Two weeks ago, we drove to the Las Vegas airport with our 15–year old daughter. We went inside and escorted her to security. We made sure she made her way through security before leaving.
Our daughter was on her way to Dallas to visit her boyfriend.
Were we worried she’d be safe?
What if she made unwise decisions?
What if she didn’t have fun?
I thought about these and other concerns parents have about their children. My spouse and I spoke about them together and with our daughter. We confirmed the details of her trip and knew she’d be taken care of while in Dallas so we decided she was mature enough to make the trip.
Above all else, it comes down to this: We trust our daughter.
She makes wise decisions regarding her free time, her schooling, and her friends. She has a track record of making wise decisions. That could change, and I’m sure she’ll have ups and downs. But we are trying to raise our children to make most of their own decisions.
I grew up in a church where many decisions were already made for me. It’s easy to offload a good chunk of parenting to the church without giving it much thought. I believe my parents assumed the church would teach me about a number of important topics ranging from alcohol to sex.
My parents and the church were in total agreement so whatever I was told at church was an extension of their rules. My spouse and I are not raising our kids in a church which means we need to have these conversations with our kids instead of assuming it’s happening elsewhere.
I am certain that we will make mistakes. We were both raised in an orthodox religion so it’s been both a challenge and relief to learn as we go. I believe that our children will be better off in the end.
As for the trip to Dallas? Our daughter returned home safe and sound. The only problem? She’s ready to go again!