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Finally, The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting
Time Magazine ^ | November 20 2009 | Nancy Gibbs

Posted on 11/20/2009 7:21:50 PM PST by HokieMom

The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old's "pencil-holding deficiency," hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school, playground and practice field — "helicopter parents," teachers christened us, a phenomenon that spread to parents of all ages, races and regions. Stores began marketing stove-knob covers and "Kinderkords" (also known as leashes; they allow "three full feet of freedom for both you and your child") and Baby Kneepads (as if babies don't come prepadded).

The mayor of a Connecticut town agreed to chop down three hickory trees on one block after a woman worried that a stray nut might drop into her new swimming pool, where her nut-allergic grandson occasionally swam. A Texas school required parents wanting to help with the second-grade holiday party to have a background check first. Schools auctioned off the right to cut the carpool line and drop a child directly in front of the building — a spot that in other settings is known as handicapped parking.

(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: childhood; overparenting; parenting
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first 1-5051-61 next last
Bring back 'free range' childhoods! Foster independence, self-reliance, and resiliency.
1 posted on 11/20/2009 7:21:51 PM PST by HokieMom
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To: HokieMom

please. garbage.


2 posted on 11/20/2009 7:24:31 PM PST by GeronL
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To: HokieMom

Children are given more free reign now than ever before as far as I can tell.


3 posted on 11/20/2009 7:25:15 PM PST by GeronL
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To: GeronL

Kids are weinies nowadays.


4 posted on 11/20/2009 7:28:48 PM PST by goseminoles
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To: HokieMom

Geez louise. Maybe Nancy Gibbs and other parents do all that stuff but most of us didn’t get into all of that.


5 posted on 11/20/2009 7:29:14 PM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: GeronL

Maybe it depends on where you live. Where I live, I see lots of what the author refers to. Over-scheduling with very little time for childhood where children are able to have some responsibility for their decisions. A book came out a few years ago, The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, which started to turn the thinking around. Away from padded, bubble wrap childhoods and more about letting children take risks and learn something from their decisions.


6 posted on 11/20/2009 7:29:52 PM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: goseminoles

Because America is still pretty prosperous... give it a few years.. heh... they’ll be raisinf corn and chickens in the backyards for food.


7 posted on 11/20/2009 7:30:37 PM PST by GeronL
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To: HokieMom

Excellent. Now I can finally get pregnant!!!! YIPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL.


8 posted on 11/20/2009 7:31:10 PM PST by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Dilbert San Diego

Nancy Gibbs writes for Time. She’s obviously a liberal. Most conservatives don’t raise our children this way, but when you live in a blue or purple zone, you’re surrounded by it. Nice to see them coming around to our way of thinking.


10 posted on 11/20/2009 7:32:07 PM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom

or the age group. lol.


11 posted on 11/20/2009 7:32:21 PM PST by GeronL
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To: HokieMom

Foster a child’s — time alone to invent, freedom to make mud puddles, allow innovation to make toys from sticks, encourage a child’s to use his/her imagination, let a child ride imaginary horses, allow a kid to skin a knee or elbow... LEAVE THEM ALONE...

Helmets for kids riding bikes - disgusting !!! ... I rode a bicycle from age 5 to age 16 or beyond... ALL my friends did the same... we had unsafe bikes by today’s standards ‘coaster brakes’ for heavens sake.... YET not a single playmate I knew or even heard of had a serious injury in all those years. Today we have Stupid laws - stupid parents.


12 posted on 11/20/2009 7:35:50 PM PST by ICCtheWay
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To: GOP Poet

Please do! It’s your civic responsibility. America needs more FReeper children!


13 posted on 11/20/2009 7:35:56 PM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom; metmom

“Overparenting” is a farce - we NEED more quality parenting in our communities.


14 posted on 11/20/2009 7:36:36 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: GeronL

From the ages of about 10 through 16 or 17, I used to travel with my friends for miles and miles and stayed out (in the Summertime) playing Monopoly until nearly midnight. I and my friends made “forts” in the tall grasses of the empty areas next to the railroad tracks.

We produce plays that we would show to our folks, and charge a nickel to get in (even Mom!). Sheets on the clothesline made for a perfect curtain.

