Is Society Overprotective of Children?

In Mufti

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by Horace

I also think American culture provides an absurdly over-extended adolescence to men at least. Maybe into their 30's nowadays.

I agree

Regards,
 

LabelKing

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by Horace

quote:Originally posted by JLibourel

On the thread about removing shoes in the house, it was mentioned that some hosts requested it to protect their priceless children from "street germs." As I commented there, I think modern society--American society--has become hysterically overprotective of children!

I also think American culture provides an absurdly over-extended adolescence to men at least. Maybe into their 30's nowadays.
Look at what many men wear.

It's really quite offensive.

As for overprotection of children, I think some aspect of it has to do with society, which has in certain elements become more dangerous.

People don't play on the streets anymore.

'Naturally, love's the most distant possibility.'

Georges Bataille
 

mano

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by Long Way of Drums

More that I think those who would bemoan the collapse of society due to the presence of kneepads and batting helmets and a handful of minor, stupid laws are willfully and agressively divorced from any real sense of perspective.


"Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."

"Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keels. Makes her home."

We will not walk in fear, one of another.

I don't think anyone is bemoaning the collapse of society on anything here. These fora, and this forum in particular, are similar to group of people getting together to discuss various issues. As I've gotten older, this topic, and variants thereof, have been discussed at numerous dinner parties I've attended. There's usually no real conclusion except that things today sure are different than the good old days. Nevertheless, there's no harm in a lively and perhaps controversial discussion.

Start a thread on what you consider deep political and social importance and no doubt others will join in.
 

manicturncoat

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
The problem you describe, and the urban upper classes that you use as an example, seem simply to be having fewer and fewer children per couple, hence the increase in the amount of attention that is given to each child. They are also usually educated and keep up with latest studies and trends in childcare which constantly makes them wonder if they are raising their children in the best way, they are stressed about getting their children into the "right" school which, once upon a time, simply the ability to pay the tuition, and the right pedigree, conferred exclusivity, today their children have to prepare and excel from a very young age. If your only child is a disaster well...but if you have eight children.....
 

globetrotter

Super Member
1. I think that it does have to do with people having children later, and less. I can think of 2 good examples - we hve friends who had a single boy, using all sorts of fertilization help, after the age of 40. they both dot on him, and are both extremly paranoid about him. a while back, they wanted my wife to baby sit him for a day, on a school holiday, because they have never used a babysitter and had an emergency. my wife insisted that they leave a car seat for him, because we always make sure that if we need to leave the house we can. they wouldn't give us their car seat for the day, because they never move the car seat themselves, they go to the fire station and have a fireman adjust it. the other thing is that I know that having one kid myself, and maybe we will have another, but not more than that, gives me a lot of time to wory about him. I don't think that my few friends who have 5 or more kids love their kids less, but they don't have, on a practical basis, as much time to worry about each one.

2. I drove around in a smokey statoin wagen without childrens seats as a kid. didn't kill me, but I honestly think that my mother's smoking when she was pregnant and when I was a kid, cost me a few inches in hieght. not the end of the world, and they made up for it in other things, but it is something to think about - it used to be perfectly normal to let kids ride around without seatbelts (I never used them) and for parents to smoke in the car with kids.

3. I see a lot of kids in the third world who are victems of pretty horrible accidents, alot of the kind of thing that we have tried specifically to avoid here.

4. I was pretty obsessive about germs when my son was born, but I have become very flexible about it now. the fact is, anything that doesn't kill him does, in fact, make him stronger. he got sick alot when he was 1-2, now he hardly gets sick at all.

5. like Tom said, we discussed this a while back - when I was kid, I would go out for the day with a bike, fish, play in the woods and fields, get together with friends to play baseball or other ball games, without any adult supervision. I never see any kids doing that kind of stuff today, and I honestly don't know if I would let my son run around unsuporvised in a few years. I remember running around playing with 4 or 5 kids and GI joes and the age of 5, in the nieghborhood. I can't see letting my son out to play like that in a year, and I can't see any of his friends parents doing that. I don't like it, but that is the way it has turned.

