Free Range Kids

Okay so here is my thoughts on the topic.This is what having free range children means to me.

 Honestly I love the idea. Now for me I believe a good free range parent believes in safely for their children. We do helmets on bikes proper footwear when out in the parks. We have rules, very important rules.
1- You NEVER leave a place we are at without the person you came with. ( we do make exceptions for emergencies where if you need to go with a marked EMS person)
2- You DO NOT take things from strangers and if offered decline and check with parents. ( Mostly for safety reasons if someone is offering stuff to kids I want to know about, while it could be innocent it also may not be )
3- Use your brain and think about things before you do them. ( mostly this goes for them climbing on things because my boys are big time climbers )
4- Let Parent know where you are going to be.

Really pretty simple rules when we are out. Now my kids are still young so they really don’t go anywhere with me being with them, but I usually watch from a distance. With the baby I usually am closer to them so that if they fall I can get them back up and dust them off and send them on their way again. I enjoy letting my children explore their world and learn their limitations.
Yes I’m that seemly uncaring mom who steps back and lets their kid go do what they desire on the park. Though if you actually watch me I am watching them and you. I give my kids lots of freedom but I also am smart about what we are doing. I know if you have been talking and playing with my children, while I may not be hovering over them, I know.
Yes lets be honest here I have three kids my eyes are not on all of them all the time but i do regular surveys  of the area and I know where they are. I don’t think my children even realize how much i watch them, just like you think I’m not watching my child.  I believe children need to have a level of independence from their parents. Part of them gaining their independence, is being allowed to do things, experience life and make mistakes.
Now before you think i just let my kids run wild doing what they want let’s get things straight. My kids are not wild little beings, at least when we are out, home can be a different matter. Hahaha! They know if they make errors in their choices ( fighting , not play friendly with others, intentionally excluding others, etc…) that there is a need to make things right. This is part of me watching and not hovering. I let them learn how to interact with the world around them without my constant guidance. Mommy is watching though, and inappropriate behavior is not accepted.  I figure by allowing them to learn how to interact with others while they are young with mommy watching from a distance, they will know how to do it as they get older and mommy is not watching. There is also a time and place for running around and climbing all over the place. the park is a good place the store is not.  I am not one of those moms who let their kids just run free in stores. they must stay within a close distance to me. We are talking like 2ft, and our hands are kept to ourselves.
So you know what I may not be a true blue free range parents but that is what shakin’ it up is all about. I take what works for us and leave the rest behind.

life as I know it

Well jeepers life just whizzes past you when you are busy. Between Christmas extra activities and a bit of school I haven’t had a ton of time to write.

So what have we been doing the last few months. Well Damian is really coming along with his reading and printing. We are begining to work with geometric solids and life is moving into 3-D definition.  Farm animals is the talk right now. Names of the mommy daddy and baby animals. It is a lot to remember but he is doing pretty good with it.  We just take it one day at a time and the learning comes through experience.
I just love listening to Damian and Ansley’s explorations of the world. They are so inquisitive and just love to explore. They also love to get into things and create stuff. there is usually something on the go with them and they hardly sit still. Maybe when they watch TV if it is really interesting but not usually.
Lil Cael is into full exploration mode. He is walking and on the go. I have to watch him because he wants to explore his world and doesn’t really have anything that resembles fear.

Well when i get my thoughts together a bit more I’ll get some more posts going.

Good food = Happy Kids

Okay so here is mama life. It’s busy, yes very busy. With three children under 6, things can get a little bit hairy around here. I’m a pretty easy going mom, my house is not perfectly clean but it is tidy….. some days. Really depends on the point of the day you look at it. Right now it isn’t too bad there are a few things on the floor and there is laundry to do. I do make time for important things and usually that is cooking for my kids. Now the fantasy I have in my head is where we eat all organic food, fresh from sources including milk.  I also bake all our bread products with freshly ground flour from the local organic grain store thingy. It is a really is a pretty world in my head, almost in a 50’s style living, you know the “simpler times” idea from TV.

 I love aprons I really would love to get one

Now  lets talk reality. Organic is expensive, and you need to be careful with green washing. Personally I rather know that my food had chemicals then think it was organic and find out I had been lied to. I really try to have the best food I can manage for my kids. I’m so fortunate the they are all good eaters, and not picky. Generally they eat whatever it is that i make for them. So we make do with what we have and that means weekly trips to the local fresh vegetable store. I like to go to the smaller places instead of the big box store. I personally find better quality fruits and vegetables there. Also I try and hit up the farmers markets when they are going on to help support the local farmers because they are the ones who really need some love. My kids like going to the farmers markets, there is always lots going on but I think they like the samples best. Heck that is why they want to go to Costco every single time we drive by.  I diverge though, good food makes for happy kids. Yes I’m sure my kids would love to gorge themselves on fast food and candy but I know what would happen after that and I just, just don’t like going there. So for us real food, good food is what we try and keep in our house. Now still in that reality check here, those days happen and that is fine and dandy but just not often.
We eat a fair amount of foods in this house and I’m always trying to shake things up and make something different. I really don’t like getting into a rut where I make the same thing over and over again. I like to consider myself a pretty good cook, my husband says I am so it must be true. 🙂
I know from my personal experience when we cut the processed junk the dyes the excessive sugar my kids are happier. We don’t do much junk for the kids. There is the odd time that we have treats but as a general we don’t. I think complete denial  will just cause problems just like free range would. Indulgence seems to be a bit of a human condition.
My kids know that when we are at a party they need to pick the healthy snack first and then they can have treats. I really try to pretend that I am the mom who has the kids who always make healthy choices, but once again lets reality check. They are kids, they see other kids eating yummy treats and the treats taste good, really good. I know I want all the yummy goodness I can’t expect my children to always resist but hey I teach them to make choices and you are responsible for your choices. If you gorge when mommy’s back is turned and you feel sick later, that is a natural consequence.
Oh well we just keep trying but I do my best. Keep healthy options open and hide the candy, yes even from myself.