Simply by questioning whether it really makes sense never to let our kids out of our sight, always to protect them from germs, jerks, sports injuries, sports disappointments, stress, sunburn, salmonella, skinned shins, and every other possible if teeny-tiny risk, I became, to my shock, the face of a new movement: the Free-Range Movement

But the whole new thinking about happiness (and maturity) is that these qualities come from actually doing things. Creating. Exploring. Being independent. The catch phrase is self-mastery, and you’ll note that this term and self-confidence and self-esteem all start with self, not parent-assisted. So now that’s my goal, and perhaps yours, too: to teach the kids what to do and then stop assisting quite so much. After all, we can’t do everything for them forever. Raising happy, responsible, independent young people is parenting’s goal.