Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Much Freedom?

So my oldest is now 8. And I am struggling with how much freedom to let her have. For example, she loves riding her bike. When I am on the porch, I let her ride up and down our street a block or so in each direction. I have let her, a few times, ride around the block by herself. She wants to do more.

I am torn. Part of me remembers tearing around on my bike at her age all around the neighborhood. I also remember my mother letting us out of the house in the morning and expecting us back at lunch, then back out until the street lights came on.

But that is not our world anymore. On the other hand, I want my kids to have a sense of independence. To KNOW they can do lots of things on their own. To not be afraid (but be aware and careful) of the larger world.

HELP! How much is too much and how much is too little? I have a book on my Amazon Wish list - Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry. Maybe it will help?

Those of you with older kids - how do you decide?

1 comment:

Amy W said...

My oldest is only 6 (almost 7), and I am having the same issues.

We live on a street with many kids her age, so I often let her go outside to play with them under strict orders that if she deviates from where she is going (like moving from the yard of someone's house to inside), she has to come back to our house and tell me. But there is also normally at least one parent out as we all have younger kids. So I don't know. I too remember going out until the lights came on.