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Tuesday Tips: Would you let your child walk to school on their own?

Would you let your kids walk to school on their own?

Would you let your kids walk to school on their own?

This is our regular guest post by Beckie Whitehouse from Be Confident Coaching.

I did this morning – well the oldest one anyway! I am, of course. talking about walking to school (on their own).

He set off, the remaining three of us following shortly behind and we met up in the playground.

He does have to cross a couple of roads, our fairly quiet one and a busier one – but being 10 I feel he needs to begin these things – in another year he will be in his last few weeks at primary, preparing to go on to secondary school.

I say preparing, but that’s already begun, the year 5’s had their first visit last week…but that’s another story…

In all seriousness, I was asked this question

Would I let my children go out on their own?

It all came down to whether they would what to do if someone was hurt, or they were asked to get in a strangers car?

We have talked this through; about where other friends or people we know live, or to go to the local shop if they are near it.

We want them to feel safe, but also to know who to turn to and get help but in a way that does not frighten them.

The lady I was chatting to was concerned her children wouldn’t know what to do – and in a way she’s right – none of us can be 100% sure they would know exactly what to do and we cannot protect them from everything. All we can do is prepare them as best we can

In fact, that is our responsibility; to teach them skills to take out with them and use if need be.

Kids having fun together

Kids having fun together

We are lucky that we live in a quiet no through road, we know lots of our neighbours and there are other families whose kids go out and play with ours. It’s a great thing they can do; I could never play outside the house where I grew up because it was next to a main road.

Apart from that, it can be so convenient.

Now I can send either of the older two or both down to the local shop for the milk I forgot. But I have to keep an eye on the change. We happened to see one Sunday morning something being put in the bin on return and closer inspection revealed it to be a chocolate wrapper ….and so the conversation moves on to honesty!!

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Actually Mummy...

Thursday 28th of June 2012

Oh, I have all this to come! The thought of letting them go out alone scares the living daylights out of me :(

Hollie Smith

Tuesday 19th of June 2012

My daughter is ten and has been walking to school alone for a little while now. We have a middle school system here - she started there last September - and it just seemed like a very natural time for her to make this leap. She usually goes in with a friend in the morning, and on the way back she will either make her own way home, find a friend to walk with, or come and meets us (my youngest is still at primary). She's pretty sensible, but of course I worry about crossing roads, and running into bullies or worse. But what can you do? They have to spread their wings, and all that. Like most people of my generation, I'm often to be heard saying, 'well WE were walking to school alone - and playing free, generally - when we were eight!' Times have changed I guess.

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