Free Ranging – Letting Our Kids Loose

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My youngest two children climbing a playground while visiting Emu Plains.

 

Our youngest two children are aged nine and eight years old, waiting to turn ten and nine later this year. A lot of children these days simply don’t have the self confidence that children once had and the reason is that they are not allowed to be independent, able to explore and are hovered over far too much. Mine aren’t anxious but they don’t have the confidence I believe they should have.

Go to children’s playgrounds and you’ll often seen parents lifting their kids up the climbing toys instead of letting them climb which strengthens their muscles and develops their motor skills. As well as helping them to be develop the skills needed as an adult to make decisions based on good/bad risks, etc.

With regard to my youngest two, a boy and a girl, the boy the youngest, my wife and I sent them off to the park just a short walk from home with just each other as company. No elder sisters, no Mum, no Dad. They could go off together and play on what little  has been supplied by the Local Council or run about on the large space of grassed area. They know the rules of not going anywhere with strangers but not to be afraid of strangers.

When they came home, they were the happiest I’ve seen them after time at a park than I’ve seen for a long time. They were glowing with happiness because they loved being able to play without being watched over. The feeling of trust also gave them a quick confidence boost. What they ended up doing mostly while there, was climbing trees.

They obviously loved it yesterday afternoon because they are off again but this time at their request. Not only have they gone to play up a tree they love to climb, they asked to take a small picnic lunch with them so they can eat and play there. Ahh, the feeling of independence and trust placed in them.

I don’t expect them to be showing the positive results just as yet but from what I’ve seen in this small amount of time, I do believe that the results will most likely develop in them sooner than thought. Then again, I have no idea how long it will take for them to develop this confidence boost.

Like other kids these days, they have been showing a lack of confidence in decision making and a bit scared to take simple risks. The way forward is letting them free. There is more than enough evidence to prove it. Doctors in Australia have started to publicly ask parents, carers and schools to let children run amok. Let them run, trip, climb and fall. The Doctors are seeing more than enough of children breaking more bones than before to accidents that should not see a bone break. The lack of physical activity and a the lack of sun on their bodies is a health hazard.

Now that they love this park and going alone, the next steps is the oval with a little playground a little further away but there are shops just across the road where they can buy something to eat and drink. Will have to buy them both a new helmet for their bikes so they ride around once again.

A caged chicken is unfit for consumption. A free ranged chicken is stronger, healthier and tastier. Let the kids run free!

 

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