The Grand Final seems like it was only last week! It was, but it had lasting effect in our house. I guessed the 2010 NRL winner would be the Dragons but in my heart, I felt, it was such a shame that the Tigers did not make it to the last game. Jason has only just recovered from his grand final. He watched the game with a few mates and came home worse for wear. The Monday he had the worse hangover and took a sickie. With the kids being on school holiday still, I took them to mum & dad’s place so Jason could sleep it off.
Mum and dad were not interested in the NRL grand final. Nor my husband’s hangover. My parents think the NRL is barbaric. Which always makes and interesting pause in conversation if Jason were ever to mention his beloved Tigers.
Discuss the Commonwealth or Olympic Games, well that is more to my parents liking. I know my parents will be watching their share of the 2010 Delhi Games this coming week. I try to encourage Jason to appeal to my parents’ interests, so there is some conversation between them, but it normally does not work. The only thing they can talk less about (but causes even more debate) than football is raising children.
You could call my parents a bit eccentric. Some might call them free-range. Jason always wonders when I too might turn hippy. Being raised by two loving hippies he thinks one day I might turn to mung beans, turn off the electricity and our mod cons for an alternative lifestyle. Whilst I love my parents their free loving living that my brother and I had as kids is not the way we wish to raise our children. Funnily enough, my parents didn’t have a lot of rules for us kids. Whereas I wanted them. To, I guess, know my boundaries.
Mum and Dad looked after Claire (our eldest) a fair amount of time when I went back to finish university after Claire was born. There were times when Jason or I would come back to pick up Claire and find her crawling or lying on a rug under their huge front yard tree nappy less. Her face full of grot and basically dirty. Must admit, out of all of our kids Claire did not suffer illness like Jamie & Makeyla did. Hmmm…makes you think were my parents right? Grot and grime is ok?
My parents free-range lifestyle also extended to their personal relationship. There was hushed talk in the suburbs of our neighbours partaking in swinging parties in the 70s but when my brother John a teenager at the time joked about the subject dad quickly denied it, mum blushed and dad changed the subject. We have been too scared to bring up the subject again.
Anyway, all this free-range raising kids has been in the press recently. Mia Freedman put up a posting from the US author Lenore Skenazy on freerange parenting advice: leave kid alone and I watched Lenore on ABC’s Q&A program recently. Made me think. Have we all become caged hens? That is, too many rules? Too many boundaries and too many things you now should not let your children do. Maybe my parents were right? Maybe we all need to be a little more free-range. But I am not convinced of being free-range in the relationship side of things.
Are you raising your kids free-range? If not, what triggers your angst about letting your kids go free-range?