prettymommy Posted September 16, 2011 Share Posted September 16, 2011 1) Allow your child to walk home and stay home alone after school unsupervised; 2) Have a computer in his/her bedroom; and 3) Have a cell phone Reason I am asking is that these questions were posed to some Parenting magazine readers, and the answers surprised me. My thoughts are as follows: 1) 10 years old/ 5th grade. My brother and I started walking home on our own at 4th grade. We were fine. My son and I now live in a safe, albeit urban, area. My son is extremely mature for his age. He wouldn't be home alone longer than 1.5 hours after school. I work 5 minutes from our home. Feel its best to get him use to going home on his own before he transitions to middle school in 6th grade, where there is no after school program. He will have a couple small chores to complete each day. I also plan to get a dog for us about 6 months before he starts staying home on his own, so that he has some "company'. We've wanted a dog for a while, and I figure it would be a good time to introduce one to our home. Walking the dog, feeding, and playing with it would be part of his "chores" in the afternoon when he comes home. 2) Already has one. Has had it since he was six. It's password protected, and only I can log him in. Got him a computer so he could start to become familiar with a computer, and he mainly uses it to play educational games. Also knew the computer could double as a TV for him to watch movies in his room when I wanted the main TV, so to me it was like killing two birds with one stone. He does use the Internet a little bit, but I have a number of parental safeguards in place, and also have spyware on it so I can monitor what sites he goes to. Figure instead of making it like this "forbidden fruit", best to make it familiar from a young age so that it's commonplace to him. My father had a computer from as long as I can remember, and as a child it never seemed too interesting to me, even after the Internet started gain in popularity, b/c I had always been around it and to me it was no big deal... 3) 10 years old. One, if I'm going to have him walking home on his own, I want him to have a cell phone. We also have a land line at home. I also remember this as the age when my parents had gotten me a phone for my room as a child. They had rules for me for my phone usage, and I will likely do the same for my child. Link to comment
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