Jump to content
How much independence?
12 replies to this topic
Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:51 PM
We are staying at a caravan park atm for a family holiday, mid north coast with lots of families and kids. Very nice park, lots of stuff for kids to do, such as games rooms, TV room, play equipment etc. I've noticed that a lot of kids are playing on their own/running around the park without parents. DS (almost 7) has been asking me to let him go to some of these areas on his own; I've said 'no' so far. The kids that I have seen playing seem to range in age from about 4/5 years old and up to prob early teens. So some are quite young in my opinion. The park is relatively secure, boom gate to leave and enter, but there is a pool (which is well secured), a shallow creek (that is hard to reach) and the beach is not far. People drive thru the park very slowly, think 5km an hour, but there is not actually that much room to drive. Parents are around, but I don't see them 'obviously' supervising their kids ( as in sitting and watching them, but I'm sure they are keeping on eye on the kids somehow). I suspect older siblings may be watching the little ones.
Would you use this as a opportunity to give your child a little more independence? I can remember when I was 8 and my sister 6,we were riding our bikes around the neighbourhood with the understanding we had to be home in time for dinner. A very different time then but somehow we survived lol.
DS is pretty mature for his age, a comment I've received from other parents and teachers. I can trust him to do as I ask. And he loves it when he can do things on his own.
Is this a good learning opportunity?
Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:56 PM
We camp in caravan parks all the time and our DS8 asks the same thing. I trust him as he's a good kid but the cars that drive though the park are often going too fast and I worry about kids getting hit by car. Also people reversing up to their van/cabin don't always see the kids. So I've always said no.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:02 PM
Why not let him go up to the games room /playground area by himself for half an hour or so.
If he has a watch and can tell the time see if he can come back when he should.
If the park has a general store - send him up to buy the paper or the milk when it is needed.
I would set really firm ground rules that he is not to go near the creek or pool without an adult.
Bike riding in caravan parks can be a bit hazardous though.
I have only let my kids ride in a block around where we were camped.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:33 PM
Thank you both We actually didn't bring his bike, I would say we forgot it but in reality, it didn't fit and we don't have a bike rack lol. They have movies every night for kids, which is only a couple of hundred metres from our cabin. I might see if he wants to go to that while DH and I watch a movie here.
I hadn't thought of cars/vans reversing, the park is pretty much at capacity I think, but still worth bearing in mind. Sardines was DH's description of the park lol.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:41 PM
We camped a lot as kids and we were pretty 'free range'. We were back for meals or to ask to go to the pool (always supervised when we were younger) but other than that we didn't see our parents. Or other parents much at all.
I think it depends on the campground you are in. If it is really busy with traffic and such then i would be setting boundaries for him. The movies tonight wpuld be a good start. Can you see the play equipement from your site? If so then I'd let him go, but watch how he crosses the roads and such. Just to be sure he is taking care. Remember too that kids easily get distracted when running around with other kids and he might slip up with his vigilence.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:51 PM
Yes I would. We just got back from a holiday in a fairly secure 'resort', I let my kids roam around to their hearts content (actually they could have done it a bit more from my perspective). The only non-negotiable must have direct parental supervision activity was the pool.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:59 PM
My DS is 6.5 and I wouldn't. If he were together with a friend or a sibling and the understanding was that they look out for each other and come straight to me if anything were wrong, then I would be more okay with it. As a lone child that age they are a bit too vulnerable I think. My DS is sensible but not terribly ballsy. I would worry that there would be noone who would notice if he got into some kind of difficulty, be it with older kids, strange adults, or simply hurt or distressed for some reason. Much better if there are two or more.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:23 PM
I would. That is the thing I like most about camping with the local Joey scout mob is that DS gets a lot of freedom to wander round with his fellow Joeys.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:33 PM
Absolutely! We went to a caravan park last Sept with friends and it was a great opportunity to teach DD (5) road rules and a bit of independence. We let her ride her scooter around the park and go to the playground with 2 other 5 year olds we were holidaying with. We gave them a watch and they had to come back and check in regularly. They also went to the playroom. The only place we didn't let them go was the pool area, outside the park, or to the toilet block (we had an ensuite site anyway).
Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:26 PM
It's so hard to know what to do and what not to do isn't it. We went away at Easter with friends of ours and probably just the dynamics of so many of us being there, my kids were wondering off at times and it was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but they thrived and said it's been their best holiday yet.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:51 PM
Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 08:15 PM.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:56 PM
My only concern about the park you are staying at (we stayed there in October) is the whirl-around play equipment in the playground. My son fell off it at speed and sustained a nasty graze. (Whilst I was supervising...oops)
When you've got a group of kids, spinning it faster and faster, and a little one wants to get off because they are dizzy and scared - it's a bit hard for them to be heard.
Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:04 PM
If you're not completely comfortable with just letting him go off, maybe you could dip your toe in the water - let him go on ahead to wherever he's told you he wants to go to and then follow after 10/15 minutes?
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.
Desperate, out of petrol and low on food, a new mother lit a fire in the hope of attracting attention.
The story was chilling and heartbreaking: a three-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.
Feeling fatigued? Uh-huh, thought as much. Join the queue.
For many new dads, their own child is the first baby they have ever held. So one dad has posted an instructive YouTube video titled "How to Hold a Baby".
She may be only eight months old, but Egypt has already amassed more than 100,000 fans and received a letter from royalty - Hollywood royalty that is.
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have invited well-wishers to see Princess Charlotte outside church in Sandringham on day of her baptism.
Tongue and lip tie can lead to many problems for babies - and their parents. Here are the signs of tongue tie and how it's treated.
My daughter may be small, but it's my job as her parent to refocus back where it belongs - on who she is as a person
The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.
Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.
The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.
A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.
Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.
My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.
Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.
This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.
The happily ever after Nicola Milan had imagined wasn't to be – and she blames her mother-in-law.
Choosing a name for your little bundle of joy is always a major decision. It can be something traditional, trendy, creative … or inspired by the menu of your favourite chain restaurant.
It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.
Over a 10-year period, 83 children died from domestic violence abuse in NSW, with three quarters of the victims aged five years or under, the NSW Ombudsman has revealed.
Dr Katie Heathershaw answers questions about jumping, toe walking, riding a bike and being pigeon toed.
From the moment that I fell pregnant with my son, I realised just how much my life had already started to change.
"I was terrified I would always be this way. The pill needs to come with a much higher warning."
Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.
When it comes to newborn photoshoots, it is all about the timing.
Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.
One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.
Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.
The Studio host Sarah Harris doesn't mind if her first baby is a boy or girl, but she does hope it is born with one thing in particular.
Top 5 Articles
Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.
From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.
While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.
Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.
A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.
Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".
Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.
The uncle of the seven-year-old girl at the centre of the brawl at child's birthday party in Sydney's west has described the events leading up to the alarming show of violence.
More often than not, you'll read that screen time for children should be kept to a minimum - but some scientists are now challenging this way of thinking.
Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.
A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.
It was meant to be a tasteful cake to help celebrate a three-year-old's christening.
How many times have you been warned about all the sleepless nights you have to 'look forward to' when you become a parent?
A police officer arrived at a devastating scene on Thursday: a car crash resulting in all passengers being thrown from the vehicle.
Want to open the boardroom doors for women? Encourage - heck, praise - dads who stay home with their children.
Just two days after giving birth, actor Alec Balwin's wife posted a post-baby picture on social media.
Compliance is part of the parent-child relationship, but so is resistance. It's all natural.
The Baird government will include $22.8 million in Tuesday's NSW budget to expand a program designed to help parents at risk of postnatal depression (PND).
I'm really lucky to have two great kids, but I found it really tough with so much being aimed at the mothers and not the fathers.
Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.