We would ride our bikes until well after dark and play tackle football at the schoolyard field. We decided what we wanted to do for play, and the TV was only scheduled for Friday Night Fright Night (with Seeeeeeeyymore). We would find bottles and buy a ton of candy and soda and turn the lights out and watch such classics as “Monster from the surf.”

Nowadays, it looks to me like the kids are bubble-wrapped at birth and scheduled to death until they grow up and are amazed that life doesn’t come pre-scheduled.

It doesn’t look to me like kids have much free reign. Yeah, they have computers in their rooms and the girls dress like tramps from age 10 on out, but kids are generally coddled, kowtowed to and protected.


15 posted on 11/20/2009 7:38:44 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: HokieMom

I agree with this article completely. I don’t think it’s garbage.


16 posted on 11/20/2009 7:39:57 PM PST by Shimmer1 (When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt)
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To: HokieMom

I’ve lived in blue states all my live.. I’ve neither lived nor seen what the author describes.. The media exaggerates social memes and then tears them down.

So some people overschedule their kids, suddenly we’re supposed to believe it’s commonplace, and then we’re supposed to believe there’s a backlash against this imagined phenomenon.. Maybe they just lack the wits to face a world with real problems, and then to do their jobs and write about them.


17 posted on 11/20/2009 7:40:19 PM PST by ivyleaguebrat
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To: HokieMom

I’ve lived in blue states all my life.. I’ve neither lived nor seen what the author describes.. The media exaggerates social memes and then tears them down.

So some people overschedule their kids, suddenly we’re supposed to believe it’s commonplace, and then we’re supposed to believe there’s a backlash against this imagined phenomenon.. Maybe they just lack the wits to face a world with real problems, and then to do their jobs and write about them.


18 posted on 11/20/2009 7:40:32 PM PST by ivyleaguebrat
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To: HokieMom

I had six younger brothers and sisters. My parents didn’t “overparent”.

Me, I’m planning to use lots of benign neglect. My seven month old likes to wiggle around on the floor and eat the dogs’ tails. It probably won’t kill her.


19 posted on 11/20/2009 7:40:57 PM PST by JenB
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To: GeronL

“Children are given more free reign now than ever before as far as I can tell.”

You’re either young, stupid, or plain flat dumb.

Naybe you’re all 3!!!!


20 posted on 11/20/2009 7:46:26 PM PST by dalereed
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To: HokieMom

Risk aversion. I see parents get so riled up if they kid does not do well in class or if they do no get into the cheerleading team or the college they want to go. This has been a problem for centuries, especially among the elites. It is exacerbated by cell phones. Also, there is the scare of kidnappings, child predators, and poisoned candy.

Most kidnappings are committed by parents in bitter divorce case or a relative or friend. Most victims of molestation know their molester. The poisoned candy was because Ronald O’Bryan put cyanide in candy to kill his own children in a life insurance scam in 1974.


21 posted on 11/20/2009 7:46:33 PM PST by Ptarmigan (God Hates Bunnies. God Loves Ptarmigans)
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To: HokieMom

This is caused by too few children. When I was a boy, my mother had 6 kids to look after. It was nothing for us to take off in the woods behind the house without telling our mom and stay gone for hours. In the summer she would literally shoo us out of the house and tell us not to come back until we were hungry. We would walk a couple of miles in the summer to go swimming, catch crawdads, climb trees, and catch fish. I didn’t know we were poor until I was about 12.


22 posted on 11/20/2009 7:49:27 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The Second Amendment. Don't MAKE me use it.)
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To: HokieMom

‘free range’ childhoods

Can we have open season on predators first, so they can free range in safety, as we did?


23 posted on 11/20/2009 7:52:31 PM PST by WestwardHo (Whom the god would destroy, they first drive mad.)
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To: ICCtheWay

And those stick shifts rocked!


24 posted on 11/20/2009 7:53:16 PM PST by ebshumidors (vet, rifleman, 'nuff said.)
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To: ICCtheWay

It’s a tough thing. I always thought bicycle helmets were for weenies growing up.. But we know a lot more about head injury now than we did then. A fall off a bike can really be life-altering.

We also see predators around every corner, telling kids not to talk to anyone who doesn’t show them eight forms of government identification (as if that’s assuring!).. But then again, there are real dangers out there.

What is a parent to do? Parents of earlier generations did not have the terrorizing information bombarding them from every corner.

