My Good Man and I have made a conscious decision to try to allow our children times when they are free. We feel it’s vital for their development to have periods when they are left to their own devices, left to make their own decisions and follow their own whims. We believe that they need to have times when they can’t ask for our help but have to work out solutions for themselves… yes, even struggle a little. We want our children to be able to range free knowing that we are not watching what they are doing nor directing them in any way. That’s not to say we drop our kids off at the park and go shopping while they fend for themselves. We are present to keep them safe but we gently withdraw from their play and let them know that, during these times, we are not interested in what they are doing.
It’s not always easy in today’s parenting environment. There are so many reminders of how dangerous it is to be a child these days… so many horrid stories to frighten us into being overprotective parents who won’t let our kids out of our sight. We live in a huge metropolis where free space is limited and we have to actively search for places where they can roam without us worrying ourselves sick over their safety if we are not hovering over their shoulders.
We are lucky to have found other parents who want this ‘free-range’ time for their children too and we have banded together so that our children can be wild and free, in a group. We have rules that they know to follow… no talking to strangers, no roads, always stick together, ALWAYS!
They love these times and we see them growing in confidence as they are left to explore, play and interact with each other without parental influence. And we have grown in confidence too as we see how they respect their limitations and keep each other safe.
This is just one step in the long journey of letting go and learning to trust these beautiful beings we are entrusted with.
Blessings and magic,