Readers! This is from a mom named Becky S:
Dear Free-Range Kids: When my sons were 5 and 2 my husband went to Iraq for a year with his Reserve unit. My family lived about 400 miles away from our home and I used to take the boys to visit quite regularly. The first time we went without Daddy, they didn’t want to go in the ladies’ room with me, “Because we’re MEN, mommy!” So I let them go.
They’ve been visiting the men’s room by themselves ever since (almost 10 years now). Nothing bad ever happened to them. The older one helped the younger one, and occasionally another guy would help one or the other of them reach the soap or the paper towels. But after that trip they started going to the park in our neighborhood by themselves and everything started to snowball. Now they ride bikes all over our town and cook their own mac and cheese or ramen for snack. They made me dinner for Mothers’ Day while Dad was at work. – Becky
A little independence goes a long way.