My boys are only 5 & 4, so we have an adult supervising. The kids across the road are the same age. We live in a court, but have psycho-drivers for neighbours.
Notgirly, I had a quick read of that blog. I don't see any difference in me going to the park with my boys (rather them going alone) than using correct child car seats.
My DH never used a car seat and he is fine. Friends at school never put their car seat belt on, they're fine. Should we stop using belts?
That said, I can watch mulled from a distance, not hover over them. Might be different when they're older?
Sunny, I think your last line is the key. Her argument is that we need to progressively give our kids more and more responsibility for their own safety as they get older, rather than have them land in adulthood, or even just their teen years, without having practised that. Her perspective is that of a 12-year-old's mum, so a little different to where your kids are now.
Regarding car seats, I think the comparison is not quite accurate. Wearing car seats and seat belts does not have an opportunity cost i.e. it's no more fun or enjoyable or relaxing or educational travelling in a car without wearing one. It does make you much safer though, so wearing one is a no-brainer.
There is, however, an opportunity cost associated with being a hovering parent. Lost opportunity for the kid to learn through focused play, lost opportunity to develop their own skills of peer negotiation, lost opportunity to develop the confidence in their own ability to act safely and responsibly in the world, and lost opportunity for the parent to do something else.
So, Leanore is not actually saying, 'go and leave your toddler in the playground', she's saying, 'be mindful of the opportunities you give your child to develop and remember that some of their learning needs to happen with you are a distance (which will be a greater distance according to age).'
Also, she's passionate about working out the difference between real, statistically proven risks and perceived risks (things we think are unsafe because they are emotive, but actually are miniscule risks).