Letting your child spread his wings

Cessna 150 on a summer's day
Our oldest son, 12, knows that we're not in favour of cars and driving and that he shouldn't even think about driving a car until he's an adult. But we let him go up in one of these and take the controls just last week.

I still can’t believe it.

The instructor forgot to bring a seat cushion, so my son had to fly using instruments only. “You’re a natural”, he was told when they got back to the ground. Turns out being able to see over the dashboard is overrated!

He can’t qualify for a license until he’s 14, but he’s keen to get in as much flying time as he can before then and has the official flight manual by his bed. Nothing new there; this kid had read the Official Driver’s Handbook front to back several times when he was nine.

This passion of his has stepped up the kind of parental concerns that my husband and I were expecting to have at this age and stage, and also thrown in some huge complexity around the environment and our take on vehicles that require fossil fuels. But, we’ve decided that we need to support his aspirations and we’re feeling surprisingly lighthearted about it at the moment.

Young boy and his flight instructor
Back on the ground after a 40-minute flight which included some time in the airspace above the Parliament Buildings. Talk about getting comfortable with letting your kids roam.

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