It’s very hip to be terrified of letting your children outside without wrapping them in a giant bubble and adding a GPS tracker to make sure they’re not hurt or kidnapped. Because none of us remember a childhood where we were allowed outside alone and weren’t kidnapped and/or murdered, OR WORSE. Oh wait, that was every day of the week, not too long ago.
The newest scare tactic is spreading via Facebook, and shows how the ridiculous stickers on your car are putting your entire family at risk.
This idea is lampooned wonderfully over at BoingBoing:
No one’s saying that this has ever happened, just that they can imagine it, and if they can imagine it, bad guys can imagine it, and if you can imagine a bad guy doing something bad, then you should drop everything to prevent that imaginary thing from coming true.
When in trouble/Or in doubt/Run in circles/Scream and shout.
Lenore Skenazy is an advocate for giving children more independence and freedom, and fights the fear most parents seem to live in today. She’s the original source for the above and her site is a fantastic resource for any parent who doesn’t want to feel crazy for letting their child out of their sight. Check it out here.
While we’re on the topic of loosening the leash a little, I highly recommend reading this well thought-out article on a new type of playground that emphasizes adventure and independence, over insulation and protection: The Overprotected Kid via the Atlantic.
I feel like these sources all make excellent points that people are being helicopter parents more than ever before, and it’s having some terrible effects on our children, both in their personalities and in their health. There are some signs that not letting children outside, or letting them get dirty, etc. can even be causing the surge in allergies.
What do you think about how we’re handling our kids today? Am I crazy? Do you think letting children wander alone is too reckless? Or do you think it’s a good thing?