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

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#91 of 100 Old 01-01-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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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.

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#92 of 100 Old 01-02-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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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.
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#93 of 100 Old 01-02-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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I think 9-10 with a friend is fine. And a cell phone
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#94 of 100 Old 01-02-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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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.

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#95 of 100 Old 01-02-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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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.
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#96 of 100 Old 01-03-2008, 04:15 AM
 
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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.
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#97 of 100 Old 01-03-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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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.
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#98 of 100 Old 01-03-2008, 04:34 AM
 
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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.
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#99 of 100 Old 01-03-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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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.

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#100 of 100 Old 01-03-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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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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