June 28, 2011

Independence too soon?

Now that summer vacation has started my older children are wanting to go out places with their friends and alone.  We are fortunate that the beach, library, playground, and skate park are all two miles or less from our house.  The beach has life guards, the library has librarians, and the skate park is right next to the police station, so all of these places are pretty safe.  Not to mention the girls have cell phones
and my older son will be getting one soon.  But of course I am a nervous wreck when the kids aren't with us or a friend's parents.

Last year my oldest (she's 13 now) went to the beach a few times with just her friends.  Now this year she wants to head out on her own.  Jumping on her bike a riding off.  Part of me wants to let her and part of me says "No way".  She's pretty responsible, the places are safe, and I'm just a phone call/5 minute drive away.  Of course since she wants to my step-daughter and my oldest son want to also.

I really wish that these kind of parenting decisions were in a manual.  It would be great to just look up the "right" age to let your kids become more independent.  Then I wouldn't be sitting here wrestling with myself, do I or don't I say yes.  Wondering if they'll be safe.  If they'll make it there and back without mishap.  And don't even get me started on my fear of them being kidnapped.  So of course there's lots of negatives, but there is also the positives.  Letting them go out on their own teaches them responsibility.  They get to actually do all the safety stuff we've been teaching them for years.  This is just one more step along the path of becoming independent adults.

So what's a mom to do?

Being the semi-cautious mom that I am.  I decided for now, they may head out either with each other or with friends.  Call me a worrier, I just feel that they will be safer together or in a group.  I did however tell them we might be able to renegotiate later in them summer.  After I've had a chance to see how they do with their freedom.

~Earthy Mom

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a fair arrangement to have them go in groups. Mine aren't as old as yours but I still insist that they stick together even if they are only going two houses down. No matter how safe something is, something could happen and is more likely to happen if they are alone.

    I am not a helicopter parent but yea, I am with you on it!