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At what age would you let your child walk the mall alone? - Page 5

post #81 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathywiehl View Post
I did plenty of drinking, smoking, and getting high at the mall. We'd just go outside and pass stuff around and then go back into the mall to hang out and watch the boys play video games.
Just wanted to say that we used to do this AT SCHOOL.

Oh and at friend's houses, sometimes with the parents upstairs - who were usually clueless. "we're just studying!".

OH, and the library was a great place too to sneak cigarettes.

And the girl who was the biggest instigator of all the rebellion was a girl scout until age 15. Our class president was the biggest druggie of anyone in the class.

My point is that if kids want to rebel and do bad things (tm), they will find a way. Period.
post #82 of 100
My daughter is only two...my neighbors kids are 12 and they seem independent and mature enough to handle an hour or two at the mall on their own, or in a group of friends. Their daughter is eight, and she still seems young to me--though I think she could handle a bathroom break on her own.

I used to go to the mall with friends (I live in NJ, for pete's sake, it's what we do here!!) and I never smoke or drank or much of anything risque there. I ate pizza in the foodcourt, and checked out cute boys, and pined for expensive Capezio shoes and Guess jeans that I couldn't afford. Lots of giggling with my girlfriends.
post #83 of 100
If i were in the mall, I might let them walk ahead, but no, not dropping an 8 yo, or even a 10 yo off at the mall to just hang out. I think they have better things to do with their time.
post #84 of 100
I grew up in a town of about 20,000 including the college. I rode bikes with a friend or a few friends (not alone) up I don't know half a mile? to the gas station to spend my allowance on candy, pizza, junk when I was 8. Maybe 9.

Rode halfway across town to the pool for the first time at 8 too but that was not with permission exactly WITH PERMISSION I know I did it the summer I was 101/2. (I remember riding the 10 speed bike and I got that for my 10th b-day in Sept.)

as far as playing outside in the neighborhood, I know we were doing that at like 4-5, basically whenever you were old enough to know to stay out of the road. But like someone said in my neighborhood everyone knew each other, there were people keeping an eye out wherever you were. You weren't truly UNSUPERVISED if you were out of YOUR parents' sight.


where I live now, it would really depend a lot on what part of town I lived in and how far the closest park was how young they'd get to do that.
as far as playing out in the neighborhood---current neighborhood, if Z was in kindergarten at the school across the street I'd let him go over there and play with me having my window open to hear/see what's going on--I've got a direct view of the playground. but there are some potty-mouth kids that come around there, we'd have to have the understanding that he has to come home when the older kids come out.

the mall here, well, I was 13 or 14 the first time my parents dropped me and a friend off at the mall. (this is the mall in the town I live in now, over 120,000) I think i was 13 and friend 12. My friend's mom was PO'ed and thought we were too young then!
She went with us to that mall and another slightly smaller one, stayed in the mall shopping elsewhere until we were old enough to drive OURSELVES I think--and we are talking drive out of town at least an hour so I think we were actually 18 LOL.

Wandering the mall with the parents in another store or something, we did that in our small-town malls at maybe 9-10?

I think too it all depends on your kid and where you live. My current mall in this town, if I had a kid I could totally trust to not do anything stupid or be meeting up with any other kids who would be doing anything stupid, I'd say they could be out of my sight in a mall starting at probably 12.

to go there themselves, when they can drive there probably. I *might* consider a drop-off and pick-up at 13-14. It's more that I don't see a NEED to go wander around the mall, you just don't know what might happen, who they might run into, or they might find out their trusted friend is a klepto when they get caught somewhere. (I would HOPE my kid would resist peer pressure to join in that activity, but that is another thing you don't know--if you are IN the mall, it would be easier for them to leave and find you than if they've got to call you and have you come across town to pick them up? and the idea that the parent is there would curb that kind of activity?)

I figure if I'm trusting them with a car, then they can also be trusted to use good judgment on where they go and what they do with the car. Otherwise why am I allowing them to drive??
post #85 of 100
With a friend? 14 or so.

Completely alone? 16 or older.
post #86 of 100
I just had to pop in on this thread today. Dd and her best friend (both of them are 14) are at a very large out of town mall today. Best Friend's mother had some work to do in a building in the same neighborhood as the mall, and because we don't often drive the two hour distance to visit this mall the girls took the opportunity to be dropped off there while the mom works. She'll be back to pick them up later on today.

Dd has a cell phone, some money, and I encouraged the girls to stay together, stay inside the mall, and arrange a place to come back to if they should get seperated. She just talked to Dh and she's doing well. They are at Hot Topic having fun.

