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Katie Hansen
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My oldest is just about to turn 8, she has been allowed to play in the backyard by herself since she was six and In the front yard alone since she was 7. She has made mistakes like climbing down a wash to reach a ball that rolled down there. (She first went to an adult for help and he told her just to climb down there.) I was furious because we live in an area of the country where when it rains it pours and everything floods but she also learned a valuable lesson and the next time her ball went down there she came and got me and her dad to help her. I think it is important to let your children learn from their mistakes but I also think you have to set limits as a parent. For example this year I allow her to walk a block to the bus stop by herself, but I won't allow her to walk 3 blocks to a friends house by her self, I'm just not comfortable with it. If she wants to go to her friend's I will walk her and when she is ready to come home she calls and I will walk over and pick her back up. But in contast my neighbor won't let her 10 year old play in the backyard by himself and he's not allowed to play in our house unless his mom is here because I let my daughter play in our front yard and on the sidewalk of our cul de sac by herself. His mother believes that because I do not hover over my child constantly, I am not a good parent and I am not able to watch her son properly in our home. I think that it is very sad. I think when people parent like that you are teaching your children "I don't trust you" What are these parents going to do when their children start driving. You are basically giving a child who has never had to make judments for themselves the keys to a 2,000 lb killing machine and trusting them to make good judgment calls with the lives of others at their hands.
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Jan 24, 2012