J thinks that I will be an overly overprotective parent.
I firmly disagree.
I believe that there is an age up to which a child should be protected and nurtured because they just don’t know better. However, we must also educate our children during this period to be aware of dangers, to learn to fend for themselves, and to also take the occasional injury as a learning experience.
And after this age? I will encourage my children to live life and learn from their mistakes. This is not to say that I will let them do whatever they want; rather, I will not be opposed to their taking risks just as long as they are not unreasonable. After all, taking risks starting at a young age is important so that children can realize their own limitations.
I will not be an over-coddling parent.
Living in the “Bubble Wrap Generation,” it saddens me to know that my kids will not be able to have the same childhood that J and I were allowed. Where we were allowed to play outside with friends — without adult supervision — until dark. Where it was not unusual to return home with cuts and scrapes and blood-stained clothes. Where playground injuries were learning experiences, not the cause for lawsuits.
Now, every playdate is carefully orchestrated by parents and the kids watched over with hawk-like eyes. Playgrounds are boring affairs with no nooks and crannies, no high swings or slides, or even sand. (When was the last time you saw a metal merry-go-round or a seesaw at a public playground?) No kids play outside anymore, and when asked why, parents will often respond, “No one else lets their kids play outside, so my kids will be bored anyway.”
It is no surprise that childhood obesity rates are an all-time high.
We live in an age where our nation is ruled by the fear of lawsuits. After all, a broken arm can fetch up to $100,000 (after paying the attorney fees) if the injury occurred on a playground. If that happened in my generation, the child would have gotten a tongue-lashing from the parents for being careless, then taken to the hospital with no involvement from the legal system.
There comes a point when the idea of “being safe” becomes an obsession to the point where it becomes impossible to have any kind of enjoyment in life.
I will not cover my kids in bubble wrap.