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?