Saturday, 25 September 2010

Walkie-Talkie Risk Taking

Since he turned seven, Mr Lovelygrey and I have been allowing Louis a greater degree of independence. Once boundaries have been established and rules about checking in have been set,   he's now often allowed to roam away from us at daytime events such as festivals and fetes.  He's even sometimes away from our side when it's dark but the rules are much, much tighter. Depending on the circumstances such as size and make up of a crowd we sometimes let him run off with other children to places that are within sight.  However each time he wants to go somewhere different he must again come back and tell us where he is off too.    Just in the last few weeks he's also played on his scooter outside with the other kids on our small estate.  And on our trip to Lidl this week, I let him stay in the car and listen to music whilst I went in for a few bits and bobs leaving him the keys in case he felt unsafe and needed to lock the car.

Do I worry about giving him his new found freedom?  Of course I do!  My normally anxious tendencies, although quashed by Citalopram and a bit of CBT, have risen to the surface.  Believe me, the worst case scenarios that I envisage are very imaginative, although I doubt whether they're any more extreme than those most parents conjure up the  first few time they let their 'baby' off his safety reins.  But I recognise that I have to allow him to take more risk as he gets older as part of the growing up process. Of course  terrible things DO happen but I feel that they need to be kept in perspective otherwise the bad guys have won.

For other parents facing the same decisions may I recommend walkie talkes.  Ours, purchased some time ago from Lidl (not on this weeks excursion) have been a godsend.  They allow Louis a bit of extra freedom whilst allowing us to occasionally check where he is - until he loses the handset or the batteries run out!  So, these do not replace the other precautions we take, but rather are another tool in our risk reduction toolbox.

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