Readers — Here’s a letter I got today. Let’s give her some good advice. Since I get to go first, I ‘ll say the obvious: If you can afford it, send your kids to some kind of not-too-programmed camp. Other suggestions?
Hey Free-Range Kids: I truly, profoundly want my older daughter to be more Free-Range. She wants more freedom. Advice on how I get there is welcome.
My 13 and 11 year old girls are on summer vacation, my spouse and I both work. The oldest is in open rebellion because, despite my claims that I want her to be more independent, I won’t fire the babysitter.
Besides not being comfortable with them being home alone for that long a time with no adult less than an hour’s drive away, my oldest has admitted that the real problem with having this particular sitter is that she limits TV and computer time, buys only healthy foods when they are out, takes them to parks to play and lakes to boat — in other words, she is destroying their summer by depriving her of the God-given right to be a couch potato everyday for 10 weeks.
I do believe summer should be, in part, a time to relax and be lazy. I do believe a normal 13-year-old should not need a sitter. But I can’t bear the thought of my kid sitting home alone and getting fat in front of her computer screen. She’s already too heavy, according to her pediatrician, and I don’t like the trend.
The younger daughter thinks this 20-year-old sitter, btw, is Mary Poppins, and delights in her to no end. Blatant and unfair favoritism, claims my moody eldest, further proof of the injustice inherent in my system.
Advice on how to get this kid to the point where she is sitting, instead of being sat, would be terrific. — Fed Up Mom
Okay, Readers. Go for it! – L.