Monday, 29 October 2012

Sign of the Times

Druidcraft Tarot
 So as Mini Diva is in grade 5, we have had quite a few discussions on when she will be allowed to walk to and from school on her own. It has happened - as things will - that sometimes plans and arrangements fall through, and she has had to occasionally walk on her own instead of with her friend and his Mum, but is has been an infrequent occurrence and we kept to the back-up plan.

We live almost a mile and a half from her school, and there are 3 dangerous, busy roads to cross (only one of which has a crossing person), in addition to a few small quiet ones. Our compromise is that I walk her across the first two busy roads, and then she can walk herself across the quiet roads and cross the last busy road with the crossing person.

Of course, it seems in these times there are other dangers threatening children that when I was a child we did not consider: most recently, April Jones was a tragic reminder of every parent's worst nightmare.

And therefore we have bought a personal alarm which has 140 decibels of incipient deafness in a non-scarey form:

Teddy bear alarm

And since I have just upgraded my handset, I also bequeathed this to Mini Diva:

Nokia 5230
It has been challenging to explain about Stranger Danger - and, more importantly - Familiar Danger (April Jones was taken by her neighbor, whom she knew) as well as not assuming that a woman or other children would be safe to be with, whereas only a man could be a threat. 

This difficulty has been exacerbated by our own strong desire to keep her indoors forever where no-one can hurt her, and at the same time realizing we must be rational, and instead allow her a normal life, with warnings and advice that doesn't totally freak her out so that she never wants to go outside again.

I don't like how this feels at all.


  1. Mine walked all the way home on her own once last year (Year 4) when she forgot she had choir and thought I had just neglected to meet her. I would have been angry with her had her baleful and accusing look not turned so quickly to embarrassment when she realised the mistake was hers.
    I probably should worry more. I am currently slightly alarmed that my 12yo is intending to go out roaming the streets after dark with his chums on Weds. Admittedly, he is at least 5'9" tall but I may have to arm him with a phone (which I have been resisting) just for peace of mind. Who'd be a parent. :/

  2. Being a child is difficult; being a parent isn't all sunshine and cake, either. :) I do like the teddy bear alarm. What does she think of it?

  3. I walked up to school with Blair until P3 - and we're in a fairly quiet area.

    Maybe there is a compromise that can be reached? That she can walk to school only with a friend? Or can you pay an older girl to accompany her to school? Does the school do a walking crocodile or anything?

    It's terribly scary when you sit down and think about everything that could happen, isn't it? Will it ever stop, do you think?

    Ali x


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