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Parenting

How much 'right to roam' do you give your 7-year-old?

1 reply

matts · 06/05/2003 14:36

NB this is a media request:

Seven-year-old Daniel Entwistle has gone missing in Great Yarmouth, last seen out playing on his bike. Guardian Parents (urgently) wants to know, for possible publication, parents' views about how much freedom they feel comfortable giving their seven-year-olds (or similar age). Is it OK for them to go to the local shop on their own? To the park? Across roads? And what groundrules do you have? How do you find a balance between developing your child's independence and safeguarding his/her safety?
This is NOT about passing judgement on the Entwistles; simply about the parental dilemma the case partly highlights.
Please respond in no more than 200 words, giving a name, city/town/village of residence, and a contact phone number and email address. We'd love to publish your point of view (06/05/2003).

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Kahlua · 08/05/2003 19:16

Mydaughter is six years old and when she is in my care she simply must be within sight of me. I get palpitations if I cannot see her for a few seconds when we are shopping. As far as I am concerned it only takes that long for her to disappear. I would not even consider allowing her to go to our local shop alone. I do not allow her to cross roads without holding my hand.She is quite independent in the house and will tidy her room, put her clothes in the wash basket etc. I would like her to become an independent woman such as I am. However, I am not willing to take the risk of losing her.Too many parents ignore the risks and believe that 'it will never happen to us'. I am aware that it CAN happen to anyone and it does. I am playing it by ear at the moment and I will allow her some fredom to roam when I feel comfortabel with it. I cannot see this happening in the near future. If this means she willbe more dependent on myself for a longer time then so be it. At least I know that she is safe at home in her own bed every night.

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