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comment by edricarica

Like b_b I grew up with a hippie parent (my mother) who let me make my own decisions and treated me like a grown-up. In my case, though, this was the only parent I had.

I try not to regret anything or re-write the past. But. I do sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I'd had a little more helicopter parenting.

I never had a bedtime. Schedules were extremely vague (there were never set mealtimes, laundry and cleaning were sporadic). No-one ever made sure I did my homework. If I didn't want to go to school, that was my prerogative. From the age of 8 I was allowed out on my own (in London) with a (unenforced) curfew of 9pm. By the time I was thirteen, it was midnight (also unenforced).

While this taught me some useful skills, there were knock-on effects. I missed some school, which in turn made me miss even more school. I spent my early teen years in nightclubs full of people twice my age (and it was the '90s, they had recreational drugs). I was shy, and young. I wasn't good at saying "no" confidently.

By the time I was 18 I'd been in rehab-type programmes three times: once for substance abuse, once for anorexia nervosa, once for depression.

I can't blame a lack of helicopter parenting for any of this. It was me making those poor decisions, me being lazy at times and weak at others. But still, sometimes I wonder what I could have achieved if I'd had a bit more discipline in childhood.