My sister pointed me to this one, and I’ve become addicted to the Free Range Kids blog. Perhaps it’s no surprise.
After all, I’m the mom who has her 5-year-old doing this every morning:
And he also does this every week, as do his sisters. They all know how to use sharp knives, peelers, graters, the oven and stove.
And for fun the kids rock climb. Which, as you know, sometimes leads to injury. One of my friends, when she heard about Creative Cat’s injury last weekend gasped, “Well maybe now they’ll rethink having the kids climb without harnesses.” It shocked me because I hadn’t been thinking that at all. The sport of bouldering is done without ropes. That’s just how it is. Creative Cat, Queen Bee and I all knew that going into the competition. Cat can’t wait to get back on the walls. She doesn’t feel the least bit of hesitation about climbing again, and the only hesitation I feel about it is that I want her arm to be healed before she puts any stress on it. It’s an extreme sport with an element of danger. But it’s a reasonable danger, I think. They work over padding and they learn how to fall as safely as possible. People in the gym look out for each other. I don’t see indoor rock climbing as more inherently dangerous than keeping my kids at home to watch TV every day. Rock climbing is exercising their minds and bodies and teaching them to evaluate risk safely.
So, yes, I love the Free Range Kids blog. It’s refreshing and validating to have an alternative to the multitude of voices in our society telling us we should never let our children experience the slightest risk. And right now, when I’m feeling a bit of guilt over Cat’s injury, and hearing from the kids that none of their friends have the kind of chores that they do, it’s exactly what I need to hear.