How Much Independence Are You Up For?
Attention, moms of children at least 7 years old: This Saturday, May 22, has been designated in some circles as “Take Our Children to the Park…& Leave Them There Day.” It’s the idea of Lenore Skenazy, founder of Free-Range Kids, a makes-ya-think book/blog/movement pushing the idea of promoting independence and dialing down excessive safety measures among school-age kids. With this Saturday’s event, Skenazy is trying to bring back the lost art of kids asking other kids to play, and of them hanging out in public places on their own. It’s sort of the opposite of our pre-arranged–playdate world where parents must be stationed close by whenever their children get together.
If it feels too far-out for you, consider Skenazy’s suggestions to make it more palatable:
1. Try it for a half hour, if that’s all you or your child are up for.
2. Take a walk around the block while your child plays (just don’t actually hang out nearby).
3. Give your child a cell phone if that makes you feel better.
My children, at 1 and 4, are too young for Saturday’s experiment. But are yours? Will you consider joining in?