I've had a great week with the kids but unfortunately the week ended tragically and made my own issues seem painfully irrelevant. I'm not exaggerating when saying the whole country is in chock over the murder of Engla, a 10-year old girl with her whole life in front of her. She was biking home alone when a middle aged man killed her. It may sound lame to have a whole country upset and crushed by a single murder but that's the priority we have on kids here. It's also how safe our society is. One murder of a child is a lot and thankfully only happens a few times a year.
Many have been moved by this terrible tragedy but I've also seen parents react in a mature, logical, and refreshing way. Last week, the case of Lenora caused discussion around the world. You might remember, her 9-year wanted to get home by himself so she left him at Bloomingdales. Alone. In New York City. Overprotective parents called it child abuse but many applauded her parenting style.
When something tragic happens, the normal reaction is to become panicked by irrational fear. One might have thought parents in Sweden would panic and not let their children out alone any longer. I'm so happy to see parents reacting the opposite way. Realizing this is an unbelievably tragic bu rare situation which is impossible to avoid when letting children live a free and fun life. I'm sure parents are giving their kids an extra hug but still let them bike home alone at an early age.
Swedish kids are early on given lots of trust to help them make logical and rational decisions. Other cultures and countries, like Latins and Americans, call this this irresponsibly and crazy. Child abuse is often mentioned and so is prison time. How dare we leave our kids alone for a single minute! All this complaints because we empower our children while their young
If our way of raising kids was so dangerous one might expect our children to be injured, killed, kidnapped, and raped often. It's an interesting fact that our crime rates are some of the lowest in the whole world despite all this freedom and "dangerous parental behavior". That should be a powerful wake up call for all parents who shelter and protect their kids from everyday life in some kind of bubble.
We can't protect our kids from everything. It would not be fun and it's not even possible. Our children are capable of a lot more than we think. Given them the chance to prove this while they're young might be one of the greatest life lessons a parent can provide. Don't miss this opportunity.
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