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At what age would you let your child walk the mall alone? - Page 4

post #61 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by katharinerose View Post
So I don't have kids yet, but I've worked with them a lot. There comes a point, and it's different for everyone, where you are going to do what you're going to do, regardless of what your parents think is appropriate. That may come at 12 or at 25. At that point, if your kid wants to go out and have sex or drink or get a tattoo or join a church, they're gonna find a way to do it. Adolescents ARE smart, and capable of so much. Unless you are willing to never let your child out of your sight, they are going to make choices without you, and probably some choices you don't like. Hopefully, you've done your best to give them the tools to make good choices, helped them develop relationships with peers who will support those good choices, and built up trust so they know that you will be there if they make a choice they regret.
I agree with you to a point, but I think there is something to be said for not exposing them to things that would cause them to make certain choices until they are old enough to make the right choices. Kids with no supervision have the potential to meet so many different kinds of people who can influence their decisions and give them ideas about doing things they never would have thought of on their own. I agree you can't stop them completely, but I guarantee that if my parents had not dropped me off with questionable people and left me unsupervised 90% of the time, I'd not have made so many choices that I did make.
post #62 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
IMO a kid that wants to go to a mall or anywhere else alone with friends under the age of 16 is up to no good. That's when you don't want them to go (when THEY want to do it). Those kids are smart and know exactly what they are doing.
:
What kind of "no good" do you think they're up to? I was in the mall by myself and/or with friends or my sister a lot as a preteen and early teen, and I wasn't up to anything. I just liked to wander around, maybe check out some boys, eat french fries in the food court and chat about stuff. Several of my friends wanted to window shop and/or try on clothes. Being under 16 doesn't mean someone's automatically up to something.

Why wouldn't a teen want to go somewhere with their friends? And - again - why "16' - what makes that an age where wanting to be alone with friends no longer means they're up to no good?

I don't know - maybe malls are different here or something.
post #63 of 100
My kids enjoy going to the mall to eat, play video games, browse the bookstore, see if there are any good games in the discount bin at the gamestop, and etc. Often they go together, or Dd will be with her best friend (they are both 14) because they enjoy the company. Sometimes they see a movie too because the theatre is very close to the mall. They have run into friends or aquaintances there from time to time and they'll chat a little bit if they want to, or steer clear if they don't. Once they even managed to get a picture with the mall security guard while they were doing a photo "scavenger hunt". He thought it was good fun.

We usually agree that someone will call me when they get there and when they are about to head home, if plans change, and etc. We often discuss what time they plan to be back beforehand anyway. The mall and kids just seem to go hand in hand a lot. Not every kid/teen enjoys it, but many do. I can't imagine making it off limits or assuming a kid hanging at the mall is bent on self (or otherwise) destruction.
post #64 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
My kids enjoy going to the mall to eat, play video games, browse the bookstore, see if there are any good games in the discount bin at the gamestop, and etc. .
I can't believe I forgot the bookstore. I loved the bookstore when I was in my early teens...could have lived there quite happily.

I have to admit that while I never got up to anything worse than having a smoke at the mall, I got up to a lot of other stuff at school. I feel much safer letting ds1 roam the mall than I do about him being at school.
post #65 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole lisa View Post
I know! Malls would close if teens weren't allowed to hang in them.
A mall in our area recently started a policy requiring adult supervision for kids under 18 on Friday and Saturday evenings, it may be weekday evenings too - like after 5 p.m. or so. There were concerns about fights, gangs of kids who were essentially loitering and not there to shop, etc. The policy came after an incident when a gun was tossed from a balcony down on to the first floor. Thank God it didn't go off.

I think it's an OK policy given those issues. Teens are allowed in the mall during other hours. The mall originally started closing at 5 on Saturdays but then they switched to the supervision rule. They also stepped up security a TON following the gun incident. It is a very popular upscale mall and they don't want to lose the business, and teens are only a portion of the big spenders there.
post #66 of 100
When I had just turned SIX, my father was an exhibitor in a home-computer show in a medium-sized mall. He brought me along. While he was working in his booth, I was allowed to wander that end of the mall (about 8 stores), ride on the nearby escalators, or sit by the fountain around the corner. I was not allowed to go into the department stores, stay upstairs (having ridden the escalator up, I was to come straight back down), or leave the building. If any adult told me to quit doing something (touching merchandise, etc.) I was to obey. The restroom was far away, so when I had to go I came to get my dad to take me into the men's room.

This worked out fine. Nobody made the slightest attempt to kidnap me, molest me, push LSD on me, or sell me into slavery. Nobody even "bothered" me. I had a lot of fun browsing the stores, watching the people, and drawing or reading on a bench by the fountain. I misbehaved slightly a few times but stopped when someone told me to. Only two bad things happened:
1. I left my bag unattended by the fountain when I went to show my dad a drawing I had made, and it was stolen.
2. Standing on the ledge next to the Up escalator and pushing my hands on the railing (pretending I was making it go), I forgot to let go and found myself riding up the outside of the escalator. When I did let go, I fell and skinned my knee.
Both of these were learning experiences. #1 led my dad to apologize for not telling me to keep my bag with me and to demonstrate how we make a police report. I never recovered the bag, which contained a favorite book, and felt the loss acutely. #2 brought a few strangers running to see if I was okay and walking me back to my dad.

