Posted September 3rd, 2013, 11:19 AM
It's a matter of assessing the right balance. Yes, if your children are never out of your sight until their 18th birthday, they're less likely to be molested. But on the other hand, if the first time they leave your sight is when they wave goodbye on their way to college, will they be well prepared for adult life? Somewhere you've got to cross that line, it's a matter of when.
I agree with that. My girls are only 9 and 10 and we do not allow them to roam or wander on their own. They are too young yet and could easily get taken advantage of in an elevator, a corridor or corner somewhere just as this girl did. They can take small trips by themselves to the washroom when we are at the pool or to get more food at the buffet but we never let them go off and meet up with us somewehre else. However, this will not always be the case. They will get older and things will change.
Our next cruise with them they will be 10 and 11 and we will give them a little more freedom but this will be limited to small trips with a purpose - still no roaming and only if they are together. When they are 12 and 13 we may start to give them opportunities to wander for very short periods during the day but this will be determined based on their maturity level at that time.
I don't think you can just say "at 12 kids should be able to do (fill in the blank) on thier own". Each kid is different and needs to be assessed on an idividual basis.
My kids also have to sign a contract for vacations as well. For the last cuise it was merely a behaviour based contract as they were never alone. I will be modifying it again for our next cruise to suit the situation.
There are bad people everywhere - you don't have to bubble wrap your kids but you do have to be vigilant and have some common sense in order to keep them safe no matter where they are, be it at home, school, a friend's house or on vacation. Educating and monitoring them is the key.