Parenting & Family

How Young is Too to take the Bus?

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  • Sep 21st, 2017 12:49 pm
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Deal Expert
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Jun 9, 2003
23266 posts
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Markham, ON
..i wish we didnt helicopter our kids.

(i never had that treatment from my parents).

...btw...this is pretty normal in Japan for kids.

Deal Addict
May 10, 2001
1236 posts
98 upvotes
My son and daughter started taking the TTC from our house in Etobicoke to their grandmother's house at Bloor/Dufferin when they were 10/12 respectively. Eventually, they started going by themselves and I can't say it wasn't with some trepidation on my part but they felt comfortable doing it and letting your kids do stuff on their own is part of growing up.
Let them know that it is I, Aziz Hamid!
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Apr 28, 2004
1645 posts
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Sep 6th, 2017 11:16 pm
is this right or wrong?

I think it is completely okay. Provided that proper parenting, training, and due diligence is completed.
I have no problem with the 11 or 9 yr-olds riding together. The issue is the other three kids (8, 7, and 5) can't be left to be the responsibility of the 11-yr-old.
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Nov 25, 2014
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Newton Brook, ON
Good lord. Before you know it they'll be letting kids ride their own bicycles.
You need someone with an umbrella not a fork
Deal Guru
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Nov 15, 2004
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Toronto
akira1971 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 10:16 am
I have no problem with the 11 or 9 yr-olds riding together. The issue is the other three kids (8, 7, and 5) can't be left to be the responsibility of the 11-yr-old.
Why not? I took care of my younger brothers (7 and 4 at the time) starting when I was 9. I'd walk them to school, walk them back from school, and take care of them until my parents came home around 7 PM.

As long as the older kids are taught properly and there's no serious medical emergency or anything a kid around the double digits should be okay to supervise younger kids. They're all going to and from the same place anyway, and it's not like they're going to be apart.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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Sep 14, 2005
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I see kids in japan like 7-8 yrs old walking and taking transit by themselves
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Jan 27, 2004
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akira1971 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 10:16 am
I have no problem with the 11 or 9 yr-olds riding together. The issue is the other three kids (8, 7, and 5) can't be left to be the responsibility of the 11-yr-old.
edvc520 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:18 am
I see kids in japan like 7-8 yrs old walking and taking transit by themselves
ITs actually quite normal... The only thing that isn't normal is this new version of helicopter parenting. Things are getting 'better', but at what cost?

I'm sure many remember just going to the park and playing baseball and soccer with their buddies.
Apparently these days you need a permit and have to be part of a team? You can't just go kick ball?
SAme with basketball... From 3:30-5:00pm (before dinner) was b-ball time where I grew up... We just played basketball everyday after school until diner. Now you gotta be in a league. The courts are so empty... They used to be full of life.
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Jun 12, 2008
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Ancaster
I grew up in Long Branch and was riding the TTC streetcar from the loop to downtown Toronto around Queen Street since grade 4 (age 9).

Once I got to grade 6 I learned the subway and bus routes as well so I had different options to get to & from school.

Never had a problem...saw a lot of interesting things/people during those trips. It was a long time ago.....but I still think that the TTC is a pretty safe way to commute.
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Nov 15, 2004
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:21 am
ITs actually quite normal... The only thing that isn't normal is this new version of helicopter parenting. Things are getting 'better', but at what cost?

I'm sure many remember just going to the park and playing baseball and soccer with their buddies.
Apparently these days you need a permit and have to be part of a team? You can't just go kick ball?
SAme with basketball... From 3:30-5:00pm (before dinner) was b-ball time where I grew up... We just played basketball everyday after school until diner. Now you gotta be in a league. The courts are so empty... They used to be full of life.
I remember one of the apartments we lived in before we bought our house was near a community centre. All the kids in the building would hang around the building itself, walk to the community centre pool, buy a day pass and go swimming by ourselves, and hang around the track there running or just playing in the general area. I'd walk to school with my friends around my age as well (this was before I was old enough to take care of my brothers, so maybe 8ish). I doubt our parents had anything beyond a general idea where we were until we came home, and this was before cell phones. It's truly sad that we're now up to this point:
After a weeks-long investigation, the ministry concluded that children under the age of 10 cannot be left unsupervised — whether on a bus, riding bikes around the neighbourhood or walking to the corner store, he said.

