If my five-year-old were allowed to open the garden gate, she would be off wandering all over the neighbourhood and might be run over or kidnapped or murdered etc.

“If my five-year-old were allowed to open the garden gate, she would be off wandering all over the neighbourhood and might be run over or kidnapped or murdered etc.”

If she wants to explore the neighbourhood, she should do so. She is a sovereign individual. Her life is her own. Instead of locking the gate, go through it with her, and enjoy the adventure of seeing your neighbourhood through new eyes. If you explain the various hidden wonders and dangers of the neighbourhood to her as you go, she will generally be glad of your presence.

Also offer your theory of which journeys it would be unwise for her to make by herself, and why. (We do this because our children want the information. So once we have given them the information, we do not keep going on about it to badger them into doing what we ourselves think best.) If this causes any problems for her in terms of frequency of journeys, access to certain places, privacy, or spontaneity, find ways of solving them. This might involve conversations or it might not. Many problems are solved without an explicit discussion: creating a brilliant solution is not an exercise in negotiating or finding a compromise or wearing the other person down, it is about coming up with a solution that all of us love.

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘If my five-year-old were allowed to open the garden gate, she would be off wandering all over the neighbourhood and might be run over or kidnapped or murdered etc.’, https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/if-my-five-year-old-were-allowed-to-open-the-garden-gate-she-would-be-off-wandering-all-over-the-neighbourhood-and-might-be-run-over-or-kidnapped-or-murdered-etc/

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