Parenting 101: Dropping Children at the Mall or a Concert Unsupervised

My son's friends have been meeting and spending a few hours walking around the mall. He's been waiting for the invitation to join and it finally has. I want to say "yes." When I was a kid, my friends and I would spend many a Sunday afternoon mall walking. It's a change of scenery, a time-killer and a fun way to explore adolescent independence. But, I'm afraid. I'm very afraid. 

Reports of mass casualties in public places, human trafficking (right here in Tennessee) and random acts of violence flood my news feed on an almost-weekly basis. It doesn't only happen to OTHER people. Just recently, the perils of online child predators came to our own home, when our 8-year-old daughter was making a YouTube slime video. It happened. We became a statistic - and nothing says "one and done." It CAN happen again. 

I hate it. It's paralyzing. How do you even let your kid walk out the door these days? 

Thoughts? Advice? Experiences? Please share. We need to be a village. 

The responses on my personal Facebook page were overwhelming and mixed. 

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