What kind of parent are you / would you be? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of parent are you / would you be?


Partner and I had a casual discussion about what boundaries we'd allow potential kids, and to my surprise, he is a lot more helicopter-parent than I expected.

He wouldn't allow his kid to go to a mall alone when they're 12! He thinks it's too young and risky for predators.

I think I'd be a lot more laissez-faire as long as the offspring aren't intellectually/physically disabled, and are reasonably clever children (as we were at that age)... I know the world is different now, but isn't it worse to make your kids feel afraid of the world? I feel like giving autonomy and showing trust early helps their self-confidence and in developing their own identity.

Partner disagrees, and says how would I feel if my child was kidnapped or harassed by a creep. They may be okay on their own 99% of the time, but that potential 1% would change everything.

What age would you allow your kid to go shopping on their own? Walk to school alone? Have a sleepover? Have a part time job? Travel without you within the country or internationally?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 03:46 PM
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Bad, I'd let them drink beer & go to a strip club when they were 5... : /






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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:22 PM
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I feel like these are hard things to really answer until you're a parent and you know your kids and their personality. But I'll give it a go...

What age would you allow your kid to go shopping on their own?

I'd probably let them go with friends after 14-15 years old. Maybe 16+ for going on their own. If they're younger than 14 I'd want to be in the same vicinity lol

Walk to school alone?

From the house? No, I wouldn't. There's no need. Idk I've never lived walking distance to school lol

Have a sleepover?

I'm not a fan of sleepovers.

Have a part time job?

I don't think it's necessary, but if they wanted one, after 15.

Travel without you within the country or internationally?

Um... if they weren't staying with family. I say 18. If they're staying with family (and being picked up by family at the airport) it could be as early as 12.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:24 PM
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Probably not a very good one. I do not want my kids to inherit my mental health issues.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:30 PM
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Probably not a very good one. I do not want my kids to inherit my mental health issues.
Recently, I'm actually thinking I wouldn't mind making some more screwed up people to throw into the freakshow






And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:40 PM
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I feel like these are hard things to really answer until you're a parent and you know your kids and their personality. But I'll give it a go...
You've really thought this through : /






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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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@aqwsderf

Thanks for your thoughts on this... I didn't realize going to the mall would be a worrisome thing. 12-13 years old is seventh grade, which I remember being mature enough to shop alone (as long as it wasn't too far away or off the beaten path).
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:58 PM
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@aqwsderf

Thanks for your thoughts on this... I didn't realize going to the mall would be a worrisome thing. 12-13 years old is seventh grade, which I remember being mature enough to shop alone (as long as it wasn't too far away or off the beaten path).
Depends where you live too, right? Big city vs small town. How's the crime in your area... Etc
More factors than just age would come in to play
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:59 PM
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You've really thought this through : /
Lol 5 mins of thinking
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:07 PM
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Lol 5 mins of thinking
&#x1f62e;






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A poor player that strut's and fret's his hour upon the stage and is heard no more,
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:10 PM
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mm if i were to be a parent, i'd be relatively paws off. i'd start allowing/encouraging independence early.

these things all depend on the neighbourhood and culture of where i end up tho. in my current environment, shopping by themselves, 8-9; at a complex tho, ~11. walking to school, 6-8. sleepovers, 6. parttime job, 14-15. travel with/to someone responsible/trusted, honestly 4-6. completely independent travel, 16.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:28 PM
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Shopping alone like 13, but they gotta bring me the receipts.

Walking to school alone (like 1/4 mile) once middle school started. (11/12)

Sleepover would be middle school as well (11/12)

Part time job whenever they were eligible and wanted (16 or so)

Travel without me internationally would be once they graduated HS (1

The world is not my home. I'm just passing through.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:33 PM
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I'd be the kind of parent without kids.

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:37 PM
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I'd be the kind of parent without kids.
Protecting them so much by not making them have to exist is the ultimate version of parenthood.






