Last month, many of us watched the saga of Abbie Sunderland unfold: a 16-year-old girl who attempted to sail around the world by herself. During an intense storm, she lost contact and had to be rescued. Now that Abbie is safely back with her family, many are beginning to question her parents' decision to allow their daughter to engage in such a dangerous excursion. Some are critical of her parents, saying that they were too lenient (or perhaps even encouraged her aspirations). In defense of the public outcry, Abby said, "I think a lot of people are judging me by the standards they have for their teens. They don’t understand that I’ve sailed my whole life and I do know what I’m doing out there."
What is your take? If your child was passionate about something that involved risk, would you encourage it? Is what Abby did any different than a child who does motorcross or a similarly dangerous sport? Do you try to steer your children away from potentially dangerous hobbies? Do you think the Sunderlands should have allowed their daughter to sail around the world at her age? What would you have done?