At times I question my own judgement and write it off as this is what a parent should do but at the same time acknowledge that perhaps I take it to the extreme. When all is said and done I’m left wondering if I cause more harm than good.

While I am projecting my own experience onto them, at the same time I can’t help but to feel in that moment that I will keep my family safe no matter what. When my children were young and we lived in a city with a homicide rate at an average of 400 per year (population 180,000), they thought I was nuts for instilling the buddy system and not allowing them to go out after dark.

This has been on my mind lately as she and I have a tendency to butt heads. It feels we have been doing so more and more as time goes by and she grows older. I sat her down and explained to her why it’s so important for me to keep her safe, why it’s my responsibility, my role as a parent. Her age does not change the amount of love I feel for her or the extent I cherish her.

It felt good to write this essay and sort it out in my own head. It’s a challenge to determine what’s reality and what’s not when I have so many questioning my actions, but I remind myself that for me, the #1 goal is safety and I don’t need anyone else to agree with me.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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