What do you think kids need to know before they are ready to be out of the house on their own?
I have been teaching my daughter about being out on her own her whole life.I am always looking for teachable moments to show her how she could deal with different situations but I am wondering if there is something I have forgotten.
The last few days I have been trying to imagine all the obstacles she could run into on a trip to the "corner store".Is she prepared?What obstacle could she run into?
So what do you think a kid needs to be ready to be on their own a bit?
If you really think about it, it can make your head spin can't it!?
I think they need to know what an emergency truly IS and how to get help.
Know your 'house rules' and generally expected behavior when home/away.
I'd say those are my basics. But I'm like you, I try to grab teachable moments and give them ideas of how to handle things.
~Mama to my boys~ to a teen, a tween & a toddler and surro-mama to twins and their sister
Livin' in the sticks with my chicks and lovin' it!
2014: 4/52 projects 0/2014 things 0/52 books
Hmm interesting question, I'm interested to see what others think. My guess is that a fair amount is going to depend on the area you live in.
So we live in a fairly densely packed residential area with a couple of quite busy roads and lots of quieter streets. Road safety is probably the biggest one for me on that basis and one of the biggest reasons I don't let her go far.
Another biggie for us is staying calm & safe around dogs. We have several footpaths around where people walk their dogs, and often let them run loose. So knowing not to go and approach them and what to do if they start chasing you (which seems to happen a lot if we are on bikes) is another conversation we have regularly.
Traffic is the most significant danger that any child faces while out and about, and it deserves the most attention.
I don't teach my kids to inherently fear strangers. Not only do FBI crime statistics prove that "stranger danger" was faulty, I need to know that my kids feel confident asking for help if they need it. I also feel it's important for them to develop a sense of intuition to let them know if a situation feels "off," and they can't do that if they find every interaction with unknown adults scary. Lastly, I think the best protection is for every adult in the neighborhood to know my kids and to feel confident stepping in if something seems wrong to them. Too many adults are scared to step in, lest they look like the bad guy. So I teach my kids to be friendly and outgoing. Just never get into a car with anyone, or go into anyone's house, or go off with anyone without my explicit permission, from my mouth. Not just "strangers," anyone. If someone needs help, refer them to me. If a situation feels creepy or makes you uncomfortable, remove yourself immediately and either come home or find safe adults and ask for help. If you have a problem that you can't handle on your own, either come home or find safe adults and ask for help.
Unfortunately, I have also had to teach my kids how to deal with bored, busybody police. Some people don't like homeschooling, and some people don't like that I let my kids play outside without me, and think that my parenting decisions are a matter for the police. Sometimes the cops just take it on themselves, like the one who used to sit on the corner by our house and nitpick every single thing the neighborhood children did. He used to get mad at pre-teens for playing ball in the street on a quiet sidestreet of our quiet suburban neighborhood. Once he brought my daughter home and yelled at me because she was walking on the curb. Another time he tried to stop my daughter from walking two houses down to see her friend -- when her friend's dad was standing right there waiting for her. Dad gave the cop a good chewing out over that one. So I have taught my children to be polite to the police, but to refuse to answer any questions except name and address, and to refer everything else to me. They're only supposed to say, "You need to ask my mom about that. You can find her at [our address]."
Those probably don't all apply to you. The best way to make sure your kids know how to deal with the obstacles or dangers they may encounter in your neighborhood is to simply spend a lot of time with them outside in the places they would be playing without you, and show them how you would deal with things as they come up.