Bearing is trying to get a #sanemomrevolution hashtag to go viral over on Twitter. If you have tales to tell of successful adventures in kid independence, take 'em to Twitter and hashtag away!
I was trying to think about what to share, but no good tweets were springing to mind. I think my problem is that it doesn't really seem revolutionary to me to let my kids have some independence. I made a flow chart to illustrate my thinking (click to enlarge):
(The flowchart could be a problem if this hashtag actually goes viral. Y'all don't need me to tell you that the hail thing is a joke, but strangers on the internet get a little crazy sometimes.)
I was thinking about how our kids expect to get themselves to and from sports practices if it's feasible, and about how they're not afraid to take the city bus with a sibling, and about how my 9yo frets over polluting cars and prefers to walk, and about how I plan for the 9yo and the 5yo to walk to and from school this fall without my supervision.
But maybe my best argument today for a Sane Mom Revolution is this: my two teenagers, now 14 and 17, were slouching in front of screens this afternoon when I said, "Hey, did you guys want to see that Shakespeare tragedy? This matinee is your last chance. You'd have to go right now." I kid you not: they jumped up and put on their shoes. My oldest said, "What's the best way to walk to that building?" and then answered his own question. They marched over to the box office and bought their own tickets, and I have every confidence that they are sitting quietly through the performance right now.
It might not be Shakespeare for your family. (Okay, it probably won't be Shakespeare, because I know we are a little weird about Shakespeare. When we told the 5yo she was too small to go this summer she wailed, "But I loooove Shakespeare." Also, totally unrelated to the rest of this post but right on topic for this parenthetical comment, how cute is this picture?) Anyway-- maybe the leisure activity you hope your kids will enjoy as adults is running or biking or museum-ing or coffeehouse chess or something entirely different. Or maybe you just wish your kids could run down to CVS and pick up a new toothbrush while you cook dinner. Entertaining oneself in the real world, running errands capably alone-- these are important life skills that do not descend on kids like an anvil made of competent adult-ness. It used to be completely normal for kids to walk themselves to the ice cream store, allowance in hand.
Let's make it normal again.