My friend has 4 children - one of whom is a teenager. She asked the other day:
At what age does your teen have to be to be able to:
-hang out at the mall by themselves (or "by themselves" where they roam the mall and mom or dad sits in the coffee shop)
-go to a movie by themselves
-go to the store by themselves
-just hang out
-go to a friend's house who's parents you have not met
What other things do you do to foster their growth as almost-adult people? I mean, we obviously give them responsibilities around the house as far as chores and helping out the family (babysitting, etc.). But what things can we do to let them start to branch out on their own, make their own decisions, trust that they will make the right choices?
Those who don't have teens, but remember being a teen...what were some things your parents did to foster responsibility while letting you be your own person? were they too lenient or too strict? What would you have had them do differently?
Very tough questions in today's society. I'm in a bit of a quandry as well, though Princess Trouble isn't even 7 yet.
At what age should I allow her to spend the night at a friend's house? (she never has - only with family. She's not keen on the idea of sleeping at anyone else's house either but she loves to have friends spend the night with her. I was the same way. I HATED spending the night at other people's houses.)
At what age should she be able to walk to school (it's about a mile with 1 very busy street to cross)?
At what age should she be able to make toast? Microwave something? Cook Mac and Cheese out of the box? Etc.
At what age should she be able to ride her bike around the block by herself?
All of this is complicated by the fact that her 4 year old brother is her sidekick and any decision I make has to take him into consideration.