Have you ever heard of the term “free range kids”? I hadn’t. I just read the most interesting article over at Free Range Kids. I wasn’t even fascinated by the content of the article because I couldn’t get past the meaning behind it. I will have to read it again once m brain calms down. In the article, Rachel let’s her 9 year old ride home by himself on his bike and let her 2 year old play in the park all while she attended her other child at a baseball game. I don’t know that I would be able to leave my 2 year old in the park even if they’re within eyesight. I guess, I unknowingly became that parent that hovers a little and over protects. I have been trying to right that wrong and I am sure it’s going to take a lot of work. I mention to the children about walking to and/or from school, they seem shocked. I do leave them alone for up to thirty minutes with very strict and detailed rules and guidelines… I like to call that my “what to do if…”
I can remember being 8 years old and walking to the neighbors house alone, riding my bike alone and playing outside with my friends…..ALONE… I do not take all the credit for this, my ex, their father, played a role in this too. Not to mention, my family. I remember mentioning that I was going to go to the store (CVS right down the street) and was asked where the kids were, to which I replied, “they’ll be home” and a shit-storm happened and it lasted a week at least. Just this Monday, I had my mother watch them so that I could do a job, this job wouldn’t take long but it was far so I didn’t want to leave them home(accidents happen while driving), I called her and told her I was sending them up. She sounded shocked that I wasn’t walking them up and asked me if I wanted her to come down. I told her they needed to be able to reach the elevator and your door on their own.
I have a long road ahead of me. Many obstacles stand in the way but I plan to push them over! And now that I know there are a ton of other people reaching for the same dreams, I plan on picking their brains on the topic.
How are you with your children? At what age did you feel it was okay for them to be alone at home?