Independence: Learning how to give my son more of it.


I have been a mom for just shy of 10 years. A decade. Where did the time go? Everyone says don’t blink because it goes by too fast. They were not kidding. I feel like I’m at a crossroads. I am in a weird place because my son is at the age where he wants more independence. He is coming into his own and doesn’t rely on me like he once did. This is hard for me. How do I adapt to this new stage in my motherhood journey?

As parents we all go through this and we experience crossroads more than once. I went through a similar stage when it was time for Nathan to start school. I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest. Change is definitely harder on us parents than on our children. We question and we second guess ourselves. Are we doing it right? And the truth is there is not a cut and dry answer.

I try not to be a helicopter mom. But it is so hard. Especially with the way the world is today. You can’t even feel comfortable sending your child off to school each day. My son will ask to go play down the street at the neighbors. 9 times out of 10 I tell him no. I do not like him out of my sight. I need to figure out how to get over this fear. I need to loosen the reigns and let him have his independence.

I am a big believer in the fact that every family is different. Every child is different. The different dynamics are what makes each family unique. With that said we can all learn from each other. We are the best resource for our fellow parents. We can offer perspective that you can’t always see from the inside. It is comforting to know that someone else has walked in my shoes at this moment in my life. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about when is the right time to let children stay home alone? I started babysitting my younger sister and brother when I was in the fifth grade. Nathan will be in fifth grade in the fall. I cannot fathom letting him stay home alone. And he definitely will not be babysitting his little brother. But again times are different. Indiana does not have a law on the age requirement. They do have guidelines for reference, but ultimately leave it up to us to make the decision.

So my question is how did you know when it was time to give your child more independence? How did you decide it would be okay to leave them home alone? When did you finally come to peace with the fact that your child is not a baby anymore? I just need someone to hold my hand and reassure me that giving Nathan more independence is just part of this journey.