My eldest is now 10, and I mentioned the other day in my post 'letting them grow' how hard it is being a parent and knowing whats best to do when your children want to show their Independence, I mentioned how I have been giving my eldest two more and more freedom the past few months, and the other week I took the jump and allowed my eldest to the park with his friends when they called, I know he is, on the most part at least, sensible enough to have this freedom now, I know his choice of friends is good and I trust they won't get up to much mischief, but even still it doesn't stop us parents worrying about them, so I sent him off with my mobile phone in hand, as he doesn't have his own mobile phone, and my poor old phone is older than he is, so not of any huge value.
He returned home the first few times proud as could be, placing my trusty phone back into my hand and asking to do it all again the following day, I watched him mature before my eyes over the next few weeks, there really is so much to learn from having that independence, from being able to be part of that group who go to the park on their bikes and skateboards kick about a football for a few hours, learn how to handle yourself without mum there to tell you not to ride too fast down the hill, and learn how to handle social situations without my prompts.
I try desperately hard not to be a cotton wool type parent and think there are untold benefits to giving children the chance to take calculated risks and learn from their own judgement calls, obviously I understand the need to be cautious and safety is always paramount but being able to let them grow up with their mates is what 10 year olds need to do isn't it?
So for the past few weeks things have been good, he has enjoyed the freedom of being able to call for his mates and them for him, returning here for snacks and drinks and spending much of the half terms just, well just being kids.
Then tonight he arrives home at the time I'd asked, he bounds though the door, throws his shoes to one side and relaxes on the sofa. I wait for the normal return of my phone, but he doesn't gesture towards giving it me. I serve up dinner we eat nothing much is thought of the phone, then I remember he didn't give it me on returning from the park and ask him for it, he reaches to his pocket then says ''I don't have it - didn't I already give it you?''
Que annoyance on my half and guilt on his, and we trudge off out to search for my phone.
We return without my phone!
Like I say its no great loss I am not really a technical hungry phone user, and much prefer my laptop for most things my phone was very cheap when I brought it years and years ago it had a cracked screen and didn't always receive messages when they were sent, it didn't have a camera and was certainly not at all smart so I guess I will have to start looking for a new phone and find someway of firmly attaching it to Jake so it can't get lost in future!