Sunday, October 03, 2010

free-ranging kidlets

This here is the sunroom where the adults spent many daylight hours of our holiday. Out that glorious picture window is just part of the 100 acres where two 10-and 11-year-old girls would wander. Those teeny little fluffy things in the background are the cows and alpacas they hung out with. The girls would wander in before midday and we'd head off to a town for lunch, then we'd come back and wouldn't see them again until it was time for them to walk with their dads up the hill to the local pub. The girls would sit around the corner in the 'kid's section' with a raspberry and lemonade and a packet of chips, while the dads sat in the next room with a couple of local beers.


I've just been over at MamaMia catching up on my reading and found the piece about Free Range Parenting. It's a concept I adore, but that just isn't always possible in my inner-city suburb. Where I grew up we lived across the road from the bush - with an old quarry in it. One day we removed the car bonnet from an old wreck lying abandoned and used that bonnet to hoot down the cliffs formed in the old quarry. We'd make cubbies in dry creek beds and abandon them when we found they were inhabited by red belly black snakes on our next visit. We had a service road outside our house that was the access for about seven houses in our street. We just saw it as a great place to set up ramps to ride over on our bikes. When our parents were away we'd climb up on the balcony on the second story of our house and jump the six foot of paving to land in our backyard pool {only six-foot-deep at the deep end}. How nobody died or broke things is beyond me.

I'd hate for my daughter to do some of the daring things I did, but being the only girl in a street-full of boys made for a tomboyish upbringing {and possibly the reaction of being such a girly adult?}. I would like her to experience more. I'd like a life more like the one we shared on holidays. That's why we'd like to go there with the same family again next year. The adults all got along and the two girls adventured magnificently together. Those roses in their cheeks may soon fade, but the memory of such an exhilarating holiday will stay for a lifetime.

And I'll try to think of ways she can experience that exhilaration on a more regular basis too.


  1. Just back from a run and icing my achilles so taking the time to catch up on blogs. Lovely window. I was reading an article in yesterday's paper re free range kids and my husband and I got to talking about all the things we use to do when we were kids. It is so different now. i love it when we are down the beach in January and the kids seem to be more free.

  2. Your holiday sounds fabulous!

    The things I used to get up to when I was a kid in the country, I just can imagine allowing my children to do the same.

  3. Oh yes, I know what you mean, I wish this type of freedom was possible for my children too, but it is just not an option living in the city. It does make holiday time more special though - I love watching my children play at their grandparent's cottage, spending long summer days outdoors.

    It sounds like you had such an amazing holiday! I would love to sit and gaze out that window at the picture perfect scenery.

  4. Thanks for sharing your stories gals x


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