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At what age would you let your child walk the mall alone? - Page 2

post #21 of 100
Not 8. My 9yos best friend goes to look at toys, DVDs and video games in Walmart while his mum does the shopping, and that freaks me out whenever we bump into him there. (He is a very grownup little boy, but still...) My 9yo gets to go to the local shop by himself, crossing two roads with traffic controls, and gets to take the bus to school by himself if we're having some kind of domestic crisis that means I can't go with them. My 7yo can go on the bus by himself too, but only with his brothers company. That said, in our neighbourhood if they sneezed without covering their mouths with their hands I'd know about it before the end of the day.
post #22 of 100
I think I was about 12 before I could go to the mall with friends without a parent there (we'd still have to be dropped off/picked up--no public transit, not sure if my parents would have let me use it anyway). I could go completely alone when I could drive there myself, but I didn't really want to unless I had a specific thing to buy. (I still only go to the mall if I need something at the Apple Store -- everything else I try to buy from local merchants, thrift stores, etc.)
post #23 of 100
DS is 7 and if we're at the mall together and having a snack and he has to use the washroom he goes through the mall to the washroom and back on his own while I stay at the table. I'd be OK with him going to a store in the mall on his own if he had a desire to. When we're in a department store and I'm looking at clothes he'll often go to the toy section alone and browse for a bit. he does that in the grocery store as well as I shop.
post #24 of 100
I must be missing something. What is the concern with a kid in the mall?
post #25 of 100
I think about 12 or 13 in groups, but I don't think I'd let a kid go to the mall by themselves with no friends until they are about 16 or 17 in groups, depending on the maturity of the child. I don't really think there is any "right" age, because a lot of it depends on the kid, the area, ext. I was allowed to walk around the mall freely when I was about 16 or so, and since then, I pretty much came and went to the house as I pleased. My mom worried about me, but I was pretty smart about things.
post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
All Children Under Age 18 must be accompanied by an Adult.

That's posted in just about all the malls in my region.
Wow. Where do you live? Every place I've lived has had lots of teens at the mall. In fact a good portion of the mall stores are aimed at teens, so if they weren't allowed to be there alone, a lot of those stores would go under!
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
All Children Under Age 18 must be accompanied by an Adult.

That's posted in just about all the malls in my region.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
Wow. Where do you live? Every place I've lived has had lots of teens at the mall. In fact a good portion of the mall stores are aimed at teens, so if they weren't allowed to be there alone, a lot of those stores would go under!
I know! Malls would close if teens weren't allowed to hang in them. So a teen is old enough to babysit children all by themselves but not shop? Sole responsibility for the welfare of a younger child is OK and serving us our drinks and fries is OK and working the cash at stores in the mall is OK but being in the mall without a parent isn't? No wonder teens feel so confused and disrespected in our world!
post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole lisa View Post
I know! Malls would close if teens weren't allowed to hang in them. So a teen is old enough to babysit children all by themselves but not shop? Sole responsibility for the welfare of a younger child is OK and serving us our drinks and fries is OK and working the cash at stores in the mall is OK but being in the mall without a parent isn't? No wonder teens feel so confused and disrespected in our world!
Wait! They wouldn't be able to serve drinks and fries unless their parent is there, according to that policy! And somehow I can't see a lot of parents agreeing to spend four or six hours hanging out at the food court at Macy's while their teenager works!
post #29 of 100
I am kinda a stages type person. Around 8 or nine we would let her and her friend go to another store while we finished up. as in "we will meet you at XYZ store in about 10 minutes.by this age (11) I would let her and some friends wander around by them self as long as I was in the building. By 13 I would hope she would be mature enough to be left alone in the building (although I believe our mall does not allow this. i think anyone under 16 has to be accompanied by an adult)

all that said we only go to the mall about three times a year. At target they are free to roam and a the grocery store they act like they own the place.
post #30 of 100
It depends on a lot of things- the individual kid, the specific environment, the time maybe? I don't think there can be just one right answer for these kinds of questions really.

My kids were okay around the mall at 11 or so together or with friends, but I was usually in the mall too and we'd meet up somewhere at a time or call each other etc. They mostly prefered to hang with me anyway.

Now at 14 and 16 they can go without me no problem. A mall being off limits to kids under 18 unless they have an adult with them is one of the most ridiculous things ever, IMO.
post #31 of 100
I wasn't allowed to wander around the mall until I was 14 (the same age I was "old enough" to be dropped off at the movie theater with my friends)

For me I think I'll know the right age when I see it.

IMO Eight years old is too young to be walking anywhere alone. Mall, store, library etc. I just don't think they are emotionally mature enough or physically strong enough to fight off someone who would do them harm.
post #32 of 100
Don't know how old they would have to be, but my oldest will be eight this month and he is not even close to old enough. He is still little in many ways and really needs the help of an adult he knows if things go wrong. So I can't ay how old, but I can't imagine letting my 8 year old wander around alone yet.
post #33 of 100
My immediate answer was age 14. That's a gut first reaction.
post #34 of 100
Like never. I used to work in an office at our mall and know what kind of people hang out there. There is a lot drugs, sex and other things that go on at the mall. I didn't let my step son hang out at the mall and I won't let my children hang out there. Too many kids and too many problems.
post #35 of 100
I think it really depends on the area and child him/herself. My dd was allowed to walk the mall alone at age 12 but only if she had her cell phone and I made her check in with me in person every 15 minutes at first. This was only while I was there shopping anyway. Later, we increased the check in time to every 30 minutes, and then 45 and eventually we started dropping her off for 1.5 hrs or so at a time. Usually I'm nearby running errands and she has her cell and checks in with me every 30 minutes or so.
post #36 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
I just don't see the point in letting an 8 year old child walk the mall alone. In my region, the child would get stopped by Mall Security and ask "Where are your Parents?"
I wouldn't leave an 8-year-old home alone where there are locked doors and neighbors that we know and trust. Why on earth would I let him walk around in a place with nothing but strangers and where 10 zillion people have access to him?

I'm thinking 13 or 14. And with a buddy or two, not alone. Truthfully, though, I can't see a reason why he would need to be hanging around the mall by himself, even at that age.
post #37 of 100
at the mall in my town of about 20,000 i would let my dd walk to the next store while in my sight. i would possibly allow her and a friend to walk to the next store together while i finished a purchase.

in the bigger mall 45 minutes away she must be with me at all times, and the same rule would apply even if she had a friend w/ her

i would let her go to our mall with a group when she was maybe 13-15 ???

and to the mall in the next town with a group when she was maybe 16-17 ????
post #38 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I must be missing something. What is the concern with a kid in the mall?
They are Afraid of Strangers. They are also Afraid of Child Misbehavior.

If my child was going to be respectful of rules and could pass the Test of Twelve then I would let him go. http://life.familyeducation.com/safe...tml?detoured=1

My particular children I expect to be able to pass at 8. I have two close together, so I would be a little concerned about their ability to not start cutting up or daring each other to do stuff, but we can evaluate that when it's closer.
post #39 of 100
Wow. That sounds like my ex-husband. Not leaving my young child alone means I'm living in fear.

Actually, I look at in a different way. It's too much responsibility to heap onto a child that young. The world isn't set up for children that age to have free reign. If it were, then there really wouldn't be much of a need for parents.
post #40 of 100
Thinking further, it's also interesting to me that that test comes from a Gavin de Becker book. I can't imagine him agreeing with letting a young child roam a shopping mall alone.
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