Great Article in the Post-Dispatch About Safety and Parenting
I just want to quickly link to this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, by Bob Rybarczyk, that discusses our society’s obsession with safety. The amazing thing about the obsession, as the author discusses, is how it seems to have come about so quickly, yet so completely. Things we did as kids — and by “kids,” I mean just during the 1980s — like riding bikes without helmets, or cramming into the station wagon without seat belts were so completely normal, yet 20 years later they could get a parent indicted. I feel that our society has gone way too far with this obsession — both legally, with laws mandating safety requirements like bike helmets, and just on our own, as the author discusses with his own worrying about his kids if they travel out of the immediate neighborhood. I am not criticizing the author; I will certainly be the same way with my toddler as he gets older.
I am generally not one to blame the media, but the enormous coverage given to crimes against kids, such as kidnappings, feeds into people’s worries and puts normal parental concerns about such crimes way out of whack. A simple look at crime stats tells you that your kid can ride a bike outside of your view for a few hours and is not going to be kidnapped, but numbers don’t really matter much when it comes to people’s children.