What are your Free-Range/Helicopter Parent moments?
You first, I hear you say.
Who, me? I can helicopter parent with the best of them.
I am vigilant (some might say ridiculously so) when it comes to video games (we don’t own any) and computer game sites (just so long as you’re on the couch, screen visible to passersby, and with the timer set to 25 minutes).
Yes, boys. You must choose at least ONE chapter book to accompany the 17 graphic novels.
Yes, Dad and I control iPhone usage. No, you can’t have any phones of your own.
No, boys. You are not supposed to watch any PG movie your dad or I haven’t:
1. either seen and approved, or
2. searched on content sites for All the Parent Advisories
But Don’t Box Me In
Because in some kinds of moments, like this one from last week, I’m all free-range parent. The wind chill was practically zero, and my boys ran playing tag or hide-and-seek or spy out in the yard. They had layered up like enchilada casserole: thermals and snug fitting shirts and that outer coat to really break the chills charging at them. With olives on top and extra cheese.
And even as I glanced at my phone and briefly jumped into the pit of the comments section on social media, I saw people living in another school district in a different state complain that kids waiting for buses in single digit temps is “cruelty” and unusual punishment.
Whatever works for you and your family, I say.
What works for mine is that that my kids know to keep their limbs moving and nearly every cold winter day they run around all over the yard in the morning darkness so not to become ice sculptures.
Truth told, they did come back one day last seek (first time all winter). Because, wind. But mostly they play in the woods and once climbed up a long board they propped against the garage roof and when their mom (that’s me) walked out the door to the sight, she walked back slowly to the safety of the indoors and the unknown and sweated profusely.