A woman who was "livid" that her husband sent their six-year-old son to walk back to their vacation apartment on his own has received a wave of support on parenting forum Mumsnet.

I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) thread, the mother (who used the handle "throwauay") said her husband was down at the beach when her son arrived at the apartment and told her: "Daddy told me to come back on my own" and he was "proud of himself" for making it back.

The user asked: "Could you get worked up about this or am I being precious?" She explained that the family was staying at the top of an apartment block.

"When you get outside the block, the beach is down three steep sets of stairs, through a narrow, very uneven and twisty alley, across a road and down some wooden steps."

She wrote: "I'm livid because he's six and there are any number of strangers and hazards between there and here." 

More than half an hour after their son arrived, she added, her husband had not called to check he had "made it back safely.

Most Mumsnet commenters felt this mother's concerns were reasonable, but academic studies have pointed out that an overprotective parenting style can lead to children being unprepared for life.

A January 2017 report from Michigan State University said overprotective parents were "fearful of everything when it comes to their children and expect bad things to happen."

Tim Elmore, a leadership expert quoted in the article, said: "When we rescue too quickly and overindulge our children with 'assistance,' we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own. This prohibits them from becoming competent adults."