My New Favourite Blog

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:

Tonka doing his morning chore: unloading the dishwasher. He climbs on the counter to put everything away.

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.

Tonka cooks dinner for the family.

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.

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About Sue

This blog chronicles the adventures of Sue and Steve as they travel internationally with their three children.
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7 Responses to My New Favourite Blog

  1. Mir says:

    I am crushed—CRUSHED!—to hear that I’m not your favorite blog. 😉

    You are much better about “acceptable danger” than I am. I’ve got one kid for whom I’m genuinely scared to allow sharp knives and hot stoves, and the other is such a total pansy about the slightest injury, I tend to feel like allowing her free range in the kitchen is more trouble than it’s worth. But if Tonka can brown meat, I should be ashamed of my coddling. Seriously.

    • mamadragon says:

      You’re my all-time favourite, Mir! xoxoxo

      Your tween became a vegetarian and you don’t make her cook her own meals sometimes? I think the only thing keeping Cat from declaring herself to be a vegetarian is the certain knowledge that as soon as she does, her mother will hand her a bag of lentils and a vegetarian cookbook, with the instructions, “Have fun, sweetie.” And to tell the truth, my Aspie child is the best cook in the bunch. She lives to follow recipes and never forgets a safety rule. Sometimes that rule-bound rigidity comes in handy.

      • Mir says:

        I make her help me meal plan and shop, and she does help me cook. A lot of the vegetarian stuff I cook is really easy (soups in the crock, quinoa recipes) so there’s often not even much to “help” with. I should probably start putting her in charge.

        And for whatever it’s worth, your Aspie is much more careful than mine. I don’t know that I’m even giving a chef’s knife to Space Cadet Boy. I mean, not unless we want dinner with a side of accidental amputation. 😉

  2. lisa says:

    I can’t wait to check the site out!! Any site that helps to validate a Mama’s own instincts with regards to her children must have something of worth to it!!

    🙂 BTW, our daughter snowboards, loves and craves it. Of course we start on beginner hills and took/take all the precautions one might expect. I was still taken aback though to many of our friends who are shocked that we allow her to try such “extreme” sports. Passions need to be channeled, within reason, not stifled when at all possible!!

    SO good for you!!

  3. lisa says:

    ack…sorry for the typos…typing with Little Man climbing up my leg doesn’t help…LOL…I guess that’s his extreme sport and signals nap time I think!! 🙂

    • mamadragon says:

      um….I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t notice any typos! And geesh, snowboarding is considered extreme for a little kid? I’m always amazed at people’s perception of risk. Good for you for encouraging her passion!

  4. Loth says:

    I love that site too. And we need it these days. It saddened me that when we took our kids walking in the Lake District with my brother and his kids, and when my (42 year old) brother climbed a tree, my children were stunned. “Why is Uncle Paul up a tree????!!” “Because it’s there and climbable” I said. I had to explain to my children that trees are first and foremost for climbing. Sad consequence of an urban upbringing.

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