Shannon Matthews Found!

Wonderful news that the little girl who went missing walking home from school has been found, alive and 'well' according to internet news reports.

They have brought up the subject of her being allowed to walk home alone and this is an emotive subject. It is something I have been discussing with friends recently. At what age do you let them have more independence?? I couldn't imagine letting Tom out alone yet and he's almost 9 (same age as Shannon) I just wondered what you all felt about this? I know you have to let them go at some stage.


  • Nicola do you know where she was found or anything, i havent seen the news yet. It is brilliant news she has been found though i bet her parents are so relieved.

    I am one of 6 and we werent allowed to walk home from school alone until we got to secondary school. So that would be about 11 years old. We lived quarter of a mile away from the bus stop, where we caught the school bus, and in the middle of nowhere. But as there were 6 of us we always had someone to walk home with because there was always more than 1 of us in the same school at one time.
  • Hi Nicola,

    I've been watching it on sky news. It's great she's alive, I just hope mentally she is ok and can cope with what's happened to her.

    Zoe xx
  • Karen, I think thats lovely that you always had someone around to support each other. Im scared to death to let tom out alone. He will have to have a mobile phone
  • Wow that's such good news! I worry what the poor little girl has been through though and hope she'll get the help she no doubt needs.

    I live on a large estate and its unbelievable how many kids as young as 5 play out on their own. We got new neighboyurs (from hell) this week and yesterday the i saw the 5yr old playing out with her little brother who doesn't even look 2 yet it's shocking!

    My other neu
    ighbours son started walking home last yr when he started secondary school and we only live a 5 min walk away from it.
  • Its unbelievable how some people treat (or not) their kids. We are 5mins away from primary school. I may let him walks towards the end of year 6 but not yet. He's desperate for some freedom. But I worry about maniac drivers (we live in town) and everything else these days its so scary!!!
  • As a kid I remember walking to and from Primary school by myself from the age of about 7 or 8. I lived about 5 mins walk away. We were allowed out and about to visit friends or buy sweets from the shop.

    I think we are as a society, at great risk of bringing up mollycoddled kids. They need their freedom and to develop their own independance.

    My cousin was wrapped in cotton wool and was only allowed to go nextdoor by herself until she was at secondary school. Even then she could only cross a road to see her friend. At 16 she suddenly went mad, meeting people on the internet and going off on a bus or train to visit them. That was extremely dangerous but she had to knowledge of being out by herself and was extremely street unwise!!!! I also teach kids who aren't allowed anywhere with their parents (at 14 or 15) and those who are kicked out after school and not given a time to return home!!

    On the other hand my niehgbours kids race on the road on their bikes and they are aged between 2 and 6. That scares me as no-one appears to be watching!

    I hope that I will be sensible when the time comes and give Bronwyn the space and freedom that I had.

    Sorry for the essay, but this is something that i feel quite strongly about!!
  • Glad Shannon found.

    My daughter has just turned nine and I would not let her out on her own. Maybe at 12 she can start walking to or from school, but times are just too bad. Not like when we were kids!
  • I am pleased that Shannon is safe. I just hope that she hasn't suffered at the hands of her abductor. I understand completely why people don't want to let their kids out, but I think its a sad situation!! Have times changed or is it the media and our perception that has changed? Gareth will probably want to keep Bronwyn with us and not let her out until she is at secondary school. He is more concerned with what kids get up to when their parents aren't around.

    A paedophile lived in my neighbourhood when we were kids. My parents still let us out. I never even came into contact with him or saw him.
  • I think you are right Caroline in that these things have always gone on the media wasn't the same 20 or 30yrs ago so you just didn't know about it. I used to go to the shops too by myself and we played out in the street by my house when I was younger than tom. It was different then. None of the mums worked there was always someone around. I don't let tom play out as we live in a busy road but I do let him walk up the street to his friends about ten doors down(after watching him cross the road) He's desperate to go the paper shop or something but im terrified of him being run over more than anything.
  • as i haven't got to that stage yet i couldn't really say. the schools right across the rd from my house, in fact i can see it from my sitting room window, so it's not as if they have to walk far. but i just don't know, i'm very over protective.
  • Kristy, that will be wonderful in the winter! you will literally just be able to pop them over the road! X
  • Kristy, we live over the road from the school. My neighbours didn't let ther kids go to school on there own until they were year 6. Not sure what I will do, I have a nice group of school mum friends and it's nice to see them for a chat. Will just have to wait and see I suppose.
  • I was aloud to walk to school at the early age of 7,but like in kristys case,my back garden backed on to the school play ground and my mum could watch us walk all the way but i felt like a big girl but mum was always watching,i wouldnt no what age to let riley.
  • Have just seen that the house she was found in was her step-dads uncles house! :O

    Our neighbours have four kids under the age of 5/6 and there dad who is a pisshead sits outside watching them with a can of diamond white - Its good that he watches them but I sometimes feel a bit intimidated walking past them to my front door - and my parents feel the same. I think its good he is watching them but sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be possible to watch them from inside there house - if that makes sense?
  • Yeah! heard that to,and that she was in a draw.poor mite.
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