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To Sam


Hi, I'm a 11 year old boy who has a problem with my parents not letting me go things that all my friends can. I have always felt embarrassed about telling my friends that I am not allowed to go 50 yards down my road to the park. Weirdly I'm am always going to the shops, which is further away, on my own. My parents say that it is not me they trust but people around me, I feel that does not make sense when I can go to the shops which is alot further away than the park in not allowed to go to. Please answer, Thank you.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter.

It can be frustrating for young people when they want more freedom but can’t get it. As we grow from being a child to a teenager to an adult, the amount of freedom we want grows just as much. Parents may not always feel ready to give more freedom.

One way to help things get better in this situation is to talk to your parents and find out in more detail what they’re worried about. It’s important that they understand how you feel too, and that you want to develop more freedom and work with them to earn their trust. 

It's important to get a really good understanding of what it is that your parents are worried about. It will also be helpful for them to understand what it’s like for you to not be allowed do things that your friends can do. Having a conversation where you talk about these things might help you come up with a plan where you have a bit more freedom and your parents feel that you’ll be safe.

This might involve having a set amount of time that you’re out for, or meeting a certain person at the park that your parents know and trust. Perhaps calling or texting your parents every so often so they know you’re safe would help. It also might be about building up these experiences over time — for example, going to a place that your parents see as safe at first then building up to go to the park. Perhaps also going out alone for half an hour at first and then increase this to an hour over time. 

If you’re worried about starting this conversation with your parents you may find it helpful to have a think about what you want to say to them before you start the conversation. Maybe write down the points you want to mention and practise saying these things either to yourself or you can call a ChildLine counsellor and practise with them. 

I hope this has helped you and don’t forget if you need to talk this through some more a ChildLine counsellor is always there to listen.      

Take care,

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