Freedom

Freedom. 

The final cry of William Wallace in Braveheart.
A song by Rage Against the Machine about an injustice to a Native American.

What every boy needs to find his passions and develop his soul.

Treeboy When I reflect on my youth, I often remember the days spent running wild through the neighborhood with my friends. We would leave at 9:00AM and not return sometimes until before supper. These days, you would have a specialist at your door if you left your kids unattended for this long. But, in the 80's, this was the SOP. 

We spent our days exploring the world, having makeshift gun battles with our rivals "The Green Fort" and climbing trees while living dangerously.

These days, I don't see many kids being allowed the freedom to roam and explore.  Even in their own neighborhood, parents are always right behind them, never letting them do anything too dangerous. 

Then there is the ultra extreme parents, who keep their kids locked inside.  They can never jump on the trampoline, never ride their bike off a ramp and aren't allowed out of their yard if they do come out. 

I understand that these parents are well meaning and are probably thinking of their children's safety but what message are they sending to their children? 

You can't be trusted
The world is dangerous
Don't take risks

I often site the research done by Dr. Thomas Stanley on the countries most financially productive people, one of the top 5 traits of these people is risk taking.

Call me crazy but I believe that kids, especially boys, need to be allowed the freedom to run and explore once they hit around the age of 8-9. They need to climb trees, hunt "jaguars" in the field, and explore the boundaries beyond the local block. 

However, this is not the 80's and we do keep an "electronic leash" on our kids. We give them a small 2 way radio, that way Mom and Dad can call and check on them at any time.Mudkids

Allowing my children the freedom to explore and play unsupervised creates a field test in the real world of Legacy Dad.  As I have said in the past, I not only want my kids to display great character traits when I am present, more so, I want them to display great character traits when I am not present.  This is crucial because soon in life, I will not be there and then it is them and the world and they will make the choice.

At least if they make a poor decision now, they can always run home and I will hear about it.

I encourage my kids to overcome their fears, push the boundaries a little and take a few risks.  They are young, they will make mistakes and sometimes they may get some bumps and bruises. But, I would rather deal with a skinned up knee or a bloody nose now than having to deal with a wounded heart later in life or a 20 something that is out of control because it is the first time mom and dad let the reigns go.

Just some thoughts?