The mo­ment when you have to let go

The Wharf - - Details - TABITHA RONSON

W hen to cut your child loose from the apron strings? When to give them a taste of in­de­pen­dence, to help them de­velop into con­fi­dent, self-re­liant in­di­vid­u­als. It’s a dilemma that faces al­most ev­ery par­ent.

If I had my way Mas­ter A would be bound by them un­til I quit this mor­tal coil – even then I’d prob­a­bly find a way of mol­ly­cod­dling him from be­yond the grave.

That’s, of course, if he hasn’t al­ready cre­ated the serum of ev­er­last­ing youth by then – it’s what is go­ing to put him on the map, he tells me.

Aus­tralian ra­dio pre­sen­ter and

I can’t re­call see­ing many par­ents at the school gate, un­like to­day

talk show host Car­rie Bick­more has faced a back­lash from par­ents af­ter ad­mit­ting she lets her nine-year-old son walk to school on his own. She said it was a way of “teach­ing him in­de­pen­dence”.

She re­flected on how, when she was younger, at­ti­tudes were a lot more re­laxed.

She opened up the dis­cus­sion to lis­ten­ers but in­stead of get­ting sup­port for her de­ci­sion, she was slammed for it.

Par­ents were crit­i­cal, say­ing nine was too young for a child to walk to school on their own, with some even ac­cus­ing the ra­dio host of be­ing neg­li­gent and un­fit to be a par­ent.

Par­ent­ing has changed. When I was around nine or 10, I had a key to my house and walked the 1.6km to school on my own.

I wasn’t the only child. On the way, I would hook up with a cou­ple of friends and we’d make our way in to­gether.

In fact, on re­flec­tion I can’t re­call see­ing very many par­ents at the school gate. Un­like to­day when there ap­pears to be more par­ents than chil­dren hang­ing around at drop off and again at pick up.

I salute Car­rie Bick­more for giv­ing her child the gift of free­dom. But, for now, I’ll still be the mum driv­ing past with Mas­ter A rid­ing shot­gun.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.