Free Range Kids is a great site about restoring freedom and independence to kids so that they can develop skills and confidence. A recent post about letting her 9 year old ride the subway alone starts:
I left my 9-year-old at Bloomingdale's (the original one) a couple weeks ago. Last seen, he was in first floor handbags as I sashayed out the door. Was I worried? Yes, a tinge. But it didn't strike me as that daring, either. Isn't New York as safe now as it was in 1963? It's not like we're living in downtown Baghdad.Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I fondly remember wandering a distance of several miles at around the same age with my cousin Douglas.
Anyway, for weeks my boy had been begging for me to please leave him somewhere, anywhere, and let him try to figure out how to get home on his own. So on that sunny Sunday I gave him a subway map, a MetroCard, a $20 bill, and several quarters, just in case he had to make a call.