Should Children be Able to Shop Alone?

According to the policy at Chinook Centre’s LEGO store in Calgary, Alberta, children under the age of 12 should not be left unattended in their store. Unfortunately for 11-and-a-half-year-old Tadhg Dunlup, shopping alone at his favourite store resulted in him being detained until his father showed up.

Tadhg Dunlup plays with lego at home. The 11-year-old was detained at a LEGO store in Calgary because he was shopping alone at his favourite store.
Credit: CBC News

After Tadhg’s father, Doug Dunlop, wrote a blog post about their experience at LEGO, the issue of child safety versus helicopter parenting ignited online.

Although Tadhg had shopped at that store alone many times and spent thousands of dollars he’d earned, LEGO stands by the decision it made on that day.

“As a toy company, our utmost concern is for children's safety, and as such we have a policy in place regarding unaccompanied minors,” said Amanda Santoro, a LEGO brand relations manager. “As this customer was under the age of 12 and alone, we followed our protocol and stand by our policy."

This year our Parenting Panel has talked about child safety, from online to on the street. People have strong opinions on either end of the safety spectrum, but Taylor Kaye and Chris Shulgan seemed to agree on this story.

Do you think 11-year-olds should be able to shop alone? Weigh in with your comments below.