Skip to comments.When did parenting become so fearful?
Posted on 08/20/2018 1:32:41 PM PDT by jonascord
Why are Americans so suffocatingly weird about their kids nowadays? In a 2016 Pew survey, only 30 percent of parents said kids should be allowed to play in a public park unsupervised before theyre 13 years old, though the countrys streets have never been safer. And yet, this style of care doesnt seem to benefit anyone involved: not kids, not society, and definitely not the parents themselves. Caregivers cling to their charges, afraid of everything and nothing in particular. We have to save the kids, but if pressed on why or from what or what are you doing, we cant always answer.
Part of it, is people.nowadays are so fearful there are child molesters everywhere, ready to kidnap their kids.
I believe that part of it two is the 24x7 global news coverage that many people have on nearly every waking minute.
Kids being assaulted or molested in a playground are leading news with the “if it bleeds it leads” prioritization, so if you live in Virginia and a kid in New Mexico is assaulted on a playground, you hear about it like it happened in your own backyard.
I don’t think it is healthy.
My parents would probably have had their kids taken away for “neglect” back in the 50s. They let me and my sister go just about anywhere we wanted in Florida and in Istanbul. This side of the ocean I tended to hang our in swamps. When I was a teenager in the 60s I hung out on the fishing docks and went out on some commercial boats for 2-6 week trips. Dad, a Naval officer just said, “Don’t fall off.”
If they’re afraid, it’s probably that they’ll get arrested if they treat their kids like normal kids. History shows that not to be an unfounded fear.
Because they only have one or maybe two? In the old days, they had 10-11! If one got killed, one got sick and died and one ran away, no big deal.
Everyone should read the beautiful book Look Homeward, Angel to find out what it was like for big families at the turn of the 20th century.
It says right here that my own kids created a bazillion hours of real work and unlimited anxiety. The anxiety part is still among us for myriad reasons.
They also made for infinite joy and satisfaction as I approach my dotage.
These days I am extremely proud of all my kids, not because they are some product I needed to visit upon society. I am proud of them because they are productive adults, each with his or her God given while earned personality and talent.
Apply today’s rules to 1965 when I was 10 y/o and my parents (and most others) would have spent their days in front of a judge or child welfare case worker. Fortunately, common sense was more common in that time & place (small-town KS) and a boy on a bike, trailed by his dog, riding 4 blocks to the city park was a normal scene. Pretty sure my parents put a lot of store by the protective nature of that dog to ensure nothing happened to my sister and me.
When I was a kid my parents let me run the neighborhood with a gang of other kids my age. We rode our bikes, played ball, went to the park, etc. We knew the geographic boundaries of where we were allowed to go, and to be home when the street lights came on.
Of course most people in the neighborhood grew up with and knew my parents, so if we tried anything they were sure to get a call. America in 2018 is much more transient. Where I am now you rarely see a child outdoors. Off playing video games I presume.
My dad told me that when he was a kid in the 40’s he would go down by some railroad tracks and talk to the hobos. Could you imagine that today??
I see two facets of this from my wife regarding our own offspring: First, the proliferation of news reports about molesters, combined with an explosion of such reports from her country of birth, makes her feel that the threat is much larger than it is. Second, after our first child, subsequent attempts have resulted in pregnancies that failed for various reasons, making her feel that the one child we do have requires extra defensiveness since we’re now past the point of reasonably being able to have more i.e. she doesn’t want to take any chance of losing the one that we do have.
I suspect that the general dynamic of over-protectiveness is similar, in that there is a synergy between over-hyping child predators so they appear to be a substantial threat, plus the cultural current of emphasizing the preciousness of children to the point that people become afraid of anything causing the slightest trauma to them.
Sure, kids aren’t disposable despite the Left’s ongoing campaign. And since many families don’t have multiple kids the way they did decades ago, so that there was the unspoken knowledge that you had some spares if something happened to one, there is something to the idea of protecting the few that you do have. But as humans are particularly bad at estimating risk, we have ended up overprotecting kids to their detriment.
Get back to me when you live in a southern Californian city where they let AND support criminal vagrants to live on any available piece of public land where they steal and assault continuously.
A good part of it is also “I see some people are this way, so everyone must be this way” reasoning.
We are fed this a lot by the political chattering class. Another good one is “jobs Americans don’t want”, meaning the writer/speaker/liar won’t do blue collar work therefore no one will do blue collar work.
I just watched a video of 100 boys battling it out in a lake on three log rafts they built themselves while a bunch of them were on shore heaving water balloons at the guys on the rafts.
Boys being boys.
The entire thing was my idea at a youth camp I ran a couple weeks ago.
I just hung up after talking to a mom who wants her son to join our Trail Life USA Troop. They pulled him out of school because he kept getting behavioral reports for doing things boys do. They wanted to drug him too.
He’ll be joining our troop soon.
-—...though the countrys streets have never been safer.-—
I think a lot of people would disagree with this statement.
One thing to think about with the sex offender lists. Unless you read them deep, it’s hard to tell the real nature of the offense.
A 18 year old boy gets caught with his 16 year old girlfriend will get him on the list in some areas. so will peeing on a tree.
I had a guy on the list who lived near me once. It took a lot of research to see just what his offense was. In my world, he’d be swinging from an oak tree for what he did.
Part of it is being so invested in just one or a couple of kids. With larger families of the past there was neither the time nor the evolutionary imperative to so closely watch what offspring are had.
Yes—exactly my thought! We’ve moved from having a few spares to jealously guarding the 1 or 2 we do have.
Awesome. I am assuming your troops is all male, as well as assuming you have no homosexuals as group leaders or troop leaders.
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