How much freedom do you have?

  • 5 April 2012
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Michael Morpurgo says people used to look out for each other's children more than they do now...

Only one in three children are allowed out to the shops or to walk to school alone, according to a Newsround survey.

One in four never go out without an adult.

To mark our 40th birthday, we've done a massive survey of more than 1,000 children aged six to 12, to find out how you spend your time and what you think is important.

Children's author Michael Morpurgo, writer of War Horse, told us that he thinks that children are less free to take risks like climbing trees.

He also says that people who live on your street would keep an eye on you if you were playing outside, but things are different now.

We asked you what you think about this, and loads of you got in touch. Here's just a few of your comments.

Your comments:

"I have enough freedom when I'm with my friends but I have to take my phone with me."

Tiffany, 14, Wales

"Well I live on a farm and I have loads of freedom to do my own stuff outside!"

Susan, 10, Shropshire, England

"My parents let me go pretty much anywhere. I'd say I'm quite wild, I climb loads of trees and run everywhere. My mum and dad are fine with me and my brother and sisters roaming about as long as we stay safe and tell them our general direction. They do care, but are free and easy with us."

Anna, 12, Hertfordshire, England

"I am not allowed out to play with my friends until I am in year 6. I know why my mum won't let me out because you could get badly hurt or you might get into serious trouble."

Scarlet, 9, Gloucester, England

"I have enough freedom. The first time I went out alone I was trusted and returned home safely, so now I am trusted all the time."

Tyra, 11, London, England

"I am allowed to walk to school as it's close by. I respect that adults think that it might not be safe as we don't know what's out there. I think it's OK that we should have trust but should have some rules."

Juno, 10, London, England

"I think that children should be allowed to have more freedom, however, I think that they should probably be at least 9 or over before they can walk near roads or go to town with their friends."

Niamh, 11, Warrington, England

"I don't have enough freedom because my mum doesn't let me stay overnight on trips even though I'm 8!"

Sara, 8, Coventry, England

"I am not even allowed to walk to school by myself, even though it is about a one minute walk from my house! Also, I am not allowed to go to friends' houses if my mum doesn't know theirs!"

Maddie, 11, Lancashire, England

"I have a reasonable amount of freedom. The only reason my parents don't let me out is for my own good."

Emily, 11, England

"I'm allowed to go places like the cinema on my own if my parents drop me off. But they won't let me go to the park with my friends which is soooo annoying."

Aj, 11, London, England

"I don't think kids are given enough freedom but in some ways you can see where grown-ups are coming from. They're only trying to keep us safe. But on the other hand we will get used to being kept inside the 'safety bubble' they are creating."

Amy, 11, Shrewsbury, England

"I have no freedom. I go to school with my parents and I'm not allowed to go to the shops alone. But times have changed. There are more criminals now who kidnap and things, it's for our own good."

Hubbab, 11, London, England

"I'm not allowed anywhere on my own except my aunty's house, which is on the other side of the street. It's because my area is the most dangerous in my city."

Nora, 10, Manchester, England

"I'm allowed to do what I want but I have to be home before nine at night. I also work on a farm so I don't get to go out much."

Ben, 13, Dorset, England

"My parents let me go to school and the shops alone but I cannot go to my friends' houses and I cannot go to the shops after it turns dark."

Ghulam, 13, Birmingham, England

"I have enough freedom. My mum lets me make my own decisons and gives me the freedom I need."

Georgina, 9, Warrington, England

"Well, I go to school alone and I am really encouraged by my parents as well."

Saumya, 11, London, England

"I have so much freedom. I'm only 11 and I'm allowed four miles away on my own. I love having so much freedom!"

Katherine, 11, Preston, England

"I'm allowed to walk to and from school now the lighter evenings are here. It only takes 10 minutes to get there and my mum follows later with my little sister. I believe I get enough freedom for someone my age."

Michael, 9, England

"Most parents try to protect their kids. Now I'm older I'm allowed all over the place but the streets are dangerous. Sometimes I'm constantly looking over my shoulder because I'm concerned someone might attack me. That's not right."

James, 13, Merseyside, England

"I'm allowed to do most things on my own and I'm 12 years old, but most of my friends aren't even allowed to walk to school in their own and I don't find this fair at all."

Annalise, 12, London, England

"I'm the only person in my class who isn't allowed to walk to school. I don't live near anyone I know so I get bored and watch television all day."

Daisy, 11, Lancashire, England

"I think it depends where you go and your age."

Leah, 11, Geneva, Switzerland

"Well, my parents let me out but not too far. To be honest I don't REALLY like going out by myself so I choose not to."

Izzy, 11, London, England

"I'm allowed to walk to school but nowhere else. I wish I had more freedom."

Emily, 10, Dublin, Ireland

"I get freedom sometimes but when my mum and I go to town, I have to hold her hand like I'm five - but I am 12!"

Shannon, 12, Sheffield, England

"I'm not allowed out of my street. My mum told me off for playing with my friends at the park. She doesn't even let me have credit on my phone."

Sadie, 10, Pembrokeshire, Wales

"I'm allowed to go to the shops with a friend and I'm allowed to walk home from school with a friend too."

