A long time friend of mine (he'll be glad I didn't say old friend), who is in the throws of raising young children forwarded this article to me and I must share it! As the owner of a small local business I spend every day watching Moms and their children in my store. One of the best parts of my job is the wonderful conversations and interactions I am able to have with kids while Mom shops just a few feet away. Many children are confident and self assured but so many more are timid and withdrawn. I see many young mothers being hyper-vigilant about monitoring every movement of their little ones and I guess it's understandable given the times in which we live, but kids are missing out on the opportunities to interact on their own and their confidence suffers.
I'd never heard the term "Free Range Kids" before this article and I LOVE IT!! I think our job as parents is to empower our children from day #1 to stand independent of us and I think we need to seek out safe opportunities for them to practice just that. I hope you can take a minute to read this article and post a comment if you would like.
How do you feel about Free-Range kids? If you've found any particularly great opportunities that encourage your kids to stand independently, please share them in the comments below.
I read an article over the weekend in the October issue of Parenting New Hampshire about traveling with children. It was full of tips on how to make it a little less scary for you and the other passengers. Here are a few points I thought were worth passing along:
*Bring a bag full of small toys and books that a new or not frequently used
*Pack snacks that are different from what you would normally have on hand at home
*Arrive at the airport or train station early
*Allow your little ones to walk around and explore in the airport or station...maybe they'll wear
* Buy or borrow a portable DVD player and be sure it is fully charged.
Lastly, I would like to add my advice. Try to relax. Children look to their parents to know how they should respond to new experiences. I always tell Moms that their kiddos have invisible antennae that pick up on even the most subtle cues. Take a breath Mom and Dad...stay calm, lead with confidence...your children will mirror your behavior.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!