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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so the thread about leaving an 8 year old at home alone reminded me that I wanted to post about this.<br><br>
My 6 year old catches the bus home from school, and she's dropped off one street away. When the bus stops, I can see it from my front door, but as she walks toward the house, she isn't visable for the span of 2 houses. (I've timed her...it takes her about 30-40 seconds.)<br><br>
I've let her a handful of times walk home alone. She's very careful about crossing the street.<br><br>
She's begged me to stay at the house and let her walk home alone every day. My greatest concern is that some crazy person will notice a little girl walking alone and snatch her up. I know this isn't likely. We live in a very safe town.<br><br>
And the issue isn't that I'm too lazy to meet her at the bus. She wants to be a big girl and do it alone. One other child gets off the bus with her, but walks in the opposite direction from her.<br><br>
I think it's important for her to develop confidence in doing things by herself. My mother was overprotective and did everything for me, and I never developed that confidence.<br><br>
Thoughts? Would you be concerned about the stranger danger factor in this situation?
 

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My mother was very protective of me and I am the most independent person I know.<br><br>
That said, NO, I would not let a six year old walk home alone, and I am surprised that the bus would drop her off that far from her house. In our school district, a bus will stop at EVERY.SINGLE.HOUSE to drop gradeschoolers off right infront. Its just their policy, and I like it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Barbie64g</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14746971"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My mother was very protective of me and I am the most independent person I know.<br><br>
That said, NO, I would not let a six year old walk home alone, and I am surprised that the bus would drop her off that far from her house. In our school district, a bus will stop at EVERY.SINGLE.HOUSE to drop gradeschoolers off right infront. Its just their policy, and I like it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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I would love that policy too. Thanks for your insight!
 

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My son is 6 (7 next month) and walks home from school alone. It's 0.4 miles and takes him about 8 minutes. He's a very responsible and cautious kid and we live in a very safe town with sidewalks everywhere. It makes him feel trusted and capable, and I think it's worth it. The risks are very, very low-- it's much more likely that we'd be in a car accident. We make choices based on risks and benefits and I think the benefits outweigh the risks. He could drown in our garden pond but I still let him play in the backyard.
 

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i have one like yours. and yes i would do like you too. in fact dd walks to our neiighbours house to visit who lives a block and half away. i stand and watch but she walks alone. and yeah she has been begging for this priviledge since she was 5. at 6 i allowed her. we have stop signs at the end of our streets. i park on the street. i even allow her to cross the street alone and open and get into the car.<br><br>
yeah in our school district (our school doesnt have buses otherwise that is what my dd would have loved to take) there are certain points the kids are picked up and dropped off.<br><br>
in our known grocery and other stores i let her wander off alone. i let her out of my sight. at the park i let her out of my sight. at our regular museums she is out of my sight.<br><br>
when we go for walks if she is mad with me she walks a block ahead of me and stops to cross the road together.<br><br>
i do NOT live in a v. safe city. however i feel confident and ok letting my dd do those things. at the grocery store sometimes we divide up the list and she gets some of the grocery along with some surprise items.<br><br>
she has a 6th sense about people. the people in teh store know her. if my guy ever cries out dont do that - i dont.<br><br>
honestly i am not afraid of my dd being picked up. i am more afraid of someone molesting her which is much more likely. that someone i know has the potential of being a pedofile or someone who already is but is unreported. i mean molestation is so common.
 

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It depends on the 6yo in question. Some 6yos can't reliably cross a street safely or walk down the block without getting distracted, running into the street instead of staying on the sidewalk, etc. Some wouldn't know to NOT go inside a neighbor's house without your permission, if the person seemed nice and invited her in.<br><br>
But most 6yos are probably capable of walking 1 block home safely. I don't think too many "crazy people" are likely to snatch up a child who's purposefully walking home (hanging out at the bus stop in the AM, waiting for the bus, makes me a lot more nervous.) It's only one block, and you can stand at the house watching her walk home every day.
 

