Sunday 13 April 2008

Freerange Children

When I first read about the woman who let her 9 year old ride the NY subway and then a bus home on his own, it sounded crazy. After reading her response to the massive criticism she got for doing this, I've decided to exhale and stop screaming "who will think of the children?"

My parents didn't use the freerange approach but they did let us go out and learn things if we really wanted to. They encouraged us try things and sometimes they discouraged us. It was the discouraging that limited me in later life. Don't take this as criticism. Parenting is a difficult thing and parents make mostly the right decisions. I haven't done it so I can only speak from the point of view of the child (at least the effects of that).

When adults (parents of teachers) told me something was out of bounds because it is dangerous, it scared me and worried me in later life. I waited until at last in my mid-20's to travel around the globe. It changed my life. I stopped avoiding things because other people told me it was too risky. I decided to take the risk myself and make the decision myself.

Since then, I kinda like living outside my comfort zone. Go on, scare me. Scare them. Let the children live life.

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