One place where that can happen is in a theme park. On a family vacation, the kids might head off by themselves for a bit, leaving their parents behind in another part of the park. And, eventually, kids might visit the park on their own, without their parents' assistance. But when are children old enough to go "free range" and take those steps?
In Episode 2 of our weekly Theme Park Insider video show, my daughter Natalie and I talk about our experiences with being independent in a theme park.
At the Disney theme parks, kids must be seven years or older to ride an attraction on their own, or 14 to enter to the park unaccompanied. (Kids under age seven must be accompanied by someone 14 or older to go on rides.)
But every child is different. While some kids are perfectly capable of navigating a theme park on their own even younger than 14, other kids older than 14 (and, let's face it, some adults!) still need help and shouldn't go it alone.
And let's not forget parents. Even if a child is ready to head out on their own at Disneyland, his or her parents might not yet be ready emotionally to let them go. That's important to consider. As parents work to help build their children's sense of independence, they need to remember to work on developing their acceptance of that independence, as well.
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