Monday, 13 February 2012

Giving your child freedom

It is a tough thing to do, but now and again we need to give children freedom

We want to protect our children. It is an inbuilt characteristic of a parent. But, sometimes we do need to let go and let our children be free to explore. I have spoken in a previous post about risk taking and how it can benefit children, but it is important to remember that it is also about giving children Freedom.

Freedom can come in many guises. Whether it is allowing your child to run around the house naked (a toddlers favourite form of freedom!!) to allowing them to try something new taking a step back yourself or allowing them to ride their bikes to the park for the first time. Freedom is an important feeling for a child to experience. It also gives children the sense of a parents trust. If you allow a child to do something on their own for the first time, they get the feeling that they have earned the right to do so and comfortable that their parents trust them.

This is where we mention that even freedom has its boundaries. We all want to be able to allow our children to explore as they want to, but the world we live in gives us the harsh realities that this cannot be the case. Our world is not full of the nicest people, there are dangers lurking our there which we want to protect our children from and even the most street savvy children can be at risk. However, sometimes we do have to push these threats to the back of our minds and allow our children the freedom they seek, especially as they grow older. Having set boundaries can still allow for a decent amount of freedom, and rules are important so that children know that there are still things they need to think about when exploring the big wide world.

Even at the age of 19 months, I am allowing my daughter certain forms of freedom. All of these freedoms are supervised to make sure no accidents occur and so that she knows that I am there for her if she feels unsafe or unsure. They may be simple things like allowing her to walk across the playing field without holding my hand or letting her attempt to climb on to the armchair, but they mean a lot to her in her mind. She knows that when we reach a road she needs to hold my hand and she knows if she falls I am there to rub her head better, but I have given her the chance to taste freedom..............and doesn't everyone deserve the chance to feel that??

Thankyou to Hannah for the lovely picture of her beautiful boy being free in the water!

1 comment:

  1. Clair, I loved your thoughts about freedom. Glad you mentioned the boudary part. Malika