RE: "Stolen Experiences:" The Trap of Doing Things Other People's Way!
As a daughter of a highly controlling and judgmental father, who expected his wife to enforce his rules on their five children, I turned out so goddamn wishy washy I was ashamed I didn't have any opinions of my own. My kids did whatever they wanted to, at home and at school. They have all turned out to be solid adult individuals with compassion and abilities to think for themselves. They can express their feelings. They can forge their own paths.
This nonsense that children need to be "guided" every step of the way is just that - nonsense. Let them figure out right from wrong by the effects and feelings their actions produce.
If I could do one thing differently, I would not have sent them to school, where control by pedantic, self-righteous and controlling teachers, administrations and governmental dictates does terrible damage to our children.
I let my kids play in poison ivy, after I pointed out the danger. I let them climb trees after explaining the possible problems. I did not punish them for their mistakes. Since we didn't have electronics, I didn't limit screen time. They went to bed when they were tired and ate as much candy as they wanted to. Funny thing is, they took themselves off to bed at reasonable hours, they didn't eat much candy because they figured out that too much made them sick, and they all can identify poison ivy.
A lot of people disagreed with me. They thought I wasn't setting enough "limits". Today, I can say that I am much closer to my children than they are, and that their grown children are no better or happier than mine.
To get back to you post, my regrets in life almost all involve my listening to someone who was supposed to know more than I did, and ignoring the red flags and misgivings I had at those times that I ignored.
Follow your own heart, not someone else's.