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March 30, 2015


All I can say is that when I was 7 (back in the 70s), I walked alone to the park and to school (at 11 I was taking the subway by myself) and it was only when I was thirteen (when my parents bought me a bicycle) that I stopped walking to school.

Have the times changed so much?

In my small rural town, I let my twelve-year-old and five-year-old walk alone down the road about a quarter mile to my mother's house.

My five-year-old is almost six, at which age I will let her walk alone to my mother's house, but I either call my mother when she leaves or she calls me when she arrives, so that at least one of us knows about how long the trip took.

Stranger abduction is at a lower rate than it was back then.

I'm not a full-fledged "free range kid" parent, obviously. But I also worry about the "helicopter parent", and I try to strike a balance between the two.

I think it's odd for a 7 year old to be at a park alone, period.

Children should be cared for and kept safe.
You cannot take a chance and let your children walk unattended. Those who abduct children do not have horns and look like devils, they look like people just like everybody else.
Did you ever see the movie "The Changeling"? It was based on the true story from LA...the man had a young boy with him and that made the other young boys that he picked up feel that he was okay. And that was in the 30's!

lol yeah, they are a tad nuts if they think average joe is going to always intercede. There as to be some balance, but just letting them go willy nilly and expecting strangers to do your parenting and protection for you is stupid.

Well, we live way out in the boonies on a large acreage, so I let my kids free range on our property at will. But we are set back from an already rural road. I don't know how I'd feel if I lived in a city. I guess it would depend on the neighborhood and the people in the area.

I teach about bystander effect in my intro to psych class. It is an interesting phenomenon. I've never had trouble intervening if I see a kid crying and there is no parent in the vicinity.

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