Me in a Tree

Archive for June, 2010


American teen Abby Sunderland’s dramatic end to her attempt to sail solo around the world has many people accusing her parents of irresponsibility. Although the elder Sunderlands told the Los Angeles Times that danger is everywhere, it’s a fact that many of us would never allow our children on the high seas alone. But whether we agree with the Sunderland’s decision or not, we have to admit that 16-year-old Abby has responsibility down pat. What can we learn from the Sunderland family that might help us raise the same kind of super-responsible kid?

I don’t know Abby Sunderland or her family. But we can use what we do know to deduce a few things that may have contributed to this young woman’s ability to be responsible.
Here are some things I plan to keep in mind for my kids:


How do you find balance? Sometimes you have to drop something, like that friend who takes too much of your time. Sometimes you have to add something, like a babysitter one afternoon a week. And sometimes you just have to look at things differently.

An example: my son’s school asked me to put him on the school bus instead of driving him (By filling that bus, they could add another route to an under-serviced part of the city.) I hated having to devote 1.5 to 2 hours each day driving to school and back. Traffic was often terrible. I was always fighting to get back to my work. It was such a waste of time and one more thing I had to juggle my freelance work around.

Bussing was the perfect solution and would give me some much-needed balance.

But wait!