We Need to Change For the Kids
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. Today’s culture is calling mothers ‘careless monsters’ for allowing their kids to complete simple tasks in the real world alone. Women who are doing their best do not deserve to be shamed for the way they care for their child. Children are going through their early years with very little social interactions and no independence from their parents. People everywhere should be made aware that our kids deserve more in life than what we are giving them.
After finding out there was a warrant out for her arrest as an unfit mother, Kim Brooks wrote a book about her experience and a New York Times Op-Ed column about her book, which is where I learned of her. Kim had simply ran into a store for five minutes to run an errand and left her 5-year-old son playing happily on his tablet in the backseat of the car. She immediately felt guilty after finding out a bystander had witnessed the events and reported her to the local police. At some point in her wallows Kim realized that she wasn’t a horrible mother and that today’s society is built around fear. Most of today’s adults 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 in parks or being left in cars for even just a couple of minutes without an adult.
Childhood is such an important part of shaping kids into who they are as people. The assistant director for the Center of Childhood Resilience, Tali Raviv explains that children are no longer put in situations where they are able to practice their emotional skills. She states they no longer learn “how to start a friendship, how to start a relationship, what to do when someone’s bothering you, how to solve a problem.” The first step to help the future leaders of America is to give them more recess, less homework and have more fun group activities. Students interactions with each other is more important than with their parents. Children observe and adapt to other children in the way they dress, act, and even talk. It is best for them to communicate with others their own age because they begin to talk and play and learn skills like how to negotiate.
Once children have gained more courage and independence they will be much more ready to go into the real world. Parents should feel safer allowing their loved ones to venture out more if they feel more comfortable. According to writer Warwick Cairns, “you would have to leave a child alone in a public place for 750,000 years before he would be snatched by a stranger.” A car also has a better chance of injuring a child than getting kidnapped yet parents still are too overprotective. Adults, like kids, are worried about social norms and how others perceive them. Instead they should stick to what they know is right. Lots of parents have so much fear for their kids in the world and it shouldn’t be so difficult to allow them to do tasks like go to the convenience store for an errand. Many other mothers like Kim have had problems with letting their child to be free without thinking of police or peers personal views of neglect. Parents everywhere should face their fears for the sake of their kids and how important it is for them to have a healthy childhood.