Anyway, timely....
post #87 of 100
My 13 year old daughter is not allowed to even go to the mall alone with a friend... nevermind walk alone by herself. I think we have to be very careful as parents when it comes to things like this.
post #88 of 100
We were allowed to "hang out" at the mall without supervision around 13 or so and WHAT were my parents thinking??? I HATED it but my best friend always insisted. We were harassed by boys and grown men all the time. It was scary and I certainly wasn't ready for it. It was all I could do on many occasions to talk my friend out of leaving with some of these guys (she had a history of childhood sexual abuse and spent a lot of time seeking approval from older men in a way that still makes my blood run cold).

It's not that I wouldn't necessarily trust my daughter - as someone has already said, if she decides to get up to some trouble making she's going to find a way - but I don't necessarily trust every single other person she may come in contact with. As an adult, it's still shocking to me how much sexual attention we were getting as 12, 13, 14 year olds and just how bad my friend's judgment could be.
post #89 of 100
I would say AT LEAST 20.
















haha, just kidding. I'm pretty shocked by the 18 year old responses. 18 is a typical year for going to college and living in dorms. So the same age they go and live completely on their own is the age where they can walk around a mall alone?!?!?

WILL SOMEONE WHO SAID "18" EXPLAIN PLEASE! Sorry, not shouting, but just hoping that someone will elaborate, and see this.
post #90 of 100
Just wanted to update that Dd's out of town mall visit with her best friend went really well. They were able to visit several stores we don't have at our mall, and they ate at places our food court doesn't have. She called me a few times while she was there, and was home in the afternoon.
post #91 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Just wanted to update that Dd's out of town mall visit with her best friend went really well. They were able to visit several stores we don't have at our mall, and they ate at places our food court doesn't have. She called me a few times while she was there, and was home in the afternoon.
Glad she had a good time.

Shay
post #92 of 100
This reminded me:


Quote:
They got into a car with two 18 year old boys who took them home and raped/killed them then left them on the side of the road in a ditch.

I know three people who were kidnapped from malls. One was an adult (who was also pregnant),another was college-aged and one of my co-workers, and a third was a classmate I didn't know well. These were, essentially, grown women (three seperate malls, btw). The one who was pregnant was forced into her trunk in the middle of the afternoon, raped, and left in the trunk. The coworker was forced into her car by someone with a gun and she eventually managed to dive out of her car at a stoplight. The classmate was leaving a mall with her boyfriend when some guy with a badge told her her parents had been in an accident. He had a lot of details and a badge so she got in his car. The boyfriend tried to follow and couldn't keep up. The guy dropped her off two weeks later in another state and she has never really recovered. He pulled her fingernails off, among many horrible things.

I am not that person who believes every email forward and every urban legend or rumor and I have no plans to construct a special bubble for my kid , but these are thee people I KNOW in three different malls I've been to. Grown women. So while I won't make the mall off limits, I won't be dropping my kid off unattended either.

Also, having worked in several malls...I know just how cruddy the security can be. I am sure there are some really great people out there who are very dedicated, but there are a lot of guys hiding in the fire corridors and smoking.
post #93 of 100
I think 9-10 with a friend is fine. And a cell phone
post #94 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
This reminded me:





I know three people who were kidnapped from malls. One was an adult (who was also pregnant),another was college-aged and one of my co-workers, and a third was a classmate I didn't know well. These were, essentially, grown women (three seperate malls, btw). The one who was pregnant was forced into her trunk in the middle of the afternoon, raped, and left in the trunk. The coworker was forced into her car by someone with a gun and she eventually managed to dive out of her car at a stoplight. The classmate was leaving a mall with her boyfriend when some guy with a badge told her her parents had been in an accident. He had a lot of details and a badge so she got in his car. The boyfriend tried to follow and couldn't keep up. The guy dropped her off two weeks later in another state and she has never really recovered. He pulled her fingernails off, among many horrible things.

I am not that person who believes every email forward and every urban legend or rumor and I have no plans to construct a special bubble for my kid , but these are thee people I KNOW in three different malls I've been to. Grown women. So while I won't make the mall off limits, I won't be dropping my kid off unattended either.

Also, having worked in several malls...I know just how cruddy the security can be. I am sure there are some really great people out there who are very dedicated, but there are a lot of guys hiding in the fire corridors and smoking.
That is so scary, twisted and sad.
post #95 of 100
I know I am a little late in the thread - I read it a couple of days ago and wasn't able to respond then.

