Saturday, August 4, 2012

How Protective Is Too Protective?

My mom was very protective as I was growing up. I was the oldest, so she was worse with me than with my younger brother. I always thought she was over the top, but looking back she wasn't nearly as protective as I remember...and I had quite a bit of room to get in trouble.

I wasn't allowed to spend the night at most of my friends' homes (except for one rare exception where she knew the mom really well and neither of us girls had fathers). She finally let me ride the city bus to the mall when I was 13 or 14 but she drove behind it and followed us.

I got in enough trouble during my middle school years that she made me go to the neighbor baby sitter's for at least an hour after school and even had to check in at the neighbor's as a high school kid. Oops.

But we were allowed to walk several blocks to the store, crossing two very busy two lane roads. I even walked to and from middle school, which was a couple of miles on a very, very busy road with no side walk! Looking back I can't believe she allowed it.

So now I'm a mom and thinking about all the horrors that could befall upon my little sweetheart and wondering how my mom could have been so lenient with me!!! LOL

The sane side of me wonders how we will raise strong, independent, grown ups if we don't let them have the freedom kids once had ... eons ago.

Look at this comparison of how far kids were allowed to wander way back when compared to today...

Will I let Marshal go more than 300 yards down the street? Well, we don't right now obviously...he's not even 3! But when he's 7 or 8?

Yes there are many dangers out could run him over; perverts could steal him away; he could fall out of a tree...and as a mom my natural instinct is to try to protect him.

However...I can't exactly wrap him up in bubble wrap and stuff him in a closet to keep him safe. It's a fine line between protection and allowing kids to grow up. Hopefully we will be moved to our property (6 acres) before he's of an age to explore so that he will have the room to do so without having to worry about traffic or tons of strangers. Then I can just worry about him getting poked in the eye with a stick or falling out of a tree.

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