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I don't see the issue with the scenario in the above post. You're watching her progress for all but 30 seconds of the walk, otherwise it's technically supervised (even though you're not right beside her). And yes, she probably gets a lot of confidence from it!<br><br>
We live in a quiet neighborhood where the houses are close to the street and to each other. My six-year-old loves to run around the house when we're outside playing. He'll start at one side of the backyard, run around into the front yard (unfenced) and come in on the other side of the backyard to surprise his brother. If I'm sitting in the back with the baby there's probably about 30 seconds where I don't see my six-year-old -- it would never occur to me to restrict him from playing this game.<br><br>
Thinking of the 'crazy kid snatcher' scenario, that kind of thing could happen if they are playing in their own front yard just as easily as a few houses down the block. It wouldn't be enough to deter me in this situation.
 

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Hi there,<br><br>
I read an interesting article recently that spoke to this situation. <a href="http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article4095977.ece" target="_blank">http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/l...cle4095977.ece</a><br><br>
It is about the woman in NYC who let her 9 year old ride the subway (She was then branded "America's worst mom!". It opened my eyes a little about the times we live in. For instance, when I was a kid, I walked about a mile home from my elementary by myself. This was the norm. But now we have this overarching fear that something will happen to our kids and that the times we live in are much more dangerous. In some ways they are, but in many ways, things are still safe.<br><br>
The answer is this: you know your daughter and her capabilities. If you feel that she can handle it, give her the tools to know what to do if a situation arose. Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Barbie64g</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14746971"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My mother was very protective of me and I am the most independent person I know.<br><br>
That said, NO, I would not let a six year old walk home alone, and I am surprised that the bus would drop her off that far from her house. In our school district, a bus will stop at EVERY.SINGLE.HOUSE to drop gradeschoolers off right infront. Its just their policy, and I like it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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I haven't read past this post.. but this is not the policy of any school district I have seen and I would find it highly annoying if they did. Could you imagine being the poor car stuck behind that bus? Having to stop at every single house along the way.. wait for kids to get off the bus...walk so far away before the bus drives 10 feet and stops again? It would be enough to drive me mad!<br><br>
I came to this thread expecting to say no, absolutely not! When I went to school the buses did not come into the neighborhoods and dropped you off on the main street. I had to walk several blocks home by myself and come home to a sleeping stepfather. Fun fun! I was rarely taken care of as a child and had to do most things myself.<br><br>
That said it looks like you are talking about a VERY short distance. When my kids road the bus it dropped them off at a nearby corner. I live in the elbo of an L street. Across the street there are four houses that make a "block." So if you go kitty corner from the house across the street and the one kitty corner behind that.. the bus stop was on that corner. (did that make any sense?) Anyway I let my daughter walk home from that bus stop at 6. I was always by the door watching the bus come and go but she walked home alone. If it were me, I would let her.. but I would be watching out the door/window.<br><br><br><br>
| [ ] [ ] Bus stop this corner.<br>
| [ ] [ ]<br>
|__ _ _ _<br><br>
My house.. the elbow.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I let my 6 year old and we don't even watch him.<br><br>
I walk him to the bus station and wait with him in the morning because that's standing around alone time.<br><br>
But after school he gets off the bus and walks the 1 block home. My husband works from home. He has an alarm set and if our son isn't in the door by a certain time he goes looking. But we don't have an issue with it. It's getting off of the bus then actively walking home and into the front door unlike in the morning when it's standing around time. Plus I can tell you the names of the owners of every single house he passes on the way home (there are only 6 of them). I'm not especially close with any of them or socialize with them, but we do know the neighborhood fairly well.
 

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Yes, absolutely, if she is responsible about road safety. If she isn't, then no, absolutely not. BUT this is a privilege that she has earnt, and if she slips up even once (home late, etc.) then it's back to being met at the bus stop, I think.
 

