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The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old's "pencil-holding deficiency," hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school, playground and practice field — "helicopter parents," teachers christened us, a phenomenon that spread to parents of all ages, races and regions. Stores began marketing stove-knob covers and "Kinderkords" (also known as leashes; they allow "three full feet of freedom for both you and your child") and Baby Kneepads (as if babies don't come prepadded). The mayor of a Connecticut town agreed to chop down three hickory trees on one block after a woman worried that a stray nut might drop into her new swimming pool, where her nut-allergic grandson occasionally swam. A Texas school required parents wanting to help with the second-grade holiday party to have a background check first. Schools auctioned off the right to cut the carpool line and drop a child directly in front of the building — a spot that in other settings is known as handicapped parking.
We were so obsessed with our kids' success that parenting turned into a form of product development. Parents demanded that nursery schools offer Mandarin, since it's never too soon to prepare for the competition of a global economy. High school teachers received irate text messages from parents protesting an exam grade before class was even over; college deans described freshmen as "crispies," who arrived at college already burned out, and "teacups," who seemed ready to break at the tiniest stress.
This is what parenting had come to look like at the dawn of the 21st century — just one more extravagance, the Bubble Wrap waiting to burst.
All great rebellions are born of private acts of civil disobedience that inspire rebel bands to plot together. And so there is now a new revolution under way, one aimed at rolling back the almost comical overprotectiveness and overinvestment of moms and dads. The insurgency goes by many names — slow parenting, simplicity parenting, free-range parenting — but the message is the same: Less is more; hovering is dangerous; failure is fruitful. You really want your children to succeed? Learn when to leave them alone. When you lighten up, they'll fly higher. We're often the ones who hold them down.
Fear is a kind of parenting fungus: invisible, insidious, perfectly designed to decompose your peace of mind. Fear of physical danger is at least subject to rational argument; fear of failure is harder to hose down.
Other studies reinforce the importance of play as an essential protein in a child's emotional diet; were it not, argue some scientists, it would not have persisted across species and millenniums, perhaps as a way to practice for adulthood, to build leadership, sociability, flexibility, resilience — even as a means of literally shaping the brain and its pathways.
Originally posted by Vitchilo
Helicopters parents are a plague. It's because of them that the state can claim rights over everything in the name of the children...
Crazy parents wanting to oppress everyone else because of their crotchfruit.
They protect them from every stupid things but when it comes to real dangerous things, they don't care. Like giving them healthy food, studying which vaccines are safes or those that are not, teaching them about sex education so they know what's up in the real world...
Anyway, LEAVE KIDS ALONE, they NEED to be kids or they'll end up like Michael Jackson or pussies like the British who bow down to fascist demands of the state every time.
British people, want to be free again? Stop being helicopter parents and your kids will grow balls to stand up against the nanny state.
[edit on 21-11-2009 by Vitchilo]
Originally posted by star in a jar
Some parents might be overprotective for other reasons, like they don't want any pedophiles that the PTB lets run around on purpose to kidnap their kids.
I think lots will let their hair down the minute a pedophile's head is on a stake in front of city hall.
Originally posted by Hypntick
Probably going to be flamed for this one but here goes.
I am still relatively young (27) and grew up in the age of video games and computers. Spend a lot of free time playing games still and work on computers every day for a living. Now that being said, while growing up I also spent quite a bit of time outdoors. I know a lot of you think that computers and video games are what is causing children to be helpless by the time they leave the nest. I don't believe this to be the case. I also do not believe they cause obesity or bad social skills or any of the various reasons people come up with to pin on them. Much like anything in life there is a need for moderation when it comes to video games or computer time.
I've known quite a few new parents that are of the helicopter variety and I believe that over parenting can lead to some serious social defects in children. I especially hate seeing the "everyone is a winner" mentality that goes on these days. No, not everyone is a winner, nor should they be. By telling the child that, you lead them to believe that even if they do a mediocre job, they're still the greatest thing ever. If you do a mediocre job, you're mediocre, plain and simple.
Also, not letting your child out of your sight, there are ways to ensure your child is safe even when you're not around. If they have friends that they're with, there is their support network right there. Especially if these children have been taught how to handle themselves and what to do in scary situations, 99.999999999% of the time they'll come out of it ok.
Originally posted by tothetenthpower
The bubble wrap parents turn their children into victims, always afraid over what's over the horizon. My children have this urge to KNOW what's over the horizon.