31 answers

At What Age Should a Child Know Their Address?

My son is 4, almost 5 and has known his full name, address & phone numbers pretty well for awhile now. He can tell you our street number, name, city and state. He has our home and cell numbers memorized. He knows mine, my husband’s and his sister’s full name. I believe this information is essential and necessary for him to know. You never know when an emergency will arise where this information is needed. We’ve talked with my son about WHO he can give the information out to and under what circumstances.

My neighbor has a son who is 8 y/o and he doesn’t know his address or phone numbers. The Mom commented that she didn’t see why he needed to know this information. If he’s not in school, he is at home anyway or always with her. Plus we live in a “very safe neighborhood”. Last night, a discussion started about this with the other neighbors as we were all outside and everyone was wondering at what age they should start teaching this info.

At what age did your child know this information? Should I have commented to my neighbor how important it is for her 8 y/o to know?

OR Maybe I’m just overzealous about this! =-)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well I will not bring it up with her, but if it does come back up in conversation I will mention something about it as some of you suggested.

Thanks so much for the answers and advice!!!

Featured Answers

My daughters were REQUIRED to know address (street number, name, direction, city, state and zip code) as well has home phone before they could leave kindergarten. Full names were not needed, but were highly recommended. The other mom is being lax.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter went to preschool last year and it was one of her homework assignments to learn her address, phone number and 911.

I agree with you, I am glad that was an assignment. I never really thought about having her learn it before this, but definitely think its something I feel safer about her knowing in case for some reason she ever got lost or who knows what else she may need it for.

3 moms found this helpful

They had to learn it in Kindergarten. She knew it, in parts, at 4 but it was part of a learning module in Kindergarten and homework was assigned.

2 moms found this helpful

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My son had my phone numbers memorized ( work and home) when he was in kindergarten. I think he knew our address in 1st grade- so he was about 7.

I agree that kids should absolutely KNOW this information. Even in a safe neighborhood, you never know when they might need it. But the other mom would probably not take it well if you said that and will probably only follow up on it if SHE decides to- so I would let it go!

4 moms found this helpful

My daughters were REQUIRED to know address (street number, name, direction, city, state and zip code) as well has home phone before they could leave kindergarten. Full names were not needed, but were highly recommended. The other mom is being lax.

3 moms found this helpful

My son knew my cell number from about the time he was 3, HOWEVER, we kept our addresses (we've moved fairly frequently) from him on purpose.

My son is *super* social, and it's taken years to not have him invite *everyone* over to our house at all time. I'm talking *everyone*. Kids, adults, grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, coaches, my students (college), classmates (ditto), coworkers, husband's coworkers, the list goes on. Whenever he has figured out our address it's ended up being a race to cut him off before he can announce it to the world at large.

Not until last year (at age 7), did we finally get the concept of "there's a time and place" ground in. Stranger-danger didn't really apply because these were all people we "knew", and I was always present. It wasn't so much the people that we knew that were a problem, it was the fact that this was out in public and OTHER people could overhear our address.

Even though my son has known my cell for a long time, until this year (8yo), whenever we were somewhere crowded (county fair, seattle public market, fisherman's warf, disneyland, waterpark, fireworks show, etc.) I'd write my cell number in sharpie on his arm. Anywhere he could *possibly* get lost (never did), under the theory that some people might not either believe a toddler/young child knew the real number, or wouldn't think to ask, OR that he'd get so flustered he'd *forget*. (And also so that any possible kidnappers would have a number to phone for ransom ;) At sporting events I STILL write our section, aisle, and seat number on his arm in sharpie (that's actually been useful more than once).

As far as names... my son is funny about this. He's always been very PRECISE. It's never 1130 at our house (well, twice a day it's 1130). Instead it's 1128, 1134, etc. So it's not that surprising he *despises* the title mum & dad out in public. He will *only* call me Mum in PRIVATE. If we're anywhere where anyone else can *also* be "mum", including at MY mum's house, he calls me R.. When asked what his mum's name is, he gives out my FULL 4 name + maiden name and a brief description, just in case there MIGHT be another R. x, y, z, nee q. Unsurprisingly, he's also a real science guy.

Again, he trumps the need for privacy with the "correct" classification of who his mum is.

So in my experience:

Phone number: As young as possible.
Address: As late as possible

3 moms found this helpful

Yes, it is important to teach your children their important contact info; but I know there are kids out there that just refuse to answer on command, then there are those you teach and teach and teach and they know it as long as daily you go over it, but if you do not continuasly go over it they no longer remember it.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter went to preschool last year and it was one of her homework assignments to learn her address, phone number and 911.

I agree with you, I am glad that was an assignment. I never really thought about having her learn it before this, but definitely think its something I feel safer about her knowing in case for some reason she ever got lost or who knows what else she may need it for.

3 moms found this helpful

My son is supposed to know it now, he's 5 and in Kindergarten. He knows our address (street, city, state), name (that seems obvious to me by age 5!), and is working on our phone number.

