A couple of weeks ago, I shared that Lenore Skenazy, author of the book Free Range Kids came to Charlotte to speak. I had to go to hear her talk because Skenazy absolutely terrifies me.
She gained fame as America’s Worst Mom after writing about how she allowed her nine year old to ride home alone on the NY subway.
I sat in the audience wide-eyed and completely captivated. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Lenore speak, I definitely recommend that you go. She’s hysterical. Her prime target though was me – a self admitted worry wart with helicopter-mom tendencies.
Sure, I played outside with my friends from sun up to sun down when I was young, like most in my generation. I get it – that if we keep our kids in a protected bubble, they can’t grow. Makes perfect sense, but I’m not about to recommend that you let your nine year old ride the subway themselves.
Maybe at twelve, with a friend or a sibling – but it all depends. It depends on you, your kid and where you live. (Crime may be down in New York, but Cleveland’s not looking so good this week, Lenore.)
With every decision, at every juncture my best recommendation is that you do it your way. Sure there’s so much mom advice out there and often you won’t have support from your husband, your mom or dare I say it, from your mother-in-law.
It will be really hard when your kids are telling you that everyone’s going or everyone wears that. “Oh well, this mom is saying no tonight“.
And the experts will drive you crazy. There are articles on great interactive apps for toddlers and other articles telling you that letting your baby play with your tablet or smartphone is a mistake. Should you spy on your tween on their social media sites, a new trend called Cyber-Parenting?
But you and most importantly your child will be happiest if you helicopter on one issue, but later (on a separate issue) free range. Some smart-phone apps will seem acceptable, while others your friends may like, won’t feel right for your kids.
So in honor of Mothers Day, here’s that old song My Way, (not by Frank, who made it famous), but from singer Shirley Bassey, with a heart-felt mom’s version.
Happy Mother’s Day 2013 from Belevation Maternity Support!