I think as parents we will always see our children as our babies, even when they become fully grown adults, my own mum tells me this often. So this is where I have trouble knowing when to give a little, to bestow upon them a little more independence, trust them with just a tad more than I used to.
Things seem to be changing at a rapid rate for my eldest two. At seven and nine years old, they are growing far too quick for my liking and that isn't just in height (almost over taking me) but in the way they present themselves, the things that they talk about and just what they are able to do for themselves.
Some of their friends already have mobile phones which I find bazaar considering I didn't get a mobile until I was around thirteen years old. I'm not sure that they need this sort of technology when they are so young.
However there are moments where I have had to swallow a chill pill and let them go so to speak.
For example just this week gone they were allowed to venture up to the corner shops by themselves, no adult supervision. If I'm honesting I was sh*tting myself, I wanted to secretly follow them up the road like a ninja spy to make sure that they were ok. You'll be pleased to know that they made it back in one piece, with drinks in hand that we'd requested and they even gave me the change.
But just this one small outing has led to requests of further freedom being granted. Wanting to walk to school by themselves, something I'm not quite ready to concede.
The walk to the shop didn't involve crossing any roads and it isn't their ability to do such a task that worries me, it is the cars on the road, people driving who aren't watching what they are doing, not stopping for red lights etc.
There is knowing when to give a little and knowing when to put your foot down as a parent and for now walking to school solo is where I draw the line.
When talking to other parents it seems I'm not the only one to have these sorts of worries. It is so hard to know what to do for the best. "Back in the day" we could play out on the streets without a care in the world. In these modern times there seems to be danger lurking round every corner, well atleast that's what the media has led us to believe.
We sometimes worry unnecessarily. I don't want to wrap my kids up in cotton wool, I want them to be confident but I believe maybe instilling a little fear in them can be a good thing, teaches them to be on the look out, be aware of their suroundings so when the time comes to fully break off those strings, give that bit more than I'd honestly like to, I'll know that I have done the best I can for them and they'll have the smarts to recognise a dangerous situation should one ever arise.
Being a parent is just as much of a learning curve as being a child, I suppose it is all trial and error and we can only do our best in knowing when certain things are right for our children.
Do you have the same worries, do you have any good advice to stop me fearing the worst all of the time?