A mum-of-three has become the subject of a backlash after admitting she lets her children walk to school alone.
Michelle Horne appeared on This Morning, telling hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that all of her three children make the trip to school without a parent.
She was commenting in response to a recent survey, which found that one in five parents let their children walk to school alone – with some as young as five years old making the journey by themselves.
Michelle’s three three children, all aged 10 or younger, walk to school alone, and her eldest son started doing so when he was just seven years old.
She argued that because she lives in a quiet area, letting her children walk to school on their own is a safe decision.
Image: ITV/ This Morning
She said: ‘I live on the edge of suburbia and it feels a very safe environment in which to let the children walk. We haven’t got busy main roads, it’s a short walk to school, there’s lots of other children walking to school on their own as well’.
But when asked by Holly whether she worried about her children being in danger by travelling on their own at such a young age, Michelle responded saying that she doesn’t ‘believe in parenting under “what if”; circumstances.’
‘You’ve got to give your children the responsibility at an age appropriate time to be able to make those right decisions and the good decisions for themselves’, she added.
She also admitted not giving her children phones until they start secondary school.Image: ITV/ This Morning
Michelle revealed her first son started walking to school on his own, at the age of seven, after he started going to a different playground than his younger brothers. Her younger sons then wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps and make the five-minute journey to school alone when they were around the same age.
However, while some viewers agreed with Michelle and argued every child is different, many parents took issue with Michelle’s controversial parenting and criticised her for leaving her children unattended at such a young age.
One person wrote into the show about their child, saying: ‘Never in a million years would I let him walk to school alone.’
Another Twitter user said: ‘I’m all for children being independent but not at 5 years old!! I can’t get my head round it. Ludicrous #thismorning’
When were your children allowed to walk to school by themselves? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts!