Readers: This one made me worry, then smile, then realize that one part of Free-Range is remembering it’s not just us adults who are the problem-solvers. – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: I can’t tell you how much this blog and its community have meant to me. I have come a long way as a Free-Range parent. This place is a haven of rationality in the turmoil of the current tragedy.
After beginning to read this blog, I started to let my kids walk short distances in our neighborhood by themselves. I will continue to do so.
The blaming of Jessica’s mother makes me sick.
I travel alone with my children several times a year (my husband stays home and works while I take them to Grandma’s). Years ago I showed them that Walsh & Baby Einstein video with Safety Chick (have you all seen it?), and we’ve had many conversations about safety, strangers, etc.
I realized yesterday how I’d indoctrinated them. I have this irrational fear that a terrible person will use a trick to kidnap my kids, like asking their help with a lost puppy, or telling them I’ve been taken to the hospital and he/she will drive them to me. I don’t know why this sticks in my mind… where did it come from? Anyway, I’ve told them never never never to believe anyone who says these things.
Well, you know how it goes with little kids and timing… sister was so sick and I had to get her some help, and I arranged for my son’s best friend’s mom to pick him up at school, but it was too late to get word to him.
So, she pulls up in her van, opens the door, and says “Come with me — your sister is sick and your mom can’t pick you up.”
Now, here is a woman he knows well, who has been to our house a hundred times, whose house he has spent the night in, etc., and she said he actually hesitated and asked her if she was serious or telling a story! He wasn’t initially sure if he should trust her! Of course, that hesitation didn’t last long, and he got in her car, but… it really made me think about the messages I’ve given him!
Later, I thanked him for using his common sense to get in the car, and told him we’d be sitting down soon to talk about more common sense safety rules because I know I can trust him to make the right decisions in these cases. His reply was, “Well, yes, Mom, I do have a brain.”
Thanks, Free-Range Kids, for reminding me that even in a world where heartbreaking and terrible things can and do happen to kids, life keeps going for the rest, and we can’t live in fear, infect them with our fear, and coddle them in safety for the rest of their days. I finally understand that if we want our kids to be thinkers and problem solvers, we have to allow them to use and grow those skills… because they do have brains (thanks for the reminder, son!). — Carol Everett Adams
It’s not just adults who possess these.