How much do you let out the parental leash? How much autonomy do kids need? That’s a question loaded with all sorts of anxieties for today’s parent, especially when just about everything we consume is geared to grab our attention with clickbait headlines or crazy, edge-case scenarios. I don’t know. Organizing or dictating your life around the worst case scenario seems like a very stressful way to parent. I already consume enough wine.
Now, some questions are easy. Math homework? Short leash. Sharp knives, short leash. Practicing the trombone? Long, long leash, preferably in another room.
But what about the bus stop? Somehow, the bus stop has become the nexus of public and private parenting decisions. Do I wait with them? Do I drive them down to the bus stop? Do I pick them up?
On Friday, the girls walked home alone from the bus stop. It’s not exactly two miles. It’s not even two tenths of a mile (but there is a hill!) They were not kidnapped or harassed by strangers. They chatted quite happily and walked on the sidewalks. How do I know? Dash and I were watching from the window the entire time. You can let out the parental leash, but it doesn’t mean you have to drop it.