Instead of Telling Kids to 'Be Careful', Try these Phrases Instead
When I was 11, I spent most of the summer at a rope swing with my friends. It was along the Provo River, middle of nowhere Utah. No parents around, just kids. More or less, it was a husky brown rope strapped to a dying tree, and we spent hours there, working on backflips, and front flips, and belly flops.
Sometimes we climbed up into the tree and jumped into the river from dangerous heights. Sometimes we flat out fell from the tree. Sometimes we got into fights. No one ever, not once, told us to be careful. We got into trouble, and we figured out how to get out of it. This was back in the mid 90s, back when parents could let their children go off and do something like that.
I have a son who will be turning 11 next month, and were he to ask if he could go to a rope swing with his friends, I’d honesty wonder if I’d end up making trending news by letting him go alone. But at the same time, I don’t know if he’d even ask. A couple years ago, he and I watched The Goonies. Right before the young boys followed the pirate’s treasure map into the abandoned summer restaurant — the place where the criminals were hiding out — Tristan said, “Where are their parents?”
The reality is, raising children is very different now — helicopter parenting isn’t really an option anymore; it’s mandatory (I am not happy about this). As a parent who was raised in a time when I learned a lot by getting into dangerous situations and finding my way out of them, I cannot help but wonder what this is doing to my children’s overall development and ability to cope with future struggles.
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