When I was younger I lived in a time where I could go out and play on my own at around the age of 8. I lived in a council estate and to be honest it was pretty safe. I didn’t have to worry about much other than bumping into somebody I didn’t get along with, and end up falling out, but there was no stranger danger. It was quite a safe close-nit estate where everybody got on with each other most of the time.
As a child I loved my freedom of being able to be JUST A CHILD – getting dirty in the mud, using my imagination, running around with friends, rollerblading and just knocking on a friend’s door to play. I had a pretty decent childhood.
Now though as a parent and considering how much times have changed, I am more of a worrier when it comes to letting my children go out to play on their own without my supervision.
As much as I would love Faith and Wyatt to have a childhood similar to mine, there is so much increased danger nowadays with gangs, children going missing and full-on fist fights between children instead of the minor squabbles I used to get into as a child.
It honestly makes me feel like I’m a very overprotective mother and perhaps I may be. I think of worst case scenarios that could happen, even if it’s one of the children climbing on the kitchen side. They may think I ruin their fun but I’m just trying to make sure they don’t get hurt.
Looking back on my childhood I remember climbing trees and getting stuck on a garage roof, where my Dad had to come and get me down because I was scared of heights. He left me there for an hour to teach me a lesson though before he returned and made me jump so he’d catch me.
My question is where is the fine line between letting children roam free and enjoy their childhood whilst trying to keep them safe at the same time? It’s actually a really hard question that I’m struggling to answer.
As a parent there’s so much worrying involved when it comes to kids. I feel I may suffocate them too much trying to keep them safe by not letting them explore the way I did as a child.
In this generation children are more inclined to play video games and iPads, but by doing this do you think they are missing out on fun exploring nature and spending time with friends?
As a parent I think this topic is difficult. I’m stuck between letting my children enjoy their freedom and keeping them safe. I can imagine many parents may also struggle with this decision as times have changed so much.
I feel that perhaps I should let them be pop round to their friend’s house or even go to the park on their own, but every time this thought crosses my mind, the panic sets in.
What if they get lost?
Get into some trouble? Or even go missing?
Maybe one day when they’re older I’ll pluck up the courage to let them have their freedom, but for now I’m going to keep them close and make sure they’re safe.
Does that make me an overprotective Mum?
I’m just hoping that even though they may not get the freedom I once had as a child, they will still be able to have fun as a family and enjoy their childhood either way.
Are you an overprotective parent like me? Or are you brave enough to let your kids have their freedom? Let us know your story in the comments section below!
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