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Friday, November 13, 2015

Are we too protective of our children?


Are we too protective of our children?

A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but will be ignored, and as always, please no name calling and that means you, you big stupid head!

I have read a theory (I think it is just a theory) that the reason many children are allergic to peanut butter, an absolute staple when my children were growing up, is parents do not subject their children to peanut butter when they are very young.  If this is true, it means that because one child suffered from what was once a very rare allergy, parents would not give their children peanut butter and as a result they did not develop resistance and also became allergic to peanut butter.

The act of protecting children makes them dangerously susceptible to what was once a common safe nutritious product.

Years ago, children walked to school even at an early age.  I walked several blocks to kindergarten.  My children walked a half mile to kindergarten and grade school.  These days I notice there is a parent or guardian accompanying every child.  There was and still is a crossing guard at every street, but do the children learn any independence?  Do they develop that all important self-esteem when do they grow up?  I live in a town house community that is shut off from any other development.  When the school bus lets the children off, the parents are waiting, often in cars to drive them less than a block and a half home.

I hear parents are worried about child abduction.  What message does that send to the child?  Teach them to beware of strangers, but don’t teach them to be afraid of ever being independent.

Keep them safe from peanut butter and you give them a dangerous allergy.  Keep them safe from strangers, and you instill in them fear for the rest of their lives. 

Hell, children today don’t even know how to cross a street.  Children all used to learn by the age of four to stop, look both ways and then hurry across a street.  Children today, even teenagers casually stroll across the street without even glancing left and right.  They cross as if it is the vehicles responsibility to not hit them.  Well it is, but drivers text, drivers drink, drivers are not always attentive, drivers make mistakes, and when they do children who have not been taught to cross a street get killed.

Children today sometimes do not even walk.  I see children in strollers with their feet hitting the ground and their knees in their face because they are too big, and yet they do not walk.  If child obesity is a big problem today, part of the cause is children do not walk.  They are driven everywhere and they are pushed in strollers all over the mall.  Children walking while you shop or travel can be an inconvenience, heck, children in general are an inconvenience.  Let them walk!

I know it is a different world than in years past.  In many ways it is more dangerous, but sometimes over protection is just as dangerous.  Over protection can stunt a child’s development, it may send young adults out into the real world unprepared for stress and hardship. 

Over protection, over cautiousness, in the long term may develop nervous, food allergic, overweight children who don’t know how to cross a street. 

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management...Mrs. Cranky.

15 comments:

  1. Yay....Power to the peanut butter.
    As Grammas always say, "the proof is in the pudding."
    I pretty much raised my kids as you did and my kids grew up to be educated, respectable, tax-paying citizens. So we know our way works. I don't know about this other way but maybe we are getting a little taste of that pudding with these
    University kids.
    Let's hear it for peanut butter.

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  2. I agree with what you said, but there is so much more traffic these days, as well as teaching kids to look both ways we also need to teach them to use the designated crossing when they are available. Too many adults show a poor example by crossing where it is convenient for them, rather than walk the extra few yards to a designated crossing, some of them drag their kids across with them.
    My kids had a little taste of everything we adults ate when they were babies, not one of them has an allergy. One daughter does get a reaction to canned shellfish, prawns in particular, but I think that is either the can or the processing method, because she has no trouble with fresh or frozen prawns.

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  3. You are so right, but I think it's too late to educate and no advise would be listened to.

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  4. This is why i taught my children what to watch out for and sent them out to play in the field and creek and "woods" (the stands of trees we have in and behind the neighborhood). When my girls were 19 and 14, i put them on a train to Chicago to stay in a youth hostel and go see a traveling Broadway play, and they had a glorious time. #2 Son can have a reaction to shellfish if he's already having trouble with too much pollen and dust, it's not a problem by itself, but added to the others he does react, but none of them have huge, life-threatening allergies.

    Protect them until they have learned some sense, then let them use that sense, and you can gauge that with each child. It just takes more effort, and i think the parents would just rather do it themselves than teach the child. How sad.

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  5. Agree with it all. I think reading 'professional advice' books has taken over for common sense.

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  6. I experienced all the same when I was a child. Yes, I agree we are overprotective in most cases, but in some cases I must agree times have changed: specifically not letting kids walk far from home unattended by an adult. And don't get me started on kids having to wear all kinds of protective gear to ride a bike, climb a tree, play on a junglejim, etc.

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  7. We walked almost a mile to elementary school, home and back for lunch, home after school. No parents were involved. The big kids looked after the little kids. Half the distance was roads with no sidewalks. The only interescetion with a guard was the last before the school grounds. A lot of trust in "the village" was involved--all adults along the way noticed that the day was proceeding normally, or that Susie just skinnrd her knee and needed wipped up and sent on along.

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  8. Part of the problem is that parents quit teaching their kids much of anything. I've seen some kids that are in charge of the parents. Doesn't work very well.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

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  9. In the olden days, when parents felt safe in letting their very young children walk to school & back alone, my parents were babysitting our 7 or 8 year old daughter while we were on a trip. They became quite worried when one day she was over a half hour late in getting home from school. When she finally got home, they asked her why she was so late. Our daughter, who wishes to be nameless, always had a very logical brain. She told them she had taken a “long” cut.

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  10. I'd hate to go through life allergic to peanut butter.
    I'm having a grilled peanut butter sandwich now. Yum.

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  11. We were a hardier group back then. I was a latchkey kid before "latchkey" was even a word in the Oxford dictionary. In fact, I didn't even have a key. I just had to reach my arm up inside the door and undo the hook. That was my job, the oldest at 8, because my 6-year-old sister was obviously incompetent.

    And forget riding in a booster seat until we were 8 years old. We stood on the hump in the back seat floor, or laid up on that shelf by the back windshield. And we survived! A miracle, since there were no laws to save us.

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  12. Overall, I tend to agree with you. But I understand that parents accompany their kids on their walks to school these days (here in FL, there's no bus service for you if you live within two miles of a school). While we may have walked to school it was more likely to a neighborhood school within a city, with sidewalks and much lighter traffic. Nowadays, schools tend to be huge complexes off major highways with traffic that resembles freeway rush hours.

    So while I agree with you in general, I can understand more "hovering and protecting" to some extent. But yeah...what's with the peanut butter?

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  13. As you may know, there was a recent study out of UW med school who validated your opinion....early exposure to peanuts resulted in fewer allergies. A well done study, peer reviewed.
    How many generations have there been who voiced the same things:....those kids today, etc etc....in my day etc etc....

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  14. I concur with this 100%. But right now I need to feed these girls at my sleepover and make sure the lactose intolerant girl doesn't consume milk and the gluten free girl doesn't eat a donut.

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