Folks! Here’s a note that resonated with me so much. It’s why I tried to start that “I Won’t Supervise Your Kids“class with kids of all different ages, and why I want kids to meet up with each other and HAVE to figure out how to have fun on “Take Our Children to The Park…And Leave Them There Day.” Even as I write this my 14-year-old is trudging off to school knowing that at 3:30 he won’t find anyone to play with at the park just opposite the school because…the kids don’t do that. They go straight home and don’t come back out again. So my son does, too.
Breaks my heart. – L
Dear Free-Range Kids: I try to send my 9 and 11 year old kids outside when at home but they don’t explore the neighborhood. They just play with each other around the house and often end up fighting and coming in. I find myself wondering if it would be cruel to lock the door to keep them out and I’d like to know what other parents do to push their kids to explore more. I feel like they are missing out on a childhood like I had where playmates were available when you called on them, or they were outside already. Now, it seems that nobody is outside these days!
I was happy when they ventured to the school playground three blocks away one day by themselves, but deflated when they came back “because there were big kids there.” I don’t know if the big kids were mean, or if my kids are just programmed to think that different ages shouldn’t mix (they are separated by grades at recess during school). I live in Perth, Ontario. Any suggestions appreciated. – Bummed Mom