The Beginning of the End?

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When you have children you know the day will come. You dream about it, scare yourself silly about it and just plain fret about it. While they’re growing you kid yourself that it won’t happen. For me, it happened yesterday; My 8 year old son, after receiving pocket money, asked to go to Tesco - alone

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OMG!! Alone?

My baby out on his own - why would I let him do that?

Well he thought it was a fantastic idea. He wanted to walk more than two miles, in the dark, across busy roads, to go and spend his money. I forced a smile and pretended I wasn’t bothered by his request but inside I felt sick. The thought of him walking all that way alone, nope. Not gonna happen!

It came as such a shock! He’s never really been bothered about being on his own before and I guess I’ve been kidding myself that he would grow up without the need to do it. I’m terrified of letting him out of the door, not knowing where he is or what he’s up to. It makes my stomach flip, my heart pound and my legs turn to jelly. I hate it. But, of course, I don’t have much of a choice in the matter, I know I’m going to have to let him go at some point and I will have to face the fact that I can’t keep my eye on him all of the time. 

So, what to do? 

After my son went to bed the hubby and I talked about it. There are so many scenarios you have to consider and, it being our first time, we didn’t really know where to start. Our initial instinct is to give him a phone, make sure he knows how to use it and keep track of him that way. This has it’s own drawbacks, the most significant being what if he loses it?

Next we had the idea that he could walk home from school one day, it’s just one long road and he would be heading home, we know how long it should take and when he would be leaving school, so if he was late we’d know it. There’s also the possibility of involving one of his school friends, with their parents permission, of course. They could walk home together and then, on arrival, I would text the other parent or they would text me to let me know they’d arrived home. 

With so many possibilities how do you choose just one? This is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to face as a parent so far and I think I need help. I’m not sure what the first step should be so I’m asking all of you. If you’re a parent who has done it, how did you? How did you deal with doing it that first time? What steps did you take to minimise risk? If you’re a parent who hasn’t done it yet but have some great ideas, please let me know what they are. This is one of those things that all parents have to deal with and I’d love to hear your views on the issue.

6 comments:

  1. You're incredibly Brave... We held off till he (our middle son) was 12. Our older son is Autistic, and we never envisioned letting him go out solo. We let our older son walk home from school solo, and one year later, he's also collecting his older brother. There were weeks where we snuck out to watch them walk home, making sure they didnt see us doing it.But as with you, its a straight route home, so little chance of getting lost. On the flip side, a few weeks back we rescued a little girl on her first day at secondary school. Her mum had sent her off by herself, and she had no idea where she was going, and was sitting on our wall crying. I guess it depends on how ready the child is!

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    1. I really don't know if I'm ready for it. He keeps insisting that he wants to walk to Tesco alone and it scares me silly! It definitely depends on the child, I'm hoping mine will forget about it for a few years but I'm not sure that will happen!

      Morgan x

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  2. Oh God, my one and only Aaron is only 29 months. I am nowhere near this stage - good luck.

    I found you via your comment at Multiple Mummy.

    Thank you for saying that you'll join in on 24th.

    You have a lovely blog.

    Liska
    @NewMumOnline
    xx

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    1. Wow, 29months seems eons ago! Before you know it you'll be asking us this same question!

      Thanks for stopping by. I'll be sending good wishes for Multiple Mummy from now until she gets better. We should all stick together in times like this and I hope the prayers and wishes help.

      Morgan x

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  3. Oh gosh, I dread this moment arriving in our household. I think you were totally right not to let me do a 2 mile walk in the dark aged 8. Though my daughter is yet to turn three, many friends have older children and I think that around ten seems to be when a bit more freedom seems to happen. As a child I know that I used to accompany my little brother over to the sweet shop before I had turned seven, but I also know that the route meant my mum could watch us all the way there and back from a window in our house! Guess there's no chance of that with this Tesco run!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Luci. I'd love it if he would wait til he was 10!

      This is my problem... where we live there are no shops nearby, no friends houses he can go to, but he keeps asking!

      The other day I let him walk up to the post box, it's about 200 yards from the house, but I had to stand by the gate and watch him go. He wasn't impressed!

      So far I've resorted to allowing him to go off to his classroom alone in a morning while I drop his brother off at nursery. I check that he's gone in as I leave school but he's not aware of that, so I guess I'm winning somewhere... maybe.

      Morgan x

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