Just got this encouraging post, from a mom who is going to let her grade school daughter walk to school this fall. How did the mom get comfortable with this idea? Simple! She thought about her ACTUAL NEIGHBORHOOD — not the neighborhoods we see on crime shows and the TV news, crawling with creeps. The one she actually LIVES IN. That’s why one of the Free-Range Babysteps I suggest in my book is to turn off the TV and take a walk around the block. Connect with the people there — you’ll feel safer and happier, and so will your kids! Voila:
I was thinking about my daughter who will be walking to school without her brother next fall (he’s going to 6th grade at our local middle school)…and thinking about what I will tell her. First, the usual a reminder that it’s ok to talk with strangers but don’t go off with them, second it’s ok to be rude and get angry if you are being truly threatened, and third a quick review of people and places she can trust and get help from if necessary. And as I thought about the third point, I realized what a wonderful place we live in, because there are kind and friendly people we know on each leg of her journey to school!
Everyone on our block would support her in an instant, as she turns the corner there is someone to turn to for help every second or third house, we have a terrific crossing guard at the busy intersection, and finally the folks in the drugstore, postoffice, coffee shop, and restaurants are people we know and trust. In short, her whole town is there for her! And that’s a wonderful thing. :)
Sure is! — Lenore