Growing up means adapting…….I bet you’re singing the song from Frozen 2 right now!? Good ol’ Olaf! How wise he is.
Today I stood and watched Freckled Face 1 walk off to school by himself. He went off so happy, and I mean SO happy. He could have at least pretended to be nervous or something! He couldn’t wait to get rid of me. Anyway, as I watched him walk off, enjoying his new found bit of independence, it dawned on me – he’s growing older, he is adapting….so I have to too. He seems to be adapting to growing up better than I am adapting to him growing up.
For some people, it might not be a big deal, but for me, it’s a little unnerving. I trust him, he is sensible and he always tries to do the right thing. It’s other people I don’t trust. We have to cross a main, and pretty busy road to get to school. It can be hard to find a gap to cross, some of the drivers go WAY to fast. I’ve had drivers speed up whilst I’ve been crossing with the kids. Divs! So, I worry that something might happen. Did we teach him everything we need to, for him to keep himself safe? Can I stop him from growing up and adapting …..because I’m not keen on adapting to some of the things that come with that?? He is growing up, but I need to adapt with him. It’s a pretty strange feeling sometimes.
As parents we can sometimes be a little torn between wanting to teach our children how to be independent, and wanting to keep them safe and protect them for as long as possible. Sometimes we can feel pressured to do something because we see what others are doing with their children. Or maybe we are feeling judged by other parents. Nobody has the right to judge anyone. We all have different circumstances, different comfort zones, etc. We need to do things at a time that is right for our families, not just because someone else is doing it. For him, he saw that some of his friends were allowed to walk to and from school by themselves a long time ago, and we still aren’t letting him. What he didn’t realise is most of those kids haven’t got a big, busy road to cross, and for us, it’s too much of a scary thought to have him cross it by himself.
I don’t want to be a ‘helicopter parent’, I don’t want to be too controlling. I want to trust my parenting and their decision making, and other peoples decision making…..but I struggle with it at times. Does that make me a bad parent? No. I’m learning and I am trying to figure what is best for our family.
It’s not just kids who are growing up and having to adapt. As adults we still have to learn, deal with new situations and adapt. It’s not always easy, but we do our best.
What are our ways forward for adapting to this situation?
We are going to fade out our presence. Here is our plan.
- We are giving him plenty of practise in telling us when it is safe to cross the road.
- We will then fade to meeting him at the road and watching him cross over.
- When we have watched him cross (safely!) 20 times (consecutively …so 10 days) we will then sit at home hoping and praying he stays safe!
Feel free to check up on us and see how we are doing with it! I love a bit of accountability!
What age did you let your children walk to/from school by themselves? Were you nervous?