Dangerous Messages

Posted by 2 on

Recently I received an email from someone who thought I’d be interested in reading and sharing her latest blog post with my readers. To be honest, I was shocked she assumed I would consider her blog deserving! Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis or knows anything about my business is aware I’m passionate about helmet safety. In contrast, she implies helmets are unnecessary. Here is a quick synopsis of her article: She feels today’s parents are overly protective. She uses the argument that if we survived childhood without these products/pampering etc., our kids will be just fine without them too. In particular, she lists the following 10 examples of how we are “bubble wrapping” our children:
  • Car Safety Belts
  • Safety Helmets
  • School Principals are no longer allowed to spank students. Her blog suggests stricter discipline in the schools taught students respect for teachers etc.
  • “Participation” trophies in sports aren’t allowing our children to understand the difference between winning and losing. (She might actually have a good point there.)
  • Kids are punished if they get in to fights. She advocates kids should settle their own disputes without parent interference even if this means settling their own arguments with their fists.
  • Parents are no longer able to hit their kids to teach them right and wrong. She seems to glorify the day when parents kept their children in line through force.
  • She claims kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards are further examples of how we are overly protecting our kids.
  • Parents hover over their kids in the playgrounds etc. She feels parents are overly concerned about someone kidnapping their kid.
  • Teachers are afraid to fail kids who don’t meet the grade expectations. (Again, I think there is some validity to this point.)
  • Parents drive their children everywhere instead of letting them ride bikes to school or to a friend’s house for a play-date.
My response:
  • Should we stop telling our kids to use condoms as well because “safe sex” is being overly protective?
  • Should mothers leave their babies in their strollers outside in the fresh air outside the grocery store while they shop?
  • Should we allow cigarette manufacturers to promote smoking to young people again?
  • Are work place safety regulations overly protective and, therefore, they should be abolished?
  • Are we being overcautious when we screen all passengers before they board a flight?
I personally feel the message conveyed by the group of people who claim “if we survived as kids, then it’s good enough for our kids” is DANGEROUS. Hopefully we’ve learned a few things in the past 50 years and there’s no point in winding back the clock on progress. What do you think?

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  • So true Annie! Our awareness regarding safety issues has improved but, in some instances, fear overtakes logic. That’s why education is SO important.

    Karyn Climans on
  • Couldn’t agree more Pam! What scares me is this person is in a position to influence people who are gullible.

    Karyn Climans on
  • The problem with her overriding argument, the “we didn’t have these protections and we survived” one is just this: the people who didn’t survive aren’t here to explain how their lives might have been saved by a car seat.

    Simplelogic on
  • I think there are things we have changed because we now know better (bike helmets, car seats).

    There are other things we have changed because of irrational fears about things that are highly unlikely (e.g. Not letting kids walk anywhere on their own, constantly hovering over them).

    There are other things that we should change, but haven’t, because of corporate interests (still allowing so many toxic products).

    Annie @ PhD in Parenting on
  • Some attitudes are pretty scary.
    We know more now. We are better educated about risks and consequences and prevention. If we can take action to save lives and prevent injury, it is our responsibility to do so.

    Pam @writewrds on

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