Posted by Barack Levin on 3rd April 2012
Parents reading this post will agree – losing a kid in the park can be a nightmare. It starts with that sinking feeling that you have not seen your kid for quite some time. After that there is the anticipation of spotting his red or blonde hair somewhere far from you but when this does not happen fear and hysteria takes place – where is my child? What happened to him?
Here is a story that happened to us in the park last weekend. We went over with some friends. The adults were chatting and the kids were playing. My son (almost 8 ) was riding his bikes with his friends. This particular park has a bike trail that continues on for miles along the river. My son requested to ride until the bridge over the creek and I let him. Although it is not near us and I can not keep my eyes on him, I trust him. Time went buy and it was time to pack and leave – time to go back home. My wife and I turn to look for my son and he is gone. He simply vanished – disappeared into thin air.
My wife started to get worried but I know my son and most importantly – I trust him. I know he will not just vanish without a good cause. Suddenly we remembered that one of friends went for a walk with their kids along the bike trail. One of their kids is my son’s best friends. A quick call to our friends and we find out that my son indeed decided to continue riding his bike along the river with them. We asked them to send him back from about a mile and half away and he rode on his bike all by himself back to us.
On our way home we explained to him that we have no problem with him changing his mind when he is away from us and wants to continue the ride with his friend but in the future to simply tell the parents to call us and let us know.
I put so much trust in my kids and know that they are very responsible. I had no doubt in my mind that he knew what decision to make and use his analytical skills to make the right decision. I have also added another skill set – inform your parents when you change your plans, not because they go crazy when they do not see you, because they would like to know where you are.
Tags: kid, park
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Posted by Barack Levin on 17th April 2010
Last Wednesday we went with the kids to the park. I have loaded them up at 4PM and headed to an afternoon full of fun. The local park organizes on Wednesdays an Ultimate Play Date afternoon and the park is full with parents and their kids, music players, several kids’ activities and more. At the park we let the kids roam and find things to do. Last Wednesday they were into the music payer and stayed next to the stage to look and listen. I set down close by enjoying the fresh air, music and the sun.
Soon after, my wife arrived together with several of our friends with their kids. We let the kids play together and release some energy.
At one point my son who is 6, was thirsty and asked for water. We did not bring any with us, but the park has several water fountains available. My son knows where they are as do we. They are exactly at the opposite side of the park, a walking distance of about 1.30 minutes for a kid. Running, probably cuts it down to about 1 and the whole trip to and back is about 5 minutes tops. From our place at the park we can not see the water fountains but my son knows exactly where they are and the way back. My little girl who is 4, asked to join him and we said of course. Off they went by themselves to the water fountains with no supervision.
When our friends saw them walking they asked if we approved and I said yes. They asked if we are not afraid and I replied “from what?” and they said that my kids might not find their way back or someone might kidnap them. I looked at them and said that I trust my kids and prepared them for such events. If they are lost they know exactly what to do and since the park is full with parents and kids I doubt anyone will put their hands on them and besides, if somebody does, they know what to do. It was very hard to explain that I simply know my kids and I know what they are capable of. I have tested them in the past and know that they know their way around, I also know that they do not need me chaperoning them every step of the way. They can do things on their own.
And indeed, 5 or so minutes later, my kids came back to continue playing with their friends with another independence enhancing experience under their belt.
Tags: independence, kids, park
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