The post is sponsored by Relay but all opinions are entirely my own. As our children grow up, they inevitably gain independence. Empowering our not-so-little ones to feel confident while feeling secure ourselves as parents is a challenge! Its a transition I'm not entirely comfortable with, but I'm excited for my daughter to gain responsibility towards her teens. I'm sharing thoughts on how I'm trying to find the right balance and also showcasing Relay, a communication device without a screen! Elsie is 9yrs old. She's loud, creative and fun but inherently anxious. She can be over-sensitive and panics easily, and as she approaches her teens I want her to be able to feel strong and confident. Giving her more power and independence is a priority for me as a parent. But how do I go about it? Building Strength and Confidence Elsie has been enjoying Brazilian Jujitzu classes for over a year now and it has done wonders for her self confidence and overall fitness. I highly recommend martial arts for girls because they build strength, confidence and self-defense skills. Although we don't discuss it much, I feel secure as a parent in giving her skills for her own protection should she need it later in life. I particularly love Brazilian Jujitzu because it does not involve punching or kicking, yet is extremely powerful. Simple Rules I've always taken Elsie to her out of school activities and sat and watched. So I felt a little traumatized when she started musical theatre this year and I had to drop her off and pick her up two hours later. There is little security other than me waving at the instructor as I drop her off, and many of the kids just jump out of the car and head in on their own. Growing up fast! Where does the time go?! Elsie is not phased by this new responsibility but I feel a little uneasy about it. That's my little girl! I always reiterate the same rules when she leaves: Stay inside with your class.Don't leave with ANYONE other than me, even if they say I told them to.If for some reason I'm late or you're worried about something, talk to your instructor and they will contact me. (Since then she can now contact me directly via her Relay, more info below!). It seems basic, but pickup is as casual as drop off and many kids leave by themselves to jump into their parents' car outside. If a stranger turned up and "Your Mom asked me to pick you up today." How many kids would say "OK"? Relay allows communication between kids and parents (more info below) Changes to Plans Life doesn't always go to plan! I do pretty well with coordinating Mom's Taxi Service for my three kids, school and activities. But whether its Vegas traffic or a case of "where are my keys?', sometimes I run late... as we all do. Some kids Elsie's age have a phone, something we are trying to delay as long as possible. But she can feel a little isolated if she can't reach me in the same way her friends can. Maybe all she needs is the reassurance that I am indeed on my way. Maybe she wants to go to the book fair and meet me there instead. Either way, having a form of communication for unexpected circumstances and general security is useful. Introducing Relay Elsie has mentioned getting a phone on a couple of occasions. But with her slight obsession with video games already rife, I know she'll get sucked into a smartphone the moment it's in her hands. Relay is an alternative device that allows kids and parents to communicate without the use of a screen! Not only does Relay allow me to communicate with my daughter, but it also has an SOS button sequence and a GPS tracker if she ever gets lost. It works much the same as a walkie-talkie, she presses the button on her Relay to talk and I press the button on the app installed on my phone. I get a notification if she sends me a message and her device sends a beep/light alert if I send a voice message over to her. It is extremely simple to use and Elsie has her's held in loop case which attaches to her rucksack which also comes with a lanyard. Relay also makes a sports armband, if your child enjoys heading out on bike rides I can see this being really useful! Relay comes with a cute set of stickers which Elsie loved! Nothing like customizing your own accessories ;) 50% off Relay for Cyber Monday You can get 50% off a Relay from 11/24-12/7 with their Cyber Monday promotion! It would make a perfect gift for the Holidays and who doesn't love a saving like that?! Once you have your device you will set it via the app on your phone. There is also an affordable monthly charge for the Nationwide 4G LTE & Wifi coverage, just like your phone, to get you and your child connected! I hope your child feels empowered by their growing independence. If you have any questions about Relay, get in touch!