Over the last year or so, I have had a few discussions about how health and saftey conscious today’s parents are (myself included). When comparing now and when we were children, we wouldn’t dare do half of those fun things with our own.
I can remember running outside when my dad came home to meet him at the start of the driveway, so that he would have to stop and wait for me to climb on his bonnet whilst he then gingerly drove to the garage, stopped abruptly so that I would slide off. It was such fun. We were also allowed to be out on our bikes all afternoon as long as we were home by 5pm or when the street lights started turning on (whichever came first).
I look now at when I go out with our own boys. They HAVE to :
- Put their helmuts on when cycling, scooting or skateboarding
- Put their high vis jackets on
- Stop in places I can see them and they can’t go out on their own.
- (Depending on where we go) Use my anti bac gel so as not to touch the taps etc (obsessive compulsive is coming to mind)
Those are just a couple of things they have to put up with and yes I feel like a killjoy.
I on the other hand :
- Never leave the house on a walk or bike ride without my mini first aid kit (and to answer your question…I have had to use it on average 8/10 occasions!)
- Feel completely vulnerable if I have left my mobile/cell phone at home when out on said walks/bike rides (how on earth did our parents survive pre-mobile/cellular days?!)
- I should add that #1 also includes a whistle of some sort for when the boys (and girls) have gone too far or off path. By which point they sometimes can just hear the whistle and then there is a lot of arm waving by myself to get them back to where they should be.
- Have to make sure nobody can see me take a breath in when I see the boys having fun running down the road and stop myself saying ‘don’t go too fast as you will fall’
- Look away when my supportive husband (and fab dad I should add) is creating those same memories my dad created with me, by showing the boys how to skid on their bikes or do crazy manouvres on the trampoline, or standing and balancing on our gate posts (to name a few).
Helping to create and make those long lasting great memories is so important and that in essence is what I keep having to tell myself.