I just read a very interesting article on Yahoo! News. (That, in itself, is quite shocking.) Of course, it is brought to you by ABC News and Christiane Amanpour. The article is called "What American Parents Need to Do Better: Lessons from The Rest of The World." Here is the link: Read it Here
It talks about how the majority of American parents think they do a very good job or better parenting/raising their children. It then goes into some of the differences in parenting there are in certain countries versus America and what that means.
One of the situations is of a kindergarten child in a German forest, whittling on a stick with a knife. Okay, before I go into ALL the things, we, as Americans, would see wrong with this picture, the article ONLY mentions how most people would have a problem with the kid having a stick. (WTH?!) Stating that, “He had been taught how to do it safely,” she said. “Meanwhile, a lot of children in the U.S. are not even allowed to pick up a stick at the school playground because it might hurt someone.”
Okay, first of all: a kindergarten child is usually 5 or 6 and s/he is alone in a forest. Not going to happen in America this day and age.
And next: with a knife. Yeah, right. Forget about the stick!
Do not get me wrong, I, personally, don't see too much wrong with this picture --- when I think about my upraising. I grew up surrounded by woods and was allowed to roam around and explore. Not with a knife but my brother was in the cub scouts and did learn how to whittle/make a spear (I have my doubts they still do that nowadays) and we did not cut off any fingers or hurt any one.
My point is: thanks to the media and the overabundance of it's accessibility, children in America can no longer be children. Parents and Grandparents are now PARANOID. It's an epidemic.
Case in point: I took my 4 year old son to the park the other day. We went with 2 other friends so there were a total of 3 mom's there and 3 boys. The boys had their big wheels and the mom's had their running shoes on. This park has a really nice paved walking path that goes around a huge soccer field. We've been here before so the boys know the area pretty well.
Just like the last time we were there, my son, Mr. Super Fast, takes OFF on his big wheel, in the opposite direction of the way the rest of us were going. Did I panic? No. I told him to keep going, that we'd meet up with him towards the middle because we were going the other way. He was like, "Okay!" And he happily peddled away. Was I freaking out? No. Was he freaking out? No. No big deal. I can hear him peddling away - I seriously have super sonic hearing since my sight is about nil.
Anyways, we are barely 5 minutes into the walk when I hear his big wheel coming back towards us and some lady screaming, "Is this your kid?!" I'm like, "YES!" Then she yells at me,"He could've been taken!"
Seriously?! Let me tell you what my first thought was; the first thing I totally wanted to yell at this stranger: "Are you offering?!" But I didn't. I bit my tongue. I looked at my friend and was like, "Is this lady for real?"
I just shrugged my shoulders, shook my head and started walking towards my poor child who looked terrified. Then this lady huffed, "Well I never!"
Neither have I lady, neither have I.
She may have thought she had my son's best interest at heart but honestly, all she did was scare the daylights out of him. THEY stopped HIM. He was fine, just peddling away to meet up with his mom and his friends. THEY scared HIM. HE knows better. I trust HIM.
Call me what you want. I will not hover over my son. I know that the world has changed, that some people are insane and do crazy stupid things. But if I teach my son to live in fear of everybody, and in fear of this world, then what kind of man am I raising? Not the one I want to hand off to a future wife, to a future WORLD.
How are we going to be the CHANGE if we can't stop living with our heads in the ground and in FEAR of the people that are making us afraid to LIVE LIFE? When did we become the home of weak and scared? I won't stand for it.
You cannot raise an independent, strong, determined and intelligent child if you hover and wrap them in a bubble. Americans think they know everything... but we really could learn A LOT from the rest of this world and how they raise their children. Take a parenting page from someone else and be willing to cut that umbilical cord before it strangles you.
Counting it all joy,