So the post I was going to write about the best toddler game ever is postponed because I read an article yesterday (HERE) that has made me think about how much of a "hovering" parent I am. The author, Lenore Skenazy, wrote the book"Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry" and the founder of the blog freerangekids.com . Her premise is that we need to give our kids the freedom and responsibility that we had growing up. I wholeheartedly agree.
I find myself thinking of all sorts of bad things that could happen to my kids if I'm not there to supervise their every move. The article points out that crime is at a low, and they are safer than we were in the 70's and 80's. So what has changed? Media. Our parents watched Dallas and Dynasty (not MY parents mind you, but you get the picture) (which the author notes that the biggest crime was big hair) and today's parents watch Law & Order and CSI. Between that and the news are inundated with bad things that happen to kids. But are we protecting our kids too much? What will be the outcome of so much protection? (please read the article, it has much more than what I covered and it really is a good read)
For example....Bigs started first grade this year. I walk her to school and pick her up each day. Last year I walked to the front of the school to pick her up directly from her class. This year I wanted to meet her at the crossing guard. This means she would have walked approximately 50 yards directly in front of the school building, on a sidewalk lined with school personnel, cross the road with an adult crossing guard and there I would be standing. No big deal but no deal. We tried it the first day and her teacher walked her all the way to me (even crossing with the guard). Tried it the second day; same thing and the teacher concluded that I would have to go get her at the front of the school from now on. Let me make clear that Bigs has no problem meeting me at said place, she was excited about it, but the school is completely concerned about the unescorted walk. I'm not saying that the teacher is at fault at all, just an example of how our schools are hovering. Is this good for our kids?
I remember walking home from school in the winter with my best friend Andrea. We spent what seemed like hours (probably much less) making snow chairs and forts along the way. What a time we had playing and pretending. We would often get scolded about taking so much time to get home. BUT we were kids and we were learning. How often do our kids get that freedom? When in first or second grade I would ride my bike over to Andrea's house which was about a mile away ALL BY MYSELF. Gasp. I'm lucky I am alive to tell about it. That doesn't happen much anymore. If it does, we tend to think that the parent doesn't care or lets the child do whatever they wish. Are we not teaching our children well enough for them to do these things on their own?
The website has story after story about how overprotective we are getting. I couldn't stop reading.....and when I'm done with this post I am going to read some more :)
And because I thought this was hilarious....
Link up your kid friendly post with Mr. Linky below. It can be anything other parents would be interested in; recipes, crafts, reviews, etc. Enjoy your weekend!