My friends and I started going to the mall at about 12 or 13, there was two - four of us usually. This was about 20 years ago and we lived in an upper-middle class "safe" neighborhood. I cannot even remember all of the incidents we had while hanging out at the mall. There were at least 5 times that older men flashed us or were masturbating so we could see. We were followed and approached A LOT by much older boys and men, we were followed into the women's bathroom more than once. We met and hung out with much older guys, even leaving the mall with them and returning before our parent's came to pick us up.

I was talking to my oldest friend tonight on the phone, she and I did a lot of mall hanging out, and we both agreed that we would never let our kids go hang at the mall. Of course when they are old enough to drive themselves then they can go, I just see nothing good that can come out of kids hanging out at the mall. When we think about what could have happened to us it is frightening, I can't believe nothing really bad never happened to any of us. Mall security was a joke, they were some of the older guys who hit on us.

I just don't think the mall is a place for kids to hang out, I think I have mall prejudice because I don't think I'll have a problem with ds or any future kids hanging out at 12 or 13 at a skating rink or the movies or something like that. There is an activity there, where at the mall there is just hanging out and there seems to be more time and room for things to go wrong. I am not saying something like what I mentioned couldn't happen at the movies or skating, but I just feel like its less likely, the environment is a bit more controlled.
post #96 of 100
newmommy- where do you live, it's so interesting the differences in different areas.

i let my 14 and 11 yr old walk the mall for the first time last week while i went to the bookstore for a cup of coffee and an hour browsing through the latest mothering magazine.
post #97 of 100
I am assuming a mall is the same as a shopping centre???

Anyway, my kids will never be allowed to just hang out at a shopping centre, not until they are 18 and can drive there themselves.
post #98 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarussell View Post
newmommy- where do you live, it's so interesting the differences in different areas.

i let my 14 and 11 yr old walk the mall for the first time last week while i went to the bookstore for a cup of coffee and an hour browsing through the latest mothering magazine.
It sounds like you were there in the mall, this to me is a bit different than dropping your kids off to hang out at the mall. I would let dc walk with a friend without me at that age if I were in the mall.

I was with family over the holidays and my cousin, a boy, is 13. It wasn't until this visit that I would have ever been comfortable with him being on his own in the mall, even with us in the mall. He is still too young to be left at the mall with friends, there is no way my aunt would do that, but he can go to stores alone and then meet up with us, within reason. I don't know, he just doesn't have the street smarts that we had at 13.
post #99 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
It sounds like you were there in the mall, this to me is a bit different than dropping your kids off to hang out at the mall. I would let dc walk with a friend without me at that age if I were in the mall.
What's the situation with public transit in everyone's area? I've seen several references to "dropping the kids off" at the mall, and I find it really strange. I was going to the mall by myself (or with a friend or my sister) at about age 12 or so...on the bus.

I was wandering around the mall, with my mom there, at an early age - can't remember exactly when, but definitely young. I know they once thought they'd lost me at about age 11. I'd curled up under a bench to read a book, then dozed off.
post #100 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
What's the situation with public transit in everyone's area? I've seen several references to "dropping the kids off" at the mall, and I find it really strange. I was going to the mall by myself (or with a friend or my sister) at about age 12 or so...on the bus.

I was wandering around the mall, with my mom there, at an early age - can't remember exactly when, but definitely young. I know they once thought they'd lost me at about age 11. I'd curled up under a bench to read a book, then dozed off.
Yeah - I'm not sure where I sit on this issue yet, but I do think public transportation, bikes, etc., make a huge difference. Not just because they give kids mobility to GET somewhere but because they give them mobility to LEAVE if things are getting uncomfortable.

I was allowed to bike to the library, local tiny mall, etc., around age 8 or 9. My friend and I used to go downtown together on the streetcar to participate in a Sat morning programme at age 9 (attendence was taken). By 11 I was allowed at the bigger mall two subway stops away and by 13 to the big downtown mall. The rule was that I always had to have a) change for the pay phone and b) tickets to get home. Oh and a key.

I would worry less about my child at a mall where there are store staff and other shoppers than going to the library alone on the street, but I do hope he is able to do both. All those experiences have added up over my life and being confident in travelling alone - and knowing how to evaluate situations - have been a real boon to me!

There are always horrific experiences but those things happen everywhere. I don't think malls are any more prone to them overall... although I did think Gavin DeBecker's statement that a high percentage of murderers and molesters have worked as security staff have made me rethink what security really means.
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