It all depends on the child and the place, but in general the idea of an 8-year-old being unsupervised in public is fine with me. I see kids that young walking around alone or in small groups in my neighborhood sometimes. I wouldn't let a kid violate any posted policy against unsupervised children, though. In a mall, specifically, I think it's important to have a specific time and place to meet, and the younger the child the more often you check in. I wouldn't let a child younger than about 13 wander a mall if I wasn't in the same mall myself.
post #67 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
IMO a kid that wants to go to a mall or anywhere else alone with friends under the age of 16 is up to no good. That's when you don't want them to go (when THEY want to do it). Those kids are smart and know exactly what they are doing.
How old are your kids? My son turns 16 in a few weeks and has been going to the mall with friends since he was 14. Frankly there is not a lot for young teens to do and many like to go to hang out. My son likes to hang out at the food court and talk with friends and just hang. Attitudes like yours are why teens feel unvalued, my son has told me how people are suspiciois of teens and the funny thing is today's teens have alot more money than I did as a teen so a lot of times they go to the mall to shop.

Sorry but as my son would say attitudes like this are just wack. Funny thing as my son turns 16 he is now interested in getting a job, so he can get a car..

My parents thought they kept a close eye on me and I still got into trouble, I think as parents especially of teens we can be too protective, but as I remind myself in 2 years this kid will be a legal adult, that remimds me that he needs room to grow.

Shay
post #68 of 100
probably at around age 18. If my dd's were going together with some girlfriends that I knew and trusted, maybe 16.
post #69 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole lisa View Post
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.
I'm sorry, did you say seven??? I find that a bit - I'm sure he is trustworthy and the chance of something happening to him small, but I can't imagine taking that chance with such a young child who does not have the cognitive capabilities of an adult. Yikes.
post #70 of 100
Jeez. Am I the only person here that hung out at the mall just to hang out? I never drank or smoked or had sex at the mall. I walked around and gossiped with my friends and ate at the food court (coooookies).
post #71 of 100
18.
post #72 of 100
Probably around 13.
Kinda shocked by the lower and upper extremes. :
post #73 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshoes View Post
I'm sorry, did you say seven??? I find that a bit - I'm sure he is trustworthy and the chance of something happening to him small, but I can't imagine taking that chance with such a young child who does not have the cognitive capabilities of an adult. Yikes.
DS1 did all those things at 7, as well. What chance were we taking?

Honestly, I had ds1 on a distressingly short leash by my own standards. My sister and I were catching buses across town to go to the movies when we were only about 6 and 7. I was way to uptight to give ds1 that freedom...
post #74 of 100
Wow. Quite a variety of opinions on this
18 just blows me away though. That just seems over the top. There are kids that move away to college at 17 and 18. I moved out of my mom's house at 17.
I started working when I was 13 in the mall food-court. I had an absolute blast. I'm just gonna feel it out with my kids. My almost 8yr old still wants me to walk him to the bathroom in small restaurants so I can't see him wanting to wander the mall quite yet. I think that when he's ready to, that's when he'll ask to and we'll just take it from there.
post #75 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
DS1 did all those things at 7, as well. What chance were we taking?
Some pervert getting hold of him in the men's room? That isn't actually a rare occurrence, from what I gather.
post #76 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
Some pervert getting hold of him in the men's room? That isn't actually a rare occurrence, from what I gather.
This is a huge fear of mine. I will probably stand outside the restroom door and listen for the boys, or send them in together (and stand outside the door listening).
post #77 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
Some pervert getting hold of him in the men's room? That isn't actually a rare occurrence, from what I gather.
I've heard of it happening online a few times, but never encountered it irl. My nephew and ds1 both used the washroom in the mall when they were that age, and I see kids going in and out of there all the time. I've never quite understood why the perverts would take a chance on a public washroom as a venue, actually - it's not like there aren't random people going in and out all the time.

Anyway - I personally know at least 10 people who were molested on school property, yet nobody thought I was irresponsible to let ds1 go to kindergarten...at age 5. I know nobody who's ever been molested, attacked or anything else in a mall, but letting my 8 year old play in the toy aisle is risky?

I think this one is one I'm just not going to grasp.
post #78 of 100
Holy moly... 18? That seriously makes me confused. Many teens are working and driving at that age. So the year they can go off to college and live alone is the year they can finally walk around the mall?? Am I understanding that correctly? :
post #79 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Holy moly... 18? That seriously makes me confused. Many teens are working and driving at that age. So the year they can go off to college and live alone is the year they can finally walk around the mall?? Am I understanding that correctly? :
I was thinking the same thing.. at 18 they are legally adults, I hope the folks who said 18 were joking. Even 16 seems a little late considering that at 16 in most states last I checked a teen can get a drivers license, seems to me if a teen can legally drive a 3000lb piece of machinery that maybe a year or two before that happens they can be intrusted to go to the mall. Just me though.

Shay
post #80 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Holy moly... 18? That seriously makes me confused. Many teens are working and driving at that age. So the year they can go off to college and live alone is the year they can finally walk around the mall?? Am I understanding that correctly? :
Yeah - that kind of threw me, too. My 18 year old nephew is working for a pile driving company...seems a lot more risky than walking through a food court, yk?
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