Half term hell: letting kids travel on their own

Babysitting circles: all these people help all the others go out. Love it!

I’m with two new members of our local babysitting circle and they are looking at me as if I’m from Mars. I just feel a bit shamefaced and it’s all about when you can let your kids do things on their own. This post is by Nicola Baird.

So they say looking aghast can an 8 year old walk to school on their own? Probably, but they definitely could with a friend or an older sibling… My mum is constantly saying she and her brother (then 7 and 9 years) used to go between Northern Ireland on the ferry on their own, and isn’t it time my two (10 and 12) started doing the same. Well maybe not to Northern Ireland – but an uncomplicated train route between granny’s house and their house?

The babysitting mums with their five little uns are already struggling with the concept of leaving their babes with someone for two hours so they can nip out for a quick half. And I’m struggling with letting my babes take their own train tickets and find their own seats. This letting go is definitely a hellish feeling, just what I think Mumsnet was on about when it warned of half term fun/hell in last friday’s round robin…

That said letting the children have a mobile makes me a great deal more confident about stretching the umbilical cord. See more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children in my book Homemade Kids.

Or share your own umbilical stretches here…

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