Side Street Style: Is It Time Your Kids Had A Little More Freedom?

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

14/06/2019

Is It Time Your Kids Had A Little More Freedom?

young boy


I eldest is going to be turning 9 this year and I am starting to feel a real shift in how he perceives his place in the world, our family unit and himself. He is not old enough to do things unsupervised as of yet but I can see the beginnings of wanting a little bit more independence. While I actively encourage my boys to take calculated risks such as climbing trees, making dams in rivers, exploring the outdoor world and their surroundings, I am always in close reach, in fact nearly all playdates with the except of one or two when I've known the parents for a substantial time, I have been present, even birthday parties are mostly with parents present. Although the change is slowly starting to happen, for example, he has yet to do a sleepover but I can imagine that it will be the first request of the small step to independence and it's made me think about the future.   

One of the hardest thing for a lot of parents to come to terms with is just how fast their kids grow up. After all, it can feel like one day you're cradling this tiny, fragile thing in your arms and the next they're heading off on their first day of school. However, one mistake that a lot of parents tend to make is that they try to stop their child from growing up too fast and can unintentionally end up smothering them. The truth is, as much as we don't always want to accept it, is that, as your kids get older, they're going to want more freedom and you need to be willing to let them have it, within reason. With that in mind, here are some ways I am trying to prepare myself for the future to allow my kids to feel like they can have personal growth and the freedom to do so while still being safe and well looked after. 


Kids travel


Sleepovers with friends

I feel that this is going to be the first thing we will have to negotiate. At the moment the only sleepover he has done has been with his younger brother at their grandmother's house which of course is very familiar to them and I am always on hand and can be there very quickly if something goes wrong. Of course, his first sleepover will need to be with one of his longer known friends and someone he has built a solid friendship with as well as myself knowing the parents having done playdates before and that trust has been built up. My son at the moment is not a great sleeper and doesn't like the dark so I feel these things need to improve first and I am sure they will with age. I just feel this one will need to be carefully planned and well throughout so that all parties are happy.

A phone they can use when going out with friends unsupervised

While I know many parents allow their children to have phones at a young age and I know their reasons will be justified, as it's a personal decision, for us it's something we are going to hold off on for a while to come. While my son won't have his own phone for a few more years we will probably get a spare phone that he can use when he starts to go out with friends unsupervised or on sleepovers, so that he can get in touch with us quickly. A phone can be a great tool and an extra measure in their personal safety so when the time comes we will get a basic phone that cannot connect online with a very simple and straightforward plan such from someone like  SMARTY Mobile. That way you can be sure they're not racking up huge bills but still means we can contact them easily. 

Going out alone

Again we are a few years off from this but the idea of your kids walking around out in the world unsupervised is one of the scariest things there is for a parent but it's an important milestone that you all have to reach. As I've said above, the great thing about the modern era is that it has never been easier to keep in touch with your kids when they're spending time out and about without you so again using a phone in their moments is a good safety tool, as well as knowing where they are going to be as well as planning a clear a pick up spot and time before and knowing who they will be with (and preferably having their contact details too).

converse shoes


Shopping

You've been buying pretty much everything for your child since the day they were born and it's been fine. After all, toddlers tend not to complain about which clothes they're wearing. But as kids get older they want to be able to have some say over what they wear. Sure, you're still going to be paying for it but there's definitely something to be said for giving your kids the money they need for clothes and letting them make their own choices, I know I was very excited as a child when this happened and it gave me sense of some control over my own choices. To start with, you might have to give yourself veto power but most of the time kids are actually pretty good at choosing their own clothes (I say most of the time, but not ALL the time).


Of course, just because you're giving your child more freedom and independence doesn't mean that you're just going to just stop setting boundaries for them. The truth is that kids really need boundaries in order to properly express their own independence. If they're left entirely to their own devices it can not only cause trouble but it can actually be more than kids are ready to handle. They might not realise it, but kids really do want boundaries so working on the finding the balance is key and it's something that is on my mind a lot now that my child is moving further away from being a young child.
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16 comments:

  1. I am not ready for any of this, I want my girls to stay little!

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  2. It's so hard letting go and giving them more freedom but they really do need it to thrive and be resilient. My daughter is six and I am ok with sleepovers. I want to defer the phone stage for as long as possible though!

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    1. Yes so hard to let go and I agree, holding off on a phone for as long as possible is a good idea

      Laura x

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  3. Certainly an interesting post, I am sure lots of parents will be interested to read it. I remember the first time I was allowed shopping with my friends -oh the freedom!

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    1. Yes the sense of the first tastes of freedom as a teenager is ace

      Laura x

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  4. My daughter is still a toddler so I’m not ready to think about any of this yet; so scary 😣

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    1. It is so scary and comes around so quickly

      Laura x

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  5. It’s a balancing act when to protect and when to let go but sounds like you are on the right track.

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  6. I'm rather glad that we're a few years away from needing to worry about how to handle situations where the children are asking for more freedom!

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    1. It comes around so quickly - I cannot believe my eldest is going to be 9 this year - how did that happen?

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  7. Good to give the kids a bit of freedom, depending on the age.

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    1. Yes I agree, but can be hard to do that

      Laura x

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  8. I have a 15 year old so he gets a lot of freedom, but I'm not quite there with my youngest three!

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    1. Wow so you know how it goes, I'm not sure how ready I am yet

      Laura x

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Lovely comments

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