What’s A Mom To Do?

8 Aug

I don’t know what to do about E~. He wants to be able to ride his bike around the neighborhood by himself. At 7.5. On his own.

The Helicopter Parent in me screams NO! Do you know what could happen to you, my baby?! Absolutely not. Not on your own & certainly not without being encased in bubble wrap.

The more reasonable side wonders why not. Our neighborhood is safe. We know people on all 3 streets (our subdivision has a main road which our house is on & then 2 other roads that make a circle). It’s pretty quiet, not a lot of traffic. E~’s pretty good on his bike, he is careful about crossing the street, & he’ll be 8 in 2 months.

So far he’s been going with his neighbor friend. There’s safety in numbers so I’ve been fine with that. But Neighbor Friend isn’t always around & I don’t want E~ to have to depend on NF for his bike riding expeditions. He should be able to go alone sometimes, right? I was lucky, my sister was 1 yr older & we did things together. G~’s too young to ride along with E~. First off, I don’t like G~ riding supervised (for G~ Riding Bike=Broken Ears). Letting him ride around the neighborhood with only his brother is a recipe for disaster.

My dilemma is that I can trust E~, I just don’t trust the people in cars or strangers he may meet along the way. Is it right to squelch Independent E~ or Helicopter Mom?

Here’s my options

  1. Keep the kid at home, only letting him out when NF is around
  2. Let him go alone, child molesters & accidents be damned
  3. Send him out with a walkie talkie so if he gets into trouble he can radio for help
  4. Other Suggestions?

As parents, how do you balance your need for oversight/safety with your child’s need for independence?

Not pictured is his helmet which is always securely fastened to his head

Not pictured is his helmet which is always securely fastened to his head

K~

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6 Responses to “What’s A Mom To Do?”

  1. romperroom August 8, 2008 at 5:27 pm #

    Time to squelch the helicopter parent. Of course that’s easy for me to say since my oldest is 2 and no where near learning to pedal, much less venture anywhere on his own! I like the walkie talkie idea. It may give you some piece of mind and him some freedom. Crazy to think that at 8 I was riding over to Koball’s and then to the pool, crossing the highways and everything.

  2. Kristen August 8, 2008 at 6:06 pm #

    That’s just it. I remember riding my bike to the pool with Jenny & Shannon & the oldest I would have been was 8. I also remember swimming at Jill’s subdivision pool & I don’t recall a lifeguard. It’s unimaginable to me to think of sending E~ to the pool with a friend, or letting him cross a highway on his bike. Maybe by the time T~’s 8, I won’t care, which is what I’m sure happened with you ;-p

  3. Christine August 8, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    I always err on the side of overprotective, so I doubt I’ll have any good advice. It is hard!

  4. Jenny August 8, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    I say give the kid a walkie-talkie … I think that might make him feel important because he gets to handle a walkie talkie by himself, and you can contact him anytime. And I don’t remember Becky biking all over Plainview when she was 8. I think she’s lying or exaggerating or not remembering her facts.

    I don’t remember riding all over the Washington neighborhood when we were that young … but then again, we did some really stupid stuff like trying to stand on the banana seats of a bike while coasting down the hill at 55 mph. Idiots.

  5. Heather August 9, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    He’s only 8. There’s plenty of time for independence. Just my 2 cents 🙂

  6. Tonya @ A Day in the Life of a MaMa August 9, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    I like the walkie talkie idea too. I always send Brae and Breckin outside together but they both can ride bikes. They have never left our street so it has never been brought up yet. But good for me to start thinking about.

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