Come on, parents, leave those kids alone!

When or if to leave your kids alone, that is the question. My kids are now getting a little bit older and more independent. Before now, I would never have considered leaving the kids at home alone and going out for any reason. Well, there was that one time when they were asleep for the night… but let’s not go there.

I recently read an article about a mother who was arrested for letting her 9 year old daughter play at a popular nearby park while she worked. Faced with the choice between letting your kid sit at McDonald’s all day long, eating junk food, while glued to a laptop screen, or playing at a public park which would presumably been populated by other parents supervising their own children, what would you choose?

I have to say, I’m a bit peeved with the parent who took it upon herself to call the cops to report an abandoned child. Apparently the village that used to team together to raise the young has disbanded and been taken over by military control. I’d like to think that I would have said, “let me know if you need anything. I’ll be here with my little Chuckie until 2.”

To me, the bigger question is how, as parents, we can teach our children independence if we never allow them out of arms reach? My kids play in our back yard or in our basement while we’re upstairs. We try to let them resolve their own squabbles before stepping in. I’m looking forward to the day when I can say, “sure, go to the park, but be home for supper.” I really hope nobody calls the cops on me when that day comes.

Posted in Childcare, Parenthood, Play | 10 Comments

There was a little girl

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.


This delightful little poem was running through my head last night, well, a version of it anyway. I had to go look it up to find out how it actually went.

“Why?” you might ask, “do you have poetry running through your head? It’s so unlike you!”

True, unless it’s a clever little limerick that shouldn’t be recited in front of children. However, in this case, the poem perfectly describes my little girl, except for the curl in the middle of her forehead. Apparently this phase isn’t unique to my child!

Posted in Deep Thoughts for Parents | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s not fair!

My son has recently picked up the phrase, “It’s not fair!” Unfortunately, he hasn’t fully grasped the concept of fairness and tends to use the phrase for anything that he doesn’t like. It’s driving me a little batty.

After dinner, the kids are supposed to bring their dishes back to the kitchen. “It’s not fair!”

When the kids are allowed to watch TV, they have to agree on a show. “It’s not fair!”

When told to return his sister’s toy, which she was playing with first. “It’s not fair!”

Not being allowed to play with the iPad all day long. “It’s not fair!”

Bedtime. “It’s not fair!”

Put your seat belt on or we’re not going anywhere. “It’s not fair!”

Please take turns on the swing. “It’s not fair!”

You get the picture right? It’s getting a bit ridiculous. No matter how many times I try to explain what “fair” is, he just doesn’t get it. I’m open to suggestions, what would you do?

Posted in Conversations with children, Parenthood | 6 Comments