Do you drive your kid to school every morning even though the same journey can be made on foot for just 10 minutes? Are you accompanying your child daily on the footpath to school? When is the right time to let your precious little one embark on a solo walking route to school?
When it comes to walking to school, it is unsurprising that numerous local mums and dads can’t bear to let their children roam free on the streets to school, for fear of a wide spectrum of threats in the form of cars and speeding bikes as well as molesters and robbers. It is understandable in light of potentially frightening accidents why so many parents quiver at the thought of their child being exposed to such danger.
Are there benefits of walking to school alone?
With so many things to consider before letting your child begin a solo journey to school, many frazzled parents would naturally want to delay the arrival of that fateful day to as late as possible. However, in being overly protective and constantly shielding your child from experiences like this, the advantages of letting your kid travel solo might not be fully reaped.
Besides building confidence and independence in your child when he or she walks to school alone, boons also include a sharper ability to assess risks and deal with them, priming a child to become more street-smart and observant with such exposure.
The secure streets of Singapore should put a parent’s worries to rest as it is relatively safe for a child to walk alone, especially in the day time. Additionally, walking to school instead of being driven there will also give a child the opportunity to be active in the morning fresh air, making for a great start to the school day.
Deciding if your child is ready
A child asking for permission to walk to school alone is the first step to identifying if he or she is ready. Concerned parents who struggle to determine whether their kid is too young to start the lone journey would find these questions helpful before making a decision.
[stextbox id=”info”]Is your child ready?
1. Does your child know that he or she can speak up when they feel uncomfortable (especially with strangers around)?
2. Does your child know how and who to approach to ask for help (at home and outside)?
3. Does your child know that it is okay to attract attention and fight back when they feel that they are in danger?
4. Does your child know how to describe his threats or dangerous situations?[/stextbox]
These guiding questions could facilitate the discussion between you and your spouse when you are deciding if your child is ready to walk to school alone. While the recommended age is often between 10 to 12 years, it ultimately depends on the maturity level of the child as well as other factors such as the distance of the journey, traffic conditions and how comfortable you and your kid are with the arrangement.