When I was a kid me and my siblings rode several buses across town to attend a private school. I was the youngest so in this case I was not alone. However, I did eventually walk and/or bus to the public schools (in DC) starting 2nd grade. With a sibling at first then eventually alone (when sibling graduated).
Me and my son's father is trying to arrange for our son to meet him off the subway (right across from his job) on certain Fridays. I remember having a conversation with the father a while back where I suggested letting him ride the subway to meet him...alone. At that time, the father was like "he didn't feel comfortable with him riding alone like that ... let alone allowing his 14 year old to do so". I thought that he was being waaay over protective and told him so.
Fast forward to today, I guess he is okay with it now. But after talking about it with co-workers it was as if I had grown two horns in my head. The issues seem to be: crossing a busy intersection alone and being amidst DC school kids. Made me feel like a bad parent for even thinking about it and my son is 12.
By the way you are NOT a bad parent. Don't ever think that. Nine times out of ten if you think nothing will happen to your kids, then it won't. I'm just personally nervous about it. If you feel comfortable do it and just watch. Even though I wouldn't let my daughter walk alone does not mean she is 100% safe.
I'm a lil nervous about it. However, he and I walked to the subway and rode the subway several times so he is not new to it. I have even put him on the airplane to send him to my mom one summer. So I feel he has experience with being independent to some degree. I am planning to do a test run with him to see how he does (I'll let him lead the way to see that he knows which exit to take, etc).
LOL! Moving from Greensboro, NC to Clevleland, OH I see kids walking home by themselves all the time. Their book bags are bigger than they are. I think that it is really dangerous even for me as a 38 yr old to be walking home alone, let alone a child.
However, I am aware that this is sometimes necessary. I do not endorse any child of any age doing this today. But this is coming from a lady who is from a family FULL of nothing but girls and a very protective mom. I never even road the bus home.
Since moving to Cleveland I have allowed my 15 yr old son to walk back and forth, because his friends would really clown him if they saw him being toted around by his mom. My nine year old daughter, will probably NEVER be allowed to walk the streets alone.
Yeah my son would be one of those kids walking home alone. He has been doing this since 2nd grade...bookbag bigger than him and all. I feel safe in my neighborhood. I know anything can happen in any neighborhood but...as a single parent I have to get to work at a certain time in order to get off at a certain time. So in my case it is necessary. If I had a daughter I would be more inclined to ensure she had someone to walk with.
I grew up with the DC Metro. I was 10 when it opened and wrote it all the time by myself. I rode both Metro bus and subway to get to and from school every day, including late at night and very early in the morning. (I went to a school of the arts, so we were in class from 8:30 to 5 and then had rehearsals afterward.) And, that was a different day and age. I've also worked quite a bit in Baltimore and DC as an adult. I wouldn't send my GROWN child on Baltimore Transit, but DC's much, MUCH better monitored and safer. Metro especially. I would send a 12 year old with a reasonable amount of common sense and a good safety plan on DC Metro without a problem. I'd probably wait until he or she was 14 or 15 before I'd send them on the bus, but it also depends on which route. The bus drivers tend to be very protective of kids on the bus as long as they respect the rules and don't act like thugs. Metro subway officials are VERY attentive to safety issues, and responsive to questions and problems. I haven't seen much of that with Baltimore transit.
DC Metro officials are also especially attentive to kids in the usual before and after school times as a LOT of kids in DC schools ride bus and Metro.
Thanks Jazma. I too think that a 12 year old is able to handle DC's metro and even catch a bus for that matter. Although I work on the "system" behind Baltimore (and even DC's) metro rail...I have only rode one of their train once in my life. It is not as friendly looking as DC's and would not feel AS comfortable letting my kid ride it alone.
I mentioned this to my kid over the weekend and he is acting apprehensive. But I think he can do it and want to strengthen his wings a bit more. I will know better after a test run or two.