Talking to Children about Terrorism
Why Won't My Toddler Eat?
Nourishment for Newborns
Kids Summer Reading
Choosing a Kids Camp
Play it Safe in the Sun
Teen Brain: A Work in Progress
Getting A Conversation Started
Responsibility and Freedom
Handling Tough Situations
Managing Anger: Theirs and Yours
They Grow Up- Letting Go
What To Do When Those Babies Grow Up?
by Kelly S. Croslis
The familiar sound of an incoming message rings throughout the house. From the kitchen I know one of my girls is on the computer talking with her friends. The dawn of the electronic age has brought more fear to us as parents. No longer is a teenager staying out past curfew the biggest concern. Turning on the TV brings visions of things we would never dream of, music videos have taken over the regular radio stations of yesterday. One of the biggest fears can come from the family computer. Logging on brings our children into a world that fills parents with fear. Predators are no longer only on the street corner, but now they hide behind the kind 13 yr old our daughters think they are talking to on the computer.
When our kids are little we worry that they will be taken from us when we are out in public. They tend to wander away and explore this new world they are being brought into. When they reach school age and even when they become teenagers, our fear does not stop. They may not wander away anymore, but the potential danger is still very real. Being part of their lives can make a big difference in the choices they make. Now there are computers, DVDís, CDís, video games, countless after school activities, and the ever-popular friendís ëcool parentsí, who lets them, do whatever they want. When our children begin to walk and talk, we are able to watch over them by putting them in a stroller or using the controversial wrist strap or harness. But when they reach school age and start to become independent those ideas from the toddler yearís no longer work.
The 'tween and teen years bring a whole new set of challenges for parents. We want to be part of their lives, yet not invade their world, completely. We want to protect and guide without intruding. One of the best things we can do is open our home to their friends. The milk and cookies of years gone by may have been replaced with chips and soda, but the idea is the same. Having that open door gives them the opportunity to spend time with their friends; letís us meet their friends and keep a distant eye at the same time. I don't know how many times weíve been kept up at night to the sound of teenage girls laughing and giggling in the living room. Weíve had family members and friends who have told us we are crazy to allow so many kids in our house. My answer to them is, I know where my girls are, I know who their friends are and they are safe. I don't even want to consider the alternative.
Letting go is never easy. From the day they are born we want to do everything possible to protect them and make sure they are ready for the world that they will one day enter as adults. They may not always understand what we are saying or what we do, we can only hope that when they are on their own they will know that it is our way of showing that we love them and want only the best for them. When they have children of their own, theyíll understand.