Dear Free-Range Kids: My only advice to Tara would be to prepare her children to be survivors instead of victims. No one has a crystal ball or any guarantees that nothing will happen to our children. The proverbial lightning strike is always possible.
One of my most moving parenting moments was finding a “list” written inside my daughter’s closet ON THE WALL. At first I was upset. She wrote on the wall! But looking at the list made me cry. She wrote all the things she could do herself (she was 5 at the time): ride her bike to school, make waffles in the toaster oven, feed the dogs and cats, pack her lunch for school. She was proud of herself and her independence and was keeping a list of all of things she could do.
Self- confidence can’t be given to children. They need to develop it on their own.
I don’t raise my kids to think the world around them doesn’t have danger. I think a healthy dose of fear and awareness of your surroundings is a good thing. On of my son’s favorite book series this year is the “I Survived…” 9/11 attacks, Titanic, San Fran Earthquake (from Scholastic Books). At first, I was concerned of his interest in disasters but after reading a few of the pages, I understood why he enjoyed them. He wanted to find out what kids did to survive and not be victims. – Lollipoplover