It is really hard to figure out when to trust our kids to be on their own, thanks to several issues swirling around:
1 – The fear industry that turns everything into a worst case scenario: “What if your son stays home alone and there’s a fire?”
2 – The shame industry: “I walked your son home from the playdate because he said he’d walked here all by himself.”
3 – The confusion industry: “Children may not be left without proper supervision or guardianship.” What the heck does that mean? A 24-hour security guard or a cell phone and a cat?
Over at Let Grow I discuss a chat I had with a neighbor who was certain it’s against the law for her to let her son stay home alone, even for five minutes, before he turns 12 years old.
Thank goodness, that fact is not true. But how horrible that so many parents are convinced that the laws are that unreasonable and draconian.
It’s time to change the laws to make them not just a lot less murky but also a lot more independence-friendly. Parents know their kids best. Unless they are putting their children in immediate, serious and probable harm, they are allowed to love them AND let them go.