We belong to a gym that has two locations in town: one is older and grubbier and more family-friendly; the other, newer and shinier, requires kids to stay in childcare. At the family-friendly location, the policy had been the same ever since we joined in 2007 or so: kids 8 and under needed to be supervised by a parent or else be in the childcare room. Once a kid turned 9, he had options-- shoot hoops while a parent was working out, sit and read a book until yoga was over, take the swim test.
It's been a while since I was at location #1. If I know I'm going to the gym, I'll usually choose the option with more treadmills and more parking. But this morning our group run was canceled at the very last minute when thunderstorms rolled into town. I wanted to get my 4 miles in early without getting struck by lightning, and I was right by location #1. So I headed over there.
There's a new sign posted, saying that kids now require direct parental supervision until they're 11 years old. It's only been a couple of weeks since we were talking about how many of us were responsible for other people's smaller children when we were 10 and 11, but apparently these days kids can't even manage themselves at that age. If you find yourself wondering, at some point in the future, when we decided that 10-year-olds were too immature or too delicate to be on their own for 30 minutes -- the answer is 2018.