And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death
Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow,
A poor player that strut's and fret's his hour upon the stage and is heard no more,
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
- Macbeth
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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mm if i were to be a parent, i'd be relatively paws off. i'd start allowing/encouraging independence early.

these things all depend on the neighbourhood and culture of where i end up tho. in my current environment, shopping by themselves, 8-9; at a complex tho, ~11. walking to school, 6-8. sleepovers, 6. parttime job, 14-15. travel with/to someone responsible/trusted, honestly 4-6. completely independent travel, 16.
Yeah, agreed. Being overly protective affects the kid's sense of self-efficacy. I feel like it breeds a lot of the anxiety that people on SAS tend to suffer from as well - this was definitely the case for me. My relatives made me feel incompetent and it was a struggle to grow out of that frame of mind.

This article is the opinion of a mother who raised two CEOs and a doctor (leadership roles), and it supports this mindset of giving autonomy to children as early as reasonably possible. Not that I expect mine to be CEOs and doctors, but I want them to be confident in themselves.

But as mentioned in the thread, it does depend on the individual kid's maturity level and environment.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 01:22 AM
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Not really answering the question but I'm 29 and I'm pretty sure I went to the shopping centre with other kids at around age 10/11 but I guess that's not the same as going completely alone, don't remember the first time I did that.

I live in a pretty dangerous area I mean it could be a lot worse globally speaking but for the country I live in (a few years ago some teenagers had a fight with machetes in the local shopping centre during the daytime, and another teenager was stabbed repeatedly near the bottom of my back garden last summer. Many other shootings/stabbings as well. Usually teenagers.) So if I was ever in a position to have kids (which I won't be,) it definitely wouldn't be here and your location definitely effects things.

International is interesting because I think a lot of students here in high school will go on trips to other European countries with their school (I did when I was 14 and we were also allowed to wander around areas alone and then just meet back later lol.) I think maybe we had to give them a mobile number? But I can't remember now. Actually it was weird how much independence we had I forgot but I'm pretty sure students were in charge of buying our own food and picking where to buy it from...

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 01:35 AM
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Protecting them so much by not making them have to exist is the ultimate version of parenthood.
Yes, and it's not even a joke. I always think of that poem by Larkin that goes:
They **** you up, your mum and dad / they may not mean to, but they do

But to answer the question, I have no idea. I guess I'd explain the risks and benefits to the kid in the simplest language I can and then ask what he/she thinks? Then we'd probably go with that.

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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 01:44 AM
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Hmmm. I walked to school alone at age 9 and also would walk a few blocks to go to the local store to buy candy by myself. And this was in LA. We lived on Venice Boulevard, LOL. Not the safest, most savory area, especially not in the 80s and 90s.

I was taking the public bus alone from age 13 or so (in Long Beach, a rather ghetto area of LA). No one ever tried to kidnap me.

I really liked being a latchkey kid. I appreciated having the apartment to myself for a couple hours. So nice and quiet without the rest of them.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 01:47 AM
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I'm only interested in being a cat parent. Being a good cat parent means not subjecting my feline children to awful human children terrorizing them.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-05-2020, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by aqwsderf View Post
I feel like these are hard things to really answer until you're a parent and you know your kids and their personality. But I'll give it a go...

What age would you allow your kid to go shopping on their own?

I'd probably let them go with friends after 14-15 years old. Maybe 16+ for going on their own. If they're younger than 14 I'd want to be in the same vicinity lol

Walk to school alone?

From the house? No, I wouldn't. There's no need. Idk I've never lived walking distance to school lol

Have a sleepover?

I'm not a fan of sleepovers.

Have a part time job?

I don't think it's necessary, but if they wanted one, after 15.

Travel without you within the country or internationally?

Um... if they weren't staying with family. I say 18. If they're staying with family (and being picked up by family at the airport) it could be as early as 12.

My kids have started going over the park with their friends, or local shops so not far but I get edgy when I know they have done that.


Some of my daughters friends are allowed to pop into the city centre on the bus or train now. It may be just me but I think thats too young (they are 13).



I'm not going to like it at all to start with when they can do stuff like that or stay out after dark etc. Aaahhh

**** your feelings !!


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