Sunday, April 27, 2008

Free Range Parenting.

I must confess, I have not posted in awhile. But starting to get the itch, and there is just too much good stuff happening in the world relating to young men, and this one pulled me in. Again.

I heard the phrase, "helicopter parenting" for the first time from my father-in-law who is the admission director for a christian school. But the idea is that parents will not let their kids grow up, make decisions, have a life of their own. really be their own person. They are there. Always. keeping Tommy from getting a bruise. I wish that was the worst of it. But nevertheless, we do live in a climate of over-mothering, and under-fathering. And with that, comes mom staying close. And boys not breaking into their father's world, or a man's world.

This story came out of New York. A mother who allowed her 9 year old son to take the subway alone. After a trip to Macy's, she gives her son $20, a subway ticket, and a map. It created all kinds of controversy. Saying its child abuse. I am sure we could argue about what would be the right age for a mother to let her son go it alone. But what I love is the conversation from it. I have a good friend, Sam Jolman, who talks about a mothers role in our development as a man. How it is meant to go. And how it goes wrong. And how often, our mothers are the ones who wont let us grow up, find our independence, and feel the weight of the world.

From that, and this story, I really love the debate. A mother must let her son go. When is a good question, but I love her risk with her son. She has a blog going called Free Range Parenting.

This is the video from Goodmorning America.