Forget the head injuries and predators, lets talk about the dangers of substandard education? What happens when you move into a less-than-the-top school district? What kind of fate are you consigning your child to? What if they don’t excel in Honors classes? Then they won’t do well in AP classes, and do you know how that will look to colleges? And if they don’t get into a good college then they won’t be ensured a good job or a spot at a top graduate program. And if they don’t get either of those, they might as well hop on a train and live a hobo’s life...

That’s the attitude that’s the real widespread problem, not the treehouse broadband or swing-set-phobia or “Kinderkords.”


25 posted on 11/20/2009 7:53:21 PM PST by ivyleaguebrat
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To: HokieMom

The left wants us all to be weak, both physically and emotionally so that we can be totally independent on the government.....


26 posted on 11/20/2009 7:55:27 PM PST by Awestruck (Now if we can only get the rest of the "republican" leaders to stand up to the liberals.)
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To: freedumb2003

I did the same as a kid but then if someone even thought about molesting he wouldn’t even make it to the cops. Now, the molester is rationalized. I let my kids make mistakes but I still keep them on a short leash. Times have changed and the author who is whining about its type is the cause of it.


27 posted on 11/20/2009 7:58:46 PM PST by ebshumidors (vet, rifleman, 'nuff said.)
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To: HokieMom

I listened to some PSA awhile back on our local radio station as I was driving. I could not believe it. I do not remember the “cause” or the objective, but it went like this. “You worry about your children. You’ve worried about them getting sick. You’ve worried about them getting injured. You worry about molesters. You worry about what might happen at the play ground and at school. You worry about what they eat. You worry about their future. You think you’ve worried enough. But have you worried about “blah?” Blah is killing a gazillion kids and it is something new you need to worry about!”
Has anyone even noticed how some of these freakin PSA’s seem to go on and on? The preachier and more stupid they are, the longer they get!


28 posted on 11/20/2009 8:00:12 PM PST by freemike (John Adams-Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker)
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To: ivyleaguebrat

>>What happens when you move into a less-than-the-top school district? What kind of fate are you consigning your child to? <<

You teach them yourself. I learned more at my Mom’s knee than I ever did in school. Tossing your kids to the school system and then shrugging your shoulders is a recipe for sub-mediocrity.


29 posted on 11/20/2009 8:06:48 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: ICCtheWay
I rode a bicycle from age 5 to age 16 or beyond... ALL my friends did the same... we had unsafe bikes by today’s standards ‘coaster brakes’ for heavens sake.... YET not a single playmate I knew or even heard of had a serious injury in all those years.

I had a similar experience. At the age of nine, I was riding my Derby bike to destinations more than a mile away from my home in suburban Los Angeles--something that would be unthinkable today. All of my acquaintances rode bikes as well, and none were ever involved in an accident or hurt in any way.

30 posted on 11/20/2009 8:08:48 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: ebshumidors

>> Now, the molester is rationalized. I let my kids make mistakes but I still keep them on a short leash. Times have changed and the author who is whining about its type is the cause of it.
<<

It looks to me that the author is spot on. The statistics on child molesters aren’t that much more prevalent than 30 or 40 years ago. It is just awareness that has changed. That is good, but, as I said it seems that bubble-wrap and overscheduling is not a particularly good remedy.

It ain’t whining if it is accurate.


31 posted on 11/20/2009 8:10:59 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: ivyleaguebrat

“It’s a tough thing. I always thought bicycle helmets were for weenies growing up.. But we know a lot more about head injury now than we did then. A fall off a bike can really be life-altering.” Yada Yada Yada — LET GO!!!!!

The statistics don’t prove that to be a problem ... it is only the large number of children riding bikes skewing the statistics - not every child on ever bike - helicopter parents want the hoovering - the child doesn’t need it...

MOORE - Yada Yada Yada -

Yes - there are predators and this fact does not allow for the total freedom I knew as a child... but damn it - innovate - do something besides OVER organize - OVER regulate - STOP strangulating the child’s own experience in growing up -—

Incapable children are children of over protective parents.

Herding children as if they were livestock - hovering over them - their every moment - OVER SCHEDULING THEM - showering them with toys and games - living their every moment FOR THEM is Totally Insane...

Children CAN NEVER learn to become independent and capable if YOU LIVE THEIR LIFE for them...


