My son wants to walk to school but I don’t think he’s ready. He’s 12 and starting high school. The high school is located reasonably close to our home. But to get to it he has to cross a busy road.
And I once busted him running across the road while the little red man was flashing.
Plus, he doesn’t have much experience walking anywhere. It was always easier to drive because of his little brother and sister. Now he feels like he is all grown up, owing to the fact he is a high schooler, and he is craving more freedom and independence.
Maybe I’m just not ready.
Child psychologist Dr. Kelly Bowers from Youthrive Integrated Therapy Services says there’s no particular age at which a child can walk to school, however under 10 and you may come under the scrutiny of law enforcement.
From the age of 10, she says it depends on the child.
The ridiculous things we believed as kids. Article continues…
“Ask yourself whether you feel confident in your child’s ability to cross roads, be aware of stranger danger, navigate their way to school and to arrive in a timely manner,” said Dr Bowers. “You might also want to consider a few other things when making this decision. Is your neighbourhood a safe area? Are there any major roads that your child needs to cross? Does your child have a buddy to walk with? Does your school have a walk to school policy?”
The answers to those questions are, yes I think the neighbourhood is safe, yes there is a major road my child needs to cross, no my child doesn’t have a buddy to walk with and no his high school doesn’t have a walk to school policy.
What even is that?
Dr. Bowers suggests looking for signs a child isn’t ready to walk to school instead of signs they are ready. “Children who are impulsive, easily distracted, have a lack of regard of what is happening around them, or who have a poor road sense or sense of danger may not yet be up to walking to school on their own.”
She says regardless of what we decide, developing a consistent routine is key.