What age is right age?


I know raising kids doesn’t really come with a manual. Yes, we have books and other guides that help us better prepare or anticipate the various milestones in child raising. I remember using BabyCenter when I was pregnant, especially at my first pregnancy and it helped me understand the changes my body was going through at the time. By the second time, I needed less coaching. I also referred to BabyCenter during the first year of raising my baby. My sister tells me there are books for raising a girl child and a different one for raising a boy child. As much as I long to read these books, I’m not very surprised I haven’t made the effort to get them. Maybe also because I think raising kids is not by textbook guide. You learn some by yourself or more by how you were raised and a fraction is acquired in my opinion.

So because we all seek to raise our kids the best way possible, giving them the best of us, love, time, discipline and whatever you think your best is, there’s no clear rule to such questions as when is right age to leave your kids at home alone or what age is right age to send your kids on errands alone. However, I would like us to have this debate to help us be better parents and be more aware/alert/informed as to what age is right age.

So what age is right age to leave your kids home alone, for instance? In developed countries, I believe this question would attract a more different answer than parents in developing countries. While the society frowns at this in the developed countries, developing countries may look at this as a somewhat demanding way of raising children in order to raise independent and responsible children. I remember growing up, as a first child, I was thrown more responsibilities than I could handle but my Mom was convinced I was ripe for those responsibilities at a young age. Did it make me feel responsible? No! It only made me feel like I had done something wrong that deserved punishment.

On the news, I hear an 8 year old girl was raped by an HIV infected 56 year old man while she was running errand for her grandfather. Like seriously? How do you send a girl that age out to the store to buy anything in the first place? Maybe I have it twisted but when I see public school children walking and crossing major roads to get to school, in my head I’m thinking, how are their parents confident that they will get to school safe? I’m not even going to go into the anger and horror I feel at the 56 year old death infected man who perpetrated the act but how do you send your baby girl out with such ease and confidence? Maybe I’m too protective to think like this but I’ve seen a lot (my eyes tell my story) and I could never (by Heavens) expose my children to the wiles in our society.

I used to love watching MTV, my sisters and I. But since I’ve been a Mom, I can’t remember the last time I watched a music channel. My sister says I’m no longer trendy because I don’t even know the latest songs or music videos but I have subjected myself to watching only what my children can watch. Hence, my TV time is almost 1hr a day if at all.

What age is right age to let your kids do these things? I’m passionate about this one.

7 thoughts on “What age is right age?

  1. I was discussing this with a few girlfriends recently. We all agreed that our parents allowed or demanded that we do more. While, I don’t agree completely with this, I do think this generation coddle our children too much. I am a huge culprit. I am a protective parent. I would say with all decisions, it depends on the maturity of the child. I do engage my children in house work now. They are 3 and 6. I am not comfortable letting my children walk anywhere and will probably think that way until they are teens! We shall see.

    1. I let mine do chores too for a token so they look forward to it. But not even go to the next street alone or stay home alone.
      I agree with you though about being protective but like I said, I think it’s the after effect of what we’ve suffered as children. God help us. God watch and keep our children. Amen

      1. You’re right about the after effect. I remember being so scared when my mom was leaving me alone for the first time. I was younger than 5!

  2. Well, I am very protective of my kids as I don’t want anything to hurt them. Only leave them with people I trust extremely (that takes a very long time with several trials…lol) but i think a child of 8 can be sent on errands in the neighborhood (depending on the neighborhood doe). We are simply just too protective but I get the reason why. Nice one Buki.

  3. I loved reading this Buki, at least I am comforted I am not the only over protective mom. my kids are still very young though; 28months and almost 12 months, so I am not entertaining thoughts of letting them by themselves yet. But I remember remember being sent to fetch water when I was as young as 9 or so. The problem is a lot has changed, society decays and it is no longer safe.

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