32 posted on 11/20/2009 8:12:57 PM PST by ICCtheWay
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To: HokieMom

“The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old’s “pencil-holding deficiency,” hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school, playground and practice field — “helicopter parents,” teachers christened us, a phenomenon that spread to parents of all ages, races and regions. Stores began marketing stove-knob covers and “Kinderkords” (also known as leashes; they allow “three full feet of freedom for both you and your child”) and Baby Kneepads (as if babies don’t come prepadded). “


Ridiculous! I don’t know of any parents who are even sarcastically like this sarcasm.

WHERE(!) are there these helicopter parents who are hovering over the education of their children. Actually, that is what we need. We need parents who will look over the teaching of the NEA teacher who is brainwashing their children and put the breaks on him/her.

But WHERE(!) are there parents of public school kids who spend 5 minutes a week checking out these teachers?!


33 posted on 11/20/2009 8:24:22 PM PST by John Leland 1789
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To: HokieMom
From the article:
Eleven parents are sitting in a circle in an airy, glass-walled living room in south Austin, Texas, eating organic, gluten-free, nondairy coconut ice cream. This is a Slow Family Living class, taught by perinatal psychologist Carrie Contey and Bernadette Noll.

These pantywastes haven't caught on to anything. They found another intellectual fad that justifies their ovine infatuation with Other Peoples' Standards For Enlightenment. So now they are going to relax and stop micromanaging their kids' lives. Prithee, how? They will spend the next bonus on a slow parenting chamber, a room in which the parents will force the little brats to sit while the parents tell the kids how they're not micromanaging their behavior, and it's for the childrens' benefit.

These kids won't be driven nuts by OCD parental disorder, they'll learn how to sit and be quiet and stare into space as the family contemplates slow time, or whatever other nirvana in a can attracts mommy's and daddy's superficial intellects. But hey, we told them that they're just as good as everyone else, no matter how much they destroy whatever they touch. It would have been too painful to tell them they were not experts when they were seven year olds in mathematics class.

Ever see a nuerotic bird? They pick out their own feathers, destroying the thing that makes them unique. It's reminiscent of bulimia, or cutting, or kids who dress up like the opposite sex with the knowledge - the intention - that it will get them ridiculed by their classmates. The uber - emo kid movement is coming to a prental psychology class near you.

For the love of God, Montressor.

34 posted on 11/20/2009 8:34:45 PM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: ebshumidors

I had one of those things. I learned to push back against the handlebars real fast.


35 posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:54 PM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: WestwardHo
Can we have open season on predators first, so they can free range in safety, as we did?

Children are at no more risk of getting abducted by a deviant sexual predator today than they were 30 years ago.

36 posted on 11/20/2009 8:45:10 PM PST by Drew68
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To: ivyleaguebrat
I’ve lived in blue states all my live.. I’ve neither lived nor seen what the author describes.. The media exaggerates social memes and then tears them down.

It's commonplace in the areas where Time writers and editors live: in Washington D.C. and New York. I live in the suburbs of DC and I see it all the time. Parents and teachers here thought I was very neglectful that I let my children walk four blocks home from school through a tranquil neighborhood. (Apparently I should have driven them to school and back.) The children of such people have a heavy social schedule, full of lessons, parties, lunch dates, play dates, and other obligations; if the kids are going to play together they have to make an appointment a few weeks in advance. No knocking on the front door and asking, "Can Wilhelmina come out and play, Mrs Smith?"--in the unlikely event that someone answers the door, the answer will be that Wilhelmina is at her art lesson, or soccer camp, or shopping for a gift for someone's party, or having her riding or gymnastics or French lesson, or getting her hair cut or at a play date.

Some of these unfortunate children were delighted and mystified beyond words when my kids and I took them for a simple walk in the woods that lie only two blocks from their house. They had never seen such wonders before; their idea of recreation is shopping at Nordstrom and lunch at some fashionable little restaurant. The idea of going camping is mystifying and horrible to them.

37 posted on 11/20/2009 8:51:33 PM PST by ottbmare (I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.)
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To: Ptarmigan
...or from Calvin and Hobbes:

What are you doing?! Youre doodling! Youre sitting here drawing martians when were supposed to be researching! You havent done anything yet! Dont you care?? Whats the matter with you?! Its no use! Were going to flunk! Ill have to go to a second-rate college because my idiot partner spent the study period drawing martians! Why me? Why me? Why me?

