Friday 23 October 2015

Knowing When To Give A Little

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?



  1. I have been through all these stages but firmly believe it is good to encourage independance. Mine were going to the corner shop alone at this age too, the village shop owner knew them and would always check they had added up their sweet money correctly! Keep taking that chill pill and let them grow, follow their lead, guide and support them. It's hard but worth it.

  2. It's a hard one to call and you've got to work out how to make sure you encourage independence and teach life skills whilst still keeping them safe. Alot depends on where you live, but when we moved from the centre of town to a village, the Tubblet did get a little more freedom. Now she's at secondary, she gets the bus too and from on her own. There are alot of other girls who travel the same way and they look out for each other. Good luck with figuring it out for you and your family. #pocolo

  3. I worry about the same! My girl has just started going to the shop by herself and she's 13. There is a couple of busy roads to cross....She walks to and from school with her friends and has been since she was 11 but I feel safer if there is a group of them....I need to take a chill pill sometimes when it comes to my eldest.

  4. I worry so much and did not let my eldest go to school on her own until she started high school when she was 11 as it was closer then her primary school. Now she is 13 I am starting slowly over the last year letting her venture out alone she can go to the park or the local shopping centre etc but that is it. I worry about the same things as you such as if a speeding car hits her or someone trys to snatch her. I think having older children is more of a worry then having a baby or toddler anyday xx

  5. I have a lot of worries but I try not to let them take over and try and put them into context. I didn't have a mobile until I was 22 - but I am old! I have insisted that Grace is not getting her ears pierced until she is 13. I have a feeling she might get a mobile before that though! Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo x

  6. Oh! I completely share your worries about letting children have greater independence and self-responsibility(outside the home), although thankfully as my oldest 2 are only 6yrs I think this still a few years away. I think you are right about the media influence on our perceptions of danger but I do think people have become more isolated in their own worlds and so risk averse. I got told off at my daughters' swimming lessons the other week for letting her go to the toilet without me, less than 20m away from me, in case she had an accident! #PoCoLo


I love hearing from my readers so please feel free to leave comment.