How old to ride bike alone around the block?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Laurabearz, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Laurabearz

    Laurabearz <font color=deeppink>I cant load my bobbin!<br><fo

    Nov 25, 2001
    DH and I are discussing this issue. He feels our 9 yo should be able to ride aorund the block alone, while I think she needs a buddy.

    9 just seems to young. Of Course the 9 yo is dying to do it... she wants to ride to the store and buy an apple. lol

    I do tend to be over protective, but I dont think at 9....

    We do let her ride her bike alone to school, but I am following her in the car for the most part.... UGH I want to hold on forever!

  2. luckey-lasvegas

    luckey-lasvegas All our $$ is in IRA's - Ice Rink Activities

    Dec 23, 2004
    Well I'm with you, of course our DD11 can only go to her friends on the corner with her cell phone in her pocket :rotfl: . We just started to let her ride her bike around the block by herself this year but she has her cell phone on her at all times, and I usually find something that needs to be done out front just so I can see how often she comes around. If she's with a buddy I feel so much better. I just think any child left alone is a bad thing waiting to happen, although it probably never will who want's to take the risk.;)
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  4. ragtopday

    ragtopday Proud Member of Red Sox Nation

    Aug 25, 2007
    I think a lot depends on the type of neighborhood you live in. I have let my now DD7 ride around our "block" since she was 6. She often rides with friends, but I have no issues with her going alone. However, there is a park nearby that I will not allow her to go to unless a grown-up is with her, even though it's no further than a complete ride around our neighborhood.

    I think we need to give our kids some freedom to navigate in the world, with limitations on that freedom, depending on age and maturity. You know your daughter, and your neighborhood, best. If you decide it's really not safe for her to ride her bike around your block, perhaps there is another "big kid" activity you could allow her to do? But if it's more your fears of her growing up, versus any real threats she is likely to encounter, you might want to find some way to allow it.
  5. tmarquez

    tmarquez DIS Veteran

    May 6, 2003
    I don't know the answer to your question. DD(5) can't ride her bike good enough to go 5 feet by herself!

    It's kind of sad because when I was 7 and 8 I rode my bike ALL OVER, sometimes by myself, sometimes with friends. We live in the same area that I grew up in and you never see young kids riding around alone these days.
  6. marcyinPA

    marcyinPA <font color=blue>I'll never forget the strong, pun

    Apr 2, 2001
    My DS is 9, and has been riding his bike around the block since last year. However, he does not have to cross any streets. He just rides on the sidewalk in a square...very easy.
  7. emh1129

    emh1129 <font color=green>I admit, though, that I had Disn

    Apr 10, 2004
    My oldest is only 6, so riding around the block alone is a long way off for us.. I don't know the answer. Whenever it feels right, I guess. I agree that it depends on your neighborhood- can is it a big block? Do you know almost everyone on it? etc.
  8. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 <font color=green>I just love those parmesan mashe

    Aug 18, 2005
    My answer is "no".

    Of course, about 5 minutes ago I finished reading on the Comcast news about the case of "Marcia Trimble"....a 9yo. girl who disappeared in 1975 while walking across the street from her house to a neighbor's to deliver a box of Girl Scout cookies. She never made it!! and her body was found a month later. How tragic.

    So my 10yo. won't be riding his bike around the block alone for awhile. That case just really hit home with me.
  9. abcboys

    abcboys DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2006
    My oldest starting riding around the block around 7 or 8. He will be 10 next month and I just started letting him ride his bike to school some days and one day last week he walked home. It is about 3/4 mile to his school. I tend not to over worry about stuff like that. I like to start giving them freedoms. Yes, on the days he rides his bike, after I take the 6 year old to school I drive by his school to make sure his bike is there. We live in a small town and have always felt pretty safe. Yes, I know things can happen anywhere but I choose not to live in fear.
  10. thegrimdwarf

    thegrimdwarf DIS Veteran

    Mar 30, 2008
    I don't think there's a right answer to your question.

    I know for me, in my neighborhood, my older boy will probably be riding around the block alone by the time he's 9. But my younger boy - ugh - he's a daredevil at age 2, so he might need a shorter leash til he's about 27, lol.

    It all depends on you, your kid, your neighbors, your neighborhood.... Nobody wants to keep their kid in a bubble, but at the same time, we want to keep them safe. It's a hard line to walk. I'm sure you'll make the right decision.
  11. MiMi2Three

    MiMi2Three now MiMi2Four

    Apr 14, 2008
    If you aren't ready or don't feel right about it, chances are it isn't time. I don't think that there is a set age when a child should be allowed away from adult supervision, situations vary and so do cities. I don't see it as not trusting the child or not allowing the child to mature, I see it as taking all of the factors that you have no control over into account. A child alone is vulnerable. As a parent I never felt pressured to let my daughters do something I wasn't comfortable with, just because "everybodys doing it." They are both adults now with their own children and they are responsible, mature women. All this to say that you can teach and foster responsible, mature behavior without jeopardizing your child's safety.
  12. imthatgirl

    imthatgirl DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2008
    only you can make the decision. my daughter is 8 and does on occasion ride around the circle alone. im comfortable with it. my neighborhood is a circle, one way in and one way out. i know all 12 people who live on the circle.
    of course its more often that she is with her girlfriends. but there is that occasion when she'll call around and no one will answer so she goes off to see if anyone is outside to play with. its been about a year that shes been doing this.
  13. dislal

    dislal DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2008
    I agree it totally depends on the neighborhood. Where I live I will not let my DD13 ride her bike alone on my road(only because it is windy and isolated) but where my mom lives ( where I grew up) my DS8 has been able to ride around by himself since he was about 5 it is a small town with two ways in and I know almost all the people so I feel safe there.
  14. Stephres

    Stephres Likes Disney and Scrapbooking<br><font color=deepp

    Jul 11, 2004
    It depends on what your definition of a "block" is. Since it contains a store, I would think it's on a busier street than just a neighborhood. I let my nine year old walk the dog around our neighborhood alone, but I know that my neighbor has her two boys (age 11 and 13) go together when they ride their bikes to the store because it is on a busier street.

