I’ve just been reading a blog and it got me thinking about me and my children. Let the children go
My daughter is nearly 8 years old and I’ve been criticised twice (to my face, goodness knows how much behind my back) because recently I’ve allowed my daughter to walk to school on her own – it’s a 45 second walk. In fact, once she’s left, I’m usually out of the door within a minute to take my son to school and so I can see my daughter near the gate or in the playground.
At her age I was taking myself and my younger sister to school and it was a much longer walk.
I want her to get her independence, to be aware of things around her. We’ve taught both our children not to talk to strangers, we’ve taught them that they should never go down dark places, to always avoid that and go down well lit places – of course my children are not at the stage where we are allowing them out that late or too far, but it’s good to keep them in the know.
We’ve allowed our daughter to go to the shop and that was about a 3 minute walk and I’ll be honest, I was sh!tting myself and so I told my husband to follow her. He did and our daughter did well. I got worried because like every other mother, I’ve read the horror stories in the media. I’m a paranoid mother would you believe it! But I believe that I shouldn’t keep them locked up inside or wrapped up in cotton wool.
I wont allow my children to wonder too far, they have to be able to hear me and vice versa, my son is too young and he’s not allowed out anywhere past my line of sight. There are some parents who allow 5 year olds to be out wandering around estates etc and I’m a bit to scared to allow that myself, and perhaps it isn’t a sensible thing to do – I don’t know! Each to their own.
Another thing is, you’ve got me and my sister who were ‘street wise’ while growing up, we used to go out as soon as we woke up and come in when the street lights came on. Our parents always knew who we were with and always knew we would be back in time. We used to wonder around all over the place.
Then you’ve got my other sister and brother, and that’s a different story completely. I don’t know why but my other sister and brother were never allowed to do anything like this. We all moved to a different place and I guess you’d call it a ‘snobbish’ area. My dad had got work and we went from a council estate to a new ‘upper class’ area – not that we were rich or upper class lol, just lucky. So I guess my mother decided to ‘act’ like the other mothers did, or perhaps this was when times were changing slowly to what they are now. Mothers there didn’t seem to allow their children out to play unless they were with them, they didn’t have friends showing up at the door asking if ‘Jimmy’ was coming out to play. Now it was all phone calls and organised play-dates etc.
Me and my sister would go on public transport on our own or together when we were about 13 years old (I think) but my other sister didn’t until she was 17 and my brother is 15 and still hasn’t. They were both sheltered and I don’t think they have the confidence me and our other sister have.
Waiting for the ‘Bad Mother’ Label to come my way lol.
I don’t ask my daughter to go off and do the weekly shop, I don’t tell her to go out and play where ever she wants, however as she gets older, I will allow her to go and play further out a field, perhaps I should now, but as I’ve said, I’m a nervous mother lol.