Letter: Children need their freedom

Sir: Thank God I didn't have a mother like Ariella Lister ("Children need our attention", Letters, 11 August).

As children, my four brothers and sisters and I spent a good deal of our time ensuring we escaped the attention of our parents. There were games that our parents wouldn't have approved of, such as "Knock-Down Ginger" and "Let's get lost", or lying around doing nothing except watching the passers-by.

We spent our days in a haze of sunshine, tree-climbing, scrumping, and make-believe. We did unaccountable things that children like doing, such as counting the number of paving stones in the street, or imagining that every third person who came into view was a murderer and trailing him home. None, I'm sure, would be considered valuable by Ms Lister.

We did our own exploring and extended our own horizons. Our parents never intruded upon this private world. Mother was where we needed her at the end of a long day - at home.

Ms Lister would do her children a favour if she remembered that she was the parent and not the kid, and gave them the freedom of a bit of healthy neglect.

JANE O'MAHONEY

Launceston, Cornwall

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