I subscribe to a blog feed called The Pica Perspective. The writer is Rae Pica. She is a children's activity specialist and writes about the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of children. In a recent blog entitled "On Coddled Kids" she writes about how children are losing the opportunity to be children due to fears and anxieties of adults. She has touched on this subject before, but now that I am a parent, it has really made me evaluate myself. The article she quotes talked about how many kids are not allowed to ride their bikes or play in the neighborhood park without adult supervision and have been banned from climbing trees and playing tag or chase in fear of them getting hurt.
I remember as a child, my parents allowed me to run around our little neighborhood playing with our friends without constant supervision, as long as we told them whose house we were going to and stayed around the area. I remember riding my bike or big wheel, playing in the yard and walking to the neighbors without them standing on the porch watching me. It was freeing and fun. I completely recognize that today's world has changed a bit since I was a child, but has it really that much? I wonder what I will be like as Zachary gets older. Will I be so protective of him that I won't let him play outside without me being there? Will I be able to let him go hoping and trusting that the values and 'smarts' we teach him will help him make good decisions and stay safe? I admit it scares me to leave him out of my site. I have a hard time leaving him at the church nursery with capable adults! As a stay at home mom, it may be harder since I am with him every day, but I don't want to become a paranoid parent who can't let him leave my site when he is old enough to play outside with his friends. Is or was this hard for you?
In our neighborhood we have several elementary age kids who live right around us. They stop over every once in a while for ice pop because they know Brian has the freezer stocked with them. All summer long we have seen them playing outside, riding their bikes along the street, running around free and happy. Even now when they get home from school, they are out playing. They are good kids, polite, friendly and smart. I hope that when Zachary is that age, I can kiss his head and wish him well as he runs outside to play. I want him to enjoy being a kid because we sure do grow up too fast!
If you have young children, birth through age 8, I recommend Rae Pica's Blog. You can find her at movingandlearning.com