How do you allow a child the freedom to fail and make mistakes while ensuring that they are learning from it. Just because a child refuses to conform does not make him/her a loser/problem/etc. Just because they are doing well now does not mean they will be like that for ever. You will never know when some one could blossom into a butterfly or have a humbling fall from grace. I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but I also don’t want to be reckless and harm my child’s life and/or wash my hands of what is definitely my responsibility.
Example 1: Suppose they are hanging out with the wrong crowd. Maybe this will teach them a good lesson in life because you never know when someone will come across a character who may have malicious intentions. Learning to deal with such people should be part of life. At the same time, I don’t want my kid to turn into a criminal, getting sucked into something into/witness acts of criminality. I want my kid to know when to draw the line and I would encourage them to have diverse friends from diverse backgrounds.
Example 2: Just because a child does not do well in studies does not mean they can't succeed (in the eyes of the society) at a later point in time. But I don’t want to ignore not doing well in studies because that might be a sign of delinquency and/or lead to criminal behavior. ( I am not saying that there are no educated criminals .. but you should get the idea).
My questions are : Is there a good heuristic/rule of thumb I can use to ensure that my child is not becoming a delinquent/threat to society and maybe lean on being somewhat productive in the eyes of society? I don’t mean that as an act of external validation, but we are social creatures and people's opinion of you matters to a certain degree.
How can I ensure that my love/affection for the child is not letting me see the reality of what they are becoming in case it is something problematic?
Preferably I would want to train my child (because that is my job) to be a self educated person who can handle the stress and surprises life has to offer and that means learning to deal with both success and failure, learning to deal with happiness and sadness.
I would prefer some scientific literature or books/resources based on such literature that doesn't put meaning into every single act/incident and/or overly blames/praises either the child/parent for what they have/will become.
There is only so much you can do after all right?