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The fallout has been pretty brutal. Lenore Skenazy, a New York City writer, intentionally dropped her nine-year-old son off at Bloomingdale’s and let him find his own way home.
It was an exercise in independence that flies in the face of conventional mommy wisdom. In a culture that warns kids shouldn’t be left alone for a second, a parent willingly turned her son loose in the city. To be fair, she did leave him with resources, including cash, a Metrocard (a pass for the subway) and what sounds like excellent navigational skills—the kid does know how to ask for directions, after all.
Of course, she’s taking lots of heat for what some parents have called child abuse—a bit extreme, considering the real and heartbreaking abuses we hear about every day. Yes, the world can be a frightening place, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that kids should be supervised every minute of every day.
As a new mom you won’t be ready to let baby out of your sight for a while, and that’s OK. But at what point do you feel it’s appropriate to let kids go out on their own? Did this mom really do wrong? [New York Sun]