This doesn’t sit right by me

Casperron

Well-known member
A close family member has a 8yo with severe behavioural issues (possibly undiagnosed autism but having a difficult time getting assessment done) Not at school as they couldn’t handle his behaviour (this was a special school too). Has history of running away regularly.
and a 3yo. When 3yo is at nursery, family member will send 8yo to the shop on their own on bike/scooter. shop is 6 min walk which includes crossing at a junction on a 30mph road. Or sometimes family member will walk there And leave kid at home. I only have a baby so not sure on maturity of older kids but this just doesn’t sit right with me, I would never let my child do that at 8, maybe 11 once left primary school if proved they can cross road safely. Family member always calls me over protective, am I just being cautious as I don’t have a child that age
 

Archewell

Well-known member
That does sound worrying. Does the child insist on going (you say he has severe behavioural issues) and does the mother let him, because otherwise he would be violent?

Or does she just randomly send him out by himself?
 

Hotsoapywater

Well-known member
If the 8 year old is at a special school, whether that be a PRU or a special needs school, then some form of assessment must have been done?
 
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Casperron

Well-known member
That does sound worrying. Does the child insist on going (you say he has severe behavioural issues) and does the mother let him, because otherwise he would be violent?

Or does she just randomly send him out by himself?
No she sends him out to get things for lunch etc and he enjoys the freedom

That does sound worrying. Does the child insist on going (you say he has severe behavioural issues) and does the mother let him, because otherwise he would be violent?

Or does she just randomly send him out by himself?
He has an EHC and had many issues at his previous school such as being violent. No diagnosis yet. Current situation is he’s no longer in the care of my family member as his behaviours was dangerous to 3yo neighbours and anyone else involved, house was getting smashed up twice a week, windows and doors smashed, pouring everything out the cupboards and fridge on the floor, cars damaged. However I can’t help but feel family member was neglectful and maybe treated child as an adult too young

That does sound worrying. Does the child insist on going (you say he has severe behavioural issues) and does the mother let him, because otherwise he would be violent?

Or does she just randomly send him out by himself?
She sends him out by himself and he enjoys going. I don’t think there was any time he would of threatened going to the shop. I’m pretty sure he would of just up and left and gone himself if she said no, rather than becoming violent
 

1eyedcoot

Well-known member
and he enjoys going. I don’t think there was any time he would of threatened going to the shop. I’m pretty sure he would of just up and left and gone himself if she said no, rather than becoming violent
Hmmm...difficult to say then really. It's still iffy for his age, more so when you take into account his needs..but...saying that, if he's aware of the dangers, knows not to talk to anyone else, knows what he's doing then insiting that he's no longer allowed to do these things may be detrimental to his development. At least she could use it as an incentive to help him learn other things. It's not something I would have been happy with to be honest for my own son so maybe my judgement is clouded by my own experience and he's a lot more independent than I give him credit for.
 

Villanelle

Well-known member
For me these things come down to the individual child, absolutely hate all the frothing on MN when someone asks about leaving kids alone or letting them go out.
I have an 8 year old, he only tends to go places with my older child who is 10 but both of them have thier heads screwed on & neither has any additional needs. In the case your talking about I wouldn't personally be happy.
 

Coulee

Member
I was born in the early 1950's. As children, we were allowed to go anywhere alone or with friends and in fact we were all chucked out of the house to play during the daylight hours. It was lovely. No parents at the school gates - only that one time when I was almost 6 and my mum was waiting at the school gates on her bike to tell me grandma died that morning.

Every Saturday morning we went to town shopping. My grandfather would give me half a crown and (alone) I do my weekly circuit - Woolworths, cattle market, pet shop and the market stall that sold cockles. I was probably 7 or 8 when I started doing this. When I was eleven I'd catch two buses, alone or a couple of times with my cousin to go to riding school.

I loved my childhood. I gave my sons the same.
 

Hotsoapywater

Well-known member
I was born in the early 1950's. As children, we were allowed to go anywhere alone or with friends and in fact we were all chucked out of the house to play during the daylight hours. It was lovely. No parents at the school gates - only that one time when I was almost 6 and my mum was waiting at the school gates on her bike to tell me grandma died that morning.

Every Saturday morning we went to town shopping. My grandfather would give me half a crown and (alone) I do my weekly circuit - Woolworths, cattle market, pet shop and the market stall that sold cockles. I was probably 7 or 8 when I started doing this. When I was eleven I'd catch two buses, alone or a couple of times with my cousin to go to riding school.

