Gen "Y" Parenting: Overprotective and Dangerous!
Are parents more protective of their children now?
On October 29, 2011, I was blessed with my first child. A daughter, who was born petite (she was preemie size though she was born full-term), breached with the cord wrapped around her body twice, and like many many other babies has a condition called Laryngomalacia. This condition is extremely common in babies and they usually grow out of it by age 1. Yet since she was born until now, I have seen doctors, former classmates, random people, and more tell me these bizarre things that we should do to protect our child. The more I listened to these "suggestions" or "facts", the more I realized I was beginning to panic about circumstances that really would never occur except rarely, or if they occur it was meant to happen.
For example, at a doctor's office we were asked if we boiled all the water our new daughter consumed, and that made us pause. We stated no, that we used the tap water and warmed it for the formula but we didn't boil it. We were told to immediately begin boiling all water as the baby's stomach couldn't process all the bacteria in tap water. We panicked, and instead began spending money on gallons of baby water sold in stores. But soon, I paused and thought about it. Were parents boiling all the water back in the 50's, 60's, even 80's? The water that comes through the tap is filtered and cleansed significantly, and yet these days society is so frightened about tap water they buy even more filters for their faucets, refrigerators, pitchers, some of the filters can even add flavoring to your water! Incredible! We now don't have the initiative to drop a few lemon juice drops and a spoonful of sugar into our water we have to pay for flavoring we could do ourselves! We stopped overprotecting our baby and continued to use the tap water just like many people would do who did not have the financial means to buy filters and buy purified water. She is now 5 1/2 months old and is just fine. When we told family members and other doctors this, their faces all reacted with the same look "Seriously?"
Another thing we were told is not to let the baby stand even if shes doing it on her own at an early age, that her legs could not support her weight and she would hurt her legs. Every time my husband would hold the baby around the midsection, and let her stand like she wanted (Even at a few months old she would smile proudly as she stood) I would panic and tell him not to do that and sit her down. I was afraid she would become bow legged, or would break a limb or hurt herself. It wasn't until I saw the frustration on my daughter's face when we would sit her down and she wanted to stand, that I realized I was doing more harm than good. The baby wanted to stand, she herself felt strong enough to do so and she wanted to skip over learning to sit up and wanted to go straight to standing. I was hindering her learning by listening to people tell me that I could hurt her. It'd be one thing if she stood with barely any assistance, but we don't do that and yet people now think babies are supposed to learn a certain way. "First they roll, then they sit up, then they crawl, then they stand, then they walk." That isn't true, and it's dangerous to listen to.
It seems to be that Gen Y parents (children born in the 1980's) have become frightened that their children will become mutated, injured, bleeding internally aliens. These days, children are growing up playing video games and sitting in their rooms instead of going outside and climbing trees, eating mud, jumping off swings and getting exercise. Why are we doing this to our kids? We didn't do that, we were outside every day coming home with sunburns, why are we overprotecting our children suddenly? Obviously at this point if we keep this out, our kids will grow up afraid of a cut or scratch, take a pill for it (because these days there's a medication for EVERY problem you could have) then have kids and those kids will live in bubbles.
One thing that someone may say is "Child abduction is more common these days" and this is true. But there's several things I was taught at a young age that I intend to teach my daughter, and parents today should teach their kids:
1. If someone pulls up to you and says to get in the car they know your parents, ask for the secret password. Pick a word that the kids will remember, and yet something no one would guess.
2. If they guess the password, ask them what to call you. Have a nickname for the child that would only be used if they were being picked up by someone else. Make sure it's one they will remember.
3. Have a loud whistle on hand incase either question above is answered incorrectly. Immediately blow the whistle and bring attention to yourself which will startle the abductors.
4. Play nearby the house. This is a BIG problem these days as parents tell kids to go outside, and don't pay attention to where they go. Until age 12, kids shouldn't play outside the front yard or near the apartment they live in. After age 12, they can hang out around the block area, but only with a friend.
5. Come inside when the street lights come on, unless told to come in sooner. NEVER stay out after dark.
These simple steps protected children that are adults now, and can still be used today. There are also cell phones parents can buy their kids from Disney and other companies that permit only phone calls from and to parents. They are also used as GPS trackers, so at all times you can see where your child is.
Stop the madness!!! Let your kids be kids! Let them play and get hurt! Let them drink tap water without numerous numerous filters! Let them stand when they want to! Don't restrict them! The world will be nothing but plastic bubbles by 2050 at this rate!!