In response to my post on the $1000 football helmet, Charity writes:
…the primary purpose of our job as parents is NOT to protect our children. The primary purpose (I believe) is to raise them into adulthood to be functioning members of society; or, as my husband puts it ‘to be decent human beings’. Part of that involves protection in moderation. But to protect our children from the consequences of their own actions? I think that is doing our children a great disservice. Indeed, it seems to me that over-protection of our children is a form of child abuse – it keeps them as children long after they should have grown up.
Think about the explosion of ‘extreme’ sports. Isn’t this a result of too many parents protecting their children to the extent that (1) they have no real outlet to explore the limits of their world, and (2) that the kids have never learned that bad stuff can happen to them?
It’s about love, in my opinion. Loving our children enough that we are willing to accept that we are going to feel fear and pain when they (our children) experience and learn from life.
We claim we are taking these extreme measures to protect our children, but I think the people we are really protecting are ourselves. We do it so WE don’t have to deal with the discomfort of fear, or deal with the fact that we are not the ones in control of every little thing, or deal with the pain we feel when our child learns those painful lessons of life. Lessons s/he NEEDS to experience and learn in order to be able to navigate through life.
In short, we do it because we are more concerned with our comfort than we are with their NEED to grow up.
That said, I think we should be reasonable about things. If the helmet cost $100 instead of $1,000 – it might be worth it. On the other hand, I think these things encourage us in the belief that our technology makes us invulnerable and that is NOT a good thing.
Perfectly put. We think it is all about us when it is all about them even though that means we have to suck it up. How downright inconvenient. 😉