So today marks the completion of our oldest daughter's first session of driver's training. Along with this milestone comes a lot of fears, concerns, and uncertainties.
These are common concerns for most parents at different stages of raising our children.
Many of us simply want to keep our children safe. Many fears arise when our children begin to expand their boundaries and venture out from our homes.
At first it's daycare or school. Then it's overnights at friends. Maybe there is a week at camp at some point.
My wife and I have successfully maneuvered all of these transitions as our girls have grown.
But now! This is different! The eventuality of her driving out of the driveway is impending. Trust me... it's a very scary place to be.
The scary part is that I cannot control her or the situation to ensure her safety.
Now, there are many ways that my wife and I can choose to respond. However not all of those choice will get us where we want to be in our relationship with our daughter.
At some point we have to trust that we have done well in raising her. As well as trust her that she will make good choices. This is done with the understanding that at some point she will make a poor choice.
Here is the point. As parents at some point we need to give our children freedom. If we continue to force our children to have "small lives" eventually they will rebel against us.
Giving our children the appropriate amount of freedom with the appropriate boundaries helps them to become responsible adults and that should be one of our main goals as parents.