In his blog post, Jonathan McKee explains an experiment he and his wife performed on their teenager. He writes:
Our theory was basically this: Start strict, and loosen up as our kids get older, eventually freeing them from all boundaries by age 17½.
Guess how it went… not bad! In fact, it allowed their daughter to begin a deeper relationship with them. Their idea was that at age 18 she can do whatever she wants. The figured they may as well let her start doing that at 17½ so that they would still have some influence before she left the house.
Discussions with us were no longer about trying to convince us to give her permission—she already had that. Now conversations were about what she was learning from her decisions, good and bad.
She began talking with us about decisions even more. When she wanted to drive over 2 hours to San Francisco with her friends (the furthest she had ever driven), she wanted to know all about traffic, directions and safety. Not because we made her, but because we were “safe” to talk with.
Genius parenting! Now when she leaves for college, she may stay in touch. I’d encourage you to read the whole article.
What do you think? Want to try this out when your son or daughter hits 17½?