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The best thing that parents can do for their children is to allow them to do things for...

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phanpal999 | Student, Grade 8 | Salutatorian

Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM via web

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The best thing that parents can do for their children is to allow them to do things for themselves, to allow them to experience life on their own terms.Do you agree?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:55 PM (Answer #1)

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Depending on your exact definition of “experience life on their own terms,” I do definitely agree with this statement, particularly as children get older.  I am a firm believer in the idea that “helicopter parents” are not doing their children any favors.

I do not agree with the idea of simply letting children run free without any rules.  If this is what is meant by “experience life on their own terms,” I do not agree with it.  However, if we are talking about giving children a great deal of independence to make their own mistakes, I am all in favor.

As one example, I have never set a bed time for my children.  I have set a time that they must be in their rooms, but I have never told them to turn the light off and go to sleep at any given time.  I believe in letting them figure out for themselves what they need to do.  I believe that they learn self-discipline in that way.  The same thing goes for their homework.  I will not look over their shoulder as they do their homework or make them let me see it before they turn it in.  If they do a good job, that is great.  But I want them to be the ones who drive themselves to do so.  I will express disappointment if they do not do well, but I will not check up on them. 

I believe this statement is true because letting kids do things on their own gives them the self-discipline and self-confidence to know that they can go out in the world and take care of themselves. 

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