Parenting & Family

How Young is Too to take the Bus?

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  • Oct 11th, 2017 2:09 am
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Apr 15, 2011
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aGincourt
EPcjay wrote:
Sep 1st, 2016 10:42 pm
I remember taking the bus myself down to chinatown to buy pirated games when I was in grade 7 from scarbz
lol
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Nov 13, 2013
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OTTAWA
akira1971 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 3:08 pm
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.
This a good point, but the real danger and frankly only danger to these kids is getting hit by a car. Not much a good samaritan can do about that. They drive a bit more sensibly in Japan so that helps but the fear here is the boogeyman kidnapper that is really very uncommon.
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akira1971 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 3:08 pm
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.
Maybe you are right, but that certainly isn't my impression of Japan.

Japanese are very polite, and they have a habit of doing things together, but don't confuse that with something else.

People in Japanese in general are quite "distant" from each other mentally. You may even say they are pretty cold in general, despite their politeness. It may be hard for westerners to understand, as we in general assume both qualities go hand in hand (i.e. politeness vs friendliness), but this is pretty common in big cities where people are physically close to each other and therefore want to maintain a distance mentally. The only difference is in other places, for example NY, people are both rude and cold (yes I know it's stereotyping, that's why I said "in general").

After all Japan is well known for groping on public transport, to the point that they need special carriages for female only. If it is true that Japanese are quick to be good samaritan then these can't happen in such a large scale. In fact the very quality that makes them good polite followers and therefore good in working together is often the same quality that make them hesitate to speak out against any injustice.

Also given the fact that pedo comic was only banned recently in Japan, and U15 videos are still legal (i.e "soft" child porn), I certainly won't consider Japanese kids are any particularly safer than Canadian kids going to school by themselves.
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GangStarr wrote:
Sep 6th, 2017 11:22 pm
That article states you need to be over 16 to be alone in ontario. Ok so grade 9 and 10 students can't take transit alone?
While that's on paper, you have to just take pre-caution that your child is 'capable' of being alone. If they're reckless, you can get in trouble. It's more of a 'after the fact' thing or if you have a child that might get harmful to themselves or others and decide to leave them alone anyways.
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wirebound wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 11:49 am
I remember my kids doing just that. Last night. At our local park. Without parental supervision even.
Unfortunately thats now considered child abuse.

No coach? No ref? No adults supervising that have first aid and cpr certification?

I'm all for it... but expectations have changed.
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csi123 wrote:
Sep 7th, 2017 2:43 pm
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
Oh how the world has changed, haha.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Vancouver
One of the worst things a parent can do to put their child's health and safety at risk is drive them around an urban area in a car. The kids are far safer taking any bus, even by themselves. My daughter started taking the bus to downtown Vancouver with her friends shortly after she turned 12.

I'm so sick of the "drive your middle schoolers to keep them safe" mentality. It's bogus.
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Apr 21, 2004
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So median looks to be 12-14 yrs. of age when children can take the bus alone and then at 18, a lot of them have to start fending for themselves in the real world.

For someone to be mature by 18, I would think they should start commuting alone/with neighbor friends at 10?
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Dec 31, 2005
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Sep 8th, 2017 4:20 pm
Unfortunately thats now considered child abuse.

No coach? No ref? No adults supervising that have first aid and cpr certification?

I'm all for it... but expectations have changed.
It is not considered child abuse to let you kids go to the park alone.

Ontario rules state: "No person having charge of a child less than sixteen years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances." This would seem to suggest that children under 16-years-old cannot be unsupervised, though the Ministry of Children of Youth Services maintains that there is no specific age at which a child can be left alone.

So what is reasonable. Daylight hours, kids at a park who know the rules of the road (or have a phone in hand to communicate)....not an issue. Which is why you still see kids all over the place in parks without parents.
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Oct 13, 2014
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nalababe wrote:
Sep 21st, 2017 12:49 pm
It is not considered child abuse to let you kids go to the park alone.

Ontario rules state: "No person having charge of a child less than sixteen years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances." This would seem to suggest that children under 16-years-old cannot be unsupervised, though the Ministry of Children of Youth Services maintains that there is no specific age at which a child can be left alone.

So what is reasonable. Daylight hours, kids at a park who know the rules of the road (or have a phone in hand to communicate)....not an issue. Which is why you still see kids all over the place in parks without parents.
Actually Ontario Law appears to be quite clear on this matter (I have bolded the actual legislation):

S, 79
Leaving child unattended
(3) No person having charge of a child less than sixteen years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances.

What may be confusing is the following provision covering the hours between midnight and 6 a.m., thus seeming to suggest that it may be okay during other times, unless the child is under 10 years of age.

For those children between 10 years of age and 16 it is the government that must prove the parent(s) were not "making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances".

Reverse onus
(4) Where a person is charged with contravening subsection (3) and the child is less than ten years of age, the onus of establishing that the person made provision for the child’s supervision and care that was reasonable in the circumstances rests with the person.


