Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Freedom and Kids

Michelle Dennis Evans

Inspired by my sister’s blog

Kids and their freedom has been on my mind a lot lately. While we are homeshcooling our children are pretty much with us at all times. I grew up on a Dairy Farm where we had 100 plus acres to explore. Our parents set boundaries and we were told the dangers of machinery and snakes etc but we were pretty much free to roam when ever and where ever we wanted.

In talking to many friends who grew up in towns or cities they too had freedom, they would ride their bikes to the shops, to friend’s houses, to the park, to the beach often by themselves.

In both cases parents would have an idea of where their children were but would still allow them to have the freedom.

What’s changed? Is it…

1. Predators? – They were always there but now we seem to be more aware, and encouraged to protect (who wouldn’t want to) our children from the harm of sexual predators or pedophiles.

2. Traffic? – Everywhere is more built up, more roads, faster cars, just basically heavier traffic which means greater danger on or near roads.

3. Lack of community? – Many areas lack community. Too many people are only concerned with themselves and never look out for anyone else.

Do you have somewhere that your children can be free, safe and out of your vision?

We are so blessed as my family still lives on the property I grew up on. My children recently had a two night sleep over, and they played for many hours freely with their cousin (who is farm savvy). That is the older three; my two year old is still kept safe in Grandma’s watch. Mostly I don't worry while they are roaming, if I do start to feel concerned I simply pray and asked for God's covering and protection.

I believe freedom gives children confidence. Our world is changing and we must continue to find ways that children can develop all their skills in healthy environments.


  1. In Pittsburgh, we live in the most wonderful neighborhood where the kids get together in medium sized groups and play. Adjacent to my property there's a small park, with no play equipment, but lots of room to run and woods to explore. It's one of the reasons we bought that house. Many afternoons, when we've finished our school and the neighbor kids are out of brick and mortar school, the kid herd collects and off they go exploring.
    It is a huge blessing. They are always within a block of my house or my friend's house (who's a block away from me) and we two moms take turns keeping an unobtrusive eye on them, messaging each other when the group moves to the other end of the street.

    Here in Canberra, the neighborhood isn't nearly so socially close, even if the houses aren't far apart. And the one time we sent the kids across a small street to the playground, a concerned parent walked them home to make sure they were OK. It was very thoughtful, and he was very nice, but it made us feel like they thought we were foolish or neglectful for letting the kids run free.

    Everywhere we go, many of the kids have so many programmed activities after school and on weekends, that I wonder how they can have ANY free play time. It's like parents are hiding their kids to keep them safe and busy, but it's keeping them from getting to know the outdoors and their neighborhood.

  2. I am so glad we have the farm where they can play unsupervised. I don't think I'll feel at all comfortable about letting them roam around town when they're bigger. The farm seems safe but maybe that's just because we 'know' it.

    Thanks for citing my blog, dear sister! :)


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