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  #41  
Old 30.07.2009, 17:29
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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When it comes to safety, I could not care less of other opinions. I would not let a child walk to school through busy traffic either. I agree with MusicChick, a good dose of common sense is necessary and agree that it has nothing to do with a child's capacity of handling his/her independence.
This was my idea before my kids started KG and school i had many arguements fights with my Swiss hubby where sometimes i would cry from frustration nothing i asid to him would convince me, then 1 day a few years ago all the parents with children who will be starting KG got a letter from the police telling us we had to let the kids walk to KG. Where i come from the parents ALWAYS take and pick the kids up.

The idea that the Swiss have is that it is good for the kids to walk so they don`t get over weight My kids do enough sport and running around they don`t need the extra walking (if anyone as seen my daughter you will know what i mean)
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  #42  
Old 30.07.2009, 18:05
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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The idea that the Swiss have is that it is good for the kids to walk so they don`t get over weight My kids do enough sport and running around they don`t need the extra walking...
I think part of the logic behind this is the idea that if parents take the children to school by car, they will also take them to other places by car too. Sports clubs, music lessons - some of these are really too far to walk, sometimes the time available doesn't permit the child to walk, but often it just becomes a convenient habit. And the habit of going by car when he/she could walk may remain with the child all his/her life.

I know, I know, there are exceptions to this 'rule'. But we weren't taking any chances with ours! And they still don't use lifts and now they walk me off my feet. Perhaps we should have ferried them around after all.
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  #43  
Old 02.08.2009, 19:45
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

Something I didn't read in this thread (correct me if I'm wrong): If you're scared because of traffic - at least in canton of Zurich, a police officer with special education skills will shop up at Kindergarten or later. He'll instruct your children how to cross a road correctly. I remember that already back in the 50s in Zurich town we enjoyed his service. He was so popular I never forgot his name, Mr. Haller, I believe was his name...
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  #44  
Old 17.08.2009, 08:27
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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Something I didn't read in this thread (correct me if I'm wrong): If you're scared because of traffic - at least in canton of Zurich, a police officer with special education skills will shop up at Kindergarten or later. He'll instruct your children how to cross a road correctly. I remember that already back in the 50s in Zurich town we enjoyed his service. He was so popular I never forgot his name, Mr. Haller, I believe was his name...
Oh I wouldn't worry about that, kids do listen when it comes to traffic instructions and yes they do a very good job in explaining. It's the crazy drivers I don't trust. Many people de not pay attention and do not realize that you don't have the same vision of traffic when you're only 1m 20/30 cm. Also we no longer live in the quite safety of the 50's, 60's and 70's.
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  #45  
Old 17.08.2009, 09:23
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

I don't know what all the problem is.
The schools in Ticino seem to have children with small Loli Pops at the pedestrian crossings making sure the cars stop so pupils can get accross.

I think there is far too much cotton wooling children today.
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  #46  
Old 17.08.2009, 10:27
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

This business of schools assuming more and more responsibility for how kids are raised in this country is something that has been annoying me more and more over the years.
I appreciate that maybe for some people it's great that kids are practically raised by schools. However, I would very much like to think that as a parent, I have a basic right to raise my child as I see fit; if I decide that I don't feel my child is mature enough to walk to school alone (or if it freaks me out due to traffic etc), then he doesn't walk to school alone.
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  #47  
Old 17.08.2009, 11:06
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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However, I would very much like to think that as a parent, I have a basic right to raise my child as I see fit; if I decide that I don't feel my child is mature enough to walk to school alone (or if it freaks me out due to traffic etc), then he doesn't walk to school alone.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the schools complain about parents accompanying their children to school for safety reasons. (It's a great step in the learning process if the child tells the mother when they can safely cross the road and not the other way round). The problem is that parents ferrying the children to school by car often make the area around the school dangerous for the children who have walked.
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Old 17.08.2009, 11:32
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the schools complain about parents accompanying their children to school for safety reasons. (It's a great step in the learning process if the child tells the mother when they can safely cross the road and not the other way round). The problem is that parents ferrying the children to school by car often make the area around the school dangerous for the children who have walked.
Longbyt's right, at least where I live. No-one minds a jot if you want to walk with your child, but we occasionally get one of those 'please don't drive your child unless desperately necessary' letters.

