Last night I was talking to my sister in law and 2 nieces on Skype and we were trying to remember how old my oldest niece, now 14, was when she was first allowed to walk to their downtown on her own. We all concurred that she was probably 10, the same age she was allowed to walk to school on her own.
It got me thinking about the things we are working on with our son. He’s 5 and most definitely Not Neurotypical (NNT) in some, as yet undiagnosed, way. But his father and I are doing our best to make him as independant as possible. He has no sense about cars or other danger, so I’m not sending him to the corner shop, but we certainly expect certain things, i.e. clearing his plate, throwing out his own garbage, tidying his toys.
And I was reminded of a story a friend of mine told me. She was visiting a friend with a child the same age as my son. This child handed my friend a piece of paper or something to throw away, even though they were both standing right next to the kitchen bin. When my friend pointed this out, the child looked at her like he didn’t understand what she was saying. He had obviously never thrown anything away before. At least not at home.
So, by logical conclusion, my NNT son is more independent than her NT child.
So now I’m wondering, in general, how much you let your child do themselves. How old are they?
Are you giving them roots and wings? Or just roots?