Lately I've been enjoying the blog, Free Range Kids. The basic premise of her blog is that we hover (helicopter parent) over our children and they don't get to experience life as we did. Kids need to be free to experience a few bumps and scrapes. They need to get dirty and entertain themselves.
So, last night I had a "Free Range Kid Moment". Jim was planning on taking the boys to a family friend's house for a camp fire. Evan asked if he could ride his bike. The friend lives about a mile away. 90% of that mile is a medium busy street (though partway down it does have a sidewalk). For a brief second I was about to say no. Then my Free Range Parenting skills kicked in and I said he could do it. He is ten. When I was ten I rode all over town on my bike with no helmet and the only expectation was that I'd be home when the street lights came on! So, with his helmet on, I sent him on his way. I also told him that he had to call me when he got there, to which Jim asked, "should we send the cell with him?" I told Jim that Evan wouldn't need the cell. He could use the house phone at the friend's house just like we did! :)
I encourage you to read the blog Free Range Kids and think about how you can loosen the apron strings a little and let your kids have some freedom today!