I know I can be a helicopter mom. When E was born, something overcame me and I felt the need to shield her from ALL the bad. I know that's somewhat normal, none of us want our kids to get hurt. Though I know my mom didn't want me to get hurt and I was allowed to roam the neighborhood adult-free at 5. I try not to be a super hoverer and let E be as free as possible, but when it comes to being in a situation where she could be kidnapped, I'm pretty much a chopper.
I know we live in nice neighborhood and I should feel ok about letting my somewhat responsible 7 year old outside without an adult- but it's not happening. We live in a somewhat safe culture, nothing at all like the girls in Mexico or other foreign countries, but reading news stories about girls being taken 2 houses down from their home, taken from a mall, or predators using technology to lure kids in- makes me want to lock her in her room until she's 30. OK, maybe not that drastic ;)
I often wonder if by not allowing her to roam free, if I am hindering her independence or if I'm being smart by not taking that risk? I'm not sure I know what age I should/would start letting her roam stores without being in eyesight, or run at the park without me 30 feet away, or walk to her friends house by herself. I was attacked when I was 12, so I know that is where most of my fear originates. I would never want her to go through what I did. But I know I have to let go at some point- which is terrifying!
This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement. Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing. She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.