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Old 05-31-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

I'm just curious and figured I would get other viewpoints on it.....to talk it through. I'm wondering if our society's overprotectiveness with our children will end up doing more harm than good. So basically, will sheltering (you can use protecting) what our children do raise them to be less confident/independent when they are older? At what age are they able to start doing things on their own or with friends that we (the parents of our children) don't know really well.

I'm kind of guilty. I would say I'm overprotective, but apparently not as much as others on this board from other threads. I'm not saying being more overprotective is a bad thing though, so don't get me wrong. I will say that my "level" of overprotection is changing (decreasing, lol) as the kids are getting older. Maybe that is normal? I do know that I said somethings when the kids were young that I take back now. Obviously, ages of the kids, scenarios, and situations change that alter our parenting decisions.

Ok, so for some examples. Just last year I wouldn't let our then 7 and 5 year old go up the street in our neighborhood to go to a friends house. The friends house was out of sight and there are no sidewalks. I know the mom and kids and them playing there isn't an issue at all. I don't know the super well (as I won't all of their friends) so obviously I'm a little loose on the overprotection in that aspect. But, this year up the road about 8 houses (again out of eye sight) the one mom always has a big ice cream sundae party outside her house on the last day of school. Will was still napping so I let the girls 8 & 6 go up there without me. I did not "like" it inside of me (meaning it was hard for me to just let them go without me), but I knew they would be fine and they were. Ella (8) has had 2 sleepover b-day parties now at a friends house from her class whose parents I don't know super well. But, it was all the girls from her class. A year or two ago I would have said no way. But, I knew she would be fine and didn't want to hold her back from having fun with the rest of her classmates. I'm glad I let her go, she had tons of fun and would have been the only girl who didn't attend.

Heck, I even had a hard time dropping my 7 and 5 year old off at the full day zoo camp last year. I got over it and did it b/c I knew they would be well taken care of and would love it....which all happened.

I would say we are not a fearful family. We know that bad things happen (even the kids) and that it can happen to anyone at anytime. We teach our kids how to be alert, aware, and as safe as possible. We don't teach them fear or to be afraid......we teach them confidence and awareness.

Maybe the real question is do we become less overprotective as they get older? I would say I'm still very overprotective, but I'm letting them do things they want and should be able to do as a kid........within reason of course. It seems I'm letting them be more independent by letting them do things they want away from me, with proper precautions and awareness.

Please, we all have different opinions so let's be respectful of each other and keep it nice.

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Old 05-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #2
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Well, yes, you change perspectives as your children age. It's only natural.

The only people who know 100% how they will parent are people who have never parented. As soon as you have kids, the game changes and your perspective changes, etc.

I actually feel bad sometimes giving advice on situations I haven't been through yet because it's almost meaningless advice unless it comes from someone who has children older than you. But.. Sometimes I think people are brainstorming, so advice from anyone can be useful taken with a grain of salt.

Do I think the overprotectiveness does more harm than good? Yes, I do. I don't like where our communities are headed at all.

I live on a military base. We have old empty base houses and then all the new housing. The old housing was set up for reasonable privacy, but all around huge parks and very community type oriented. All the new stuff is set up completely different with tiny empty parks out back doors and huge streets so your neighbors seem as far away as possible.

That's just an example. But I listened to something on NPR years ago about how our music media shows the changes in our culture over time. The difference of when boom boxes were devices that people would congregate around, share musical tastes, talk, dance, etc. and now everyone is privately listening to their iPod. I'm not saying I want loud music everywhere, it just shows how society is closing in on itself. Our sense of community is lessening. Our interactions with others are lessening and we're increasingly suspect of others around us. We are more depressed and all alone in a sea of people who generally feel the same way.

Forums like this thrive on people's need to be social without inconvenience. Social without fear. We close in on ourselves, we see neighbors as scary, etc. friendly people on buses or at grocery store are weird and creepy.

And I think it's all going to implode someday. I think it would be better to teach our children to trust themselves and others (with respect and wariness when needed) instead of teaching them that we fear their actions, we fear their friends' parents, etc.

We create things in our mind that don't exist and teach our children to do the same.

I hope that all made sense as I meant it.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
Well, yes, you change perspectives as your children age. It's only natural.

The only people who know 100% how they will parent are people who have never parented. As soon as you have kids, the game changes and your perspective changes, etc.

I actually feel bad sometimes giving advice on situations I haven't been through yet because it's almost meaningless advice unless it comes from someone who has children older than you. But.. Sometimes I think people are brainstorming, so advice from anyone can be useful taken with a grain of salt.

Do I think the overprotectiveness does more harm than good? Yes, I do. I don't like where our communities are headed at all.

I live on a military base. We have old empty base houses and then all the new housing. The old housing was set up for reasonable privacy, but all around huge parks and very community type oriented. All the new stuff is set up completely different with tiny empty parks out back doors and huge streets so your neighbors seem as far away as possible.

That's just an example. But I listened to something on NPR years ago about how our music media shows the changes in our culture over time. The difference of when boom boxes were devices that people would congregate around, share musical tastes, talk, dance, etc. and now everyone is privately listening to their iPod. I'm not saying I want loud music everywhere, it just shows how society is closing in on itself. Our sense of community is lessening. Our interactions with others are lessening and we're increasingly suspect of others around us. We are more depressed and all alone in a sea of people who generally feel the same way.

Forums like this thrive on people's need to be social without inconvenience. Social without fear. We close in on ourselves, we see neighbors as scary, etc. friendly people on buses or at grocery store are weird and creepy.

