DD1 is almost 9.5 and recently began asking for more household responsibilities in hopes of gaining more independance. She's responded well to some new chores and I'm finding myself very grateful for the extra help she's providing but am struggling with a couple of her requests, mainly staying home alone and walking by herself short distances.
She'd like me to allow her to stay home while I run quick errands, pick up a sibling, drop off a playdate, walk the dog, etc. In most cases, these things take less than 15 minutes and never more than 30 minutes but I still feel uncomfortable. I actually don't worry at all about her or her behavior in the house, she would be perfectly fine, stay inside and read, do homework or play in her room. I stress over all the other factors of her not beig directly supervised. Same goes with her desire to help out by walking from the school bus stop to her taekwondo class which are less than 2 blocks apart (separated by the local park and police station).
Am I being to protective? Is there such a thing? For those with older kids, when did you allow such things? For those who haven't reached this point, what are your thoughts? TIA.
Okay, this posts makes me hyperventilate a little. I don't think you are being too protective. For some reason 13 seems like the magical age for such things to me. Curious, are any of her peers doing these things on their own?
I think it depends a lot on where you live -- small town, big city, etc.
Emily is (almost) 7, so it's hard for me to say when I will let her be home alone. Not for awhile, though, that's for sure!
I was looking through a city parks brochure this week, and saw they offered a workshop for kids to stay home alone. It was for kids ages 9-11, so you seem to be in the right age group to start considering it.
Trust me, I was having major anxiety just typing that out. I've always invisioned 12 or even 13 being the appropriate age for things like staying home alone, sitting in the front seat and going off to sleep away camp but now that I'm faced with a responsible and mature 9.5 year old who is begging to be allowed to finish her book at home instead of loading up in the car so we can drop off her brothers friend, I find myself needing to reevaluate my position.
The walking 2 blocks thing in a no brainer for DH, as he grew up in this small town and walked the same tree lined streets for years. To make things worse, he feels like she should be doing it already and that since I'm at the end destination with DD2 in a class (which is why it's hard for me to meet at the bus stop) Logan should walk along side her. Ugg, I just can't seem to get on board with that any easier than I can imagine leaving DD2 in class and risk the bus being late and her being the one left alone.
As for the peers, no, not really but similar things are beginning to happen. A group of her classmates take the bus to the swim club, get off, check in with the office manager, change for swim team and swim for 45 minutes before their parents arrive. To me that's different (and I did allow her to do that during the fall session) because they are being supervised in some degree by adults (... and I always showed up before she got in the water).
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