Parents know all too well about the importance of allowing children to take risks. But, at some stages, you may ask how far is too far in the risk stakes? How can you balance taking risks and keeping your kids safe?
It’s a complicated topic and one which will crop up time and again throughout their lives. You’ll ask yourself this with everything from letting them play out alone, to let them walk to and from school. Which, incidentally, is what we’re going to focus on.
The ability to get to and from school alone is crucial for kids. After all, their school life is their first foray into the outside world. As such, it’s vital that they take responsibility here. Hence why so many parents let their kids take the bus when they could easily drive.
But, what happens when you don’t live far enough to justify a bus ride? Should you let your kids walk alone? In days gone by, this wouldn’t have even been a thought. The majority of children walked forty minutes or more to reach the classroom each day. But, there are more risks now, and parents are less willing to let their kids branch out. Does that mean you should never leave them to walk to the classroom? Not at all. But, you might want to ask these questions before you loosen those reins.
How old are they?
First, consider the age of your kids. Letting a five-year-old walk to school would be an obvious no-no. Of course, all parents have different rules here. For the most part, though, anything under ten is probably risky. If you’re unsure, see what your child’s friends do. Talk to their parents, and make your decision that way. Either way; settle on an age to start this, and stick with it.
What’s the route like?
If you’re used to driving your kids to school, it’s worth walking for a week or more to see what the route’s like. This will give you a better understanding of how safe it would be for your children. If there are proper paths and crossings for the duration, this is a no-brainer. Even if not, you don’t have to give up here, though you may want to hold fire. Instead, get together a petition. If the council is made aware of the risks, they’re more likely to incorporate crossings and contact a company with civil engineering expertise who can improve the pavements. With these precautions in place, there’s no reason your youngsters can’t make their own way.
Can older kids keep an eye?
If you’re still worried, turn to older children who can keep a sensible eye open. If you have an older child in the same school, ask them. Either that or ask your friends if their kids could do so. Just knowing that someone’s looking out for your little ones could be enough to put your mind at ease. That, in turn, will make this transition much easier for you.
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