6. my father used to go hunting by himself when he was 12 or 13. I went on a hitchiking trip with 2 friends the summer I was 16. I think that those days are over in america. I regret it, but that is what it seems to me.
 

Fogey

Elite Member
Are any parents out there pre-registering their children as future Ask Andyers? [^]


d0a4451f.jpg
 

J. Homely

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I agree that too much is made of cases where boys are 'seduced' by older women. I can't imagine how an adult woman could be attracted to a 14-year old boy, and it's pretty clear to me that these women have 'issues', but I think the boys are victimized more by the media attention than the sex. Teacher-student relationships are inappropriate and the teacher should be fired, but that's beside the issue of the constant media focus and the overwrought demonstrations of moral outrage that are expressed by the professional hysterians. In those cases, I don't believe the attention is rooted in overprotectiveness of children as much as it's rooted in a lust for sensationalism.
 

crazyquik

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by globetrotter

6. my father used to go hunting by himself when he was 12 or 13. I went on a hitchiking trip with 2 friends the summer I was 16. I think that those days are over in america. I regret it, but that is what it seems to me.

I think hitchhiking in general is 'over' in America.

However, Daniel Boone was out hunting by himself when he was 12, as was your father. That is still not uncommon for one or a small group of boys to go out hunting or fishing today (for , at least in the South, and in the West.

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Beware of showroom sales-fever reasoning: i.e., "for $20 . . ." Once you're home, how little you paid is forgotten; how good you look in it is all that matters.
 

Acct2000

Connoisseur - Moderator
I agree that children are probably at least somewhat overprotected.

I can remember being four and my mother having me walk four blocks to the store to buy bread. (We lived in a small town about 15 miles from Saginaw, MI.) After the first trip, she made me take my toy wagon because I ruined part of a loaf of bread by dragging on the ground. She would give me a quarter and tell me how many pennies I should bring back home. (This was about 1960.)

No harm ever came to me. (My younger brother was an infant and my going to the store meant she could stay home with him.)

I wonder if our world is really all that much more dangerous. I think a lot of it is media hype. As tragic as it is when someone is murdered, we need to remember that 270,000,000 Americans were NOT murdered that day, too.

(Forgive me, my population estimate is probably off.)
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
A lot of the replies to this have been interesting. (I have been away from the forum for about 30 hours, longer than usual for me.)

One thing I forgot to mention, and only Globetrotter touched on it is the whole hoo-ha about protecting children from the horrors of second-hand smoke.

As a child of the 1940s, I grew up in household of four or five smokers. Much of my childhood was spent in a blue haze of cigarette smoke! Did it stunt my growth? Well maybe. I only got to be 6'3" and have weighed well over 200 pounds for almost my entire adult life. Now if I had grown up in a smoke-free household, maybe I could have played offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins in the Don Shula era, but I kinda doubt it.

Actually, I never had a lot of athletic ability, but nature compensated by giving me strength, vigor and endurance most of my days. I'm still hanging in pretty well, I like to think, as I am getting ready to celebrate my 64th in a few weeks. If second-hand smoke harmed me, it's pretty hard to discern how.
 

zegnamtl

Elite Member
Jan,

This is always a hot topic within my family too.
My parents have no grandsons, just a handful of very pretty grand daughters.
My brother and I are protective of our girls, that is a given.

But I whole heartily agree with you over all.
But how did we get this way?

In Mufti wrote:
That whole generation (WW II types) just seemed to naturally function a lot more like a team.

A Litigation crazed society has struck fear in the heart of anyone who might otherwise step up to the plate and help. Lack luster punishment for those who commit crimes has a huge element of the population afraid of retaliation for stepping up against a crime in progress.

The only possible counter effect was the advent of the cell phone, people who once helped, now just call 911.


VS wrote:

When we were kids, we'd disappear ALL DAY in the summer. We'd build forts, play and catch lizards

didn't spend hours locked up with our own television


As did we, I remember knocking on doors in the neighbor and asking to use the washroom, or for a glass of water, everyone knew everyone. Today, everyone has a fence around their yard, their own pool, all the public pools are closing. Remember the fun of the corn roasts and dances at the pool! Dancing with Rosemary M to Stairway to Heaven......

