This note! And all the others!
Dear Free-Range Kids: I don’t exactly remember when or how I stumbled across this site – but I recall that when I did I had been feeling absolutely miserable with being a parent. Sad but true. I was inundated with everyone telling me that to be a good parent I had to play with my kids all the time, follow them everywhere, watch them always and I noticed how I didn’t even exist anymore and to top it off, everyone was telling me that THAT was parenthood! I hated it and was growing fast resentful of my situation — a horrible prospect for anyone supposed to cherish their children’s childhood.
I remember the first day reading this site, though. I looked at my kids, gave them a watch, told them be back in 30 minutes. When they came back — I won’t ever forget the absolute glow on their faces… and I sent them out for 30 more.
Now, they walk to and from school every day (rain, and sleet, and snow, and..), they go outside for 2-3 hours at a time and play around the neighborhood, they take the cart back to the cart corrals on occasion at the store, they are capable of being left to their own devices in a department store… and I was finally able to find myself again and share that person with my children. Needless to say, we were all much happier as a family… finally, rather than the boa constrictor approach to parenthood, we could breathe, relax, love, and learn.
Thanks to you, Lenore, and all the other parents on here who helped me to see the real world, seek rationality, and provide independence and THOUGHT for my children. I hope we’re all here to help all those people who come along that were in my shoes.