So if you read my about me you know that I have anxiety issues. This is one of them. Where do you find the middle ground for a self sufficient, independent child, but always keep them safe?
I was watching the news the other day and there was a mother in Maryland who was visited by their local department of social service because she lets her 6 year old and 10 year old go to the park by themselves. I am sure you heard the story, but I added the link below in case. She is being watched for neglecting her children. That is ridiculous. Also, there was a mother in Florida who was arrested for letting her 7 year old go to the park by himself. The parks in question were less than a mile from their houses. In the case of the Florida mother, her son had a cell phone and checked in with her consistently. With these situations and the way they are being handled, what kind of world are we living in!
I have researched and found that crime is at a low in this country. You may not think that way since the media only shows us the horrible in the world. I believe mostly for ratings. Anyway, what happened to the days like when we were growing up? We came home from school, did our homework, and then went out to play in the neighborhood. We would stay out until we were cold, hungry, or the street lights came on. My parents were always close by, in case I needed anything, but they didn’t hover. We explored and learned things on our own. We socialized and had clubs with meetings that we created. There wasn’t a need to have every hour of our lives scheduled. We got dirty, sometimes scraped up, and did silly things that kids do. We thought for ourselves.
My parents were always close by, in case I needed anything, but they didn’t hover. We explored and learned things on our own. We socialized and had clubs with meetings that we created. There wasn’t a need to have every hour of our lives scheduled.
Now back to my anxiety. I am trying to find the happy medium in all of this. I want my children to be free thinking and have their own schedules. Yes, I will still involve them in extracurricular activities and find fun things for them to do. But I want them to make friends in the neighborhood. Go out and get dirty, get creative with the things around them, make friends. I will always be in ear shot because that is the mother I am, but I will not hover. They are little now and I don’t hover. I let them try and attempt. Trial and error if needed. I will not put them in a situation for them to get hurt. I will trust in the fact that as they grow I have done my job and taught them right from wrong. I hope to instill in them that they can come and tell me if something is not right. That they will walk away from the bad situations, if they happen. If we do not teach our kids to be explorers, while being careful at the same time, then we will not be doing right by them.
As parents we will all find the happy medium that works for our unique families. I have made a vow that I will not share my anxiety with my children. That is my own issue to carry. But I will teach them to trust that the world is not terrible. Terrible things do happen, but as long as our children are smart they can avoid or handle the situation to the best of their abilities then we have done the right thing as parents, to help our kids continue on the same path. I don’t want my children to carry the same anxieties or be the responsible party for giving them those anxieties. I say give them space, let them be bored and find their own entertainment. They will be better adults!
Here’s to happy and healthy families.