Today’s culture is turning devoted mothers into ‘careless monsters’ after numerous women are shamed for leaving their kid in the car for a couple minutes. Children are living their lives with almost no social interactions and no independence. This is because parents are fearful of what could happen to them or are they fearful of what others might think of their parenting skills.
Background and Evidence
A woman named Kim Brooks writes about her experience after she innocently left her child in the car for 5 minutes while she ran into a store to run a quick errand. She returned to her car and her son was in the same place she left him playing a game in his car seat in the backseat. Except little did she know that a bystander had watched her do this and reported it to local enforcement. She felt terribly guilty about what she had done until she realized that this small act was just outside of today’s social norm. Most adults today had been left in cars, parks and even their houses for up to multiple hours alone when they were children. But today there are no kids playing alone in parks or being left alone in cars for even just a couple of minutes. People are beginning to blame today’s culture of being too fearful. Parents who smother their kids are not letting them experience independence or how to express their emotions with other kids and build genuine face-to-face friendships.
Sources I Have Found
This is an article by Kim Brooks about her experience with the cops. She tells her story of her son and adds her opinions about fear affecting the social norms on how to parent a child properly. She also interviews other women with similar experiences who agree that they are not bad or lazy moms like others would call them.
An article written about the book Small Animals by Kim Brooks makes a point about actually driving in a car with a child. It is way more dangerous than the statistics of leaving a child alone for a few minutes and hoping the boogeyman doesn’t steal him. She explains that this generation knows enough about risks like wearing a helmet and a seat belt but fear is what is driving the childhood of children to be different.
Depression rates in children are higher than ever. This article blames the difference in the way children are raised on the way that adults view them. They believe it is their job to teach when in reality kids learn almost everything by watching other kids around them. Children don’t get enough play time as they used to and therefore are not learning enough social skills with their peers.
Other countries respond to Brooks op-ed in shock of how strict parents are in America. They tell stories of their children being independent enough to do their own chores and not come home until dinnertime without notifying their parents. Every parent has the fear of something bad happening to their kids but they refuse to let it run their lives.
Children who are around adults all the time are learning the wrong things. They pick up on everything including the bad things like profanity. Children should get away from their parents to learn independence. Independence leads to courage which is needed to face challenges in life. Once kids start playing together they are using their communication skills to establish rules and talk about their emotions. They also learn how to share and not be selfish.
Sources I Haven’t Found
I would like to find more stories about the difference in childhood today versus a different time period.
- A point can be made that if everyone becomes more lenient with their children’s whereabouts, abductions and kidnapping numbers may become higher than they already are.
- People might think it is old school to want to have the same childhood as “back in the day” but it is more about the benefitting a child’s skills.
My only fear for this OpEd-in-progress is how you’ll manage to combine the many threads of your fascinating topic, Ajuuy. It will be daunting to combine the “neglectful parent” thread with the “depressed child” thread with the “reasonable fear of abduction” thread with the “helicopter parent” thread without making readers feel you don’t have a clear thesis of your own.
Your thesis statement should be the place where you distill your many ideas into a bold and clear declaration.
Yours wavers, leading to my confusion, where it should hold still. Maybe your thesis is: Shaming parents who deviate from a 24-hour-surveillance approach to parenting is creating a generation of unfulfilled, fully-dependent, helpless, anxious kids who will never leave home and have lives of their own.
Or something like that. You do need to do more than synthesize the several articles you’re referencing here. The primary value of your OpEd will be to reason well, provide good ideas, and suggest ways to cure a social ill.