I remember hearing about Lenore Skenzy on the news one morning. She's the woman who let her 9 year old son find his way home, alone, with no cell phone and no one following him...in Manhattan! (insert big gasp here) She was dubbed “America's Worst Mom”.
You know what I call her? Normal.
Really, “America's Worst Mom”?!?!? I love this woman. I mean, I didn't really know that there was a term for how Hubby and I were raising our kids. We were just parenting the way our parents did.
Bubba is only 4 and Diva is 2, but we still try to give them freedom. We don't follow them around when they are at the park. We encourage them to talk to the other kids and invite them to play. We (gasp) encourage them to talk to people...strangers!
For example, one nice spring day the 3 of us walked up to the store that is only a few blocks away. As we were leaving we almost bumped into an older man (I have a huge double stroller, it drives like a boat). I apologized and he and I started chatting. We wound up walking and talking together for most of our walk home. I encouraged the kids to join in the conversation.
This nice man and I parted ways only a block from our house, but I hope the lesson will stick with my kids. I mean, the more people you know, the less strangers there are, right?
You know what else?
We let the kids drink from the hose today. We also let them play in the dirt and get each other wet with the same hose they were drinking out of. Oh, and we did this in the front yard.
I remember doing that as a kid. While watching Hubby and the kids play in the front yard today, I wasn't worrying about who might be waiting to take my kids...I was committing the evening to memory, hoping the kids were doing the same.
Lenore, I love your blog (found at http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/) and I love your views. If you are ever in my area, I want to shake your hand.