And I think it's all going to implode someday. I think it would be better to teach our children to trust themselves and others (with respect and wariness when needed) instead of teaching them that we fear their actions, we fear their friends' parents, etc.

We create things in our mind that don't exist and teach our children to do the same.

I hope that all made sense as I meant it.
In total agreement with the bolded.

Yes, you make sense.......this is what I had in my head as well. I def. agree with the ipod/boombox thing, just didn't think about it. I also think that kids won't be able to speak well/confidently in front of others with the new rage of texting. I find it hilarious to see a group of teens together and they are standing there texting each other.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

Think of it as a journey, a process of gradually increasing self reliance under controlled circumstances with pre-defined expectations.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

DH and I talk about this quite a bit.

When we were growing up, you didn't have kids shooting up other kids, like Columbine. We had more freedoms than the younger generations do now. And there is more violence among the younger generations. Do the two go hand in hand, is there more violence because there is less freedoms, or are there less freedoms because there is more violence?

Would I let my older kids go somewhere without me knowing who they were with or where they were going or checking in once in a while when they were in, say, junior high (They will be a junior and senior in high school next year)? Hell no. But my parents let me do that when I was in 5th grade. Now that the older two are older, they still have to check in and have a curfew and I still want to meet the people they are with, especially if they are going to be in a car with a teenage driver.

I don't know if our overprotectiveness is a result of the changes in our society or if the changes are a result of our overprotectiveness.

Does that make sense?
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

Yes, I absolutely think that so many parents today are so over protective and I do think that's going to hurt us as a society, if it hasn't already.

The thing is, people learn by doing. Kids learn to be independent by being independent. A child cannot learn to cross the street by themselves until they start crossing the street by themselves. They cannot learn how to handle themselves at a party without mom until they are at a party without mom. They cannot learn how to pay their own bills until they pay their own bills. When we put off teaching kids how to do these things because they are "just kids" then we end up with adults who are still kids, because we haven't raised them to be adults.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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When we were growing up, you didn't have kids shooting up other kids, like Columbine.
Well, that's not true, Columbine happened WHILE I was growing up. And I don't think I am substantially younger than you. But, DH is 7.5 yrs older than me and he can recall instances that happened when he was growing up.

But, you want to go earlier than that, there were certainly things that happened before then, like all of the racial violence of the 60s, that for sure found it's way into the schools.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:34 PM   #8
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
Well, yes, you change perspectives as your children age. It's only natural.

The only people who know 100% how they will parent are people who have never parented. As soon as you have kids, the game changes and your perspective changes, etc.

I actually feel bad sometimes giving advice on situations I haven't been through yet because it's almost meaningless advice unless it comes from someone who has children older than you. But.. Sometimes I think people are brainstorming, so advice from anyone can be useful taken with a grain of salt.

Do I think the overprotectiveness does more harm than good? Yes, I do. I don't like where our communities are headed at all.

I live on a military base. We have old empty base houses and then all the new housing. The old housing was set up for reasonable privacy, but all around huge parks and very community type oriented. All the new stuff is set up completely different with tiny empty parks out back doors and huge streets so your neighbors seem as far away as possible.

That's just an example. But I listened to something on NPR years ago about how our music media shows the changes in our culture over time. The difference of when boom boxes were devices that people would congregate around, share musical tastes, talk, dance, etc. and now everyone is privately listening to their iPod. I'm not saying I want loud music everywhere, it just shows how society is closing in on itself. Our sense of community is lessening. Our interactions with others are lessening and we're increasingly suspect of others around us. We are more depressed and all alone in a sea of people who generally feel the same way.

Forums like this thrive on people's need to be social without inconvenience. Social without fear. We close in on ourselves, we see neighbors as scary, etc. friendly people on buses or at grocery store are weird and creepy.

And I think it's all going to implode someday. I think it would be better to teach our children to trust themselves and others (with respect and wariness when needed) instead of teaching them that we fear their actions, we fear their friends' parents, etc.

We create things in our mind that don't exist and teach our children to do the same.

I hope that all made sense as I meant it.
I totally agree. Online shopping is another one. We want to be able to do EVERYTHING without seeing another person or being inconvienced. Its sad I was just reading today where restaurants (sit down type) are putting screens on tables so you can order without ever seeing a waiter or watch TV while you dine. Its SAD to me that we are resorting to that. What about enjoying the company of the people your with? But anyway back on topic, I think we are terribly overprotected as a society. I grew up in a family that was very overprotective, and suffer from generalized anxiety now as an adult. I am determined NOT to do that with my own kids, to allow them AGE APPROPRIATE freedoms, and decision making. I hope that it has a positive impact on them.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:54 PM   #9
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

Yes I do. I have recently been giving a lot of thought to this. My 13 year old niece lives with us. I have begun to allow her to do things that before I would have not even considered. In order to be competent and capable one needs to practice. I am starting this with my daughter as well. It is a process.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
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Re: Do you think our society's overprotectiveness could do more harm than good?

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Well, that's not true, Columbine happened WHILE I was growing up. And I don't think I am substantially younger than you. But, DH is 7.5 yrs older than me and he can recall instances that happened when he was growing up.
I was 10 years out of high school and had 2 kids when Columbine happened in 1999. I just used that as an example because that was the first one I can remember that got the media attention, but there have been so many since that it's scary. I'm not saying that nothing ever happened, but it seems like it's happening more frequently in the past couple decades then it did before. Our parents didn't have less things to worry about while we were growing up, just different things, not kids taking guns to school and shooting their teachers and classmates.
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