thread: Is this too Young?

  1. #1
    jaggard Guest

    Is this too Young?

    I had my SIL visit yesterday she has a 9 year old girl. She was telling me how she sent her to the shops on her own for the first time the other day to get a lettuce. They live in Sydney (upper North Shore).
    She rode her bike, I guess a 10 minute ride from their house. I don't know I think it's too young, yet I haven't any children of that age to know when to feel the time is right to let your child go off on their own.
    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    I am, unfortunately going to be one of *those* parents. Meaning that there is no way Paris would be allowed to go to the shop on her own at 9, riding her bike or not, sidestreets or doesn't matter. I know its not great to wrap our kids in cotton wool, but I would rather sit on the side of caution. I will be the same with walking to school, parks, public transport etc etc. I think everyone's different but I personally think its too young.


  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jul 2005

    This is way too young. I won't allow it especially given she was by herself. It would be safer in a group but then again even with that I would feel uncomfortable.

    Anything could of happened.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jul 2004

    I also think that is a bit too young. I know i won't be letting my children go to the shops/school/friends house on their own until they are in high school.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    May 2005

    i don't think that sounds too young - but maybe that is because i have never lived in sydney? where i live it is not unusual to see eight and nine years olds walking around town by themselves. but again maybe that is because i don't live in a large city.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Feb 2005
    Mid North Coast NSW

    being from a small town, i dont really know. in sydney it sounds scarier. but having said that, weirdos can be anywhere, and Emma definately wont be out on her own like that at 9 [-(

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Nov 2004
    Western Australia

    Where we live is in a small town but i still dont let Em go to the shop on her own. Jess is 11 and she has a couple of times. The idea of being in a highly populated area and letting a 9 year old do that seems scary to me...though i guess it depends on the child..and the area.


  8. #8
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    Nope not a chance I'd let my kids at that age & (sexist as it might sound) especially not a girl.

    I remember doing a 2min walk to the corner shop when I was about 6 with my 8yo sister, but it was different then. It's sad that our kids do have to be so protected now *sigh*

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    I'm going out on a limb a bit here it seems but my daughter goes to the shops around the corner by herself at 10. Because I don't drive and walk pretty much everywhere (or catch the train) she has grown up to be very street savvy. Our suburb is very quiet too and we know nearly everyone in our street. All the shop owners know her too (it's a very small village strip). Lots of kids play on the footpath in our street too and she's always out there playing and riding her bike, rarely inside on the TV. It's pretty much how I lived in the 1970's in our rural town. The families round here are very trust worthy too and we all look out for each other's kids. Having said all this I know the dangers but I do deem it safe and appropriate given her attitude, maturity and stranger awareness. I believe the prevalence of childhood obesity to be an insidiously quiet danger too. Most of my daughter's school friends get driven to school even though they live one or two blocks away through quiet residential streets. These same girls can't jog 100m without puffing and panting. You don't have to be overweight to be unfit. I've recently heard that our children's generation aren't as healthy as ours and are going to have a lot more health issues... little wonder when we model behaviour like driving to the shops that are literally around the corner. I don't advocate this level of independance for all 10yo's either... it would definately depend on maturity, confidence, and especially the environment. I know that my beliefs will be in the minority but I thought I might as well be honest... I would also like to know the statisitics for child abduction/accidents compared to child car accidents/health problems due to a sedentary lifestyle. This is a really interesting thread btw, I'll be interested in further opinions

  10. #10

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.

    I tend to agree with Bathsheba, I believe we need to teach our children to be "street savy". Just because we cannot protect them from everything, does not mean we should not give them tools to survive outside the home. On top of that we need to provide our children with a safe and loving home so they are not fooled by the offers of strangers.

    From personal experience I think there is too much concern about the danger outside the home and not enough about who we let into our lives that have access to our children. My sister and I were put in more danger by the men that mum let into our lives than those we met in the street.


  11. #11
    Registered User

    Nov 2004
    Western Australia

    Very very true Astrid.


  12. #12
    Custardtart Guest

    I think it's borderline. If there were two girls of that age going I'd be more comfortable. My eldest daughter is eight, and I wouldn't be happy with her going for a 20 minute round-trip in Sydney on her own, but with a friend I might consider it - depending on the exact area.


  13. #13
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    Oh Astrid that is SO true!!! My mother left my dad when I was 12 and had a succession of boyfriends one of which was quietly abusive. The statistics do support the fact that children are much more likely to be hurt by people they know rather than strangers. However i agree btw that riding a bike in Sydney is a bit of a different story... I'm scraed as a pedestrian in the busier parts of Sydney let alone riding on the road. I think the most important aspect of ensuring your child is safe in their neighbourhood is to get to know your neighbours and point out to your child 'safe houses' in case things do go wrong.

  14. #14
    Pietta Guest

    I remember when i was 9 i was walking 20 mins (i think it was- mind you everything takes forever when your 9!!) nowdays no way jose would Ryley be going anywhere by himself. Like the others said- maybe consider it at 10 with a friend.

    But i too come from metro capital city

  15. #15
    Margot_In_Oz Guest

    I'm amused by those that posted who said they had walked to the shops as children but that these days, there's no way they'd let their children do the same.

    The incidence of child abductions and other crimes etc etc hasn't increased much (and in some places has decreased). The only difference is that we now have a well oiled media machine and that crimes against children are now publicised much more by the media. So it's in our face much more and thus seems more prevalent.

    It's no more unsafe now for children to walk the streets than it was when we were young. I think our attitudes are just different and people are more likely to wrap their kids in cotton wool (probably like I will!!).

    And I agree with others, it also depends on where you live. I live in suburbia, and don't think I'll have a problem with my daughter riding her bike around the neighbourhood at 9. All the other kids do around here.

    Just my two cents worth! O


  16. #16
    Registered User

    Oct 2004

    I dont think it is too young.. I mean, my mum let us do that when we 9 and it was fine. I lived in same area as your friend, and in my experience, its really not dangerous at all. I dont think we should shelter children too much. I suppose it all depends on the child though.

  17. #17
    Sweetie Guest

    mmm I wouldn't let my daughter walk (ride) alone to the shops, or even in two's for that matter. it would only take a second for a kid to be snatched and it happens alot, even at an older age then that.

    When it comes down to it it's up to the parents and if anything goes wrong I guess they have to live with that.

    Take care all. Mary.

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    Well said Shannon! \/ I agree totally with teaching your child strategies rather than attempting to wrap in cotton wool... if you try to over protect it will never stop... "Oh they might get mugged, oh they might get hit by a bus, oh they might get approached to buy drugs" etc etc etc. Educating your child is the wisest option and I suspect some parents might avoid doing this because they might be trying to protect their child's innocent perception of the world. It's not easy or pleasant discussing topics like child abuse but it's got to be done and by 9yo you should have discussed these issues at the appropriate level.