I think that I’m old enough to go places with my friends without
an adult. My mother won’t let me go to the mall or the movies
unless she goes or my friend’s mom goes.
Haley is a bright and responsible girl but she is only 12 years
old. I worry that if I let her go on public outings without adult
supervision something might happen. There are so many possible negative
influences and dangers in today’s world. I know she wants
more independence but I am concerned for her safety.
Lori, as a mother and educator, I can relate to your concerns. We
imagine all kinds of things happening to our kids when they have
proper supervision even with the most responsible children. My feeling
is twelve is still too young to be out unsupervised.
Growing up and becoming responsible is a gradual process that involves
kids taking steps forward and steps backwards. My opinion is to
trust your gut feeling. If a situation sounds risky to you, it’s
better to be safe than sorry.
It’s crucial to keep honest and honest communication with
your daughter. Explain to her the risks and dangers of the world.
Teach her that while most people have good intentions, there are
individuals who want to hurt or take advantage of kids. Let her
know people may not allows be what they seem. Also be sure to speak
to your child about drugs, drinking, smoking and sex. Be specific
that you don’t want her participating in these things and
don’t assume that she already know that. Have a plan so that
she can reach you at any time to come to pick her up.
Haley, I understand that you want to be independent and go out on
your won. Talk to your mom about your feelings and why you think
you’re ready to go out with an adult. Your mother loves you
and wants to keep you safe. She’s not trying to spoil you
fun and ruin your social life. If mom says no to a public outing
perhaps you can agree to have her come along or have your friends
to your home. Remember the way to built trust with your mom is to
follow her rules, honor her wishes and always be honest with her.
The supervision won’t last forever. Be grateful to have a
mom who cares so much for you.
Hajjar Diamond has been a guidance counselor for twelve
years. She is also a freelance writer and mother of two.