Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To be in the world but not of the world Part 1

What does that mean to you? I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Especially now that I raise a child in a world that is quickly and rapidly changing. I remember what it was like for me as a kid in junior high and high school. Do I really want her to go through that? And isn’t the world just completely unsafe? Should kids be able to explore the world as we did as kids? I remember being able to walk to Taco Bell with my friends a good mile from my house. Am I going to be able to let Sadie do those things?

I have come to terms that I hate the media. They twist and mold and skew our perception of everyday life. Do you know that this country is actually SAFER then it was in the 90’s? That crime is actually down??? That there were only 115 child abductions in 2006? Your kid has a one in a million chance of being abducted by a stranger. (Not trying to talk anyone out of teaching thier kid about safety here- It's very important!)

Did you know that there is a new term called helicopter parenting and it’s coddling our kids and not letting them make decisions and become independent thinkers? What are we doing to this new generations of kids who can’t tie their shoes because they use Velcro, or can’t figure out simple tasks, or decide for themselves if it’s ok to eat gummy bears for dinner. How about the fact that the over-use of antibacterial agents are actually causing us to become sicker because our immune systems have had no practice fighting off bacteria.

Maybe we need to step back, let our kids play and eat some dirt, walk to the park by themselves, and make decisions. We need to have a little faith in our kids. We need to teach them to be in the world but not of the world. We need to teach them how to stand up for their beliefs, how to kick and bite people tring to stash them in their creepy vans, and then teach them how to actually talk to strangers so that if something does happen they can get some help! But most of all we need to give them the opportunities to grow and experience life. Give them the opportunity to express their beliefs. No matter how much we coddle and shelter them, at some point we have to let go. Letting go will be much easier if they have been given the opportunity to be independent and flourish.

What are your thoughts? If you want to read more into this topic of helicopter parenting- I suggest you check out http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/


  1. I think about this all the time. But I might be the parent spying on her kids while they "think" they are walking to the park. Maybe.

  2. I have thought about that too Steph! haha

  3. I will be forever grateful for my parents who are NOT helicopter parents. I know I'm weird--but I'd much rather be weird than dysfunctional. I really feel like having freedom has shaped who I am more than almost anything else from my childhood. Now the challenge is just using my parents' good examples and raising "free" kids myself! (oh, and having the kids first would be a good idea, too).

  4. Candace if I have kids that turn out like you! I will die happy!