Once in awhile, this can be frustrating for parents, especially if you’ve planned a day for just your family. But most of the time you should be glad about your child’s desire to always have a friend along. He’s safer that way.
Children want a lot more independence at this age. They want to go places without you, and many times there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. But in most cases it’s best if they’re not alone, either.
Unfortunately, middle school children are very vulnerable. Those who might do children harm are well aware that this is the age when many parents back off, at least somewhat. And the easiest child to harm is a child who is by himself.
If your child must go further alone than a few houses or buildings away, ask him to call you when he gets there and again when he is about to leave.
If your child protests, put the blame on yourself. “I know you’re not a little kid anymore. I’m just not comfortable with you hanging out at the mall by yourself right now. Why not call Stephen and see if he can go with you?”
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