No one ever told me raising kids would be so hard and have me second guessing myself so often. Sometimes I wish there was just an instruction manual hanging around that I could pick up and read. Sure, there are plenty of “experts” out there, but what qualifies them as experts? Just because they may have raised tons of “good” kids doesn’t mean their methods will work for you. Every household and child is different. So, my biggest dilemma now that my 12 year old is off to middle school and quickly approaching the land of teenage hell, is how much freedom to give him.
To be honest, it freaks me out when he is out of my site. It freaks me out that he now waits on the road behind the school with no adult supervision in site to be picked up, because that is how their parent pickup works. It freaks me out when he goes down two aisles in the store to look at the toys while I am looking at the clothes. It freaks me out when he rides his bike around the loop here by our house and I cannot see him. It just plain freaks me out!!!!!
I wish I could have kept him small forever, but I can’t. So, how do we know when we are giving enough freedom and not too much so that they hang themselves with it. I have seen the results of too much freedom often. Children whose parents trust they are being good and behaving and then find out their children have been getting into a ton of things they shouldn’t be. I don’t want that to happen, but at the same time, managing freedom and doing things on your own is part of growing up.
We are still navigating what level of freedom is right for us. If my oldest had his way he would probably move out tomorrow and live on his own, but that isn’t going to happen. Maybe I will let him go around the block without worrying for once though. Oh who am I kidding, I will always worry.
So what do you think? Are you struggling with this decision too? Have you see the results of too much freedom or not enough in children?