Rod Liddle

Surely 12 year olds can <em>care</em> for themselves?

Surely 12 year olds can <em>care</em> for themselves?
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A couple of weeks back I wrote a piece for the magazine about the debate over the Schonrocks, a family living in south London who allowed their two children – aged five and eight years – to cycle to school unaccompanied. The school had told them to desist from this practice because it was dangerous. It seemed to me commendable of them.

Now, in the papers, we read of a child who was left behind at a service station whilst on holiday with his mum and dad in Switzerland. Shock horror. The little mite spent two hours “being cared for” by service station staff before his parents remembered that they had a son and came back to get him. All front page news. The child was TWELVE years old. Christ, at that age I’d have expected him to hitch hike to wherever the family were heading. “Being cared for”? He’s TWELVE. To his credit, the boy seemed entirely unconcerned. But why the furore?