Whether it’s the potential health benefits or the chance to enjoy a quieter and less stressful morning routine, there are many reasons why you may be considering letting your child bike to school alone. Making sure that your child is ready to handle the responsibility is not a matter to be taken lightly. The following signs are all common indications that your child may be mature enough to manage their own commute.
Distance Is Not an Issue
While a short bike ride may be no problem a longer trip should give parents pause for thought. Tardiness or arriving too physically tired to begin the school day are potential issues you would do well to avoid. If your child is routinely taking longer rides than what the trip to school may entail, it might be time to let them try riding to school on their own.
Traffic Does Not Pose a Hazard
Traffic can pose a serious safety hazard, even for more experienced adult riders. While older children are usually able to navigate neighborhood streets and residential intersections with ease, dealing with rush hour traffic in the morning can change the whole equation.
Your Child Is Ready for More Responsibility
Placing too many restrictions on your child’s behaviors and autonomy could leave them less able to handle future responsibilities. While giving them permission to bike to school on their own before they are old enough to handle it could result in an accident or mishap that may require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer and a lengthy hospital stay. Each kid will be responsible at different ages. Make sure they look both ways before they cross, they wear their helmet, and they don’t get distracted with friends to be irresponsible and cut off cars in traffic.
Other Children in the Neighborhood Bike to School
Biking to school alongside a friend can be a much safer experience. If there are groups of neighborhood kids who are the same age as your child who are biking to school every day, it’s probably safe to let your child join them. Riding with them for the first few days can also provide you with a better understanding of any potential safety issues or hazards that may be involved.
Your Child Keeps Asking for Permission
Children are always in a hurry to grow up. If your kids are pestering you to let them ride alone, it may be time to consider their request. Just make sure to assess the route first in order to ensure your child isn’t being overconfident about their abilities.
Author information: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family.