Like many parents, I wonder if I'm too protective. "How can I learn to be safe if you go everywhere with me?" asked Gavin yesterday. He had a point. Especially since I had just read a page on World Vision Canada's web site highlighting the incredible journeys made by children around the world, as they travel to school alone.
While 58 per cent of us walked to school when we were kids, only 28 per cent of our kids are doing the same today across Canada. But I believe walking to school gives kids a sense of community. They get to know their route. Their neighbourhood, literally, becomes their stomping ground. It also teaches them to not be lazy and just jump in the car whenever they need to go somewhere.
Often, the choice of whether or not to allow a child to walk to school unaccompanied is fraught with fears of injury or worse. When our generation was school-aged, parents didn't seem to worry about our physical safety as much as we worry about our kids' today. When is a child ready to walk to school unaccompanied?