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My daughter feels very frustrated...

Mark,

My 12-year-old ODD daughter is at a school where groups of kids get dropped off at the mall to go to the movies, or just roam around, and then picked up by a parent a few hours later.

My husband does not want her to be able to go and do this with friends, and I am unsure as to whether to let her do this. It seems that many parents are letting their kids do this, and in this day and age I'm not sure how safe/unsafe this is.

My daughter feels very frustrated and "micromanaged" by her father and I, and is feeling that our over protectiveness is prohibiting her from having a normal social life with her friends.

What do you think?

B.

___________________


Great question B.,

As you may know from reading my eBook, “self-reliance” is key. So, whenever you and/or your husband are undecided about what to do, you should ask yourself the question: “Will the decision I’m about to make promote or inhibit the development of self-reliance.”

If your decision will promote self-reliance, then go ahead with the decision. If not, then don’t.

Thus, I believe you will be promoting self-reliance in your daughter by allowing her to develop social skills in the form of going with peers to the Mall. This also provides a testing ground for her to make good or bad choices (more self-reliance promotion).

“Over-protectiveness” is another form of “over-indulgence.” And as you may have read in the eBook, over-indulgence is the cancer that contributes to emotional and behavioral problems in our kids – the #1 contributor!

The four methods of over-indulgence are:
  1. Giving the child too much stuff (materialism)
  2. Giving the child too much freedom (activity-ism)
  3. Over-nurturing (i.e., parent provides too much assistance or protection)
  4. Soft structure (e.g., lax rules, no chores, no family activities)

In the spirit of fostering the development of self-reliance, your daughter should EARN her trips to the Mall. To allow her to go without “earning” her trip is synonymous with giving her a free “hand-out” of freedom. And as you may have read in the eBook, free handouts create (a) disrespect, (b) resentment, (c) a sense of entitlement, (d) dependency, and (e) a strong desire for more and more free handouts.

For example, she might be able to do a few chores in anticipation of an upcoming trip to the Mall. Also, you could require her “check-in” via landline or cell phone at hourly intervals while she is away. And you could require her to be home by a specific time.

Again, great question.

I hope this helps in your decision-making,

Mark

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