Ok so I’m aware we all have different views on when and how our children should be brought up and we certainly don’t all agree with everything each other will do, I definitely don’t think there is a right or a wrong to most things when it comes to parenting but I’m increasingly thinking that I may well be an extremely overprotective parent.
I should probably explain, I live in a little cul-de-sac in a very quiet area where everyone is aware of which cars drive up and down the road and could spot a new car a mile away, I also know the majority of my neighbours however, I am very dubious about letting the kids out to play.
Annabelle is 7 and I have only let her play out for maybe the last 8 months or so and even now she is only allowed where I can see her if I open the front door, shes not even allowed round the corner where there isn’t actually anywhere she could go or get to other than her friends gardens.
What age is right?
In our street there are a lot of children ranging from 3 – 12 and all of which appear to play out quite a a lot and also quite late too, I often find myself bringing in my older kids before the younger ones in the street are bought in. There are 2 particular children that I see playing out a long time after all of the other children in the street have gone in and I wonder am I really just too protective?
Harry (12) is allowed to go off the street and as far as his school ( lets face it he walks there and back every day anyway so it would be a little bit ridiculous to tell him he couldn’t go there with his friends ) but I don’t like him going to the shop which isn’t even that far away! And if he does leave the street he has to have his phone on him, he will always ask me what time he has to be back and I will always say 2 hours later than the time he leave, the thought of leaving him out any later than that fills me with absolute dread
Ellie (11) I would rather didn’t go off our street but she is also in senior school and I know I have to let go of the reigns a little bit but I don’t want to! , Right now her phone is broken which to me is an absolute blessing in disguise because it means she cant leave our street
When I was younger there was more freedom!
Now here’s the thing, when I was younger and around their ages I used to be allowed to go out, not only could I go out but I would go to the town centre, other parts of town and guess what? We didn’t even have a mobile phone!!! If I panic this much now where I don’t actually let them go very far and they HAVE to have their phones how our parents felt when we were growing up and having a mobile phone wasn’t really possible.
I remember the street I grew up in there was a car park round the back of our houses and I used to always be in the car park with all of my friends playing football, or rollerskating , playing tennis or kerby and you couldn’t see me from the house and I’m sure I was only around Annabelles age and do you know what the thing is aswell, I hear people saying but its more dangerous now than it was back then and I honestly and truthfully think it is, I just think that we are more aware of it now due to social media and things being more accessible and faster/easier. I don’t think for a second the world is anymore dangerous than it was when we were younger I just think that we know about it now.
Its a scary world out there
The worst part about my bubble wrapping of the kids is its not even them that I don’t trust, I fully believe and know that they are sensible enough to be careful on roads, not go through badly lit areas, not talk to strangers and all of the other safe things, what I’m afraid of is other people, you never know who anyone is and nowadays because we are so aware every person becomes some kind of threat. We used to get told if we we’ve felt threatened to run to the nearest house and knock on the door as loud as we possibly can until somebody answered but we would never advise our kids to do that now for fear of who is on the other side of that door.
Maybe I am over cautious and I know I need to let go of the reigns VERY soon especially as come April I’m going to become the mummy of a teenager BUT I really don’t want to……