As I promised in the part one, here is my attempt to help you out to be less over protective. May I remind you that a degree of protection is always necessary. It is the overprotection we are trying to control here.
Be reasonable. Is the activity truly that risky? Discuss with your child your worries. You will not believe how understanding children are and how open they would be to find a middle way that fits you and them. If your child of ten asks you to go abroad on his own, that is not reasonable, as is not driving your bike in dangerous streets.
Increased trust helps them develop their maturity. Treat your child as a child and he (or she) will remain a child. At some point children become young adults and they will appreciate your treating them adequately. They actually perceive childlike treatment as belittlement and they will return it with contempt.
Have fail safes in place. Provide the child with a mobile phone. Have an agreement with them to make contact. If it helps you, agree with your child to call every hour. Following your child can be tricky. Whilst I understand that seeing with your own eyes is usually key for you to relax, being caught by your child can enhance feelings on distrust which in turn can affect your relationship. If you are going for this option, advise your child that you can hold surprise visits!
Discuss with other parents. Most probably other parents share your tension. Speak with them and see how they dealt with the situation. You can even take this conversation up on the PARENTOPEDIA facebook page. The discussions there are great.
Discuss with your child. Openly communicate to your child your fears. It can help you to engage in a conversation which helps the child think of ways in which s/he can mitigate risks through appropriate behaviour.
Hope this helps. If you feel however that it is hard for you to get this right, visit our facebook page Willingness Malta to make an appointment with a professional who can help you.
– Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.