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I can't imagine how long it would take the bus to pick up each kid if they had to stop at every house. Our bus picks up right across the street from our house. But if it were at the corner where it was earlier in the yar, I would have no problems with it. We live in a safe neighborhood and I let him play outside where I am not always in direct view of him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The bus is supposed to drop off at 3:30, but often it's more like 3:45. Twice, though, the bus dropped her off at 3:15...both times, she came walking through the door with a big smile and a "Hi Mom!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14747198"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It depends on the 6yo in question. Some 6yos can't reliably cross a street safely or walk down the block without getting distracted, running into the street instead of staying on the sidewalk, etc. Some wouldn't know to NOT go inside a neighbor's house without your permission, if the person seemed nice and invited her in.<br><br>
But most 6yos are probably capable of walking 1 block home safely. I don't think too many "crazy people" are likely to snatch up a child who's purposefully walking home (hanging out at the bus stop in the AM, waiting for the bus, makes me a lot more nervous.) It's only one block, and you can stand at the house watching her walk home every day.</div>
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Agreeance.
 

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I would. And I know I did walk 4 blocks to & from school "alone" when I was in grade one. But really I was rarely alone as we lived on a pretty main street & there was always a pack of kids walking together.
 

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I think it's fine. My DD1 gets dropped off a quarter mile from home, and I let her walk the distance by herself. She's not crossing any roads, and I can see her from the window for pretty nearly the whole distance. The only trouble we've ever had is when she got distracted picking up acorns and took too long to come home, and I had to go after her because she was going to be late for her dance class.<br><br>
I would not allow it if there were very busy streets to cross, or if the child was prone to wandering off or otherwise impulsive or irresponsible.<br><br>
Seriously, the chance that somebody is going to randomly snatch a young child is so slim that you'd literally have to leave the kid out alone for a thousand years before it'd be statistically likely. And I think that kids need, deserve, and benefit from chances to stretch their wings and be more independent. And I think a child six years old, otherwise reasonably mature for her age, is ready for something like that.<br><br>
Most kids who are kidnapped, abused, or molested are victims of family members and close family friends-- people they see often and have learned to trust. To have these things happen by a total stranger are extremely unlikely, and I choose not to waste my energy worrying about things like lightning strikes and flash floods and random kidnappings.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>flapjack</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14747704"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes, absolutely, if she is responsible about road safety. If she isn't, then no, absolutely not. BUT this is a privilege that she has earnt, and if she slips up even once (home late, etc.) then it's back to being met at the bus stop, I think.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
If you think she's capable and she wants to do it, it sounds like she's ready. Letting her stretch her wings a little in what sounds like an extremely safe environment sounds like a great plan IMHO.
 

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When I was in kindy (age 5-6) I walked to and from the bus stop alone. I am sure my mom kept an eye out the window but I doubt she could see me the whole time (esp. with a 2 and 4 YO at home who needed attention).<br><br>
I see no problem with this. My neighbor won't let her kids walk to and wait at the bus stop alone and I think she is way too overprotective. Most abuse/kidnapping stuff is by people the kid knows, not random strangers who drive by and nab a kid.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>surfamy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14747599"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi there,<br><br>
I read an interesting article recently that spoke to this situation. <a href="http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article4095977.ece" target="_blank">http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/l...cle4095977.ece</a><br><br>
It is about the woman in NYC who let her 9 year old ride the subway (She was then branded "America's worst mom!". It opened my eyes a little about the times we live in. For instance, when I was a kid, I walked about a mile home from my elementary by myself. This was the norm. But now we have this overarching fear that something will happen to our kids and that the times we live in are much more dangerous. In some ways they are, but in many ways, things are still safe.<br><br>
The answer is this: you know your daughter and her capabilities. If you feel that she can handle it, give her the tools to know what to do if a situation arose. Good luck!</div>
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My mom walked to and from school every day PLUS to and from for lunch (they walked home for lunch). Over a mile, starting in kindy. A lot has changed in 40 years.
 
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