Letting My 12-Year-Old Go to the Park Alone Is Not a Crime: What Do You Think? by Margaret Steck
Recently, we've been letting our daughter walk to our neighborhood playground by herself as a way to foster independence and to build confidence. The park is less than two blocks away from home and only requires her to cross two side streets.
Yesterday, she came home with two police officers in tow! Apparently, an adult at the park asked her where her parents were, and even when she replied, "I'm 12, I've got this. Thank you!" they still called 911 to report a child alone at the park. Even the police officers were apologetic and wondered why someone reported her, but they wanted to make sure she came home safely.
My daughter was rattled and in tears, wondering if she had done anything wrong, and any little bit of confidence she had been building was undermined. I'm so angry and frustrated with the person who felt justified in calling the police on a middle school-aged child.
What right does anyone have in questioning my family's choices in giving my children independence?
Would you let your children walk to the park themselves if you felt they were ready to become more independent? I'm curious to hear what other parents think!