Free Range Children // West Boylston Photographer
I giggle every time I say free range children, but its exactly how I describe my parenting style lately. Honestly its always been my style but its more intense since Covid-19 and being locked at home 24/7. I have three girls currently and they have all been fiercely independent since birth. I'm not sure if its our parenting or just their personalities. I tend to make them do a lot on their own and only help when they're going to break something or injure themselves. My oldest is 8 and she is an old soul. Wildly independent and super stubborn. She is also a huge help because of that, She does laundry, dishes, cooks and cleans and is excited to help.
I like to let my kids make mistakes and learn their lessons. I let them go play independently and only listen for when they may possibly murder each other. I let them fight it out so they learn how to compromise and they learn how to figure problems out with each other. They find so many things to keep them busy when I let them go explore and don't stick my nose in it. They get away with touching dirty robins eggs and digging in the dirt when I'm not paying close attention. As much as touching bird eggs and getting filthy hurts my soul, I know this is what they need to learn and grow. They spent the whole day making a new nest for these cracked robins eggs yesterday. They then did research about robins and their eggs. This was all independent from me. I love their creativity.
Being home for the last 8 million days in a row has taught them how to occupy themselves. Yes, my kids may watch hours more tv then they should, but they're also outside exploring, collecting and learning.
We have NO schedule lately. They get up when they want, and eat when they want. Bedtime is a loose term lately. I thought loosing a schedule would ruin everything but I don't think I've seen my kids happier. I thought for sure when this whole situation started months ago that being out of school and not seeing friends or family anymore would ruin my kids. I have to say they are fine. They are happy. I haven't seen my kids enjoy life more then recently. They love having me home all the time. No distractions. They treasure the moment their dad comes home from work.
I think letting these kids be "free range" lately and just enjoy their lives, do what they want when they want has made them enjoy life more. They get to make decisions and learn lessons. I've noticed that they make great choices lately and choose to do the important things like school and play instead of watch tv when I'm not forcing it on them. We're enjoying every moment that this pandemic forced on us. I'm thankful for being forced to slow down and enjoy these kids. Let's let them be kids.