I grew up in an era when, during the summer holidays, I’d say bye to my mum at 9 in the morning and probably not be home until tea time. We’d explore our local area, I grew up in a small town, but luckily on the outskirts, so we were surrounded by open fields to explore, woods with trees to climb and dirt roads were no cars travelled.
Looking back, I had some great experiences, many teaching me skills that I would need in later life, such as decision-making and trusting my instincts but it does make a shudder slightly when I think of my three going off and doing what I did.
I know times have changed, but have they really or are we more aware of what is going on around us than we were back then. I’m only really talking 25 years ago, not all that long at all but it seems like a different place to where we live now.
Free Range Kids
I sat thinking the other night whether my parenting style would be any different if I lived in a town. When we drive through the local towns in the summer months, no matter what time of the day, there are small groups of children out playing, as I had as a child. My three have never experienced this as they are the only children in our village. I’m not sure how I’d feel if we did live in a town and they wanted to go off and play out on the street, would I let them?
I wonder if my parenting style has stunted their personal growth and limited their independence?
With this in mind, this summer I am actively trying to encourage my own free range kids, helping them develop their life skills and explore in a safe environment. I am not going to be looking over their shoulders every second and making decisions for them (well not the easy ones, important ones will still be in my control) and letting them go a bit further out of my sight than I have before.
I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say on this subject, please comment below on how you allow your children to explore and build their own character.