I am looking for opinions on what is an appropriate age to walk to the school bus stop alone and wait by yourself and then walk home by yourself after school. I have a second grader who goes to an in home daycare before and after school. The house is on a culdesac and the bus stop is not visible from the house, it is around the corner. I asked that they walk him to and from the bus (he is the only school age child) since he had never ridden a regular bus before, only the daycare bus previously. He got so upset today and was disrespectful to his teacher there because he doesn't want to be walked. He thinks he's old enough. The teacher said there are no other adults at the bus stop with their kids so she said maybe he was feeling embarrassed that he was the only one. I asked him if any of the kids have teased him and he said no but they look at him. I said maybe they were just looking at him. He said there are a lot of 4th and 5th graders at his stop and I just worry about him getting bullied or accidently pushed into the street or whatever else. Not that I don't trust him, but I don't know the other kids since it's not our neighborhood.
What do you guys think? Am I being too overprotective or is he still too young?
I think you have to go with your gut feeling on it and feel comfortable with the whole thing. Our kids had to wait for the bus at the end of our very long driveway in the country which is like going down a road. We weren't comfortable not being able to see them from the house and also worried about someone stopping on the road because they saw them. This is what we did but I'm not sure it will work for you. They also wanted to act grownup and not have us walk them there so we kind of "hid". We stayed close enough so we could really see them and get to them if we needed to and they knew we were there but no one else could see us. That worked very well. Maybe you could have the day care worker also walk them "most" of the way and then just watch from a short distance. My kids didn't wait with other kids so I can see where he might be embarrassed but he's still pretty young to venture off; I'd be worried too.
I guess it just depends on the child. I remember living across the street from my best friend when I was 5 and my mother not letting me go over there because she said I wasn't old enough to cross the street. Now I live in a big city and I see children that age walking to school down very busy city streets with other elementary school children. I think that they grow up in the city and get used to it.
I know there are different rules for different families (my mantra), but in this neck of the woods, second grade is still too young to wait for a bus out of the view of the day care provider. I would rather have my DS mad at me but safe, then the alternative. Trust your instincts. They very rarely steer us wrong!
someone mentioned it depends on the child and situation, and that is true. My oldest ds is 9 1/2 now and for the first time in his life he has to walk home from the bus sometimes. It has been working out great. He walks with our youngest ds (almost 7). I would never have let either of them walk alone at age 7...but oldest ds was ready. He does a great job. They have a farther walk than what you described though, and often times have to let themselves in with the key. Dh or I get home 10 min after them, so it has been great practice for them to start developing some responsibility and independence. You will know when he is ready... but even then, it's still hard in the beginning to see them growing up and taking on such a big responsibility!
who died and made him king???!!!!! In this day and age of strangers/kidnappers/and all that you are right to say to him that it's not safe for him to walk all that way by himself....
yes, his feelings will be hurt...better to have hurt feelings than a missing boy.
I too live in a culdesac and my 2 boys have to walk around a corner and up a small slope to get to the bus stop (it's only about 2 blocks long)....the kicker is there was always another adult at the bus stop or other kids (older and younger)...last year ( my 5th grader and 7th grader) started walking to the bus by themselves (of course, I am able to see them from my window when they go around the corner)....
but does the babysitter know any of the older kids? maybe she can walk him and an older child can be a buddy? You can also tell him that "later" he can do it alone but until then someone has to be there. it took my dd years to realize that "later" never really came
Trust your instincts. I used to be a home daycare provider - they should be able to walk down to where they can either meet him or at least keep an eye on him while he walks home. I think you should ask for that service. Having other older kids there is not enough JMHO b/c they are children and you can't put the safety of your child onto other children let alone stranger children. This trust and responsibility belongs w/ an adult.
My children are MUCH older than yours and if they don't have a buddy they have to have an adult. THat's just the way it is.
Could your child be walked within a visible distance and the adult wait at that point? (Like when my Mom watched from the porch.) It would allow your child to build independence without making him look so much younger that the other children there. I do not think your child is unreasonable, just pushing for independence. This opportunity can be embraced and capitalized for future situations. I agree that your child needs supervised and I would not allow him to dictate the terms. You decide what works for you, but as a teacher, I encourage independence and the responsibility that comes with it. I just feel that it comes in steps, not all or nothing.
Yes, I have children of my own.