No-one here lives more than 10-15 mins walk from the school, and the only ones that regularly drive their kids are doing so on their way to work or to shoot straight off to drop a younger sibling at creche or some such. Oh, unless it rains, of course...

I go with my 5 yr old (and 9 yr old if the schedule's the same that day). We all go on scooters together, and I scooter back, so as not to suck too much time out of the day and for the exercise. For a while, I was the only mum on a scooter, but I must have started a trend as I now see the odd other parent too - I love being a foreigner; you're able to do all sort of things that are borderline eccentric!

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  #49  
Old 17.08.2009, 11:34
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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This business of schools assuming more and more responsibility for how kids are raised in this country is something that has been annoying me more and more over the years.
I appreciate that maybe for some people it's great that kids are practically raised by schools. However, I would very much like to think that as a parent, I have a basic right to raise my child as I see fit; if I decide that I don't feel my child is mature enough to walk to school alone (or if it freaks me out due to traffic etc), then he doesn't walk to school alone.
Yes, and in a few years time, you will be compalining to the school because your son is being bullied or is being left out of things and is suffering from depression because other children don't want to socialise with him.
You will probably be writing sick notes that your son is not well enough to participate in any sport because he might get hurt.
Then he ends up playing War Craft on the internet from 11 years onwards from getting home to the time he goes to bed with no social skills.
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Old 18.08.2009, 02:38
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the schools complain about parents accompanying their children to school for safety reasons. (It's a great step in the learning process if the child tells the mother when they can safely cross the road and not the other way round). The problem is that parents ferrying the children to school by car often make the area around the school dangerous for the children who have walked.
I completely agree, it must be a mess if lots of parents drive kids to school while young kiddos are walking..

I do however think that there is a difference between school saying - alrite, folks, our school does not have a suitable and safe drop off area so if you can walk your kids to school instead making sure they are safe or dropping them off a street earlier, or half way through or whatever you and your offsprings are comfortable with, as opposed to - everyone must walk to school on their own, prefferably age 5 (with whatever reasoning behind, kids getting fat, socializing, learning traffic rules, I think all those are cop-outs and no authority should assume they are better equipped for making these decisions about kids than their parents).

I think things should be suggested to parents, not demanded, especially if it entails parenting decisions. None of the school's business. Kids who walk with parents for a brief period of time will not end up as social skills lacking moron, on contrary, when I walk with my child it is a lovely moment teaching social skills. She can practice later on on her own, with or without her school friends, and not in a dangerous and confusing traffic mess.

I also think that making a fuss over it is pointless, there are ways to do your own thing without allarming the whole hood and school district. Nobody wants to see huge SUVs stinking and blocking everyone out of the school gate, fo sho.
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  #51  
Old 18.08.2009, 18:08
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

I walked my kid to school because I believe I am responsible for the decision making when it comes to my child.
A friend's son was criticised by his kindergarten teacher for walking to first year kindergarten with his Mum.
I watch tiny kids clutching teddies try to avoid the traffic taking the responsibility for their own lives in their own hands crossing major roads, in snow rain and below zero.
They have such great independent lives they have little time to talk of Pokemon, they just need to make sure they know where the door key is hidden for when they get home.
When they grow up they shake hands with their elderly parents if they should happen to meet in the street.
Maybe I'm just cynical after my hols?
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  #52  
Old 18.08.2009, 18:30
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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I go with my 5 yr old (and 9 yr old if the schedule's the same that day). We all go on scooters together, and I scooter back, so as not to suck too much time out of the day and for the exercise. For a while, I was the only mum on a scooter, but I must have started a trend as I now see the odd other parent too - I love being a foreigner; you're able to do all sort of things that are borderline eccentric!
Ha ha, I love this!

I was the only mum lolloping around the kids' play area with my son at the weekend. We were running about giggling and rolling around like mad things much to the surprise of the other, slightly saner, sensible mothers.

After a few minutes we found we had attracted four or five other kids to our game and my son had a new group of playmates to keep him occupied.