Crook shares custody with the kids’ mother, who lives closer to the school, so they were taking the bus half the time while staying with him. Now they can’t even walk to school from her home, he said.

He said the ministry said its decision was based on a British Columbia court ruling that found an eight-year-old could not be left at home alone. It also said that in other provinces, the legal age to be unsupervised is much higher, including 16 in Ontario, he said.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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Jun 8, 2008
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:21 am
I'm sure many remember just going to the park and playing baseball and soccer with their buddies.
Apparently these days you need a permit and have to be part of a team? You can't just go kick ball?
I remember my kids doing just that. Last night. At our local park. Without parental supervision even.
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Nov 12, 2011
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Niagara-on-the-Lake
I used to take the MTR in Hong Kong by myself at 9. Used to leave from Sai Kung by bus to TST to get to the lan cafes haha.
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May 10, 2011
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Ottawa
Typhoonz wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:50 am
I used to take the MTR in Hong Kong by myself at 9. Used to leave from Sai Kung by bus to TST to get to the lan cafes haha.
Yeah it was a completely different mentality.

I walked or bused myself to all my after school activities since grade 1. There was no school bus so I took the bus to and from school myself since grade 3. Pretty much everyone else did the same thing. Even in grade 1 most of my classmates, including myself, came back to an empty home after school. We did our homework, cooked up an instant noodle if we were hungry and we were allowed to go wherever we wanted as long as we came back for dinner. Parents didn't usually show up until 6pm in the evening.

My Mom would even occasionally ask me to do grocery shopping and cook dinner for the family if she was late coming home. That was back when I was 7.

Back then no one would bat an eye about that. Funny enough now even my parents would probably call the police if I leave my kids at home by themselves.... :-P
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Apr 28, 2004
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Piro21 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:10 am
Why not? I took care of my younger brothers (7 and 4 at the time) starting when I was 9. I'd walk them to school, walk them back from school, and take care of them until my parents came home around 7 PM.

As long as the older kids are taught properly and there's no serious medical emergency or anything a kid around the double digits should be okay to supervise younger kids. They're all going to and from the same place anyway, and it's not like they're going to be apart.
I'm sure we did a lot of stuff back when we were younger that's not acceptable now. I retired from skiing for over 15 years until my daughter picked it up a few years ago and I was stunned that every kid and adult now all wear helmets. Or during the late 70's how we rode in back trunk of my uncle's station wagon with no seats and no seatbelts - just having a blast rolling around every time he cornered on the street or highway.

The point is that while 99.5% of time nothing unusual will happen, it's the 0.5% chance that something serious does and a 11-year old is not equiped to deal with that situation nor should they be expected to. I'm sure there are some 11-year olds smart enough to deal with a sibling accidently poisoning themselves or if one of younger ones got stuck behind on the bus, but there's just no way for the government (or children's welfare society) to assess that capability for every kid individually.
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Apr 28, 2004
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thelefteyeguy wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 8:58 am
..i wish we didnt helicopter our kids.

...btw...this is pretty normal in Japan for kids.
Completely different culture in Japan. Kids are taught group reliance and every adult is expected to help the kids. Basically, everyone around them acts like a parent or guardian figure to the kids in public. Not so much here, where you might have a good samaritan in the crowd, but you can't rely on it.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13120 posts
645 upvotes
Our son has been taking Subway and Buses for the past 2-3 years without any issue. He just turned 14 a week ago. Many of his friends were even younger.

As a kid, I took the GO bus from Georgetown to Bramalea City Centre (when it was a good mall) -- it was grades 4 and 5 and I had my sister with me who was 2 years younger.

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