Allowing child to loiter, etc.
(5) No parent of a child less than sixteen years of age shall permit the child to,
(a) loiter in a public place between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.; or
(b) be in a place of public entertainment between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., unless the parent accompanies the child or authorizes a specified individual eighteen years of age or older to accompany the child.


Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c11
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rcmpvet wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2017 3:59 pm
Actually Ontario Law appears to be quite clear on this matter (I have bolded the actual legislation):

S, 79
Leaving child unattended
(3) No person having charge of a child less than sixteen years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances.

What may be confusing is the following provision covering the hours between midnight and 6 a.m., thus seeming to suggest that it may be okay during other times, unless the child is under 10 years of age.

For those children between 10 years of age and 16 it is the government that must prove the parent(s) were not "making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances".

Reverse onus
(4) Where a person is charged with contravening subsection (3) and the child is less than ten years of age, the onus of establishing that the person made provision for the child’s supervision and care that was reasonable in the circumstances rests with the person.


Allowing child to loiter, etc.
(5) No parent of a child less than sixteen years of age shall permit the child to,
(a) loiter in a public place between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.; or
(b) be in a place of public entertainment between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., unless the parent accompanies the child or authorizes a specified individual eighteen years of age or older to accompany the child.


Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c11
Who makes up this stuff? So they teach kids about anal sex at 11... But they can't be left alone until 16? Not even to take a bus... And then at 17, they can theoretically drive on a 400 series highway on their own after getting their G2?!? Smh.

I started walking to/from school on my own around 7. It seemed far at the time but I've mapped it out to be about 400m.

At 12 I was taking the ttc on my own to/from school... And so were most of my peers.

This helicopter parenting and fear mongering with nosy neighbours has got to stop.
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Jun 8, 2008
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It doesn't say that they can't be left alone until they're 16. It says that that you need to make provision for their supervision and care that is 'reasonable' - that's the tricky line, its extremely subjective and difficult to interpret. My kids have taken a home alone course, they have cell phones and they're over the age of 10. I let them stay home alone. I let them go to the park alone, I let them take the TTC alone. If they DO take the TTC alone, I usually do a 'test-run' first so that they know the route, I did one last week with them.
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wirebound wrote:
Sep 25th, 2017 10:14 am
It doesn't say that they can't be left alone until they're 16. It says that that you need to make provision for their supervision and care that is 'reasonable' - that's the tricky line, its extremely subjective and difficult to interpret. My kids have taken a home alone course, they have cell phones and they're over the age of 10. I let them stay home alone. I let them go to the park alone, I let them take the TTC alone. If they DO take the TTC alone, I usually do a 'test-run' first so that they know the route, I did one last week with them.
What people overlook or don't understand is 'reasonable' also includes the child themselves. Meaning you have made sure to teach your kids proper care to take care of themselves, they have the capacity to understand it, and have also a demonstrated track record.

So it's almost like you can shoot yourself in the foot by always babying your child, as they have a higher % of not having the development and tools to take care of themselves. And therefore, by all of a sudden leaving them alone, the parent has not taken the reasonable provision of care to leave them alone and hence the parent is more liable for something to happen or if for whatever reason, the authorities have to step in.
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Dec 31, 2005
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rcmpvet wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2017 3:59 pm
Actually Ontario Law appears to be quite clear on this matter (I have bolded the actual legislation):

S, 79
Leaving child unattended
(3) No person having charge of a child less than sixteen years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances.

What may be confusing is the following provision covering the hours between midnight and 6 a.m., thus seeming to suggest that it may be okay during other times, unless the child is under 10 years of age.

For those children between 10 years of age and 16 it is the government that must prove the parent(s) were not "making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances".

Reverse onus
(4) Where a person is charged with contravening subsection (3) and the child is less than ten years of age, the onus of establishing that the person made provision for the child’s supervision and care that was reasonable in the circumstances rests with the person.


Allowing child to loiter, etc.
(5) No parent of a child less than sixteen years of age shall permit the child to,
(a) loiter in a public place between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.; or
(b) be in a place of public entertainment between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., unless the parent accompanies the child or authorizes a specified individual eighteen years of age or older to accompany the child.


Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c11
It isn't that clear as they use the term "reasonable in the circumstances". Many would argue (and win) that playing at the park in daylight for a 10 year old is fine, presuming they knew where they were, how to get home and how to get into the house. Now, a 10 year old playing at the same park at 11pm...we'll chances are you'd might have some challenges there.

Unfortunately, many would argue believe that the bolded means that kids cannot go to the park unattended...and that is just not true.

Even for the second section, the key word is Loiter...it doesn't say that kids cannot be playing on the playground, on the field...just not loitering. Any I'll bet many wouldn't know what the definition of a place of public entertainment--again a park would not be included. So that section you bolded actually doesn't cover many situations.
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Me and the wife just had this discussion. Our consensus is probably middle school (Gr. 5/6) - That would put him right at about age 10/11.

I refuse to be a helicopter parent like mine were (I had to go to right to my grandparents after class and still got drug with them places/not left home alone through high school), so unless he gives us a a reason not to trust him at that
age, that's the plan.

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