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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?
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