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What age do kids roam about alone?

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I MC is 12 years old. She lives in a super small town along the beach. Would it be age appropriate for her to ride her bike to the beach alone with friends but no adults?

Thanks!


#1 - November 13, 2014, 11:27 AM
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Kids that age do it all the time, even in not super small towns. Some parents are stricter than others of course, but I think what you're suggesting for your story is very believable.  :grin3
#2 - November 13, 2014, 11:42 AM
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I saw the title to your question and was already thinking about the kids I see in my neighborhood on their own. I think most of them are 12 and older. Junior high age, for sure. (And I live in a city.) I think your MC is exactly the right age.
#3 - November 13, 2014, 12:55 PM

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12-year-olds definitely get around on their own around here (Philadelphia) and in the small beach town where my husband grew up -- probably 10 and up. My nine-year-old is beginning to do some things on her own or with her little sister -- goes to the playground a few blocks away, walks the dog, rides bikes nearby.

Kids at her school are allowed to walk themselves home in third grade and walk siblings home in fourth. In fifth there is a tradition on half days that all the fifth graders walk to a nearby pizza parlor and lunch by themselves.
#4 - November 13, 2014, 01:25 PM
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 01:33 PM by Kell »
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I let my kids run around in the neighborhood unsupervised once they were about seven, including riding bike to school, walking in the nearby woods, etc. So your MC sounds perfectly capable of getting into lots of trouble, Sharon!

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#5 - November 13, 2014, 01:57 PM
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Agree with all of the above. We live on a very busy thoroughfare with no crosswalks or sidewalks, in our cozy suburban town. My kids have been allowed to cross the busy street and bike to friends' houses, etc., since about age nine. It would have probably been earlier, but for aforementioned busy street.

On vacation, down on Cape Cod during the summer, we are in a quieter space, and my kids have been biking solo to the beach since age 10. (FWIW, current ages are 12, 11, 9 and 8). Little ones can go with older sibling.
#6 - November 13, 2014, 05:23 PM

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Yes! :thankyou This is exactly what I was needing to know. I thought so. My kids were allowed to go out and about on there own in short distances around 11 and 12 years old. Then someone read my opening lines and thought it must be upper MG since the MC was at the beach with friends, and riding her bike. So I started second guessing myself. I knew I could count on you guys!  :yourock

And Vijaya! :exactly yep, she is about to get herself into some mischief :)
#7 - November 13, 2014, 07:04 PM
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My son had his own paper route at age 10. And both kids regularly walked home from school (3 blocks across one busy road) by that age.  I thinking biking to the beach at twelve is totally appropriate. Though, I think I'd want her to go with a friend, since safety in numbers and all that. ;)

Hope that helps!

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#8 - November 13, 2014, 07:04 PM
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Look like we cross-posted, Schriscoe! No second-guessing! Twelve at the beach with friends sounds totally age appropriate.

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#9 - November 13, 2014, 07:07 PM
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Shriscoe, I'm wondering what your reader meant by upper MG? To me, a 12-year-old main character IS upper MG.
#10 - November 14, 2014, 05:58 AM
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My son is twelve, and this year we started allowing him to walk to his friend's house a few blocks away. When I was growing up, my best friend and her sisters and I would play deep in the Big Sur woods for hours, and that began when I was seven. My friend's mom would call us home for dinner with a fog horn. : ) I think it depends on the location--city, suburbs, small town, or rural, but no worries with a small town twelve-year-old riding to the beach.
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#11 - November 14, 2014, 09:10 AM
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 :thankyou everyone!

#12 - November 14, 2014, 10:30 AM
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My son (who is 12 1/2) and his friends have been biking around on their own for over a year. We don't let them go too far, but they've been all around our neighborhood and his bff's much more rural neighborhood.
#13 - November 14, 2014, 10:43 AM
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As a child I regularly wondered through the woods and neighborhoods alone at age 7 (looking back I probably shouldn't have wondered to those main roads). My little one is 12 and just now going out with groups of kids 'alone'. We live in a semi busy area where people speed a lot, so its mostly the speeders on winding roads that concern us. If your setting is a sleepy town where likely everyone knows everyone I see no problem at all even for 'strict' parents.
#14 - November 15, 2014, 08:59 AM
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