I have recently seen articles about parents in different parts of the country being questioned by CPS because their child walked to the park alone. I have had numerous discussions with friends and family because I let my child (E1) go to the bathroom in restaurants by herself. She has even gone to the bathroom alone at the zoo. E1 has even left the check out line at Target to walk the aisles alone to exchange something for me while I am waiting for my turn to pay. (GASP!)
Today, E2 and I were upstairs building a castle. http://magnatiles.com/
This activity did not interest E1, so she asked to ride her bike. E1 rode her bike, outside, unattended.
When she came back from riding her bike she told me about how fast she rode down the driveway, what sharp turns she made on her bike, how she saw a neighbor and since she knew her, she waved and guess what - the neighbor waved back, she saw a butterfly, she went really really fast, and went up and down new driveways. E1 stayed within the boundaries we set and had a great time.....alone.
Alone, where she can take risks without the weight of someone seeing her fail.
When no one was watching, E1 learned to go across the monkey bars.
When no one was watching, E1 learned to shampoo and condition her own hair.
When no one was watching, E1 learned to ride her bike so quickly she had to take a sharp turn.
When no one was watching, E1 learned how to take risks.
When no one was watching, E1 gained independence.
When no one was watching, E1 gained self confidence and maturity.