The world has drastically changed over the last 50 years, and this has not only affected our lifestyles, it has also had an impact on how we raise our children.
In the 1960s, 89% of children who lived within a mile of school walked or biked to school. Today, that number has dropped by more than 50 per cent and there are a number of reasons for that.
For some parents, one of the biggest reasons they no longer allow their young children to walk to school with accompaniment is not just about the lack of safety, but about how others will view it.
We're living in a society filled with judgmental and overly-protective people, who don't hesitate to call out another parent for doing things differently.
Last year in Utah, the governor had to sign into a law a bill which modifies the definition of child neglect so that parents who want their children to walk solo or play outside without adult supervision won't be penalized.
More recently, one mom took to the Mumsnet forum to share how her daughter's school reacted after finding out that the 11-year-old had walked home alone.
The annoyed mom shared that the walk "is less than a mile" and that her daughter was "desperate to do it."
She added that her daughter starts high school in September and will "have to get a bus to and from" so she wanted to "start giving her a bit of independence now rather than throw her in at the deep end in September."
However, once the school was alerted of this, they called the girl's mother, "saying a concerned parent had been into school because they saw her walking home alone."
The mom explained that the school made her feel guilt and shame by asking her questions and making her "feel like a bad parent for letting her walk home."
"I can’t stop thinking about the phone call and I'm now panicking if I have done the right thing," the embarrassed mom wrote, adding that she knows younger kids who are allowed to walk by themselves, so she didn't think it would be an issue.
After asking if she's "being unreasonable," the mom got a ton of replies, but they're very divided.
"It’s bloody ridiculous that someone went into the school about an 11 year old walking home from school and even more bloody ridiculous that the school have reacted this way," one disgruntled user wrote.
"No wonder children have such poor coping skills," read one comment. "11 is easily old enough for a short walk home."
Another user echoed a similar sentiment, saying, "The school are being ridiculous. An eleven year old could easily be in secondary school anyway, where walking home alone is the norm and the school would have nothing to say."
Others pointed out that the school and the parent who made the report were just doing their due diligence especially if her daughter looks younger than her age.
"Maybe the concerned parent didn't realize she was in year 6," one user wrote.
"Although unnecessary in this case, I'd rather other parents kept an eye out for things rather than just ignoring," another quipped.