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When Can Kids Cross the Street Without Holding a Hand?

When Do You Let a Child Cross the Street Without Holding a Hand?

Walking hand-in-hand with your kids is one of life's little pleasures. But it only lasts for a moment. Before long, they're twisting, pulling, and wiggling their way out of your grasp to find a little freedom of their own. And while that's fine while walking through the park or on the playground, it's an entirely different story when it comes to crossing the street.

As my kids have grown, I've learned to loosened my grasp on them a bit — allowing them to walk, run, and scoot down the block on their own, but they've always stopped at the end of the block so they can hold my hand to cross the street. This past year, though, my oldest has inched his way to crossing the street next to me, but not holding my hand. It takes a lot of restraint for me not to grab his 7-year-old arm — I mean, NYC's not really known for it's safe drivers — but it's been a growing experience for both of us.

At a birthday party this weekend, a group of moms sat in the back discussing the right age to loosen the reigns a bit and let kids cross the street without holding a hand. Obviously, your child's maturity level is an important decision maker, but if you've let your kids cross the street without holding a hand, when did you start doing so?

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