Skip to main content

Parenting...

Paul and I talk a lot about how different childhood is from when we were kids.  How we (gasp!) had bumpers in our cribs as babies, sat in the front seat of the minivan, were left sitting in the car when our moms had to run a quick errand, were allowed to run through the woods behind our house, ride our bikes around town, or hang out at the mall with our friends.  And we survived.

Our parents always jump in with the fact that when they were kids there were no car seats, or even seat belts, and about how they'd leave their house in the morning and not come home until it got dark out and that was okay, and even encouraged.  Today most people wouldn't allow their children to do these things out of fear that their child could be abducted or hurt. 

Today I read an interesting article on babble.com: Parenting Without Fear. Our kids are safer than ever. So why are we still afraid? By "Free Range Kids" author Lenore Skenazy for Babble.com.

In the article Skenazy writes about how the world is actually safer than we all think it is.  She says "Crime-wise, we are back to the levels of 1970. In the '70s and the
'80s, crime started going up until it peaked around 1993. After that,
it started going down again, steeply. So if you were playing outside in
the '70s or '80s (are you ready for this?), your
children today are actually SAFER than you were."

The first time I took Little Paul to Pennsylvania to visit my parents my mother and I took him to the mall in his stroller.  I left her standing next to him to go and look at something and when I turned around she'd wandered about 15 feet away into the clothing racks.  I didn't say anything but quickly walked back to the stroller, scanning the store to make sure nobody was coming over to try to snatch him away.  At the time I thought she'd messed up, leaving my son "alone" like that!  Looking back on the situation though she wasn't wrong to leave him there- it's not like she'd gone to another store or left him alone on a busy street corner in New York- we were in a small suburban shopping mall with hardly anybody else, and she'd been a mere 15 feet from him.  I was simply being the overprotective mother that society expects me to be these days. 

We're not at the point yet where his safety when he's out by himself or with his friends is an issue (we're still at the should he have crib bumpers/try not to drop him/is he pooping enough stage of our parental smothering) but I'm hoping that when we do reach that stage I'll be able to see things clearly, and to remember that just because children are abducted all the time on Law and Order SVU does not mean that my child is unsafe if he's playing in our front yard.

In the real world children need a little bit of freedom in order to become responsible adults.  If the apron-strings are tied too tightly they'll never have the chance to learn and to grow on their own, and really, isn't that ultimately the point of having children?  To raise the next generation of mature, capable adults?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Checking in....

Thought it was time for a little update on the projects we're working on at Casa LeBaron.   In living room news, our fireplace is almost finished!  The new tile has been grouted (no pictures yet) and all we have left to do is seal the grout and install the new fireplace doors.  Then I have to figure out how I want to style the mantel- I usually just throw a bunch of frames and things up there but am not sure if that's the way I want to go right now...  Here's how it's looking (or, here's how it was looking before we grouted the tile): Below is a close up of how we fixed our cabinet doors.  Originally they were oak with horrible brass hardware.  The panels on each door front was cracked and they were U-G-L-Y.  So we popped out the panels, painted the frames, and used my handy dandy glue gun to inset new panels.  The new panels were made from one sheet of radiator screening that we cut to size and sprayed with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.  We added new handles and…

Paul Thomas: Things to Remember, Five

Oh what a difference a year makes.  Paul turned FIVE on Sunday.  Last year, when he turned four, I lamented the fact that he had gone from a toddler to a little kid in the blink of an eye.  Another blink later and he’s not a little kid anymore- he’s a big kid, a five year old, heading off to pre-K with his backpack and his lunchbox and not even a wave good-bye over his shoulder. 

LP has grown several inches since he turned four- just look at the difference in the photos below, taken just about a year apart.  He looks like a baby to me in the first photo, and so grown up in the second.





At five, Paul is intelligent, engaging, witty, and I have to admit, rather adept at sarcasm (it runs in the family on both sides and was bound to happen).  He loves to talk to anyone and everyone but is particularly happy talking to grown-ups, especially the elderly people who frequent the YMCA we attend.   I’ve been told several times by them that he’ll grow up to be a politician or a salesman.  When I…

Things to Remember: Eliza Rose, Age 3

Today our sweet little Eliza Rose turns three.  Like all moms, I'm sure, it's hard for me to believe that she's already out of toddler-hood and becoming a preschooler.  It seems as though we were just preparing for her to join our family yesterday and now, of course, it's impossible to imagine what life would be like without Eliza around.


Eliza might be the smallest person in our house but she has the largest personality by far.  Shy in public, she's boisterous and energetic at home- running all over, squealing with excitement, bossing everyone around and trying to take charge at all times. 

She's stubborn and sensitive, sweet and sassy, and over the top spicy.  

At three Eliza's favorite things are her brother, her doggies, mermaids, stories, and princesses.   She loves to play tea party, help in the kitchen and go swimming.    Sometimes she says she's "Eliza BaBaron"- other times she's a "puppy doggy" or a "mermaid with a pi…