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Monday, September 27, 2021

How to give your kids more freedom: seven days in the life of a nine-year-old exploring independence

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When Daddy told me I was going to be getting a cool new Neo smartwatch and showed me some pictures of what it would look like I was really, really excited. It looked like the sort of watch a spy or secret agent wears.

This is my diary of the week I spent wearing my new watch during half-term.

Monday – at the park with Daddy

Me, Daddy and my brother went to the park. It’s so big, we can play hide and seek there and sometimes we pretend we’re making magic potions. The playground was full of other kids because of the school holidays. Usually, Daddy follows us around the park so we don’t get lost but today he bought a coffee (yuck) and sat on the bench. He didn’t mind where we were in the play area because he could see where I was because of my Neo. When it was time for us to go home, he called me on my watch. The other kids looked at me and my brother told them we were secret agents!

Tuesday – playdate with my best friend

I went to my friend Bella’s house today. She has a huge garden with lots of trees and a slide. My new watch said it was going to be 24C so I put on my shorts. Bella’s mum texted Mummy to say they were getting the paddling pool out, so to pack my swimming costume and goggles. Mummy said not to worry about taking my watch on and off all the time because it’s waterproof. I showed Bella my watch as soon as I got to hers and we took loads of pictures of us playing.

Amber explores the garden.
Quote:
Close-up of Neo watch

Wednesday – exploring the garden

Mummy said she wanted to sit in the garden all day and not do anything because she had the week off work. So she and my big sister sat down and read books while me and my little brother looked for fossils and dug for dinosaur eggs. We were starving so I asked Mummy if we could have a picnic in the garden. I checked my watch and it said I’d already done 7,000 steps and we hadn’t even had lunch!

Thursday – getting ready for school next week

Daddy reminded me I needed to get all my homework done before I went back to school. Sometimes homework really stresses me out when there’s so much to do. Daddy said my Neo watch will help remind me when to do my homework because it has a calendar on it too. I know that’s really boring, but it also lets me add other dates like birthdays and school holidays, which is more fun. I realised it was my grandad’s birthday at the end of the month and reminded Mummy to send a card and present. She’s very busy all the time so I can help her to remember things like that now.

Friday – ballet class

Because of Covid our dancing lessons have changed loads – my ballet teacher wears a face shield when teaching us and grownups aren’t allowed to wait for us any more. Now I get dropped off and have to go in by myself and at the end of the lesson I have to wait for Daddy or Mummy to collect me. Before, Mummy used to just have a cup of tea and talk to the other mums until I came out. Today, Daddy was late collecting me, but he sent me a message on my Neo to tell me that he would be five minutes late and I told my ballet teacher who waited with me until Daddy arrived.

Saturday – shopping

I love shopping for new books especially because I’ve read all the ones I’ve got at home. We went into town to a really big bookshop, which also has a cafe inside. Daddy got a coffee and waited there while me and my older sister looked at all the books. He wasn’t worried because he could see where I was because I was wearing my Neo. I took pictures of the books I liked and showed Daddy. He said I could buy Anisha, Accidental Detective with my pocket money. Then Daddy took us to another shop because my sister wanted to look for a new pair of jeans.

Picture of Mango and Amber sitting on sofa looking at the Neo with quote: “It was wonderful to be able to let her run around in the playground or spend time shopping without me always looking over her shoulder”

Sunday – visiting grandparents

Mummy and Daddy dropped us all off at my grandparents’ house today and went to the supermarket to do the weekly shopping. It’s always fun visiting them because Dadima gives me sweets and crisps and ice-cream. We played football in the back garden and I called Mummy from my watch to ask her to buy another paddling pool for us to keep at Dadima and Babaji’s house. She said no but it was still fun to show Dadima how I called Mummy from my watch. She said I was very clever. I think Dadima secretly wants a Neo so she can get hold of Babaji when he’s “busy” in the shed and forgets his lunch!

The verdict

Amber: I loved having my Neo for the week as it lets me ring my parents and my big sister. The Disney characters that move around on my watch are pretty cool too.

Daddy: Having the Neo was invaluable in helping Amber take her first steps towards independence. It was wonderful to be able to let her run around in the playground or spend time shopping without me always looking over her shoulder.

Let your child explore their independence and feel with them every step of the adventure with Neo, the smart kids’ watch. Find out more at Vodafone

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