As you probably already know, The Mouthy Housewives like to keep up with all the parenting trends out there. If we’re not Tiger momming our cubs, we’re Frenchifying nos bebes, all in an effort to raise the best kids we can.
So when we heard about the Third Annual Take Your Kids to the Park Day and Leave Them There Event, we were all over it. Because by that point, we’d spent a lot of time with our kids already and frankly we needed a break. Seriously how long can we sit at the park talking to the other parents and texting while our children play before we need to recharge our batteries?
The event was the brainchild of Lenore Skenazy, the author of Free Range Kids, who believes that children should be…free range. And possibly organic and grass fed.
Lenore’s idea was that parents would take their children to the park (ages seven and older, sorry moms of newborns!) and leave them there to play. This would help the parents overcome their fears and let the children eperience independence and fun. Either that or lead to nervous breakdowns all around.
Either way, win/win!
Take Your Kids to the Park Day and Leave Them There? How about Take Your Kids to the Park Month?! Now that’s something to get excited about!
Except I don’t like it.
At the risk of being called a helicopter mom (hey, watch that propeller!) I believe that children should be supervised because…wait for it…they’re children. It does not mean that their every moment needs to be micromanaged and I certainly think that some distance is appropriate, but not the “have a fun day at the park, see you in a couple of hours” kind that Skenazy seems to be advocating.
Because sure, our perception of danger may be distorted in light of the real numbers in terms of predators and other who want to hurt children. But I don’t know a single parent who thinks in terms of statistics when her child’s safety is at stake. No parent is going to say, “Only 12 people on the sex offender registry in this neighborhood? Love those odds!”
Nor is the danger-by-stranger the only reason to remain with your child at the park. What about needing to be there in case your child gets hurt, get thirsty, or needs to use the bathroom. To say nothing of keeping an eye on your kid so he doesn’t wonder off or get lost.
At the end of the day we all need to do what we feel best for our families and our children.
Even if it’s texting on the park bench while keeping an eye on them.