Family in strife after kids left alone in park

Sunday Star Times 28 June 2009

A Christchurch dad who let his nine-year-old son and four-year-old daughter play at a school park unsupervised is furious the government’s child welfare agency is now investigating his family. The case highlights the dilemma parents face in striking a balance between protecting their children and risk them becoming bubble-wrapped kids and giving them a taste of the freedom and independence parents themselves enjoyed as youngsters.

Christchurch dad George Kenton, who has raised four other children, believes it is important children are given early opportunities to take on responsibility and says he allowed his young son to take his younger sister to a nearby park only after he had proven himself capable of the task. He was stunned and angry when his wife received a visit from Child, Youth and Family (CYF) social workers who were concerned about the children’s safety and wellbeing when it was discovered they were playing alone at the Elmwood School park for up to an hour or two.

Parents took ‘risk’ letting kids play alone
The Press 29 June 2009
Christchurch parents who allowed their nine and four-year-old children to play in a park alone were “taking a risk”, the Children’s Commissioner says.