Monday, May 11, 2009

Garden Hunting and "Free Range Parenting"

"Mom, I found a four leaf clover! Look, it's got four leaves, see!?"
We did some garden hunting this weekend in between the rain and hail that fell.
I love the outdoors and believe it's so very important to teach your kids to see the beauty and wonder in the natural creation. It can be so inspiring for a creative mind to look closely at those pieces of nature that we usually just pass by and ignore. I also like to kick get Tayson outside for at least an hour or more on a beautiful day. Kids need to be away from TV, computers, video games and all their other fancy toys and learn how to enjoy all the interesting natural "entertainment" around them.

In the article "
Why free-range kids are on the rise"Andrea Gordon looks at parents who choose not to 'hover' parent or 'helicopter' parent: "those obsessive, overprotective mothers and fathers who do their kids' projects on endangered species, harangue their soccer coaches for more playing time and accompany their teens to job interviews." I tend to think of my childhood as"Free range." My sister and I were allowed to bike up and down our road with the other neighborhood kids, play on the skirts of the canal, wander around the farm, chase stray cats, climb pallet boxes to a dangerous height, play on the stagnant farm machinery...yes people would say the country is a 'safe' place for kids to roam freely. But my parents didn't over involve us in things, we were allowed to do as we pleased for the most part.

So how can these parents in this article feel so safe raising 'free range' kids in the city? I don't by any means want to be that parent who, as author Michael Ungar* says, "bubble-wraps" my kids. But I also feel like I do need to offer some sort of protective orb over my son. I know that his dependence on me will not last forever and one day he'll want to walk to the corner store with his friends, alone. {Gulp!} But in the meantime, I do try to allow him his freedom from me...even if it's in our fenced in back yard.
*Author of "To safe for their own good."

Enjoy our Garden Hunt pictures.

1 comment:

word2yourmother said...

Love the snail pic, so cool!