For years now, I have insisted Fleur hold my hand in parking lots. In recent probes for independence, she questioned why I needed to hold her hand. I explained that while she is a big girl, I pointed to a Toyota Highlander next to us and asked if she could see the steering wheel? No. I pointed to another large SUV a bit further and asked the same. No. If you cannot see them, then they cannot see you. Because I am bigger, they can see me and if you are holding my hand, you are close enough their avoiding hurting me means they will avoid you too.
A recent study…
Results suggest that children are eight times more likely to die when struck by a SUV compared to those struck by a passenger car.Mickey Edwards, Daniel Leonard. Effects of large vehicles on pedestrian and pedal-cyclist injury severity. Journal of Safety Research. 2022.ISSN 0022-4375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2022.06.005
There are a lot more SUVs and trucks on the road than when I was her age. The average vehicle is much bigger. So, I want her to hold my hand a bit longer.
In exchange, I give her a bit more freedom in the store. I let her walk with me instead of riding in the cart. I’m hyper aware of where she is, the people around us, and judging who might appear sketchy. And, lots of the time she gets tired and wants me to carry her, so I can drop the hyper awareness.