It really was easier in "the olden days." Parents knew when to start giving their kids some freedom, because everyone else was doing it, too. Seven-year-olds walked to school. Kids who were eight got a latchkey. A 10-year-old might have a paper route and 12-year-olds started babysitting. These were maturity milestones.
But today, those milestones have been buried under a blanket of fear.
How can we — parents, teachers, society -- begin to give kids back the freedom they need to grow confident and competent?
Let Grow has developed these easy, effective independence initiatives.
Simple and free. Teachers tell the kids to go home and ask their parents if they can do ONE THING on their own. Walk the dog. Make dinner. Run an errand. When they do, the PARENTS are so thrilled, they can't remember why they didn't give their kids this freedom already. Click here for more info.
Basic and transformative. Mixed-age kids get time for old-fashioned free play before or after school. Without adult intervention they make up their own games and learn the social and emotional skills (compassion, compromise, creativity) they'll need on up through college and adulthood. Click here for more info.
The Let Grow community participates in activities like “Kids in the Kitchen Thursdays,” when kids across the country make dinner for their families. Sharing on social media spreads the word and inspires others.
IN THE COMMUNITY
Through these real-world initiatives, Let Grow makes letting go normal, easy, and popular. Instead of going it alone, parents are part of a movement. Instead of feeling worried or wrong, they feel supported as they give their kids age-appropriate responsibility and freedom.
Kids get used to freedom again, and cherish it.