What age do you let kids go off on their own? Mall? Sports? Movies? Etc?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2002
What age do you let kids go off on their own? Mall? Sports? Movies? Etc?
Tue, 10-12-2010 - 11:14pm

Been a long time since I was on ivillage, but was hoping anyone would mind telling me their opinions. I have a 12 yo dd in 7th grade. She is quite shy, but has several friends. She wants to be able to do things on her own. Like me dropping her off at the mall to walk around or dropping her off to go to the movies. She does not want me to even walk her in. She spent the nite with a friend and this friends mother just dropped them off to see a movie and they decided not to see the movie and just walked around the mall. I don't know how I feel about this since I did not know about them even going. I have dropped her off at the skating rink, but they are not allowed to go outside unless the parents come to get them. We

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

Welcome to the board KK!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2002

My son is 12 and very mature and responsible. I allow him to walk to the library and downtown (about a mile away from our house) by himself. Our town is very safe. I have dropped him off at an indoor mini-golf place with another, equally responsible kid. They played minigolf, then called when they were done. I'd be fine dropping him off at a movie or the bowling alley. I would make him take his cellphone and call immediately when he is done. The mall, I am not so sure. It's bigger. More open-ended. Maybe I would. He has never asked, so I haven't had to deal with that yet.

I have an 11-year-old son, too, who is the exact opposite. Very impulsive, not mature, lies all the time, and seems to want to get into trouble and do "daring" things. I would let him do some things with his big brother, knowing my older son is mature, but there's no way I would allow him to do things with friends unsupervised yet. It's tough because he thinks we favor the older son, but really it's a matter of showing maturity and responsibility. I sometimes don't even want to send the two boys out together, because I am worried if anything happened to my younger son, my older son would feel responsible. Even when we take the younger son out, he acts crazy, does silly things. It's a real chore to handle him.

So I really think it depends on the child. At this age, we sometimes have to start with something small, put our nervousness aside, and see how the child does. The more they show they can handle it, then the more freedom they can have.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think a lot depends on the area where you live & how safe things seem there.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

Depends on the kid and the area. It's not typical for kids in our area to go to malls and such without a parent prior to high school. While we live in a rural pocket, all the activities are in highly urban areas. Some are OK but others aren't. Most parents around here use the "when you are in high school" line.

There were certain places our DD has been allowed to go with just friends prior to highs school on her own like the theatre (live, not movie,) a multi-aged frisbee tournament with her theatre buddies, ect.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Depends on the who, what, where, why and when! School sports? At the Jr High, then I would be OK, at the HS, I would have her stay with a trusted HS student. The mall, well depends on which mall, when, etc... It depends which theater, to see a movie, what movie and when do they want to see it. I don't have any hard and fast rules, so we judge each incident independently.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2010

In our area 7th grade seems to be

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-1999

I have to agree with the others who said that a lot depends on : 1.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2003
I'm having the same issues too now...My rules are as follows: At 14 (the age we're at now), you can go in a group as long as there is an adult in the building who is responsible for you...at 15 you can go in groups and be dropped off/picked up..at 16 you can go with groups or out on a solo date...of course I'm SO "uncool" but we live in a large city so that's what I'm comfortable with lol.
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