I have a confession to make. I am a hovering mother when it comes to the boys playing outside or at parks. In my defense Wolf is a dare devil and I have saved his life a few times thanks to being at arms reach. But in our tiny backyard? Is that really necessary? I have a clear view of the entire yard from my glass door that faces the kitchen. The topic of instilling independence in your toddlers within a safe setting has come up in a few books I have read. So I have made a conscious effort to taking more of a back seat approach to letting them play outside.
At first it was hard. In fact these pictures are from the first few days while I sat at the dinner table that directly faces the yard and took pictures of them from inside. (okay, this in a mini step from still hovering) I was surprised at how well the boys did. They still look back from time to time to check if I am watching them, but they have enjoyed and explored the yard more than ever. And I have had a great time watching them play together and communicate more to each other. Of course there are times when I still have to get in there and set some boundaries, like there is no throwing sand at each other. It has now become a daily part of our routine. I think the biggest key to success in this is, you have find a place that both you and your toddler feel comfortable in. And of course this doesn't mean no supervision, it simply means not hovering and letting them explore more freely.