I loved my childhood. I gave my sons the same.
I'm Austrian - as children both by kindergarten and parents, we were encouraged to be independent from an early age. When i attended school, in the late 70s/80s, our backpacks were stuffed full of books in order that we were able to cope with working life.

I've raised my children in a similar manner. They were both walking to school at aged 5 and 7. On their own, on a well lit road. My granddaughter has flown to Austria on her own since she was 6.

It has not always been an easy ride with my Brirish inlaws, as I was described as being 'too liberal' with my children. I've been lucky in that my husband supported my culture of independence with our children and now our grandchildren.

Whilst I appreciate there may be special needs, I'm not keen on people focusing on what their neighbours/relatives do with their children.

Would I allow an 8 year old to cross a busy a junction on their own? Yes. Because I'd be confident enough to know I have the ability to ensure an 8 year old has road sense and is able to function as any other 8 year old in society.

Current situation is he’s no longer in the care of my family member as his behaviours was dangerous to 3yo neighbours and anyone else involved
So how is he unsupervised in your relative's care going to the shops?

8 year old's aren't 'dangerous', Casp.

An 8 year old's behaviour can never be described as dangerous.

Mixed up, worrying - being a little shit at school, chucking stones at windows, a whole raft of 8 year old 'stuff'

But not dangerous.
 
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YoghurtPots

Well-known member
I have just started letting my 10 year old who is going into year 6 walk to the shop, about 3 mins away but over a main road 🥺 my husband followed him in a car the first time to make sure he was ok etc. He is incredibly road smart and switched on. Been met with lots of ott shocked reactions from his friends parents 🙄 he is allowed to walk home by himself from school in September, 1.2 miles away so I see it as a good preparation. Regarding the 8yo? I think kids today are too mollycoddled and it should be up to the parents discretion. I was certainly allowed to do that at 8. I wouldn't want my 8yo doing it but wouldn't judge somebody that did.
 

Eliza

Well-known member
I'm Austrian - as children both by kindergarten and parents, we were encouraged to be independent from an early age. When i attended school, in the late 70s/80s, our backpacks were stuffed full of books in order that we were able to cope with working life.

I've raised my children in a similar manner. They were both walking to school at aged 5 and 7. On their own, on a well lit road. My granddaughter has flown to Austria on her own since she was 6.

It has not always been an easy ride with my Brirish inlaws, as I was described as being 'too liberal' with my children. I've been lucky in that my husband supported my culture of independence with our children and now our grandchildren.

Whilst I appreciate there may be special needs, I'm not keen on people focusing on what their neighbours/relatives do with their children.

Would I allow an 8 year old to cross a busy a junction on their own? Yes. Because I'd be confident enough to know I have the ability to ensure an 8 year old has road sense and is able to function as any other 8 year old in society.


So how is he unsupervised in your relative's care going to the shops?

8 year old's aren't 'dangerous', Casp.

An 8 year old's behaviour can never be described as dangerous.

Mixed up, worrying - being a little shit at school, chucking stones at windows, a whole raft of 8 year old 'stuff'

But not dangerous.
I have to disagree about children being dangerous. Some can be. Just look at Jamie Bulger's killers. There's been loads of stories about feral kids starting fires and all sorts over the years too.
 

Hotsoapywater

Well-known member
I have to disagree about children being dangerous. Some can be. Just look at Jamie Bulger's killers. There's been loads of stories about feral kids starting fires and all sorts over the years too.
Appreciate your points, Eliza. But measuring all pre teens against the actions of Jamie Bulger's killers isn't a benchmark. Those were extreme circumstances. Child murderers are rare.

Children can act out behaviours that are dangerous but it absolutely more than likely that a child is at risk of danger from an adult's behaviours. If an 8 year old in my care was setting fires, it would be my fault. Not theirs.
 

Chattypickle

Well-known member
It depends, as it always does. Children are completely unable to judge the speed of traffic, until they reach a certain age. if They use a controlled crossing though, they don’t need to be able to judge.
my eldest, possibly autistic, wouldn’t hold hands with me or hold the side of the pushchair. He would wriggle and pull and it was dangerous. Allowed to walk ahead a few steps, he was always very safe and sensible.

And an 8yr old can be dangerous, sorry. Throwing furniture about, throwing a mug at a sibling, pushing a sib off their seat.. they certainly can.
 
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