Free-Range Kids and the Parental Compass

Constant supervision thwarts a child’s ability to develop important qualities such as resourcefulness, self-awareness, and perseverance. But independence with a strong inner compass, a compass that is oriented toward the safety and trustworthiness of healthy family relationships, helps children eventually carry that attached compass away from home and eventually calibrate it for themselves.
That is the trap of busyness: believing that the busyness itself is what matters, instead of placing all our work and all our rest at the feet of our maker. That is the trap that the addiction to busyness in our culture lays for us. That is the trap that we ought to resist.
There is no shortage of opinions on how to manage the ubiquity of technology. Every parent will have his or her own opinion on these matters. But there is one key, frankly very uncomfortable, factor without which even the best of such ideas are sure to fail our kids: that at least in part, responsible technology use is caught, not taught. The modeling parents offer matters a great deal. And we do not always model well.