    I think you should trust your gut; is there a buddy she could ride with to the store?
  15. SharpMomOfTwo

    SharpMomOfTwo DIS Veteran

    Dec 19, 2007
    We live on a loop - one way in, one way out, you just go around in a big circle.

    There are kids as young as 4 & 5 out on their bikes all alone all day every day. I can't believe it - I mean, I know my oldest DD is only 3.5, but theres no way I would ever let her even just outside by herself - I really don't know what these parents are thinking!!

    I was outside with my girls and a neighbor and her son one day, and one of these kids came by on her bike wearing only a bikini - no shoes, no helmet, nothing! She fell off her bike and scraped the heck out of her knee. While I ran inside to get a rag and some band-aids, my neighbor asked her the number house she lives at, and she didn't know!!! I cleaned her up, and told her to walk her bike home, and she told me, "NO - I DON'T HAVE TO." I don't know, but at 4-5 years old, I do not think you should be allowed out on your own on a bike, especially if you don't know your house number!
  16. licountrygirl

    licountrygirl licountrygirl

    Feb 15, 2005
    Although my son is going to be 13 in December. It's not that I don't trust him, I do - it's the rest of the wackos in the world that I don't trust.

    I made the mistake of allowing him to take a run around the block the other day. Then I thought about it. At any time, someone with a van could just pull over to the side and grab him through the door. Even if he wasn't "hunted," he could still be accidentally hit by a car. He'd be laying there and I'd never know.

    Now with a friend and their cell phones, I allow him to go a couple of blocks. He's not going to be running or riding without someone with him ever again.
  17. turnlisa

    turnlisa DIS Veteran

    Jan 7, 2002
    We started letting my oldest DS ride his bike to school last year - he was in 6th grade and it is only 1 1/2 blocks. Took me a long time to get to that point since I grew up in a small town and now we live near Detroit. When I say "near" I mean in a really nice suburb 20 minutes away BUT still....

    I think it really depends on your level of being comfortable. My DS does have a cell phone and when he leaves school in the afternoon, he has to call me to tell me he is on his way home. Those days when he forgets how to use the phone (ok, maybe I just think he does), or has forgotten his phone make me tense. I think my DS was ready a lot sooner than DH or I, but I definitely needed that extra year of reassurance. Do what feels best for you - not worth your having to worry!
  18. fortheluvofpooh

    fortheluvofpooh I believe in fairies, I do, I do!!!!!

    Jul 7, 2007
    it really depends on the child, and the neighborhood. My 7 1/2 yr old is allowed around our block. We live in a small town and everyone on our block knows us and our kids.
  19. HeatherC

    HeatherC <font color=blue>Alas...these people I live with t

    May 23, 2003
    I personally don't care what kind of neighborhood it is. I think kids should always have a buddy with them.

    Unfortunately, there are way TOO MANY wackos out there who don't really care what kind of neighborhood it is.

    As for me, I feel like it only takes a split second for something to happen that could have horrible consequences. In that case there wouldn't be a second chance. I just don't want to risk it.

    I do, however, feel kids need to learn independence and gain more freedom as they get older. We don't want to raise them to be scared and timid. But I think there is a way to do that while still insuring their safety.

    I also live in Massachusetts...not far from where Molly Bish was abducted and killed while lifeguarding at a local pond. Her poor mother dropped her off for work and never saw her again. Unfortunately, no one else was with her. But she was 16 and you'd think that would be old enough...but it wasn't. Horrifically tragic.

    Another local girl in the next town went for a walk and has never been seen again. She was 12.

    I'm not taking any chances.
  20. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2006
    I think 9 is fine to just ride around the block. Ds10 has friends 1, 2, 3, and 4 blocks away, and he's allowed to walk or ride there. If they're riding across town, however, I like a buddy.
  21. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    It depends on a wide variety of variables:

    1. What your neighborhood is like.
    2. How busy and bikeable the surrounding streets are (my kids can go pretty far in our cul-de-sac neighborhood - but are limited by crossing busy streets on their bikes).
    3. How responsible your kids are - some kids will ride to the store, buy an apple, come back. Some will ride to the store, leave with a friend, and make you convinced they were abducted before showing up three hours later with "What? I was over at Meghan's"
    4. How good a biker your kid is - my daughter isn't good enough at nine to go very far without supervision. My son is a much more competent biker.
    5. How ready you are to let it happen. Even when you have a good neighborhood, bikeable streets, and a responsible kid - if you aren't ready - as long as you haven't reached the point where you are packing your own suitcase for the dorm room - then you aren't ready.

    As for bad people - my high school boyfriend's sister was murdered when she was 24. You can't keep kids under glass forever - eventually you need to take the chance that the bad people are few and far between.

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