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Would You Leave Your Kids At The Park Alone?

Would You Leave Your Kids At The Park Alone?

If you have ever wondered what would be a good way to peel your child from a video game or computer screen, Lenore Skenazy may have the answer for you.  Skenazy recently declared May 22nd “Take Your Kids To The Park and Leave Them There Day”, in an effort to get kids active and teach them to be independent at the same time.

 

You may remember hearing about Skenazy, a former columnist for the New York Sun, a couple of years ago when she wrote an article about how she left her then 10-year-old son in Bloomingdales with a subway and bus map and allowed him to find his own way home.  There was mixed reactions from readers of her column.  Some thought Skenazy was doing a good thing for her son, teaching him some independence and letting him know that she trusts him.  But others thought what Skenazy did was irresponsible and put her son in great danger.

 

Skenazy’s new campaign is for parents of children age 7 and up to allow their children to play at the park without any parental supervision for about 15 minutes to start.  Skenazy believes children do not have as much freedom as they used to and as a result will find it difficult to take care of themselves when the time comes.  She also thinks that many parents today needlessly hover over their children, not allowing them to form connections with other children on their own or figure things out for themselves.

 

One of the biggest concerns parents face is the possibility that someone will take or hurt their child if they leave them alone for even a minute.  Though we hear of harm being done to children on the news every night, Skenazy argues that child abduction is actually very rare and children are much more likely to be abused by people they know and live with.

 

What do you think of Skenazy idea to leave your child at the park?

 

Is this something you would consider doing?

 

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  • mchavezrey By mchavezrey
    05.29.10  

    No way!! I love my children and would never give someone out there the opportunity to harm them. This has nothing to do with "giving them more freedom" for for their safety!!

  • LuckyMommaJ By LuckyMommaJ
    05.29.10  

    If a child is not old enough to legally babysit (which is 12 years old in the state of WA) then I don't think they should be left alone. It is just dangerous. They need to be mature enough to make decisions about what to do if they get hurt, someone is following them, they witness a crime, etc. It's one thing to let them play outside your own home, but to leave them somewhere unfamiliar and more than a yelled "MOM!" away is bad parenting.

  • joy9281 By joy9281
    05.30.10  

    There are too many weirdos out there to be leaving your children unattended espescially in a place like a park!

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas
    06.01.10  

    Nope, I could never leave a child alone @ the park, on a subway, nothing of the sort. That'd be irresponsible even if "kidnapping is rare" in her eyes... it's still a possibility, among other things.

  • trentjoy By trentjoy
    06.01.10  

    I agree with most here that say that they would not leave children alone, and I have been one that coddled my children to death early on. I do think that 7 is too young to be completely alone. But I also see the other side now that my children are pre-teens and say that sometimes you have to step back and allow the children to have some freedom so that when they are on there own they don't go crazy stupid! I say you can always sometimes be off to the sidelines so they are not REALLY alone and they feel trusted and empowered to make decisions on their own. It is all about moderation; One extreme of one side or another of anything is never any good.

  • chinnmom By chinnmom
    06.01.10  

    I have 3 girls (10,12, and 13). I would not leave them alone in a park at all! I don't think it is responsible parenting to allow any opportunity for your children to be exposed to danger!

  • mommaduck By mommaduck
    06.02.10  

    No I would not leave my kids alone at the park. I'm sorry but if they are at the age where they are still going to a park to play on the playground then they are to young to be left alone. there are to many crazy people out there that pray on kids that go to the park alone. No thank you, they can go with me or another adult

  • jellybeanr By jellybeanr
    06.02.10  

    i would never leave my children in the park alone. You can not do this now a days because of so many missing children.

  • cheerfultulips By cheerfultulips
    06.02.10  

    I realize that children need to be given opportunities to be independent and its extremely important for their self esteem and confidence ...but I dont think leaving them alone in a park is way to do that ...they could get hurt and confused ..and it would be risky too...I wouldnt leave my child alone in a park ...

  • j9sjeep By j9sjeep
    06.03.10  

    I trust the way that I raised my children, so I do not have a problem with them going to the park alone. I am hoping that the use the good judgment that I taught them in the past. I do however make sure that when they do go to the park, they are in a group!

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