By 8, they should know.

J

3 moms found this helpful

Oh crud, I should get on this...thanks for the post!

My sons (ages 4 and 6) have known our phone numbers for a long time but I have totally spaced the street address, shoot.....after reading this, I can honestly say that having them say "the gray house on Pamela" really wouldn't help get them home in the event of an emergency!!

I guess I know what we will be working on this weekend, Thanks NL!

~I do not think it would have hurt in the slightest to tell your neighbors why it would be a good idea! I know it helped me, gotta say I feel a bit dense right now though!

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 4 1/2 and it seems we are a little late in the game on this! She knows her full name, and mine & her dad's names. But we haven't bothered with our address yet. She's lived in 4 different places so far, and about to be a 5th! I may try to teach her the next apartment's address.

I could start teaching her at least my cell phone number. I might also ask her Pre K teachers if they will cover this at some point.

I know when I was little I had to know our phone number & address at least by the end of Kindergarten. I still to this day vaguely remember having trouble remembering our address at the time! LOL I went to that one school for preschool & Kindergarten, so I know it was around that age.

An 8 year old should definitely know this stuff thought!

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 2.5 and she can tell you what State and city we live in and what street she lives on. She can also tell you my name, her daddy's name (I didn't take his last name), my mother's, father's, and brother's full names. She has known her own full name for a long time.

I'm hoping she learns our house number soon, and then I am going to start in on my cell number.

I think you should start teaching this stuff ASAP, really.

2 moms found this helpful

my 3 year old knows ours address he cannot remember our phone number so home and cell are written inside of his sneaker.

2 moms found this helpful

We have moved 7 times (military) and had the kids at three and four memorize new phone numbers each time. I think it is very important.
THE schools should have done this is kindergarten when making maps of the town, or maybe first grade. All four of my kids in 4 different kinder/1st grades and states had to map their house and show fire exits and addresses and phone numbers.
What if, God Forbid, she have an accident and he need to call the police.

2 moms found this helpful

My son just turned 3 and he knows his full name,my full name and my DH's full name. He knows our house number and we were working on the street name just this afternoon. He knows that he lives in California too.

Its never to soon to start IMO!

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Good Job mama, my children were between 3 and 4 when they knew our phone number and their grandma and grandpas phone numbers, there were no cell phones when my kids were little, but they new their own address, their full names and their birthdays, they also knew mine and my husbands full names. it does not matter if a child is homed schooled or not, children can get separated from a parent for many reasons, especially during national dissasters, theem parks, even grocery stores, I think it is important for kids to learn this information as early as possible. Putting personal info in pockets and shoes mama's can be a mistake if your child is kidnapped and now they have the infor when you and your family live. J.

2 moms found this helpful

This is generally part of preschool/Kindergarten curriculum. Teachers guide discussions surrounding community and sometimes conversations about "strangers".

Unless the child is NEVER going to be out of his mother's sight, he should know the basics. If he gets separated from the group on a field trip, has a playdate or GOD FORBID has to call 911, he needs to know his address.

I would casually mention it under the guise of being surprised that he didn't know and that it could be a safety issue and leave it at that. If she doesn't want him to know it, then there isn't much you can do about it!

2 moms found this helpful

I think by the time they go to school they should know it. My daughter had to know it in kindergarten. It was something they worked on during the year. I agree the other kid should know it but she would probably only take offense if you said something.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, you have a good point, NL. I will say that a librarian made my first grade son cry when she blasted him for not knowing his address. He sat in the corner against the wall in tears thanks to her. I was so angry at that old biddy who obviously did not like kids. That being said, I did teach him to write the address after that (we had been there for 5 months by that point). We moved overseas a couple of years later, and I wonder if he EVER learned THAT address without looking in his backpack! He tried to learn to write it in Japanese, which is what he would have had to do if he was lost, but it was easier to just have his school ID card with him. His cell phone had the phone number.

I do agree that kids should know their addresses. But if they don't write it often, they forget it. Adults send mail out all the time, so we see our addresses and give it out for doctors appointments and such. But it's a little hit and miss with kids. I think the neighbor is a bit too lax on it, but hopefully she won't find out what a mistake that COULD be.

All my best,
D.

2 moms found this helpful

my son knew the full address at 3.5 hope this helps

2 moms found this helpful

They had to learn it in Kindergarten. She knew it, in parts, at 4 but it was part of a learning module in Kindergarten and homework was assigned.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter just turned 4 and doesn't know our address (we're working on it) but she knows, mom and dad's full names, hers and her sister's full names, what city she lives in and can describe what her house looks like should she ever need to call 911, which she knows how to do.

I think, barring any disabilities, they should know address, names and phone number(s) by age 5. Of course this is a safety thing. Just because your kids are with you all the time does not mean they can't wander away at the mall or something happens at home and they need to call 911.

I hope your neighbor thinks long and hard about your conversation and begins preparing her child!

