Monday, March 16, 2009

How Protective Am I?

I was reading this post at Funschooling and got to wondering if I am an over-protective parent. Like Suji, we live in a yard-free environment (in our case a condo complex). So I decided to do a little inventory -

Knives - I have allowed Samuel (age 5) to use a table knife to spread and cut, although I started with a plastic knife, and after I taught him knife safety. Once I allowed him to use a sharper knife under my supervision, but he couldn't get a good enough grip without getting his fingers in the way, so I volunteered my fingers to do the gripping while he did the cutting. I'll probably wait a while longer to try again.

Climbing - we don't have any climbing trees in our complex, but I think I would let him climb a tree if we had one. He has climbed grassy hills (one so steep I couldn't even follow and when he couldn't walk back down, I had him scoot down on his rear) and ice covered hills, but I won't let him climb on the sofa, mostly because he tends to also want to jump on it and I am afraid for the life of the sofa more than the life of my child if he jumps).

Stoves - we do a lot of cooking together. He is the one who usually wants me to do the "hot" work. I wonder if this is because of the "don't touch the stove" warnings when he was smaller.

Fire - I haven't let him play with fire, but he does love to blow out candles.

Throw a spear?!! - What? I don't know anyone of any age who has thrown a spear.

Deconstruct appliances - In theory, if we had something that didn't work, I'd be all for it if he were interested, but I also think I've heard that some appliances have some dangerous chemicals in some of the pieces, so I think I would want supervision by someone who knows about that appliance.

Break the digital media copyright act? - I don't even know what this means.

Drive a car - Well, I do remember sitting in my Grandaddy's lap driving a tractor, but that was way out where no other traffic could find us, not in suburbia. Maybe in an office bulding parking lot on a Sunday. But he hasn't asked me to, so I probably won't offer.

So, even though somedays it feels like the only words I know are "don't", "no", and "ok time-out, mister", I think I am maybe more free-range than some, but not as much as others. However, I do desperately wish for a house with a yard where I can tell Samuel to go outside and play and I don't have to go with him because our "outside" is a parking lot.


  1. LOL! I know...throwing a spear does seem a little unrealistic doesn't it? I don't even let him throw a baseball fearing it'll break my neighbor's windows or a windscreen.

    But the one thing he does with total abandon (and I stopped stopping him) is jump off the's almost dead by the way. I'll post pictures of the egg...if it ever gets some weird stroke of (luck?), my stove stopped working today.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier!

  2. my son has been helping steer the car since he was 1.5 years old...he's always enjoyed it...and yes in parking lots or my step dad is brave enough to let him do it on the side streets.

    he also has always jumped on the furniture and I know many parents frown on that but it's not like we have a yard with a trampoline for him to jump on.

    He's also been into climbing a certain tree since he was 5 as well.

    He can use a butter knife although his example for buttering bread was my dad who uses way too much butter...LOL

    And he's been swimming in a pool since he was 22 months old and even swims in deepend and dives off board as well.

    and an avid bike rider since he was 5 and a not too terrible skateboarder.

  3. As the mother of an only child as well, I stumbled upon your blog. I totally agree about wishing for an outdoor space so I could send my 4 year old out to play. We hit the park & create all kinds of reasons to get outdoors but it's not quite the same as having your own yard space. Maybe one day....