The Beginning of the End?

When you have children you know the day will come. You dream about it, scare yourself silly about it and just plain fret about it. While they’re growing you kid yourself that it won’t happen. For me, it happened yesterday; My 8 year old son, after receiving pocket money, asked to go to Tesco - alone

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OMG!! Alone?

My baby out on his own - why would I let him do that?

Well he thought it was a fantastic idea. He wanted to walk more than two miles, in the dark, across busy roads, to go and spend his money. I forced a smile and pretended I wasn’t bothered by his request but inside I felt sick. The thought of him walking all that way alone, nope. Not gonna happen!

It came as such a shock! He’s never really been bothered about being on his own before and I guess I’ve been kidding myself that he would grow up without the need to do it. I’m terrified of letting him out of the door, not knowing where he is or what he’s up to. It makes my stomach flip, my heart pound and my legs turn to jelly. I hate it. But, of course, I don’t have much of a choice in the matter, I know I’m going to have to let him go at some point and I will have to face the fact that I can’t keep my eye on him all of the time. 

So, what to do? 

After my son went to bed the hubby and I talked about it. There are so many scenarios you have to consider and, it being our first time, we didn’t really know where to start. Our initial instinct is to give him a phone, make sure he knows how to use it and keep track of him that way. This has it’s own drawbacks, the most significant being what if he loses it?

Next we had the idea that he could walk home from school one day, it’s just one long road and he would be heading home, we know how long it should take and when he would be leaving school, so if he was late we’d know it. There’s also the possibility of involving one of his school friends, with their parents permission, of course. They could walk home together and then, on arrival, I would text the other parent or they would text me to let me know they’d arrived home. 

With so many possibilities how do you choose just one? This is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to face as a parent so far and I think I need help. I’m not sure what the first step should be so I’m asking all of you. If you’re a parent who has done it, how did you? How did you deal with doing it that first time? What steps did you take to minimise risk? If you’re a parent who hasn’t done it yet but have some great ideas, please let me know what they are. This is one of those things that all parents have to deal with and I’d love to hear your views on the issue.