Giving Tween Daughter More Independence

Diane - posted on 04/16/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My tween daughter is wanting to ride her bike and "roam" the neighborhood with her friends. Our neighborhood is huge and spread out. I am really having a hard time giving her more independence and letting her go even if it's with a bunch of her friends. Not because of her but because of others out there that I just don't trust! She is pretty responsible and I believe we had taught her well enough to know the dangers and the rights and wrongs. I don't like the idea of her having her own cell phone just yet, although the times I did relent and allow her to go, she took one of ours and did pretty good checking in (most of her friends have cells phones too). How do I get over this or should I stick with my overly cautious behavior?

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Julie - posted on 06/13/2011

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the thing with us mothers is we are born worriers and think every man and his dog are out to get our precious kids. we need to learn to relax a little. you could get your daughter a pay as you go phone so you can monitor the money she uses and some networks give free texts and calls when you top up. i let my kids go out and yes i worried while they were gone but they need to have some independance so they can grow and learn to be a bit more street savvy. confining them doesnt do them any favours in the long run. set a curfew time and make sure she either has a watch on or keeps checking the time on the phone. if you feel at all anxious drop her a text or call especialy a few mninutes before she is due home to give her a gentle nudge to be home on time. when she gets in start a conversation about what everyone has been up to that day and where they have been. if everyone talks then she won't realise you are actualy asking what she has been up to and checking on her. if you hear something you dont like dont freak just calmly explain why you dont like it and tell her the right way. one thing i learnt was dont be a pushy mum just be there with the advise and help and a shoulder to cry on that way our kids feel more grown up and we still get to talk to them. my son still comes crying to me when the latest girlfriend has dumped him or he needs to moan. he will be 23 this year my daughter just turned 21 and she always spends time with me. if we learn to guide our kids rather than smother them they will grow up to be well balanced good kids we just need to learn to let go now and again.

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