Here, this will cheer you up. The martian moves when you flip the pages! Watch, you can see him eat an astronaut!

38 posted on 11/20/2009 9:04:50 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Tax-chick; Scotswife
This is caused by too few children. When I was a boy, my mother had 6 kids to look after. It was nothing for us to take off in the woods behind the house without telling our mom and stay gone for hours. In the summer she would literally shoo us out of the house and tell us not to come back until we were hungry. We would walk a couple of miles in the summer to go swimming, catch crawdads, climb trees, and catch fish. I didn’t know we were poor until I was about 12.

Ladies, care to comment?

39 posted on 11/20/2009 9:06:01 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: ivyleaguebrat
See my post #38.

Cheers!

40 posted on 11/20/2009 9:08:51 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: freedumb2003
The statistics on child molesters aren’t that much more prevalent than 30 or 40 years ago.

It is extremely difficult to come up with accurate numbers, but it's likely there aren't any more predators on children than 50, 100 or 200 years ago. I've tried to find good comparative numbers, without much success. If you have a reference, please let me know.

The perception of how common these types of things are is almost completely disconnected from actual rates.

For instance, most people believe crime is getting worse. In actual fact, it's been dropping for about 20 years.

41 posted on 11/20/2009 9:32:41 PM PST by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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To: grey_whiskers

Bill Watterson was a visionary. He saw all of these things 10 years ago. He was one of the few who just got it.


42 posted on 11/20/2009 9:34:49 PM PST by BenKenobi
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To: Sherman Logan

>>The perception of how common these types of things are is almost completely disconnected from actual rates. <<

Which has led to the “bubble-wrap my kid” syndrome.

In my day, if a kid was eating mud, the parents would just say “he’ll throw up or not.” Nowadays he would be rushed to the ER.


43 posted on 11/20/2009 9:42:37 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: grey_whiskers

>>Here, this will cheer you up. The martian moves when you flip the pages! Watch, you can see him eat an astronaut! <<

OMG, I loved C&H! That is a classic example of why!


44 posted on 11/20/2009 9:46:51 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GeronL
video and porn and foul language.....yes, they get free reign at that.....cell phones, personal tvs in their rooms, their own lap tops....geesh....

but to learn how to take care of themselves, to get along with others, to be a teammate, or to just plain dare I say it...FAIL...at anything....that's a no no...

45 posted on 11/21/2009 1:52:35 AM PST by cherry
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To: Blood of Tyrants
you sound like my family....we would literally go down to a "crik" below our house and wade around to catch minnows to go fishing with.....that "crik" was bordered by a huge dump.....we never worried about carcinogens LOL

we built tree houses and I think one of my brothers got a hammer dropped on his head at least twice while we built the fort...

the wood came from anywhere we could find...old rotted stuff but it worked well for us....

we used to have "wars" with the neighbor kids.....putting an apple on the end of a stick and flinging it really worked....LOL

46 posted on 11/21/2009 1:58:36 AM PST by cherry
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To: grey_whiskers

I definitely think that fewer children are both a cause and a result of fearful parents. I don’t send mine off to the woods to hunt their suppers, but my older kids are allowed to go anywhere they can walk without getting on a main road, as long as they’re together and they tell me they’re going. The little boys (7, 5, 3) go to the playground across the street together (without me) once I’ve watched them cross the street safely.

As others have observed up the thread, some of the most highly-publicized frights are less statistically likely than they were when we were children. Some dangers are geographically affected - more shootings in the inner city than where I live. My main concern is traffic safety, and I also have the children go about in groups, which one can do with so many.


47 posted on 11/21/2009 4:00:15 AM PST by Tax-chick (Buy me a "Land Shark" and take me to Anguilla.)
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To: sig226

Thanks for your points. Well said.


48 posted on 11/21/2009 5:19:13 AM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom

Have yall seen the new TV commercial regarding Childhood Obesity?

I was shocked, it promotes letting your kids play outside! I thought it was a detergent commercial at first. I could not believe they had to do a t.v. commercial to enlighten people on kids playing outdoors and getting dirty!


49 posted on 11/21/2009 5:21:08 AM PST by panthermom
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To: HokieMom

Good article.


50 posted on 11/21/2009 5:22:23 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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