Great Survey: Parents, Give Us Freedom!

By Oscar Wolfe
Free at last!

I wish I could just go into the kitchen and take a snack instead of having to ask my parents. They’re always saying that I’m a picky eater who only eats sugar and salt. Maybe if they would let me pick my own foods, when I want them, I’d broaden my horizons. How do parents decide when kids should get freedom? Here’s one freedom I recently got: I’ve been asking for ages to ride my bike around the neighborhood by myself. Finally, this summer, after taking my little brother Ezra for a few rides, my wish was granted. I’m not the only kid who wants more freedom. I asked a bunch of classmates, and friends from around the country:

What is one freedom you think you’re ready for, but your parents won’t let you have?

Here are the kids’ answers. Parents, we’re waiting for your responses!

Walk Home Alone
My school is at maximum 5 minutes away from my home by walk. Mostly using streets that are rarely busy, except for one. Even though this is mainly safe, my mom is still afraid of me crossing the road on my own, even though I am a careful and logical boy. I have friends who would walk home alone even in elementary school, even if their homes were over 10 minutes away and were on somewhat busy streets. All I want is to walk home on my own. I think I’m old enough and careful, most importantly because on some days I have to wait over an hour so my mom can come and pick me up. I even have friends who take the same path as me. I want to walk on my own but I guess it’s for the best so I don’t worry my mom. But it would still be nice to walk home. Daniel, 11

Later Bedtime
I wish I could go to bed later because I have had the same bedtime since like third or fourth grade. And, I do all my responsibilities in school and my homework. So I should have more time to do free time before bed. Bernadette, 11

Instagram Privileges
The age level/category for Instagram is “teen.” Since I am 12, my parents do not allow me to have Instagram. I think this is unfair because I am very mature. My account could be private, my parents could monitor me, and I would think before posting, commenting, etc. All of my friends have it, too. Avery, 12

Money Decisions
One freedom that I want is keeping my own money where I can access it at any time I want to. Right now I can’t do that because my parents have it in their possession. That makes me mad because that’s my money. I worked hard for that money. I got that money from gifts, chores, etc. So I wish I could keep my own money where I can always get it. Theo, 12

A Phone
I want phone to be able to text with my friends. My parents think I’ll abuse the privilege. Sammy, 10

Public Transportation
I would like to be able to hang out with my friends more after school and then take public transportation back by myself. I think that I’m responsible enough because I know the city (Chicago) pretty well so I know how to get home. I also have 2 guinea pigs that I think I’m taking pretty good care of. Jonah, 12

I think I should get an iPhone because I only have an iPod, and I think I’m mature enough to get an upgrade. Kylie, 11

TV Choices
One freedom I think I’m ready for is freedom to watch TV whenever I want. I want this freedom because I know to do schoolwork first and then watch TV. Ayse, 12

Go Places Alone
One freedom that I think I’m ready for, but my parents won’t let me have, is going somewhere with my friends without an adult. For example, if I want to spend the day skiing with my friends, with no adults there, my parents would not let me do that. I feel responsible enough to do this because I’ve been home alone many times before and I’ve even babysat my two little brothers! My parents’ rule will hopefully change sooner than later! Joe, 12

More Screen Time
I would like to have more electronic time. I have an iPhone, but I’m barely allowed to use it because my parents don’t think I’m responsible enough. I know that there’s a wrong and right time to use my phone. Sydney, 11

I hope that you enjoyed the first ever That is Great survey. Tell me if you have a great idea for another survey.

Update: parents respond!

That Is Great!

A kid's take on stuff that is great.

4 thoughts on “Great Survey: Parents, Give Us Freedom!

  1. Awesome post Oscar! As a mom of 3, I loved to hear some of the survey responses. Parents don’t have all of the right answers either, but I do know we want our kids safe first. Sometimes we parent out of fear (of safety) for our kids. Sometimes we parent how WE were parented. We are learning just like kids are. I think the biggest thing between parents and kids is communication. Having an open, listening relationship can really make the difference. Feeling each side is being heard is really imperative. Most of all, parents want to see their kids happy 🙂 Keep doing the great work you are doing. My son and I do read your blog as it opens up great talking points between us. Thank you! -Jen


  2. I think there is a time and place for electronics. In our household, the focus is on education and performing the best you can as a student, daughter and friend. Electronics are looked upon as a privilege and not so much a right. As parents, we were at the age where we wanted to do what interested us.. sometimes in excess. We believe that it’s our job to help moderate and strike a balance between having fun, indulging in electronics, and being the best “you” you can be, both inside and out of the classroom and at home. Responsibility is an on-going process that has to be earned on a consistent basis. Like anything else, if you have a track record of consistency or show continued dedication and focus to the areas that will help you continue to grow and develop, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to more often enjoy those privileges that are important to you as well.


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