Raising children is no joke. Granted, there’re probably ten thousand moments while raising a child that seem like jokes, but on the whole, it’s serious business. Who knows, that might be the next US president you’ve got there, or the girl (or guy) destined to cure cancer, if you only do everything right, or as close to everything as possible.
Children today get well educated, they are protected from disease, and most of them actually live to see adulthood, as opposed to say, the situation a hundred years ago.
What they also almost never see these days is real danger, trials and tribulations, exploration on their own and risk. Sheltering, overprotection, vaccinations against anything and everything make sure that the children see adulthood, bu also make sure that they never learn how to cope with falling out of that apple tree and breaking an arm, they never get to learn how to take responsibility for themselves and their own safety and security, or others’ for that matter.
The most frequent advice used to be “Never talk to strangers” and “Don’t accept candy from men in cars, especially if you don’t know them.” After that was said and imprinted on the young mind, that young mind was sent out to play with friends and explore the woods or the neighborhood, without today’s leashes and helmets and careful instructions on how to disinfect and sanitize everything from the elbows down after touching the best friend’s bike handles.
Sadly, disinfected and helmeted children who’ve never even fallen out of a tree are the reality today: kids who will not feel pain or opposition until adult life snaps them in two, kills their spirit (if any of it survives childhood bunker-life), and makes sure that no one will be able to make the hard decisions needed to, say, run a country.
There are exceptions out there, I’m sure. However, in the end, I’m also sure that overprotection of our children will be our undoing.