I just google-mapped the distance from my school to my house as a child. It’s almost double what my kids walk right now, and I did it alone at 5. I tend to think grade 3, or 8, is a reasonable age to allow kids to walk alone, even though we all did it much younger. Weird.
Great vent. My parents put a Eurail card in my hand at age 15 and waved me and a few friends off to travel around Europe. And that was in the days before mobile phones and calling cards. We all survived and the experiences of having to budget, evaluate situations, manage our time and rail schedules ended up being invaluable to creating a “can-do” attitude.
We are victims of our own success. People don’t have anything else to do, so they patrol each other’s thoughts, and if one ever dares to step out of line the fear mongers will be down on them like a ton of bricks.
I understand the fears of parents that can lead them to becoming excessively protective. I’ve experienced them and it’s durn hard to shove the protective urge down sometimes.
When one of my daughters soloed on her 16th birthday, I was roundly criticized by some friends and relatives. And in fact, I couldn’t watch the landing. Abby Sunderland’s parents must have nerves of titanium.
But overall I blame insurance companies for the surge in risk aversion.
After nearly being run off the road on the way to work this morning, I’m beginning to wonder if I need to do something “risky” but meaningful before I get killed going to do something responsible but boring.