I had to go and sit in the shade with a bottle of water for a while, though. Far too old for this; silly fool that I am...
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Old 18.08.2009, 20:32
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

Fully agree with not driving your kids to school - you invariably end up posing a risk for other children since you can't see them.
Cashboy, I'm not about raising a social recluse. Of course walking to school teaches kids to deal with the environment around them as well as a whole lot of very valuable independence. What I'm talking about is that just because my kid is old enough to go to kindergarten, 1st grade or whatever grade. I, as his parent, am likely to know best when my child is ready - mature enough - to get himself to school on his own or with his friends.
One of the things that I really appreciate here in Switzerland is that kids are taught to be independent and learn to get around in their environment.
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  #54  
Old 20.08.2009, 16:01
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

The traffic club VCS is campaigning to promote walking to the school:

http://www.verkehrsclub.ch/de/politi.../schulweg.html

Not everything is on the website, but the statement I've heard on the radio said that advantages of walking are social interactions, responsibility, safety and a smaller risk of obesity. Now these reasons don't all carry the same weight and the goals can be achieved elsewhere, too, but I don't regret that I wasn't driven the (relatively short) distance to school.
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Old 15.09.2009, 19:56
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

On Swiss Television last night they showed three Swiss children who do not walk to school alone. They walk the first bit with their father.

In Summer they live here and this is their route to school.

The commentary to the film is in German but I think everyone will get the idea if they watch it.
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  #56  
Old 15.09.2009, 21:18
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

Here from the old country, complete with parents calling 911 when they see kids walking on their own to school bus stop, school or practice. And some useful statistics. Aren't we saner here. Enjoy

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/fashion/13kids.html
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Old 15.09.2009, 21:40
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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On Swiss Television last night they showed three Swiss children who do not walk to school alone. They walk the first bit with their father.

In Summer they live here and this is their route to school.

The commentary to the film is in German but I think everyone will get the idea if they watch it.
Oh, that's magic! Thanks for the link. I couldn't follow the commentary, of course - out of interest, can someone who's watched it tell me how long the whole journey was - seemed to be nearly 2 hours, but over what distance? - and why they were walking barefoot at the end?

Can't imagine the trip HOME from school, though!

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Old 15.09.2009, 21:49
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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Here from the old country, complete with parents calling 911 when they see kids walking on their own to school bus stop, school or practice. And some useful statistics. Aren't we saner here. Enjoy

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/fashion/13kids.html
And by coincidence, we got our bi-annual 'please don't drive your child to school, it's dangerous for the vast majority of kids walking and it blocks the access road' letter today.

And then after school, my 9 yr old said he didn't want to come straight home (I was picking up his younger sister). I didn't see him again until nearly 2 hours later, as he'd played on the school field, popped up to the shop and gone down to Lake Geneva for a paddle.

During which time I had no idea where he was, but trusted him to make sensible decisions himself (which he did, apparently: '...and then during the bit when it rained, I sheltered in the underpass, read my book and ate my apple left over from snack...' Not quite sure why that's a better choice than coming home, but nice to see a spirit of independence...).

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Old 15.09.2009, 23:53
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

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Oh, that's magic! Thanks for the link. I couldn't follow the commentary, of course - out of interest, can someone who's watched it tell me how long the whole journey was - seemed to be nearly 2 hours, but over what distance? - and why they were walking barefoot at the end?
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Can't imagine the trip HOME from school, though!

kodokan
The hike down from the Tierwis Restaurant/Mountain hut at 2085m (where they live in summer) to the Schwägalp (1352) (where the car is kept) is not much more than a kilometre but is 700m downhill so it takes them about an hour and a half. Then they go 13km by car down to Urnäsch (833m) to the school.

Fortunately, by the time the children are ready to go home from school, the cable-car is running and they can go back up the mountain the easy way!

Many children still go barefoot in summer in Urnäsch although someone I know who lives there once told me that they have 6 months cold weather and 6 months winter. The cold air sits in the valley, trapped there by Säntis, the mountain which dominates this region.

It’s a wonderful area for hiking though and the old customs, still adhered to in Urnäsch - New Year on 13th January, the cattle show in September and the Alpaufzug and Alpabzug, when the cows (and goats) are taken up to from the higher pastures for the summer and brought down again in Autumn, are all well worth seeing.
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Old 20.09.2009, 13:45
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Re: kids walking to school on their own

I had this problem with both of my girls, but I have responsibilty for my children, not the schools, & I walked both of them to school until they felt ready to walk alone (about 10yrs old). The schools abdicate all responsibilty as soon as the child exits the door, so I don't have any faith in their capabilites to safeguard my children at all!!

Don't let fear of standing out affect your judgement, I didn't!

Good Luck, whatever you decide!
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