I saw a fb post the other day of a mom asking what age the kids should be to walk or bike to school alone.
And you shoulda read the comments…you shoulda felt the fear of these moms. The stronghold and the nails gripping onto their children. So they remain “safe”.
I know it depends on the maturity level of the kid and a few other components, that seems like the obvious first thought. But kids need freedom. They need to learn skills. They need to know how to do things on their own. Without you.
The longer they’re told that the world is scary, the more they will avoid it. The more they hear that humanity is dangerous, the more they don’t trust. The more they rely on the easy way, the safer it’s perceived to be.
I know there is risk. I know there are sex offenders. I know there are young drivers. I know there are slippery roads and sidewalks and wind chills. I know they don’t know how to handle everything. But when will they learn if we continue to do everything for them and take out all the obstacles?
Instead, will that child fear everyone who looks “different”? Will they be comfortable driving a car when it’s time? Will they expect someone to bring them to and from all of their activities? Would they rather sit inside because it’s cold outside, and because it’s safe.
We get to teach and lead our kids. Share stories. Help them fail. Give the nudge. Help them listen to their gut. But all in love, not fear. We have a choice in how we teach, how we share, how we position the “fail”, how strong the nudge is and how to help them feel.
If we don’t continue to help them see one step ahead of their comfort zone, they will only know comfortable.
And THAT is the most dangerous place to be.