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What Age Let Daughter Walks Home From School?

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MustangLady | 20:07 Thu 25th Sep 2014 | Family
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My niece is 11yrs old (her birthday was August) and in the new term just gone up to 1st year senior school. My sister in law called me tonight to try resolve a dispute between her and my brother. Currently, my SIL still takes/collects my niece from school, involves 15 minute walks both ways, the route of which crosses over an unmanned open railway line/public footpath between houses. This route is a popular route with everyone travelling to/from school. The alternative is a 45 minute journey. When collecting her daughter, she said she doesn't actually walk with her instead follows about 20 paces behind her, allowing her to walk with group of 3-4 mates, who gradually disperse to their own homes, my niece being the furthest to travel. Once her friends have left my SIL then continues final stage of journey with daughter.
Basically, my SIL feels like a 'spare-part' and feels she is not needed to take/collect daughter much longer, feels at 11yrs old, walking with friends, her daughter is safe enough to go to/from school on her own but suggests meeting her before railway crossing as that's them only part of journey she wants

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Unless it's a lonely road, to me 11 is quite old enough to be making this journey alone. What does your niece feel about this? I don't see the purpose of meeting her if she's making most of the journey with her schoolfriends.
I think 11 is old enough to walk by herself. As you said, the route is busy with other people, she will be with friends most of way. I'd let her do it.
Well old enough to be walking to school on her own. Has she got a mobile?
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(Oop pressed submit in error...continued...) reassurance about.
My brother however feels their daughter is still not old enough to make this journey without parental supervision. He feels she only just left junior school, she's only been senior school less than month and its too soon to stop. He knows children can be easily distracted and don't trust anyone to be responsible enough get. He has now told their daughter to wait in library at school and he
I'd let her unless the crossing of the railway line is after the friends have gone and she's on her own. If that was the case I'd probably meet her at the line for a few months, just because I'd worry.
On a well trodden and busy route that age is fine to walk to and from school - as long as she is thoroughly aware of the absolute need to be ultra safe regarding the railway line.
Both myself and sister were walked to & from primary school, then part of the 'step-up' to secondary was to walk alone and meet up with fellow schoolmates sometimes if they were walking the same way. Although, I wasn't allowed into 'town' shopping at 11, it seems quite a logical step to let her walk on her own now. Most 11 yr olds have enough road and stranger danger sense to suss the school route out without issue, so I'd say yes, let her walk to school un-chaperoned if she is sensible enough.
My son is maybe a couple of weeks older- also at a new school. Their walk is 40 mins. He would be walking with friends if he hadn't hurt his ankle. All my others were getting themselves there and back at that age. There are literally hundreds walking - they aren't alone.
I feel sorry for your niece. Children can be a bit nasty about things like this - having to wait for her parents to collect her is going to be singling her out to the other girls as someone whose parents are very protective. Your brother's got to let go sometime - he can't keep her coddled up now she's at secondary school.
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Will personally pick her up daily. My niece has not argued about this and more than happy to wait for him. My SIL feels upset than he has stopped their daughter from walking with her friends and feels this may single her out for ridicule. My SIL asked me it this makes her a bad mother, was she wrong in trying give daughter bit of independance.
Your views Please...
Perhaps for a while you could meet your daughter at the point where all her friends have left and she is on her own. I know what it must be like as I would be petrified if it was me had to make the decision, but some time you have to let go and give them independence or they will be laughed at and made fun of as 'mummy's girl' and 'baby'.
No, your SIL's not wrong. Your niece has to test the water and spread her wings, and this would be a controlled situation. What's your brother so afraid of? perhaps someone needs to ask him.
on a different tack, if i was you I would never ever ever ever ever get between a husband and wife especially when its over raising their kids.
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I do appreciate your comments/views. It is hard to 'let go' of your babies and know it has to be done sometime. They need to come to a compromise and agree the crossing (in my opinion) is the hairiest part of journey so maybe SIL could meet her just before that part, by which time only 1 friend would be with her on a normal day. Thankyou all.
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boxtops; brother says it isn't his daughter he doesn't trust, it's other people. Hear so many stories, recently scare of van in area approaching kids (school gave warning before holidays).
Woofgang; I try hard not get involved. I only do give my unbiased opinion and stress my opinion only if pushed, thankfully I do get on well with brother and SIL.
I think it depends on how 'streetwise' your niece is and the sort of area she is walking through, but she will have to be given the independence at some stage - just so hard to make that leap, especially with your eldest/only child.
Won't get streetwise unless you let them go out.
I'm with father for collection. I couldnt forgive myself if any of mine suffered an incident that I was able to avoid for them.
At 11 I'd have thought that the time had come for her to gain confidence walking for 15 minutes. Appreciate that my 15 minute walk to school was a different era and didn't cross a railway but I took myself to school from about age 5. I'd have been embarrassed to have mummy take me at 6, and died of embarrassment at 7.
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