Are we overprotecting our children?

I think so. Granted, things were different when I was growing up in the late ’50’s and 60’s, but I think children today are being so coddled and protected they are growing up with little if any, what I call, “life” smarts.

There’s a great piece on the internet, and when I find it again, I’ll post it here, that basically congratulates all people born before the 70’s for having survived:

  • 6 of us sharing 1 bottle of soda pop with each other,
  • drinking directly from a garden hose,
  • playing in the dirt,
  • going outside without cell phones to play, all day,
  • building go-carts without brakes,
  • bike riding without helmets,
  • mud pies,
  • no seatbelts in cars and riding in the back of a pick-up truck unrestrained,
  • etc.

It’s quite a good piece, and oh my the fun memories it brings back! When I read it, I found myself sounding like my grandparents “Oh how I miss the good old days” LOL

Today’s topic comes from the UK. I’m sure I can find similar tales right here in the good ‘ole US of A.

Drowning in risk aversion

Children are being turned away from swimming pools in Scotland because bureaucrats think they know better than parents how to keep kids safe. James had been taking his children swimming for a while when one day he was stopped at the entrance of the Gorbals Leisure Centre in Glasgow. ‘I’m sorry, could I ask how old your children are?’ the attendant asked. It turned out that, like many council swimming pools across Scotland, the Gorbals Centre had introduced a new policy: each child aged four and under must be accompanied by an adult. This meant that for parents like James, who took turns with his wife to take their four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter swimming, the pool is out of bounds. The new rule was ‘in the interest of the safety of your children’, the attendant informed him.

“For the Children” seems to be the new mantra for every new law, regulation, what-have-you these days. Makes one wonder how any of us managed to survive childhood and grow up to have children of our own, who also managed to grow up and children of their own. Listening to today’s “fear mongering” we should have all died and there should be no children anymore.

Well, to take this to the really logical conclusion…………..IF you really want to protect children from any and all risk, then we need to just ban births. Being born is a 100% guarantee that one will get ill, injured, and die at some point in their life. This is the one in-escapable reality. It happens to each and every person who is born, There is NO avoiding it.

Fortunately, there are still others who think as I do, and that is so refreshing and promising to see.

A playground tumble can do you good

More experts recognise that a scraped knee can be a positive experience for a child. Let’s hope they now relax about other ‘dangers’ in kids’ lives.

If we can harness this positive outlook not only to call for more challenging playgrounds and more childish rough-and-tumble, but also to challenge institutionalised suspicion and state-authorised scaremongering, then we really might free up our children’s lives and allow them both to enjoy themselves and to learn through living.

So, are we really protecting the children or is this just the next step towards controlling all of us as in George Orwell’s 1984?


~ by swfreedomlover on December 7, 2007.

8 Responses to “Are we overprotecting our children?”

  1. If they really cared for children, they’d let them BE children.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. This over protection is crippling our kids. Look at the 20 and 30 year olds in your life and see how so many of them struggle to keep a job, or are so unhappy because they think their bosses are asking too much of them.

    We would never keep a child from learning to walk even though he is going to fall, he is going to get frustrated, he will want to give up. But we continue to encourage him to come to us.

    If we don’t encourage him to walk his muscels will atrophy and he will never walk. Yet we do this with the emotional muscels of children through overprotection.

    I’m working on a white paper on the importance of competition for children in teaching them how to function in the real world. Too many people want to create a pseudo-world with no pain or struggles for children. That would be nice if it was reality when they are adults too. Oh how much greater the pain is for them then as adults.

    It is about a lack of critical thinking. Critical thinking requires looking at all the consequences – not just today but for the cild 20 years from now.

    Sorry I got carried away here 🙂

    If interested check out our website and blog you can get to the blog from there.

  3. Too many people want to create a pseudo-world with no pain or struggles for children. That would be nice if it was reality when they are adults too. Oh how much greater the pain is for them then as adults.–Yeskidds

    Well said. We do them far more harm than good. I know a girl who refuses to live outside her mother’s house. She’d love to escape her mother, but she’s terrified of the world outside. Won’t even go to college. Raised on Disney movies and fear….

  4. Like you, I’m amazed that we grew up with what the fear mongers are spouting these days! Germs are everywhere and have been since the dawn of time. They cannot be avoided so the best thing is to indulge yourself and quit worrying about every little thing.

    If I had it all to do again though, I doubt I’d bring any children into this world. It has gone insane! And frankly, I don’t think we need any more bans… Those are way overboard already!

  5. I have to admit, todays children seem to suffer from more illnesses than we ever did as kids. They seem to have more mental/emotional problems too, and I can’t help but wonder if that is because they are so protected that they are never taught coping skills.

    My son, who is now 27, thanks me frequently for not over-protecting him. And considering he was born with a severe physcial birth defect, I very easily could have. I was lucky that something in me let him be as normal a kid as possible. Of course, there’s also the fact that he has a strong independence streak in him and has it from the moment he was born.

    I actually feel sorry for today’s kids, they have no idea what they are missing.

  6. kids should just be kids and do what they want/ that’s it

  7. that list of things people survived in the 0’s, i was born in 1988 and did all of that and am still alive today 🙂
    i still do shit like that and whenever i see someone who is, was, or being overprotected, i just shake my head at the fearful parents who will definitely regret that later on…

  8. sorry, meant to put 60’s where it sas 0’s LOL

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