Friday, March 13, 2009

Knowing When To Let Go

From TODAY, Voices
Thursday, 12-March-2009

By Dr Bill Maier

Every parent wishes they could protect their kid from the cold, cruel world.

But sooner or later, we have to let them go.

I recently received a letter from the mother of a 12-year-old girl who wanted to ride her bicycle to school every morning.

The school was 3.2 kilometres away, and the mother was worried that something might happen to the child.

She asked me: “How can I grant my daughter freedom without being either too relaxed or too overprotective?”

That’s a great question and it’s something all parents have to deal with. But there’s no one answer for everyone. The key is to know your child’s level of maturity, and to trust your instincts.

Some kids are more responsible and savvy about dangers that might lurk around the corner, while other kids are more naive and trusting. Also, some neighbourhoods are safer than others.

It’s our job to assess our kids and the situation before allowing too much freedom.

Turn them loose gradually — but not before they’re ready.
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