It's common for some parents to allow their children to walk to school alone or with friends. However, the world is evolving. Things are not how we were as kids. Parents need to be more proactive and alert. Part of that includes walking them to and from school - or at the very least having another adult do the job. This is especially true for those below high school age. We can't shelter our kids, but we can't be irresponsible with them either. My children are currently homeschooled. However, when they did attend public school, walking to school without adults was not an option.
1. Your child may not be as responsible as you think. Just because your child behaves like the perfect little angel in your presence doesn't mean she can do no wrong. It's only natural for children to be curious about things. Your child might wonder if it's a good idea to ditch school, stop at a corner store, or worse - cause fights with other kids. If you walk to school with your child, this can deter such things from happening, at least during the time period where it's least likely that other adults are around.
2. Kids walking without parents are more vulnerable to pedophiles and other criminals. Pedophiles, kidnappers, and other criminals look for children that are walking alone - especially children without adults around. They are a much easier target than kids with supervision. To keep your kids safer, consider walking or biking to and from school with them. If you are not available during those times, choose another responsible and trusted adult to do so.
3. If your child's friend is mischievous, your kid gets in trouble too. So, your kid is uber-responsible? So what. He or she cannot stop the actions of friends in many instances. If your kid's friend gets into some trouble, your kid also may be associated with the misdeed. It's much safer to be sure adults are around so that these things don't happen.
4. Walking to and from school is great for family time and saves on gas. You and your child can talk about family issues, school, hopes and dreams, or anything else. This is a good opportunity to get closer and learn more about each other. Plus, it's great exercise and saves on gas. Good for the Earth, your wallet, and the family's mental health.
5. Walking with your child helps you get to know their school environment better. By being proactive and accompanying your child on the school walk, you get to know more about their friends and learning environment. Observe who they talk to, invite friends over, and watch what the teachers and administrators are doing before and after school. This helps you stay in touch with their school life without being too intrusive.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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