This was written when it happened. Holly Dodd (born in 1991) was twelve years old, and I read her something a mom had written.

Holly's expressions of surprise and disbelief

-=-If my kids had their way, they'd go barefoot outside of their own yard, run in the street between cars, never take baths, never eat their veggies and instead opt for chocolate cake every meal, mistreat animals, burn down the house playing with matches, never go to bed, never brush their teeth, etc. -=-

I read that to Holly and she was speechless. Seriously mouth-open disbelief. Then she asked "WHY would they burn the house down with matches?"

"The only reason her house is not burned down is because she has a rule against playing with matches."

"So she can't even say 'You can play with matches but only in the front driveway'?"


"So they'll never go to bed because they'll never get tired unless she tells them they're tired?"

She asked me to read it to her again. I did. She looked at it and looked at me and said with more feeling, "Why the hell would they run between cars in the street!?"

[back to the dire things that children will do if parents let them]

Holly Dodd is twelve years old, and has gone barefoot AND decided to wear shoes on thousands of occasions, depending on the circumstances.

Holly has never run in the street between cars.

She takes lots of baths and always has.

Holly loves lots of vegetables (especially spinach, carrots, artichokes, avocados which she says are actually a fruit, but they're green), but there are no veggies that are "her veggies." We don't assign her veggies or require veggie-eating of her. Never have. Holly doesn't really like chocolate cake much at all.

She has never mistreated an animal in her life.

She has played with matches but has never burned anything that she shouldn't have or that she didn't mean to. She's good at building fires in the fireplace. That's a good life skill.

Holly has gone to bed every night her whole life, except two nights when she took a nap early and then got up at midnight to stay awake with a friend who was supposed to be awake all night for medical tests in the morning.

Holly brushes her teeth, and since she got braces she has been flossing quite a bit, and she wanted to get a Water Pik so we got her one.

Holly is not an exception. LOTS of kids whose parents respect them and allow them to make choices make good choices!

Sandra Dodd
Holly's mom

More Holly Dodd