My mum and dad are over protective

Dear Suzie, I am 11 years of age and I’m not allowed to walk around the corner to the sweet shop with a friend my age, because my mum and dad are TOO over protective. How can I show them I am mature enough to walk round the corner?

By acting maturely. Make a good case. Explain you’d like join your friend but can understand their worry and ask how can the three of you work out something that satisfies them and pleases you.

They may say as far as they’re concerned keeping you indoors is the only way. Point out staying in bounds isn’t exactly good for your health. It’s scary for parents to have to let their kids grow up and pull away, but it’s necessary. How are you going to learn how to stand on your own two feet unless you begin now?

So break down exactly what worries them. The distance? Dangerous crossings? Fear of strangers snatching you? Offer to go through each objection calmly thinking up the ways you’d deal with each one.

You could ask your Mum to go with you a few times so you can practice and point out what you’d do and how you’d act.

Suggest to your parents that they go to Parentline Plus and join the message boards there to talk to other parents about how they deal with this. Make this a discussion, not an argument, and you may end up with a win-win situation – where everyone is satisfied.

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