2 moms found this helpful

My son is a young 4 and knows his full name, phone # and address. I think this is actually pretty young to know it. I would say by kindergarten kids should know it. I wouldn't say anything to your neighbor unless she asks for your advice. I think she is simply wrong & her 8 year old should absolutely know this information. It's for his own safety. Maybe she's making up for the fact that he is having trouble learning it?

2 moms found this helpful

Good question! Last year, when my son was in Kindergarten, his teacher made a point for the class to know their address, phone #, birthday, the name of their school, as well as the school's mascot/nickname. It was a homework assignment that his teacher said they MUST know before they advance to 1st grade. What a great teacher, huh! So I think kindergarten is the right age/grade to know this information. That poor 8 y/o's clueless mom, for her to think knowing this info is not important. Keep it to yourself and say nothing. She will just get pissed at you for "interferring."

2 moms found this helpful

4-5 I believe they should know all of that, but by 2-3 they should at very least know their full and parents names.

By 3-4 my son knows how to get to our house, so he could give people driving directions if needed (like if he was in a car) though he still hasnt memorized our phone/address yet.

Any thing can happen to an 8 year old. A car accident could happen, the parents are unconscious and maybe they cant find contact info in the purse, the child is abducted from his bedroom, a fire at school, or he wanders off at the mall, he gets separated in a crowd at a carnival or fall festival. or the zoo. There could be a flood or tornado, or gas leak in which the neighborhood is evacuated and he gets separated from his family in the hectic rush of people. These things seriously happen and it's foolish to think that nothing like that would ever happen to you.

Really, 8 year olds are memorizing the 50 states and their capitols and organs and internal systems and math problems and presidents... they are certainly old enough to know their basic living information!

2 moms found this helpful

Son @ 4 he knew full names,address city & state but not phone #'s both home & cell he does now he is in 1st grade.He knew how to dial in case of an emergency & where the #'s are located to call & use the phone.It is a requirement for Kindergarten to know these by the entry to Kindergarten or exiting into 1st grade.Age 8 & he doesn't know this information shame on mom.

2 moms found this helpful

Not sure when kids 'should' know this but I feel like the sooner the better. If, for any reason, something were to happen and I could not be there, respond for her, etc, I'd hope that she could prevent enough information to get to my husband or parents. She just turned 3 in August and knows her full name, my husband and my names (not just mommy/daddy), her street name, city and state she lives in and her birthdate including year. In the next few months her preschool class is practicng these things along with her phone number and zip code.

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Wow, I think 8 is a little late for it. What if he had to call 911 or something?--I hope he knows that. And there is no such thing as 100% safe. My kids learned it in pre-k and knew it all by 1st (always forgot one thing or another). I added to the basic info by getting them to know neighborhood markers. 3 blocks to the stop light, the next street after the yellow house with the white fence, next to the house with the big bushes and purple flowers. When a child panics, it can be really easy to forget or mix up a number or name.

2 moms found this helpful

No you are not overzealous. Perhaps she is overly lax. I think that kids should know the information as soon as they are able to learn it without struggling. My son learned it at 5. His karate class had the parents write the information in their "book" and then they were required to know it to test for their next belt rank.

You just never know. What if her child became separated from her while out in public somewhere? What if something happened to her and he had to call 911. The responders would want to know her name and whom to call for the little boy.
My daughter learned my cell number just from listening to me give it out. She knows my husband's b/c it is one number different on the last digit. She learned these when she was about 5. The challenge, was when we moved and my son had to re-learn a new address and city. Technically, we are in a different "township" even though everything we do is in the same place we originally lived. So he goes to school at our "old" town, but we don't live in it anymore... very confusing for him when he was 7.

What if, God forbid, someone snatched him? How would he call home if he were able?

I think it is very important. I can't remember ever not knowing my address and phone number when I was school aged, as a child. But then, I was in public school, and many forms required writing that information in. Still do.

2 moms found this helpful

My mom used to be a TA in kindergarten and they encouraged all their parents to make sure their children knew their first and last names, their physical address (especially if the ride the bus) and the first names of their parents.

1 mom found this helpful

My son got to call home from Pre-school b/c he had learned his phone number & address...so he was, what...4. He's now 7 and some of his friends get theirs mixed up. Definitely by 8 they should know it!

1 mom found this helpful

by the time they ride the bus

1 mom found this helpful

As soon as they can memorize the information! And they should have the information in a safe place like a dog tag or in their shoe if they are too young to memorize. You don't want it visible for a stranger to see, but somewhere that if they get lost at a store or public setting, the police can contact you.

1 mom found this helpful

Well my 3 1/2 year old had known my cell phone,my dads phone number and my aunts (who is the gma to her best friend) number for about 6 months now. She does not know our address but she again know my dads (where we used to live) and my aunts address. She knows both mine and her step fathers full name. S he can also dial the numbers (which some relatives now turn their ringers off bc 7 am phone calls are not alwayz loved)

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