This weekend my 7-year-old rode his bike down the street to the neighbors’, looking for someone to play with while his brother napped. Interestingly, the request to ring doorbells always comes the moment Bee is asleep. Zip is happy to hang with his little brother all morning – which is so stinkin’ sweet it makes my heart melt – but when Bee isn’t available, he is raring to hang with his neighborhood buddies.
So, off he went, and when I walked down the block to get him a couple of hours later, he and his bud were making a home for a toad they had found and collecting pine cones. In other words, they were doing the awesome things kids do when left to their own devices. I chatted with the other parent for few minutes, got his cell number for future use (new neighbors), and assured him he could send his boys down to our house any time.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about our first attempts to let Zip roam the neighborhood. He was five at the time and within 20 minutes had broken every rule we set for him. Riding his bike in the road? Check. Crossing the street without an adult to help? Check.
But we knew more independence was a good thing and something he wanted, and we kept working on it, helping him to build the skills he needed to play in the neighborhood safely and slowly offering more freedom as he proved himself responsible enough to handle it. Now that I’ve got an experienced roamer on my hands, I thought I would share some tips for how we got there. The post is over at BonBon Break and I hope you’ll check it out!