I leave my three year old in the car to pay for petrol. I can see him the whole time I have the keys with me and in the rain there is no way in freaking hell I am dragging him acroos a wet and slippery driveway to come in and pay, the petrol station we go to has awful undercover spots and tyhe rain blows in. Anywhere else he comes because we usually do multiple jobs at once and you can never get a park near by
I think they reach a certain level of maturity that you can equip them with the basics to deal with most situations except for really crazy crap that almost never happens.
Around 8 is when we started asking if they wanted to stay in the car while we ran in quick. Both of them never did until about 9 but would walk with us saying, "we could stay in the car...were not afraid.....we just don't want to! My boys are now 14 and almost 11 but I would NEVER let them stay in the car together. They would kill each other or call our cells every five minutes complaining! Each kid is different and so are the places they live, so it is hard to say what works for others.
I started thinking about this one, and it's actually not a situation that comes up for me much, I can't even think of the last time. Most of the time if I have to run into a store to grab something, it's somewhere I walk to. Also my kids love to get out of the car, even when we go to pick up our neighbor's daughter if we're driving to school, they take turns to see who "gets to" get out of the car to tell her we're there.
But I think it's really about the maturity of the kid, and the safety of where you are, and what you can see from inside. At 10, we let Nathaniel do certain things on his own (with checkpoints on both ends, or I give him my phone if he's walking to the store for me), but being in the back of a car that he couldn't get out of is different. I'll have to think about this one.
I rarely do but if I do, the car and Jace are within my sight. It's also the law here, I believe it's 12 and under you must have the car within your sight.
I do it now and my DD is 5. It would only be if I was literally running in for one thing though, not a whole shop that could take more than an hour!
Me - Kristi, 30
DD - Leia, July 5 2008
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Now that Nathaniel's 10, he can be the one to run in! This isn't about leaving them in the car, but I send him alone to the store sometimes to pick up one or two items. (He asks to go.) It's about a 3-minute walk from here and there's a police station between our house and the grocery store, so I feel pretty good about it, and I give him my phone when he goes. He even picked up a pizza for us once.
So I think if we were doing a quick stop in the car, I might just see if he wanted to go pick up whatever it was we needed. He likes feeling like a big guy.
I also let Tiven walk to our corner market. I admit I'm nervous about her crossing the street but she knows to only cross at our end with the stop sign, and to stand back & wave cars through until there's a good break. We've been practicing that since she started walking, and I've also secretly watched her from the car on her way to school.
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