Drop the kiddos off at this Saturday's first ever Take Our Children to the Park . . . And Leave Them There Day. Playgrounds are abuzz with parents discussing the amount of freedom children need. The day, which free-range parenting pioneer Lenore Skenazy created to draw attention to today's tendency toward over-parenting, is encouraging mom and dad to allow their kids — particularly those over 7 years old — to play without restrictions.
But for parents who aren't ready to leave their kiddos completely alone, we have three tips to ease your way into allowing them more freedom.
- If an entire afternoon at the park sounds too scary, try five- and 10-minute increments of freedom.
- If you're used to hovering over your child on the jungle gym, try sitting on a bench and watching from afar. You'll still be close enough to keep tabs on things.
- Rather than tote a bag filled with toys and equipment, let your child lead the way. See where some unstructured play time leads them.