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Saturday, January 22, 2011

How Old?

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I read an article a year or so back where a panel of parents from all walks of life discussed the appropriate ages for certain activities and privileges.  I thought it would be interesting to see where we all stood on some of these.

  • Let your child spend the night at a friend's house?
  • Date?
  • Go to the mall without you? 
  • Go to the movies (again, without you)?
  • Walk to school/friend's house alone?
  • Get a cell phone?
  • Get their own email address?

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Because Blogger posted this prematurely (and I deleted the original) I'm pasting in a comment Al from Publish or Perish left before I *fixed* everything so he can still be part of the conversation:

All these depend on the child and the individual circumstances.
My eldest spent the night at a friend's house when she was 4. But we knew the parents really well.
Hmmm, the youngest any of my girls went on a 'date' was 15 (they weren't interested before then)
Go to the mall with friends, about 10-11?
Movies about the same 10-11 again with friends
Walk to a friends house alone the alone is the issue, depends where in the small towns we used to live in 9-10. Younger Kids are too easily distracted to cross roads on their own.
I see cell phones as dangerous in terms of radiation (which is a whole other issue) so when they can pay for their own. But we always had a spare phone they could take when they were going somewhere.
They all got their own email addresses in elementary school.

11 comments:

Jolene Perry said...

My kids are too small. So - I'll do me.
- I stayed at friend's houses really young, I grew up in AK, we didn't have many neighbors so they were more like family.
- I don't remember anything specific about dating. But i do remember my parents almost having a heart attack, when, at barely 18, I told them i was getting married. (we waited a whole year after that) SO YOUNG!
- There's no going anywhere without parents in Alaska until you can drive, so, uh, 16.
- Cell phone... let me wipe my eyes. Actually my dad got a carphone for his car. my friends all thought it was really awesome until they realized that my parents could call me IN THE CAR. The reception was terrible and it only worked half the time. (I graduated in 1994)
- I sent my first ever email as a freshman in college. That would be 1994. So... yeah... I don't know if this makes me young, because my kids aren't old enough for me to deal with this, or old because most of it doesn't apply to me...

Damyanti said...

Interesting questions. i don't have kids, but would like to come back and read the answers :)

Jules said...

Let me see if I can answer these in order.
1. I wish they had friends to take them for a night.
2. Never, I'm a responsible parent.
3&4 Unless I go blind not an option.
5. City has a child leash law, so no walking without me.
6. Cell phone, HUM?!
7. They did not ask for an email account but they have their own pages on DogBook :)
Just wanted to participate :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't have children, but if I did, my kid would not get a cell phone until he or she was driving or had a job.

mshatch said...

1. Let your child spend the night at a friend's house? Probably third or fourth grade
2. Date? 15
3. Go to the mall without you? 12/13
4. Go to the movies (again, without you)? ditto
5. Walk to school/friend's house alone? depends where you live, country; 7/8 city: never
6. Get a cell phone? when they can pay for it themsleves
7. Get their own email address? 10

Talli Roland said...

I'm not a parent, but I think Al's right. It depends on the child and the circumstances.

G.~ said...

Ok, it depends on whether it's a boy or girl and also what their maturity level is.

On all of those questions, I allowed my daughter to start doing all of those things at age 12. Sleep overs, she was allowed a bit earlier but I had to know the parents pretty well. She still isn't allowed to go on a date. She's 14.

My son was allowed to do all of those about a year or two earlier than my daughter.

It took me forever to even allow them to take the bus to school.

All of this over protection may be because I have researched serial killers most of my life and I'm involved in groups for helping children that have been trafficked, so call me paranoid.

Great post. And nice to meet you.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I think mainly it depends on the personality/responsibility/maturity of the child. However, I'll answer using my children.

* Let your child spend the night at a friend's house? If it's a friend and parent I'm comfortable with, by 1st grade.

* Date? Unknown territory, but I'd say not until high school.

* Go to the mall without you? Hmmm...because we live in a calm Montana town and have a small mall, I'd say 12. However, if I lived somewhere like Seattle, definitely not until high school.

* Go to the movies (again, without you)? My 13 year old is allowed to go to the movies without us, but my 8yo and 6yo are not. I think the 13yo has had that privilege for about a year.

* Walk to school/friend's house alone? It depends on how far. I didn't let my oldest ride his bike to school until 5th grade.

* Get a cell phone? Not until they are driving. (I guess I'm a bit strict with that)

* Get their own email address? Wyatt just got one this year, in 8th grade.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I'm not a parent, but I think it depends on the child and the circumstances.
I went to the mall on my own when I was 13, and used to walk to my friend's house on my own from about 9, but she lived around the corner from me so it wasn't far.

Clarissa Draper said...

* Let your child spend the night at a friend's house? (When he's not going to call me at three a.m. begging me to pick him up.)
* Date? (When he finds a girlfriend and then I'll probably do the chaperoning until he's 30 or married. )
* Go to the mall without you? (Mall? My son hates the mall.)
* Go to the movies (again, without you)? (Well, because I hate going to the movies, he usually goes without me.)
* Walk to school/friend's house alone? (I live in Mexico...never.)
* Get a cell phone? (Has one since he was 13 but I had to force him to get one. I'm serious.)
* Get their own email address? (Again, not a real social animal. He has one but never emails anyone. Although, he does use MSN and facebook a lot.)

Saumya said...

I am not a parent but I do think everything is situational. My parents were very strict on me growing up and I am (now) grateful for it. However, it was difficult at the time and I have seen a lot of my friends---who were allowed to grow up doing whatever they wanted--turn out just fine!