My boys are nearly 8 and just turned 9 and last summer I championed #Freerange parenting. I tried to give them freedom to explore, play and investigate independently.
We are very lucky that we live in a housing estate on the edge of a village and have an excellent environment for children to play in. Cars drive slowly through the area, we have fields nearby and a woodland area and back all within 2 minutes of the house. The estate is filled with children of all ages and a lot of them are allowed to play out and you can often find a group of them playing football or cricket after school or during the day.
My boys are allowed to walk to and from school on their own and to visit one of the local parks. They are allowed to visit friends and to play football on the green. I trust them. I know they they will push boundaries, but that is what being a child is all about. I insist that they wear helmets when on their bikes and their scooters.
Am we free range enough?
It left me wishing that we had an area such as The Land near us. It also reminded me of an incident last summer that initially had me pretty scared.
Mini came home to get a bottle of water and when I asked why he told me they were using a magnifying glass to try to start a fire!
I was petrified, but then after talking it through my MadDad he told me I should be pleased that Mini felt he could tell me and also that he was sensible enough to make sure they had water. Oh and that as a child he had set fires on the farm with his glasses and this is what boys do!
Both the boys are members of the local Beavers and Cubs and they do a lot of life skills activities there and love it and they are spending next weekend at camp and I have to swallow my urge to wrap them in cotton wool and keep them at home.
Why we free range parent
I have to admit that I do not find free range parenting easy. I have to make sure that I fight my fears for the good of my boys. I want them to have street smarts, I want them to enjoy the childhood that MadDad and I did. I remind myself constantly that the danger is no worse than when I was a child and that the fact is we are just more aware of it.
In fact parenting isn’t easy full stop. I want to raise well rounded, caring and independent individuals who can cook, clean and be good company!
I find it hard balancing their needs in this modern world. Finding an acceptable balance between screen time and other activities. I do worry that they are over reliant on technology, especially during the winter months.
Are you a free range parent? Do you worry that your children live in to much of a protective bubble?