How far is too far from your toddler – this mum puts it to the test

How far would you let your toddler walk away before you raced after them? Would it depend on how old they were, or how likely they were to respond when you called them back? Or perhaps on where you were, or how many people were around?

That’s exactly what one mum set out to discover with a fascinating video series.

Conceptual artist Lenka Clayton filmed a variety of videos that “attempt to objectively measure the farthest distance I am able to be from my son in a variety of environments”. The series, called The Distance I Can Be From My Son, is part of her larger Artist Residency in Motherhood project.

She filmed her toddler walking away from her in four settings: a back alley, park, supermarket and fog. She then measured  how far he got before she could no longer resist the urge to chase after him.

The distances ranged from 17 metres to 65 metres. Can you guess which distance was for which setting? Take a look and see:




Clayton is a full-time mother who says she created Artist Residency in Motherhood project – with her home as her studio – as a “personal and political statement”. She records aspects of her daily life on her website through the project, funded by the Pittsburg Foundation.

(via The Kid Should See This)

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

Subscribe to Babyology

Our email newsletters keep you up to date with what’s happening on Babyology.

We also have special newsletter-only offers and competitions that are exclusive to Babyology subscribers.

Sign up below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Send this to a friend