Monday, April 21, 2014

The Epic Failure of Helicopter Parenting

American parents have spent the last two generations trying to keep their children safer by keeping them closer to home and under constant protective watch. As The Atlantic reports, today kids are just as frequently injured in accidents and just as rarely victims of crime as they were when kids were allowed to run off and play in the woods by themselves.

Also, children are less confident and parents are more frazzled. What's not to like?

So why does helicopter parenting persist? Helicopter parenting makes parents FEEL constantly needed and important, even if the evidence shows their kids would be better off on their own sometimes.

It's also no coincidence that the rise of protective parenting overlaps almost perfectly with the rise of local television news. Every time there's an incident, local TV news breathlessly asks IS YOUR CHILD IN DANGER?? Meanwhile, the most common ways for children to die: Accidents involving guns and cars, neither of which your child will find in the woods.

Let your kids get muddy once in a while. It's good for them, and for you.
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