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Author Topic: age to leave alone  (Read 13146 times)

Offline spud

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2008, 12:34:00 PM »
I think parents are ultimatly the best people to decide when their child is ready to start experiencing independance.  Trust is a big factor.  Once children are over the age of 6/7 they no longer legally require "direct supervision", they can play in the basement or in the backyard and have a parent check in periodically..(for me its every 10-15 minutes and only when I know they are engaged in appropriate activities).  When my children reached age 9 or 10 I found my kids were ready to go to activities within the community like the library and were able to behave well enough and follow the expectations in library to find a book and Ill come back for them in a half an hour.  The staff know the kids and I m glad they were exposed to a healthy place like the library, (its a safer place than home even sometimes!) I know some of my old daycare kids who grew out of my place still go there as teenagers and feel comfortable to go there as a result of their earlier experiences.  When my kids were 10 and 11 or so I was able to leave them at the swimming pool for the public swim and then come back for them at the end..I feel comfortable with that..and so did my daycare families that I cared for with children that age.  These experiences exposed children to independance in safe environment with staff around to help if necessary.  It gave them early practice so now instead of standing around drinking at the parks and throwing snowballs at cars they are out skating at the rink and swimming or checking out whats going on at the library..now that worked for me..but some kids are nt that mature and its really up to parents how much and when they are going to let go or expose kids...i think its best to expose them to healthy outlets within the community instead of letting them just stay at home alone. I d rather her go to the library and finish her homework after school than be home alone...im sure the communities for which people live will play a major factor in parents decisions here also.  Theres my thought for the day :)

Offline Mhairi

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2008, 10:59:44 AM »
I agree with Spud and have actually spoken with my local police department regarding the legal age to allow children to be on there own and was told..as long as the child is mature and responsible..it is the parents judgement. They have no actual age limit..obviously common sense on the parents or guardians end. There is no reason at all not to allow a 9 year old or over..who is mature enough to know right from wrong and what to do in an emergency..to have some freedom to do things like age appropriate activities. If you are not the parent but the child is in your care and you feel the child is ready for this..than cover it with the child's parents and try to come to an agreement..of course, final decision falls on the parents and the other thing would be to cover yourself as the childcare provider. I see nothing wrong with children having independance and learning to fend for themselves in a positive enviroment with structure.

Offline spud

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2008, 02:33:46 PM »
Thanks for your comment Mhairi..I agree its important to discuss these things with parents before care commences so that it is completely clear what kind of and how much direct supervision school age parents expect from the provider.  I have found some (mainly new families) are very protective at first..but once they see how safe the environments that we go to are..they tend to revise their initial agreement...especially by age 10. Then there are the parents with really mature responsible kids at age 8..and they're happy their children get to have some freedom .. and positive experiences within the community.  In fact I still have some kids that come that are over the age of 12 because they actually have fun here, and their parents know they have me watching over them, but they are allowed appropriate freedom, so its ultimate..and safe...I have also learned that some kids....just arent going to be responsible..or simply dont know how or do not want to behave in public.. and they stay within sight at all times. 

Parents know their kids, and parents have their own feelings about what they are comfortable with..each of the unique differences in each child / family need to be respected and addressed appropriatly by the childcare provider.  This can sometimes be a challenge when trying to meet all the needs within the group..so the provider also needs to make decisions that are safe and good for the group as a whole, continuing to be able to supervise effectively all children in her care...

Offline Laura

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2008, 03:25:27 PM »
Haven't things changed dramatically over the past several years.  I remember being able to ride my bike or go for a walk with friends and siblings without our parents fearing about our whereabouts. Now with all the predators and likewise you just can't take the chance.  Even if it is parent discretion.

Offline spud

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2008, 04:53:29 PM »
Most agreeable.  If I lived in some communities within Canada/Ontario. I would definatly have a different approach...and may not offer the same choices...but I do live in a small town where we typically know everyone.  I think it really depends on where you are too.  If I lived in Toronto or Ottawa or Hamilton, London for example...not a chance baby...
Yes predators are everywhere, even in small towns, but reasonable discretion should be practiced...Children need to feel trusted and alloud small steps to freedom, after all, grade 9 comes fast...what do they do then if they arent experienced enough to survive teenage years! We want our youth to be able to make good decisions for themselves..and pick good things to do with their time...so hopefully...introducing them to appropriate activities and leaving them periodically to play games and proving their trustworthy, then they will feel good about being mature and will be good during adolescents...ah the teenage years...now thats another story !

Offline CareDC

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2008, 09:56:22 PM »
Ah.....well...that explains everything. The differences between small communities and large metropolises like Toronto are perhaps worth considering during these discussions. The chances of your child being harmed decrease significantly when you live in small towns. Traffic is hardly worth mentioning. Issues with drugs and minimised and so forth. When it comes to child safety in a community, location truly matters!

Offline spud

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Re: age to leave alone
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 02:03:20 PM »
IT sure does...I had to think for a moment, why wouldnt I let my child go to the park or the pool or something...well a big city came to mind..I have to remember not everyone lives in the boonies lol
I still wonder at what age people generally let their kids go for a walk to the park or a long bike ride unsupervised..as a child (and once again in the boon docks) I used to ride to the next county to see a friend of mine..but I still cant imagine doing that today...maybe a local ride and timed...perhaps to the park for one hour flat...

 

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