Readers! First of all, thank you SO MUCH for the fantastic suggestions on how to help parents get over the fear of BLAME, in the post below this one. Here’s one response that I wanted to highlight because I hear you: We need success stories here, too. Enjoy this one! L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: *Other* parents’ ability to let go of that worry have encouraged me to do the same. A recent example: My 13-yo son is attending band camp, 2 miles from our home, for an hour a day M-F. Problem is, I tutor 2 days a week and am not available to get him there on those 2 days. A friend called and said her son (a friend of my son’s) was going to camp as well, but she babysits little ‘uns and the strain of getting them all out the door for 2 there-and-back trips was a bit much, and would my son want to walk with her son?
I wouldn’t have sent him on his own, because the guilt would have killed me! But with someone else? Why not try?
They have been walking it for almost 3 weeks now. A female friend has joined them, and then another girl came along 1 day, but her father followed them in the family minivan all the way there, and then home again later. (I don’t know whether to be amused or insulted!)
Funny thing is, the friend who “instigated” this venture has an older daughter who also went on foot 4 years ago, but Mom is taking flak for *making* her son do it, because he’s in a WHEELCHAIR. As if that makes him incapable. He’s traveling with 2 or 3 other people, never by himself, and she’s getting guilt-tripped because he’s in a WHEELCHAIR, and how could she MAKE him do it?! And get this, the other kids had to start riding their bikes to keep up with him (he does NOT have a motorized chair, BTW).
Last cool thing: Mom had to drop off a form and did it at the end of the day’s session so she could just give him a ride home. His response was, “Thanks, Mom, but I need to catch up with my friends.” How can you argue with THAT success? — A Mom in Illinois