As parents we tend to worry about our kids and their safety all the time. It does not matter if the kid is a toddler or a teen ager, mothers will worry if they are in a secure place or not. While younger kids demand a lot of attention and adult supervision as the kids grow older the scenario changes. Children will grow up and go on to lead independent lives and as parents we must allow them this growth. The question here is how to judge when the time is right. One of important decisions of such a nature is when is the kid old enough to travel alone?
A few tips below will help you judge if your child is old enough to travel alone:
- Ability – The first thing you need to see is the ability of the child. The kid must be able to care for himself to a large extent. Basic safety rules must be clear to the child. Simple things like how to cross the road or follow directions to reach a certain point should come easily to the kid. The child must be able to express himself and also ask for help if need be. The ability to travel from point A to B must be there. Right from walking to school to waiting at an airport and getting on to the flight, the kid must have the physical and mental ability to do it all.
- Comprehension – The comprehension powers of the child also need to be taken into consideration. The kid should be able to understand instruction given by almost any adult. The ability to accept a change in plan and also to judge who is to be trusted is very important here. So, in case the kid is flying alone and the air hostess informs him that the flight has been delayed, the child should have the comprehension power to process this info and continue to wait it out without being bothered or losing control.
- Emergency reactions – An important yardstick with which to judge if you kid is old enough to travel alone or not is the child’s assessment of emergency situations. The kid should be able to judge if a situation has turned into a dangerous one and seek help from the right sources. Of course drills do helps to make the child more confident in this region but it is also a fact that you cannot prepare the kid for all emergencies. How the child reacts to unexpected situations of a dangerous nature at home will help you to realize if the kid will be able to handle an emergency while traveling alone.
When you decide to send your kid traveling alone is a personal decision. It is best to take small baby steps in this department and to begin by sending the kid with someone other than yourself and then slowly with peers before eventually opting for the travel alone scenario.