A few weeks ago me and my mum took Little D out to one of Leicestershires most beautiful country parks - Bradgate Park. (Ive mentioned it quite a few times but you can read more about it and see more photos in this post). We had been there for about half an hour, taking the scenery in and breathing in the fresh, revitalising but very cold air, when Little D took a run for freedom and ended up floating in the middle of a small pond. My mum ran into the pond (up to her knee's) and dragged him out and after some back patting, jostling and much spluttering we had to strip him down to his nappy (which was now bulging with pond water) and wrap him in a blanket that fortunately i had on the pushchair, and two cotton shopping bags! He was shocked into quietness and was red from the cold. But we cut our day out short, rushed back to the car, i changed his nappy and we drove home with the heating on full - by this time he was fine.
I judge each moment in the context of my surroundings and generally let him explore as much as he wants to. If he wants to run across a field while i walk at a slow pace behind him, im ok with that. I let him splash in muddy puddles, climb steep hills, and sit down in holes in the ground. He can roll in Autumn leaves, eat fresh snow, or throw soil into the air and consequently all over his head. I love giving him this freedom and seeing how he reacts and learns from it. I want him to have a strong love and enthusiasm for nature and the great and fascinating outdoors. And my laid back attitude to exploration has worked in our favour most of the time.
Of course on this occasion, my lack of restraint had unfortunate consequences (which could have a been a lot worse) but putting what happened into context you should know that we had just carried him past the pond, putting a dip in the land between it and ourselves so that he didn't go anywhere near it, but the moment that his feet touched the ground he decided to run back to where we had carried him from, thus running straight into the pond.
We live in a time where many of us feel the need to wrap our children up in cotton wool and keep a close eye on them at all times. The media and especially the news have scared us into believing that there is a terrible person at every corner, and a death trap round every bend. I was interested to know how you feel about children and the amount of freedom they should be given? How did / do you raise your own children - how much Independence do you think is necessary or safe? Have you had anything like this happen to you?