This brings me to my take on it. I was raised in the country with a few acres of yard and a busy highway running across the front. As far back as I remember my sister and I knew to stay far away from the highway but had free range to run and play on the rest of the property. We would stay outside together (but without our parents) most of the day and come inside when it was time to eat.
I would love for my boys to have that kind of freedom. Unfortunately, we live in a suburb outside of a large city and the situation is very different. We are fortunate to have a decent-sized fenced-in backyard and the boys are allowed to play in it alone while I am in the kitchen. That is about the extent of their freedom. I would never allow them to play in the front yard without me. Diego has learned to stay out of the street but Mateo proved, yet again, the other day that he still has not figured that out yet. And yes, I will admit it. I am terrified of someone abducting my children. It maybe that I am paranoid or have watched one-too-many Cold Case Files but the thought is often in my head.
We were at the park the other day and I noticed several mothers sitting on one end of the park talking while their two and three years old were on the other side of the park playing, definitely out of sight. They did not check on these kids for about fifteen minutes. I, on the other hand, stayed fifteen feet or so behind the boys but followed them around the park the entire time.
So am I am helicopter mom? I think so. This is probably something I should work on. I think that as they grow up I need concentrate more on teaching them how to make good choices and make decisions for themselves. I want them to grow up confident and not afraid.