we have a 17 year old daugter she's the only child.Both me and my husband feels that she can't go out by herself,coz we so scared or the 'what if something happens ',but she says we are overprotective.Are we?


Jodi - posted on 07/07/2012




Yes, you are being over protective. The thing is, children need to be able to make some decisions on their own, and this involves them being in situations where they are on their own to do this. As hard as it is as parents, our kids need to learn to make good choices themselves, and the ONLY way they are going to be able to do this is to (1) hope that we have done our job as parents (and if we haven't done it by age 17, then its too late anyway, and (2) by sometimes allowing them to make a bad choice and just being there for them to fall back on and help them learn from it.

By not allowing your 17 year old to go out on her own, you are not only giving her the message that you don't trust her to make good choices for herself, you are also second guessing your own parenting. You need to have faith that you have raised her well. Yes, she WILL make some mistakes. Yes she WILL do some things you don't like. But that is the nature of being a teenager. Let her go a bit and allow her to figure out her place in life while you are still at home to be there for her when she needs you. Better she make her mistakes now, while she is living at home, than when she is on her own.

Firebird - posted on 07/07/2012




You don't let a 17 year old leave the house by herself? How do you expect her to be able function when she moves out on her own? I was allowed to leave the house alone when I was 6. Granted, I wasn't allowed to go any further than the park at the end of the street. By the time I was 17 I had gotten a job and moved to another province.


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Michelle - posted on 07/07/2012




I agree with the other ladies as well.

If we all lived our lives thinking about the "what if's" then we would never leave the house. You need to show your daughter that you trust her judgement because soon enough she will be leaving home. You want her to be able to look after herself when she does.

MeMe---Past And Present (-.-) - posted on 07/07/2012




I agree with the other ladies, here.

She is 17. Here in Canada 19 is the age of majority, with it being 18 in a couple Provinces. She needs to be able to learn things on her own, she won't be able to if you are breathing down her back, all the time. You are going to have to let go at some point, why not let her learn now, while you still have some say in what she does.

I agree with your daughter, she needs some freedom. She needs to be trusted to make the right choices, even if they are not what you or your husband would make. How will she grow if she doesn't get to do this?

Also, you need to have enough trust in your parenting. To believe you guys have done the best you can and have guided her in the right direction. Really, you have done what you can, it is time to let go, a bit.

Krista - posted on 07/07/2012




Yes, you are. It's reasonable to impose a curfew on her, and to request that when she's out, she sticks with her friends. But to not let her out by herself at all? Yikes. You're running the risk of her going completely out of control once she DOES get out from under your watchful eyes. It's better to let them have increasing doses of freedom as they're growing, so that they learn how to handle it. Otherwise, she'll go from no freedom at all, to complete freedom once she moves out, and may not know how to handle it.

It's natural to worry, but heck, I'm 37, and something could happen to me. So am I supposed to keep living with my parents for the rest of my life? Of course not!

Sarah - posted on 07/07/2012




She's 17 years old. You need to allow her the freedom to grow and mature into a woman. She practically is. Whether she is an only child or not is irrelevant. Having another child wouldn't ease your loss if you were to lose her. It's natural to worry about the safety of your children, but locking them up at home isn't protecting them, it's only going to have them resent you for sheltering her from experiencing life.

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