i am not a hoverer. never have been, never will be. i feel no embarrassment in taking my kids to the park and plopping down on a bench and reading a book or chatting with a friend if we are meeting someone there. maybe it is because my kids are close in age (just days shy of being 2 yrs apart) or that they get along so well or what but when we go somewhere like a park i let them loose and don't give them a second thought unless someone is crying or needs help with something they can't do (get up on a rope, swing themselves, etc.) when we are here at the house i let them play outside and i am not RIGHT THERE the whole time. they know not to go in the street and they never would. i guess i just don't worry about them that much. i know they are intelligent, confident, capable, safe kids who are more than able-bodied enough to roam the small block where we live without falling into peril. no one would ever snatch my kids or hurt them - it never enters my mind! even when they were little toddlers i let them figure out their own abilities and limitations without a ton of guidance. typing it all out sounds a little cold (which obviously i am not towards them) but i just don't want to be a hand-holder/enabler/infantilizer sort of parent. NOT saying that every parent who sticks by their kid is infantilizing them! i give them a pretty long leash and that's just how we roll in our family.
sometimes our long-leash policies do make me feel out of place (though still not regretful of our style). every day all of the parents meet down at the bus stop and stand there waving at their kids as they pull away. it's sweet but not me. augustine gives me a kiss and hug and i walk home. sometimes i wave but a lot of times i don't, and i don't think he needs me too either. augustine walks a half block to our house from the bus stop. in NO way do i feel this is unreasonable and yet no other kids are not met by their parents at the corner bus stop but him. and yes, i am going to sound really antiquated here but when i was in kindergarten i walked over a mile with my brother jason who was in 2nd grade. it wasn't a big deal then and i don't think it's a big deal now and yet it FEELS like it is. we have sensible rules and they follow them: wear a seatbelt, don't leave a pre-determined boundary, ask permission to do anything questionable, wear a helmet when you're riding your bike/skateboard/scooter, etc.
they are fine, we are fine, everyone needs to just chill!
i believe in the marketplace of ideas/it takes a village type of mentality. 99.9% of situations and people would not warrant a freak-out so that's how i want to live my life as a parent (umm and anxiety sufferer). i am so so grateful that God has given me the grace to step outside of my own issues and parent NOT through the lens of fear. what i really want is my kids to learn their own limits. be curious and free to explore. get dirty (no seriously, get filthy), swing from a tree, wander away from where i can immediately see you but come running if i call your name, crash your bike, meet the neighbors - especially adult neighbors - and feel comfortable with them, develop independence and confidence. and so on and so on.