Wednesday, April 09, 2008

For discussion...

How independent do we let them and when does that start.

Go here and read what prompted this question


Mousicles said...

Sounds like the mother looked at the real risks involved and decided that it was safe.

I know I've often felt a little thingy about catching public transport alone at night but really the danger is minimal.

If the child knew to be aware of strangers who might do him harm and knew how to get help if he needed it, then does it matter how old they are.

I travelled interstate alone at 11. I survived.

Katrijn said...

This is a really hard one and one I struggle with daily as a mother of three. To me, I think it depends on the individual child. You weigh the risks and look at the abilities of the child before you make a decision. Let's face it - life is a risk, we are all going to die one day. However, there are things we can do to help make sure we lead long and healthy lives!
I have one child that has complicated issues which means socially and as far as looking after himself goes, he is not on par with other kids his age. He does still need to learn these things though - we just do things differently with him. I know it's a struggle for me not to be over protective and an urge I constantly have to battle. How do you find the balance between teaching your kids independence and not putting them at unnessary risk!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

I really liked this comment on the article -

I had a deal of freedom as a kid, especially from age 12 with traveling across the city to visit my older sister 20 miles away. I didn't have all these skills and I did come across vile people who wanted to steal innocence. Fortunately these things happened on the street and was able to simply get away.

Personally I'm thankful I had my freedom but I look back now and am amazed I got away without being harmed. I want my children to have the same sort of freedom but for them to have marital art skills to give them better chances.

My country cousin was a very different personality to me and if she had been in the same situations she could have been harmed simply because she didn't have a fighting voice within her as a child. That voice for her is coming out now in her adult years and it is great to see but she was just lucky that nothing happened in her childhood because she wouldn't have had a good chance of getting away first.

here in our group of friends I think you can see a spectrum between that lady and her cousin. the sort of person you are and the way you're raised is going to influence what you do with your children.

hopefully part of that is judging what your child is ready for, not what other people are doing with their children, and not necessarily what you did at your age because it's a different world.

I'm wary of people who speak about 'maturity' in children. it means different things to different people. in general there is a lot of 'sophistication' in children which I find borderline repulsive - that's not maturity. just because they can wear hooker clothes and grind their pelvises to music does not mean they are emotionally mature.

I believe there are probably more constructive ways of letting children find their sense of freedom with minimal risk. I guess part of it comes down to the environment you're living in.

Wenchilada said...

I grew up in country NSW. From around the age of 7, I was babysitting my younger brother for short periods of time, on occasion. I also had a fair bit of freedom when I hit highschool and rode my bike to my friends place, they lived just outside town, or out to the lake or whatever. When I think about it now, I am amazed that nothing happened to me. But this is such a different time now.

I'm not going to pass comment on the mum in this article, she made her decision based on what she thought was acceptable, I guess.