Ok. This is NOT about the song. And I do apologise if I got you humming it again!
This is about when do you let your children be on their own. I’m not referring to moving out of your home. I’m not referring to going off to college. I’m not even referring to walking home from school or bus stop!
This is the situation:
Enrichment school is at Level 3 of this building along a busy main road in town
It’s 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning
Absolutely NO parking. Not even illegally.
The child is 7 year old
What would you do?
In the past, I would park two streets away, and walk the kid over, right to the doorstep of this enrichment school. Recently, I started feeling, perhaps Nathan can go up on his own. He’s a boy, for goodness sake. And it’s broad daylight. And there are many parents going in and out, as there are many enrichment centres housed in this building.
I started thinking, sooner or later my kids would need to walk to the store alone to buy something. They would need to cross the street on their own. And surely they would need to take the public bus on their own! But when??
Nicole who is 9, is already asking when she can take the bus home on her own. She’s VERY confident she won’t get lost, she won’t talk to strangers, and she won’t dash across the street without looking. I did let her go for enrichment on her own when she was 8. And that was at the later half of the year.
Nathan is 7. (yup, that’s the one in the situation above) He isn’t asking to be independent yet. But he’s one confident boy, who is quite sharp.
Nadine is 6. Well, simply because of her age, I’m definitely not so ready to let her go yet.
So when do we let go? I discussed it with the husband. He feels for coming home alone from school, they have to be at least 12! (I thought that’s really quite old!, yet I can’t put down when is more apt!)
Back to the simple task of dropping of your child for enrichment. Would you? For a 7 yr old?
Confession: I did it last Saturday. It was drizzling, the parking was impossible as usual. And we were late for class. And I made the decision when I left home! For the next 15min, I told Nathan I would be dropping him off just in front of the building. All he needs to do is to use the escalators to get up to Level 3 (NO lifts, still too scary for me if he gets in with a stranger… escalators are exposed, so it’s good!!)
When we were nearing the building, I told him get ready. Nicole was in the car. Even she sensed this was a milestone. She shouted out LOVE YOU NATHAN when he got out of the car. And that’s it.
He got out, quickly ran into the building and I had to drive off. (Main road, remember?)
It was a non-event of course. And I feel a little silly even as I type this post. Yet, I knew that was a milestone. For me. The parenting journey is also one of letting go at the right time. I think I passed this one!
Is Letting Go a big part of your parenting journey too?