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Big Kids

23rd Jul 2019

Dutch have a tradition where teens are left in the woods to find their way home

Melissa Carton

I’m sure I know a few Irish parents who have been tempted to do this.

Parents in the Netherlands practice a tradition which is known as ‘dropping’ where teens and pre-teens are left in the wilderness overnight and expected to find their way back home.

The tradition goes back decades and is meant to teach children life and survival skills.

The droppings usually happen at night where parents will deposit groups of adolescent children at wooded spots.

Those taking part in droppings are expected to wear high visibility clothes at all time and carry emergency equipment and supplies.

In some cases, those dropping off the children will blindfold them during the car ride so they have no idea where they are being left.

While it might seem a bit shocking to outsiders the children who take part say that they love it and that when they have children they will send them on droppings.

One child who took part in a recent dropping told New York Times journalist Ellen Barry;

“It shows you, even in very hard times, to keep walking, to keep going.”

In a day and age where more children are indoors on social media and playing video games rather than outside in nature exploring, you have to question which is really worse off for our children in the long run.