Teach ‘Em, Then Trust ‘Em
Why are we making our children overly-sensitive and incompetent?
Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A:
Guys. Life is a series of gambles, you buys your ticket and you takes your chances. Most of the time, things turn out okay. My own mother was the most protective one in the neighborhood. But she allowed me to hop on my bike and ride through the neighborhood to Gessner, a very busy road, to catch tadpoles in the bayou. (It was still a real bayou under that bridge, then. Not a concrete drainage ditch.) When I got my Friday allowance I biked to the 7-11, where nefarious teenagers dealt doobies in the parking lot. Inside, 25-cent comic books waited for me. (Fine. She was not aware of what the teens were doing, but I didn’t bother them, and they didn’t bother me.)
While my own kids were growing up, we were fortunate to live mere blocks from a small shopping area. And a well-traveled hiking/biking trail. When they hit the age of ten, away they went. With a friend or sibling, but parentless.I knew where they were. They knew when they were expected back. If they weren’t, they knew embarrassment would ensue.
Were there close calls? I know there were for me, and I bet there were for my kids, too. But sometimes you just gotta take a deep breath, calculate the risks, and trust the universe.
Or end up parenting those kids for the rest of your life.