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Mall safety

Question:

My 13-year-old daughter wants to hang out with her friends at the mall on a summer weekday evening. She has a cell phone and is a good student. But I feel that dropping a child off at a huge mall without parental supervision seems irresponsible and dangerous. Am I off base here?

Answer:

It is wise to be cautious about the environment in which your daughter is allowed to go without adult supervision. It sounds like you think she is responsible and has earned the privilege to have some independence.

You can start by staying at the mall while she is there. Have her check in with you every hour until you feel comfortable. You might also call your local police department’s non-emergency number and ask them where you can research police calls to the mall. This will give you a better understanding of the safety of your child while she is at the mall. 

You can also rehearse with her how to handle potentially dangerous situations. The police station’s Crime Prevention Unit can provide you with information to help prepare your daughter to make wise choices when she is in public with her friends without her parents.

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