Sunday, November 29, 2009


I've got a question for you. Well, a few actually.

Several friends and blog readers have mentioned to me that as children, they played outside alone for long stretches of time, stayed out exploring until the sun went down, all without parents nearby. Of course, my kids are only 4 and 2, so obviously some of these things don't apply yet. But it's got me thinking, wondering. No matter what the ages of our children, these questions could spark an interesting discussion.

First: Do you have memories of roaming "aimlessly" outside in nature as a child?
I do-so, so many of them. I must have spent hours as a young child lying in the grass on a hill near our house--but not close enough that any parents could "supervise" my play outside.

Next: How often do you let your kids roam--without you nearby? How much physical distance is comfortable for you outside? How far can they get from you before you worry? Why? Does it depend on the setting, the other people nearby? Is this different from what you had the freedom to do as a child of that same age?

What is this about, this change in circumstance? Are we more-or less-protective than our parents were? Why? Do you believe the world is less safe than it was 20 or 30 or 40 years ago?

1 comment:

  1. No I don't think the world is actually more dangerous now than it was. I think people are much more open and aware (and we read about it on the newspaper PLUS we see it on the news and find out about more on the net) and that's what makes me so aware as a a mother. I was a roamer too, an my mother was a worrier in comparison to many, but she was still much more free about what limits she placed on us.

    In my very small community while I was growing up one of my friends from school was molested at our primary school after hours, and a girl was abducted by her uncle from school and murdered. This did nothing to change our parents attitudes to letting us wander free (just lots of the lectures from Mum and teachers about stranger danger).

    I, in comparison, choose like many mothers of our gen to be much more watchful of our children. We are different in other ways too, like much more involved in thier education (homeschooling) leaving nothing to chance there, and know what our children's interests are and try our best to accomodate them. This was unheard of back in my childhood days also.