Rachael, 11, Rothwell, England

"I am allowed to go to the shops and go into town, but some of my friends aren't even allowed to play on the street, even when hardly any cars go past."

Joe, 10, Blackburn, England

"If you are aged six to 10 you should be with your parents, but aged 11 to 12 you can meet with friends."

Jordan, 11, Rochdale, England

"I'm allowed out quite far away from my house as long as I have my phone and tell my mama where I'm going."

Dylan, 12, Gateshead, England

"I'm allowed to the shop, which is about 10 minutes away from my house, but I'm not allowed to catch the bus into town. I think I should get more freedom!"

Amber, 12, Bristol, England

"Freedom is about trust and my parents know they can trust me."

Laura, 12, Rotherham, England

"I'm not allowed to go out because my mum thinks someone could steal me."

Ruby, 9, Brighton, England

"After the Easter holidays I'm going to be able to walk to school by myself, but I'm not allowed to play on my street alone."

Rachel, 10, Leicestershire, England

"I'm allowed out on my bike, but only around the block with friends. I am not allowed to walk anywhere by myself."

Ellie, 9, Harrow, England

"I'm allowed to go out without an adult. I can go to the corner shop or the park with my mates. I don't have to be back by a certain time but I always take my phone with me."

Ellie-Mae, 12, Leamington Spa, England

"I can go out alone, however, I prefer to go out with other people, even if it's just to the centre of town or the shops around the corner."

Maci, 10, Cambridge, England

"I think that it depends on how old you are and how mature you are. If your parents think that you are not sensible enough then it's up to them. I'm allowed to stay at home by myself but if I want to go into town then I have to be with someone else."

Annabel, 13, Hertfordshire, England

"I'm allowed to walk to school, the shops and my friends' houses by myself. This is because I will have to make a long journey to high school on my own next year."

Terry, 11, London, England

"My mum gives me the right amount of freedom. I'm allowed to go to the shops on my own, but I have to take my phone with me. I walk to school alone too, it make me feel grown up that my mum trusts me."

Zack, 11, Derbyshire, England

"I have a lot of freedom, but I have to let my parents know where I'm going so that they know where to look if I'm gone for too long."

Sam, 12, Norwich, England

"I'm allowed to go to town with a friend, but we have to meet my mum or their mum every thirty minutes."

Bethany, 11, Lincolnshire, England

"I walk to school by myself, but I have to phone my mum when I get there."

Zizi, 11, London, England

"I am allowed to go out on my own if my parents know where I will be, but if something is a long way away or there are big roads then I have to go with a friend."

Katy, 11, Cheshire, England

"I don't think kids have enough freedom because parents are scared that something bad will happen to their kids but they underestimate the amount we know about safety."

Katy, 11, Wetherby, England

"I'm allowed to walk to the shops with a friend and I'm allowed to walk to the shops alone, but I don't want to because of our neighbourhood."

Essie, 13, Aylesbury, England

"I am allowed to go out to my friends house or the local corner shop alone, although when I'm with a group of friends I'm allowed to go further."

Aaina, 11, London, England

"I have enough freedom, although I always check with my mum or dad before going out with my friends and I'm not allowed out of my road for safety."

Iona, 7, Chesterfield, England

"I'm allowed to walk to school and back by myself, although I normally walk home with my best friend. We used to sneak off to the shops on our local high street as it's really close to both our houses and our school, but then our mums found out so we stopped!"

Rachel, 11, London, England

"I would like a bit more freedom because I live in a really peaceful and quiet part of England, but I understand why: my mum's just being protective."

Morgan, 10, Worcestershire, England

"I think I do have enough freedom because my mum and dad let me walk to school with my friends and I'm allowed to play out, but I think it's nice to spend time with my mum and dad."

Megan, 12, Peterborough, England

"My mum lets me go around the corner on my own to the shop, but I'm not allowed into town and I have to be in by six, unless it gets dark earlier."

Anna, 9, East Sussex, England

"I have enough freedom, I walk to school by myself I'm also allowed to walk in to town by myself, but I prefer to go with friends."

Olivia, 10, West Yorkshire, England

"I'm allowed to go into town but I have boundaries. I have a set part of town I can go to but have to take my phone and be back for a certain time. I think I have enough freedom, however, I have only had this freedom very recently."

Katie, 11, Worcestershire, England

"I am not allowed out anywhere without my parents, even if it's just to take the rubbish out."

Sandra, 13, London, England

"I'm allowed to go to my friend's house across the street, but I'm not allowed to go to the shops, park or school by myself."

Noa, 9, London, England

"I think children around the age of six should stay with their parents but children around eleven and over should be allowed out on their own to meet friends and stuff"

Grace, 11, Oxfordshire, England

"I am allowed outside when I want, but not too far".

Holly, 10, Bristol, England

"I'm allowed to walk to the shops with a friend and the shop near my school, which is about 1/4 of a mile away, but I'm not allowed to walk all the way home."

Harry, 11, Farnham, England

"I'm allowed to go to the shops on my own, I'm encouraged to go to wherever on my own unless it's too far."

Erin, 11, Belfast, Northern Ireland