Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do you let your kids go "Far Away"?

Little Man asked me this question one early morning that we happened to be sitting outside:

"Can we go far away?"

{We=meaning he and his little brother} I asked how far away? He said he wanted to take Click around the block by himself.  Not exactly a smart move to send a 3 1/2 and a 1 1/2 year old around our city block, so we made a bit of a compromise. They could walk down to the alley and then turn around.

He eagerly grabbed his brother's hand and dutifully took him down the block, pointing at all kinds of things as I imagine he shared his most random tidbits of wisdom. I on the other hand I held my breathe, then relaxed and ran to get the camera to capture their grand adventure. As they were making their way back the second time I got this shot:

I recently finished reading a book called "Free-Range Kids" by Lenore Skenazy. She's convinced me that the world isn't more dangerous than when I grew up, it's just chock-full of a lot more irrational fears. I took a little of her advice about letting go. I gave my kids the freedom to explore down our block knowing that my neighbors {one} weren't up yet and {two} weren't going to run out of their houses to endanger my boys. Silly how the news and society have made my job as their mother a bit more worrisome.

I enjoyed the format of her book and her comic {semi sarcastic} writing style. She stated her case in 14 different commandments to raising free-range kids. Commandments like "Fail!" and "Eat Chocolate!". At the end of each commandment {chapter} she finished with a few brave steps you can take to become more relaxed in your parenting. I chose to let my little men go free-range, enjoying their Far away adventure un-disturbed by my presence. After all,

"our goal is to raise young people who can eventually get along without us"  
Lenore Skenazy

"The traveler soon learns that the only way to come to know a city, to form a mental map of it, however provisional, and begin to find his or her own way around it is to visit it alone, preferably on foot, and then become as lost as one possibly can." 
{from a wonderful article by Michael Cabon called the Wilderness of Childhood}

At what age will you/ did you 
let your kids go around the block?


Vuong Family said...

not till they're at least 15! ;-)

Margaret said...

Ha, Ha- I am so with you.