One of the most difficult things we experience as parents is giving our children new freedoms and encouraging their independence. Especially when it concerns their safety.
After weighing it up, we decided to allow our oldest two to walk part of the way home together. Without us. Yikes!
Now, we don’t live too far from the school. It’s a ten minute walk at best, and a relatively close-knit community where everybody knows each other. We decided that the kids are safe enough up to the first main road they have to cross, so we agreed that they would leave school together two as a week and meet us at this road.
They had their first test run today, and it went really well. Dan and I left the house a few minutes later than normal and met the older two at the arranged place. I was not-so-secretly looking out for sensible behaviour: no racing, pushing, jostling or recklessness that might result in danger. And to be fair, both of them – and the friend they were walking along with – were exceedingly well behaved.
It was easy to see the effects of this little bit of independence. The pair of them met us with big smiles, clearly pleased to have been trusted to walk without parents for once. And speaking as a parent, it wasn’t a huge risk or worry for us, so it worked out for parents and kids alike. Especially for Ray, our eldest, it’s an important factor for her because when she moves on to secondary school, she’ll be bussing it to school in another town. So it’s important for her to get this taste of independence now.
What we the ways you start building your child’s confidence, and how do you feel with each little step on the road to growing up?