The hover radius is the distance away from their mother that a child still feels safe at. I know that it is a particularly individual thing, specific entirely to the personality of a child. However, what I have noticed is that the average hover radius of boys is greater than the average hover radius of girls, there are outliers in both categories obviously but from what I’ve seen, for the most part, it seems to hold.
Take, for example, a mothers group morning coffee at a coffee shop. The girl children will sit on the laps of, or very closely next to their mums whilst they have a coffee and a chat. The boys are never found in the same place for more than 3 seconds; throwing and chasing balls around, checking out the pastry display case or any other tall and breakable structures they can see, or finding the furthest away chair they can climb to the top of. The mothers of boys get their coffees to go, even when they intend to stay, if they have any hope of having a single hot sip, or any sip at all really. They hope to be able to pass pleasantries with other boy mothers, out in the shop field, as they dash past each other.
A mothers group morning coffee in a park is… well, to be honest, I’ve not really had any experience with these. I arrive, wave to the other mothers, perhaps manage a brief hello and then I run after my child, all over the park, never to see any of them again.
I would describe my sons hover radius more as “run like the clappers, as fast as possible, into the blue yonder, with nary a thought to the women that birthed me”. When he can run no more, he may turn around to check whether he can still see me. No matter how pin prick small I may be in the distance, if he can, he will, freshly imbued with energy from the languishing rest, turn around and start running away again.
Inside the school yard I can trust that any other child in my care will be confined by the fenced off school perimeter. Not the youngest one. If I had to guess what he’d do when he reached a fence, it would be to climb it. Despite the fact that they are at least 10 times the height that he is. He’s had all this fun getting to the gate, no point in going all pedestrian and simply walking out. With the barest of glances over his shoulder, I can almost hear him thinking, “I wonder who that crazy lady is in the distance, shouting and waving her hands like a fruit loop? She must just be totally in awe of my latest personal best sprint time and eager to cheer me on.”