PATRICK Blythe doesn’t understand why a group of women stopped their car and told him and his brother William to go home when they were walking to the shop yesterday morning.
In his eyes, he was doing everything his mum had told him.
“I was holding Will’s hand, we weren’t running and we stopped and looked properly when we had to cross the road,” the six-year-old said yesterday.
“I told them Mum said we could go, but they just said go home.
“It made me feel sad, I didn’t do anything wrong.”
It was the first time the brothers had been allowed to walk to the shop without their mum Kelly, a walk they had made together hundreds of times.
“I know my children, and I know they are more than capable of walking 300 metres on their own.”
The solo trip was something they had been building up to for some time.
Ms Blythe said she understood why the women stopped their car to check on her boys, aged six and four, as they made the 300-metre walk from their Port Fairy home to the milk bar.
But what she can’t comprehend is why they called in the police.
This prompted Ms Blythe to write an emotional letter to The Standard.
“I felt like they were sending a message to me about my parenting,” Ms Blythe said.
‘‘It really got to me and I wanted to justify myself.
“I know my boys. I know what they can and can’t do.
‘‘There is no way I would have let them go if I didn’t think they were up to it.
“I understand what they (the women) were doing and I appreciate that people were prepared to check on the boys, but the way they went about it wasn’t right.
“If they had have said ‘OK, let’s go and check with mum’, that would have been fine, but they didn’t need to call the police. It feels over the top and like a message to me I was doing the wrong thing.
“It’s just me on my own so it is really important to me that the boys will be able to stand on their own two feet when they are adults.
“I want my boys to be able to do things for themselves. Everyone has different opinions, I understand that, and I know this will create a lot of debate.
“But I’m not a fan of helicopter-style of parenting. I know I give my children a bit more freedom than other parents, but I don’t want them to be afraid of the world.”
The incident hasn’t deterred the family, with Patrick keen to finish the trip he started yesterday morning and Ms Blythe saying she won’t stand in his way.
“I know my children, and I know they are more than capable of walking 300 metres on their own,” she said.