swim and I wasn't present.

I don't think that it would be a judgment on your son to make your judgment based on your evaluation of his maturity level. You'll be doing that for the next 8 or 9 years anyway.
post #4 of 16
Call me paranoid if you wish, but my 10 y.o. ds is not allowed to swim unless I am there. My reasoning is it just takes one kid who's in "over their head" and can't swim well to grab another child in an attempt to save themselves. While ds can swim like a fish, it's the kids who can't that make me worry. Within 90 seconds, the entire equation can change irreversibly. Having said that, I should add that ds and I are both water signs, we swim at every chance, we would live in the ocean if it weren't so dadburned cold in NorCal, so it's not like I don't like the water. I just have a healthy respect for it, and I won't link ds's fate with a group of children and teenaged lifeguards in a public pool unless I am there.
post #5 of 16
At the pool we belong to, you have to be over 12 to swim without a parent present. I'm glad this is the rule because I have to agree with the above poster who is more concerned with the other kids abilities and behavior then my sons swimming ability. I guess by the time he turns 13, I'll be a little more willing to let him go alone (he's 11 now.) But it would depend on who the other kids were.

post #6 of 16
Rain started going to the pool alone with a friend last year, when she was 9. She's done the same this year. She's a competent swimmer, the pools have plenty of lifeguards, she and her friend agree to stick together, and she's generally a responsible kid. If any of the above weren't true, I would be leery, but there haven't been any problems, and it's worked out well for all of us.

She's slowly been spreading her wings, so this was a pretty natural evolution of other things she does (she also started going to a nearby park with a friend at nine).

post #7 of 16
It depends on how well you know the kids and what they are like. Do you know any one who works there that you can ask to keep an eye on him?

How safe is the area? How does the pool handle minors alone? Do parents have to show ID to pick them up? Can the kids leave on their own?

My sil is a teacher and works as a lifeguard in the summer. She says that its important that parents leave a contact number or two in case something happens. She also likes it when they talk to her before leaving the kids and let her know what's going on with them.

I'm sure you'll make the right decision.
post #8 of 16
I at first I thought yes, till the other night on the news, that a boy about 15 - 16 drowned in a lake/canal swimming with his friends.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
My son is very responsible.. but he is a honest to goodness airhead. :

I know he would never leave the pool with someone he didn't know *willingly* so that isn't a factor.

He is also a very strong swimmer.

The boy he wants to go with, is like my nephew, I have been around him his whole life.
He is a good kid, whose mother needs to spend more time being a mother, if YKWIM.
He has the run of town.. gets to do whatever he wants (prettymuch). However despite all of that, he is a straight A student (I am super proud of him on that one )
But he is older than my DS... and my son gets the freedom of riding his bike up and down the street, and occasionally going to the park (only about 6 blocks from here) on his bicycle w/his friends.

I guess I am scared.. if anything happened to him, I would die.
He is my first baby, and he is growing up way to quick

TIA for all input~ Jodi
post #10 of 16
Originally posted by mommyof2kids
I at first I thought yes, till the other night on the news, that a boy about 15 - 16 drowned in a lake/canal swimming with his friends.
I'm not sure there is any comparison here. I doubt that there was a lifeguard on a lake/canal and who knows what the conditions were. I wouldn't let my kid swim under these conditions at any age!
post #11 of 16
I said yes but in the end it would depend who he was going with and where the pool was and how busy it was, how many life guards etc. . . DH was swimming all day every day by himself (as in without parents ) from the time he was nin. But he lived across the street from the pool and would check in frerquently. We live a little farther but still close. Also it isn't a very buy pool.
post #12 of 16
I would ask how well he can swim, how crouded is the pool, and how experienced are the life guards.
post #13 of 16
My 2 eldest sons (10 & 12) go swimming at the YMCA together. I was a bit anxious at first, but figured it was a realtively safe way of letting them have a little freedom. The pool there is well supervised and they are both excellent swimmers (we also have our own pool). I think that children do need some time to experience the responsibility of being apart from parents as they grow up, and I trusted them to do this safely.
post #14 of 16
my 11 year old swims like a fish and if he is with friends in a lifeguarded area, well, I would be fine with it, except the lifeguards here locally wont let him, has to have me there still, or an adult over 18...
post #15 of 16
I don't think I could. I don't have an 11 year old yet (9 yo DD), and maybe my view would change depending on how she is. But I would feel more comfortable if an adult went and even just kind of kept an eye on them from a far. Knowing someone was watching just them would make me more comfortable. But that is me now.

post #16 of 16
Yep, I let both my 12 y.o. and my 9 y.o. go to our pool to swim without me. Our swim/tennis club is within walking distance ( a 10 minute skate for the kids) of our home. Admittedly, our situation is optimal. We've been members of this club for years, most of our neighborhood belongs, and most importantly, all of my kids have been swimming on the swimteam for years and are extremely good swimmers. Due to our extensive involvement, we know all of the lifeguards (most of them swim on the same team as my kids) as well as most of the people who are there at any given time. My kids go there by themselves for swim practice every morning, usually without me. (I do go with my 6 y.o.) and if they want to go back for some "fun" swimming and I am not in the mood, I let the older two go without me. I think that if your kid can swim and you are comfortable with the level of supervision at the pool, 11 is definitely old enough.
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