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Could you help me with a problem please?

(25 Posts)
FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 18-Sep-09 16:33:40

My son is 8 1/2 and I quite often say no to him doing certain things as I worry about his safety - sometimes unnecessarily quite probably - or because I don't think he can do it/is old enough.

I am not into letting them grow up because they have too if it is a risky thing he wants to do but I do want to strike a happy medium.

I am very protective of my children - they have had several emergency dashes to the hospital - but I wonder if I am saying no too often.

Wonderstuff Fri 18-Sep-09 16:35:55

I don't really know what you are asking here. Maybe some examples will help?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 18-Sep-09 16:47:26

I suppose do I need to let the cord be cut a bit mre?

He wants to go out in the front garden and collect sticks. I am in the kitchen and wouldn't see him and as a neighbour drives like an idiot I don't want him out there on his own.

Wonderstuff Fri 18-Sep-09 17:02:03

I think that provided you can rely on him to stay in the garden it sounds reasonable for him to be out of sight for a while at 8. My lo is much younger, trying to remember what I was allowed to do at that age. Pretty sure I was roaming the estate with my friends..
Its so hard though isn't it?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 18-Sep-09 17:09:26

It is.

I know I am too over protective but who else is going to look out for them?

I never had parents who cared so I am a bit ott at times.

Wonderstuff Fri 18-Sep-09 17:21:21

My plan is to try to get dd to be independent enough to look out for herself. Hard as it is we aren't going to be there all the time. About weighing up the risks I guess, being too overprotective carries the risk of them not being able to cope when the time comes to let go.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 17:43:04

I think at 8, he should be able to remember basic rules, like stay inside our garden.

At that age (last year), I allowed ds to walk home from school on his own and sometimes got him to run down the shops for me. I found him reliable and very careful; imo it is a more careful age than say 12 or 13, so a good time to start them on small freedoms.

But it's best to start small - being on his own in the front garden sounds a good starting point.

Pyrocanthus Fri 18-Sep-09 17:54:01

Can you not spy on him from a front window the first couple of times, Fab, if you are concerned he might stray into the road? 8's a good time to learn a bit of independence, but you can always cheat a little if it sets your mind at rest.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 18-Sep-09 18:15:35

I want to let go a bit for both our sakes. It is just hard.

bevlin Tue 22-Sep-09 15:33:01

It is really important to give children a little resposibility and a few rules to follow. If you don't you will destroy their confidence. It's those little things that build a childs confidence and if he never had to be responsible he will never learn to be. He will be safer in the long run if you loosen your grip a little and teach him how to keep safe and he will appreciate the challange and earn your trust.
Im a worrier too and I dread the day my DC's need that freedom but at the same time i know how crucial it is for their wellbeing to let go a bit.
Id go with Pyrocanthus's advice. Give him the space - them spy on him[grin}

justaphase Tue 22-Sep-09 15:42:58

This weekend I let my DS (just 4) walk down the stairs in our local Waterstones (one floor) while I took the lift with the baby. I was petrified but he was really pleased with himself. Little steps ...

piscesmoon Tue 22-Sep-09 15:57:28

At least you are worried that you are over protective-that is a good start. You need to force yourself to give him independence. Tell him the rules and let him out in the front garden.

pagwatch Tue 22-Sep-09 16:03:31


you may also be assuming that we all wave our children off into the world with confidence smile

The truth is that we all think about where the line is regarding giving our children independence and keepingthem protected.
DS1 is 16 now but at every stage I have to resist the urge to keep him locked in his bedroom forever and let him do thigs on his own.
All ofthe first are difficult, the first time he goes to school on his own, to the shops on his own, staying over with friends, out on his bike etc etc.

We all gird our loins and put a big confident smile on our face but inside we are waiting fo the call or to here the doorbell go.

You just have to fake it and trust that you have taught him well. And losen the leash bit by slow bit.

You'll be fine

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 26-Sep-09 19:09:45

Quite often DH says I shouldn't be allowed out on my own and I am in my 30's! grin

UniS Sat 26-Sep-09 19:24:23

"who else is going to look out for them?"
erm, they have to learn to look out for themselves.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 26-Sep-09 19:29:26

Not at 4 6 and 8.

mwff Sat 26-Sep-09 19:42:37

eldests have it tough i reckon - they have to be the first to do everything, so we're cautious about taking that step that we've never taken before. but pretty soon the younger ones want to do exactly what the bigger ones are and we let them for a quiet life.

fwiw my take is that it's not always my job to stop them getting hurt, but it is my job to be there to pick them up and kiss them better. i wonder whether "letting go as children grow" is worth reading/rereading for this age group? it made an impact on me when dd1 was small. think it was re-released, "do not disturb" perhaps? will look it out.

mwff Sat 26-Sep-09 19:44:10

here - deborah jackson

Pitchounette Sat 26-Sep-09 20:13:19

Message withdrawn

Pitchounette Sat 26-Sep-09 20:15:51

Message withdrawn

mwff Sat 26-Sep-09 20:35:37

there's nothing specific in dnd, it's more about getting into a particular mindset iirc.

my problem is that dd1 never demanded her independence as much as dd2 has. dd2 insists on doing everything herself, so i have to quickly figure out whether the risks involved outweigh the tantrum that will otherwise ensue (they rarely do!) and let her get on with it. whereas dd1 is a less naturally adventurous soul and i feel i'm pushing her a little more, which is a harder line to judge i reckon, because usually it's their own self confidence that carries them through.

UniS Sat 26-Sep-09 21:10:44

Even at 4 they should be learning to look out for themselves, learning to be independent dressers, learning to play with out a grown up hanging around them whole time, learning to look before the cross road,learning to stay with in given boundaries, learning to wait their turn in a queue, learning to do simple jobs around the house and contribute to the family routine... its all apart of learning to look out for ( or after)themselves.
If they havn't started learning this kind of give n take stuff before school then who is going to be teaching them how to behave? Other kids in the playground? NOt who I would chose for my childs tutors on how to behave on the road. I want him to be well grounded before that.

logi Sun 27-Sep-09 02:11:16

Hi fabbakergirl,i wouldnt want my 8yr old out the front where i couldnt see him especially if there is an idiot driver around,there is plenty of time to let them grow up.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sun 27-Sep-09 14:17:44

Thanks all, especially for the book link and your comment logi.

deaddei Sun 27-Sep-09 15:42:24

Let him go and play...make yourself a cup of tea, and go out in fifteen minutes. He will be fine!!!
I am very much the opposite of you FBG,- always ket mine play out/go out on bikes/walk to school- but that's the way I grew up (in an inner city, not a little village). Mine are very sensible- and they love the independence. My 10 yr old has gone swimming- one mile walk to pool, meeting a couple of mates there- told him to be back by 5 for tea. He doesn't have a mobile- I just assume he'll be fine!
I knowwe're all different, and you're probably hyperventilating at the thought of that...but give him a bit of space smile

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