Being a mother of three children I will admit it’s difficult to keep your eyes on your children every waking moment, I mean I don’t have eyes all around my head but I do pride myself on giving the kids a bit of freedom while still keeping them within a safe distance should a bad stranger happen upon us. My oldest is bright, intelligent, beyond her years but she is still not allowed to walk more than a a few feet ahead of me in local stores.
If we go to the local gas station that we frequent that’s a little different, the kids are always within ear shot and it’s a small enough store that I let them go to the drink coolers & grab their own drink without me being right there next to them. I can psychically see them from the front door/cashier area where I wait & it’s a familiar place for us all, even most of the full time workers there know my kids by first name.
My daughter is 9 and my sons are 3 & 5. Even my daughter who is rather mature for her age and quite responsible is not allowed to walk across our Walmart SuperCenter without me being near her. The other day her friend was over & her friend says “Let’s go to the toy aisle Ki, that’s where I waste my time when my parents are shopping” and I thought to myself “OMG are you kidding? What?!” Obviously I wasn’t judging her parents, I really like this kids parents but all I could think of was the fact that no way would two nine year old girls be “wasting time” in the toy aisle while I shop in the food section at least not on my watch. The food section and toy section are on two opposite sides of this Walmart SuperCenter and I wouldn’t have a clue if someone bad came along.
Maybe it is because of the life I have lived, to know that you can’t trust everyone especially strangers but more so you can’t trust some extended family members really, because you just never know who is a bad person until you get into that situation. I am sure my children will have their teen years to wander alone & be out with friends, I am just not ready for it at such a young age. I want my children to be safe while experiencing a little freedom; like walking a few feet in front of me not halfway across the store.
So, the question I have is; What age did you let your children do this or do you think you will let your children do this?