kids... raising kids... less helicopter and more leash... or even better under the right circumstances let the kids run off leash

it would seem clear that every parent wants what is best for their children
but... it seems that there is a differing view about what is best for our children
I try to do what is best for my kids in the ways I see fit

I often ask myself, "what is best for my kids?"

Maryland Parents in hot water for letting their kids walk a mile from the park to home...
somehow this was viewed as "neglect"

there was a case a few years back where a mother let her 9 year old take the subway alone in New York City
the mother's page
Free Range Kids

in my years as a parent I have tried to give my children a certain amount of space

trust is a big issue
give trust-get trust

from a young age my children grew to enjoy some sovereignty 
something as simple as us hiking on a well known trail... where I let the kids go one way at a fork in the trail while I go the other... knowing that these trails lead to the same destination
allowing my boys to experience things outside of my shadow

other times I would drop the boys off with the dog at a trailhead and then allow them to meander at their own pace home

then there are times where I allow the boys to walk up the main strip with a pocket full of cash and some friends
I let them go to dinner and hang out
they love this... it is a growing experience
they are capable of so much... we just need to let them express this

it is tough... their are dangers.. kids do not respect the dangers 
I do not want my children at risk
last weekend we went to the C&O Canal to play on the ice
I had my skates the kids are without skates
I gave the kids some sage advice and then some space

the greatest part of the instruction was to stay away form the ice near the Potomac.. then on the canal... do not try to break the ice... stay off thin ice... watch for water at the surface... stay wide from those sections
do not go anywhere risky or dangerous

the kids were given space, but knew that I would allow them to get a little more wild when I was done skating

finally... that after I went skating... we could explore together
and they could take greater risks when they are within my view
I could give them a measure of the dangers
as there are some lessons you only learn once
no.. I do not want my kids falling through the ice

That Washington Post Magazine Article on Parenting
How to Raise Successful Children
which of course begs the question... "What is "Successful?"
does a person get measured by their W2?
or is it quality of life
happiness? comfort?
health? fitness?
social contributions?

as a parent I get anxious
kids scare me with their foolish choices
their inability to understand their contribution to the chaos

kids do not understand the worst case scenario

watching my children can make me proud while making me scared at the same time
I do not believe in ZERO TOLERANCE
there are appropriate and inappropriate moments to behave certain ways
tricks on the bike?
hell yes... but.. limit the dangerous variables
test your limits.. but not on the edge of a cliff or in traffic
how about in a closed parking lot
on an isolated trail

these are very different times than when I grew up
kids are in a different world with a different approach to life
although I am not a complete hover parent
I do over parent compared to how my parents parented
it is hard to be bigger\different than the society that surrounds us

I try... all I can do is try
I am flawed
yet I try
and well
I love my boys... they make me proud

I try to keep them safe and try to teach them to be safe

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