When I was little, I walked everywhere: To school, to my best friend's house, to the park across the street and to the park a few blocks away. Sometimes my brother was with me; sometimes he wasn't. As I got older, I walked more places: To the store to get milk, to the theater to volunteer as an usher and sometimes I just walked for exercise.
Was my Mom worried about me? (Probably.) But, she let me walk anyway. And I learned how to navigate my small world and get myself where I needed to go.
So, I was naturally concerned after reading this article about parents who are being questioned by Child Protective Services for letting their children walk to a park that was a mile away. Most states have laws preventing minors under certain ages from being left home alone, but few laws cover behavior outside of the home. Are children safe navigating familiar areas like parks without parental supervision?
Think of your own children: I am sure we can agree that your child's sense of personal responsibility is different from his or her classmates. Yes, laws matter and the neighborhood you live in also play a significant role, but the question remains:
Do you let your children walk places on their own? Why or why not? Share with me in the comments.