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What should I do?
My 10 year old daughter has started walking home from school. It's not that far only takes her about 5-10 minutes to get home. The last couple of days she has been getting home late and today it was a half hour late. I was freaking out and called her phone she did answer and she came home right after. But I asked her what she has been doing that she is coming home late. She said she was hanging out with her friend Sam at first. So I got into my little speal about how I am concerned for her safety, let her know that I trust her but I don't trust the world. She then told me her and her friend Sam have been going to the park at the school with 2 boys. I immediately wanted to loss it, but I know how it is to be that age and she's a smart girl I really do trust her to not get involved in kissing or anything like that, but I am concerned. I want her to have her freedom. Her mother (which I won't tell her about the boys) wants her to take the bus to her grandmother's (I have no vehicle to pick her up and 2 babies (1 & 2) and cannot get her) and she won't be allowed to walk home anymore. Should I let her walk home and trust her? She did come clean but I want to install good values in her and keep her safe but I know she will rebel in later years if I don't trust and allow her to do certain things now. What should I do? - Concerned Dad
Dear Concerned Dad ~ I think you're asking an excellent and important question. I love that she "came clean." That means that SHE trusts YOU. One chief reason that children lie is because they don't trust their parents, so it's really wonderful that she trusts you. You know her best. You say that she is a smart girl, and ~ believe it or not ~ kids really *want* to be safe. I know that it's hard to move beyond all the fears that you have, but if you are able to have a conversation with her (a dialogue, not a lecture) and find out what SHE thinks about the potential risks. One thing you can ask her to do is tell you how she will keep herself safe. And, you could ask her what kind of help she would like from you to be safe. The beauty of this is that you keep the lines of communication open, and she feels like she has a partner in you. It's really important, as our kids get older, for them to feel that they CAN talk to us and we will be HELPFUL and not hyperbolic. I hope that's helpful!