Television was only used as a tricky way to try and extend bed time, it never came on before dinner in our house. Never.
Television has become the baby sitter, a big pacifier for many parents.

There are no fields left to run in, there are no more woods left to build forts in. The trees are in parks today. Suburban sprawl goes on as far as the eye can see. My brother and I had a single shot 22 we would go into the woods with, we only lived 15 minutes from downtown Montreal.
Where could you possibly fire a rifle today? Even the sand pits are chained up under video guard.



JLibourel wrote:
I grew up in household of four or five smokers

The tobacco companies are alleged to have treated the tabac to give the nicotine rush faster, to make it more addictive. Why did we suffer less? People are not smoking the same product today as our parents did.



VS wrote:
Or does the media just scare the hell out of everyone?
Yckmwia wrote:
we are currently engaged in a endless war on . . . what? Not a foreign power, no longer even a tactic, but a state of mind: a "war on terror." It's always "Indian country" someplace.

Agreed!
Fear has become the biggest motivator and weapon against the population.
Governments use it daily to rally support and shape public opinion.
Companies use it to sell you everything from a cell fone to cars and security systems.

Jan, we grew up in much simpler times. My only concern as young boy was to be home, at the dinner table, with clean hands, before 5pm. A freedom and joy of childhood my daughters, sadly, will never know.
 

Liberty Ship

Senior Member
I don't think that society is overprotective of children; it seems like more than ever, children have become a commodity. Instead, I think the problem is that people are seeking to empower themselves "in the name of the children."

Politicians seek to accumulate more power for themselves and government "in the name of the children." Mothers seek social power and power through the judicial system because of their status as "mothers" and in the name of their children. Social service agencies and charities all front with the "children" issue. "Children" are the trump card in any discussion of policy and the cynical are pretty quick to play them.

I know that there are exceptions and I am speaking in generalities. But even as "the children" are all we hear about, they are warehoused in day care from birth, spoiled rotten out of mother-guilt, forced into schools at hours convienent to the military-industrial complex, and, quite often, forced to conform their schedules and needs to their parent's career ambitions. The angst this seems to cause results in "the village" coming at us with mandate after mandate "in the name of (everyone else's) children."

So I think society is much less protective of the individual child than it used to be, but much more vocal in asserting the needs of children in general for the benefit of everyone but the children themselves.
 

guitone

Elite Member
Think about when we started to structure every minute of our children's lives, after school events we needed to drive them too, saturday and sunday soccer, or T ball or whatever, always in groups, children never alone..think about the efforts that our communites have gone to in order to keep drugs away from the children. I do indeed think this is hte beginning of the real overendulgence of our children, we are so scared that they may do what many of us did, or what has become so easy to do know...sex and drugs are easy for kids to get, have anyone heard of the Flyer parties happening on the West Coast?

We have all created what are children are today, the spoiled, self indulgent, self centered little brats are just demanding what we have given them..nothing more and nothing less, and parents are pathetic in their need to overprotect (myself included) because we know what thje outside world has in store for the unaware, the unsophisticated.

As far as woman initiating boys to sex, that is one issue that this thread need not deal with, but I would venture to guess that most boys will not feel psycologically or physicailly harmed by this occurrence.

The overprotectivenss of watching every germ, you got some really disturbed parents on that one...my mother made us take off our shoes because she did not want to clean the mess we would bring into the house..germs were never an issue, of course you could eat off her floor, but that is for another topic...

Just my $.02 for whatever it is really worth.

BTW. look at many 20's and even 30's young people today, see any differences in those of us in our 50's and how we think of others and ourselves?

guit
 

globetrotter

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by guitone



BTW. look at many 20's and even 30's young people today, see any differences in those of us in our 50's and how we think of others and ourselves?

guit

well, I am still not 40, but I think that I was raised pretty old school - I think that most people I see in their 20's today, and a hell of a lot in their 30's seem to have been raised with a very extended adolesence and not as much independence or reposnsibility.
 

guitone

Elite Member
I think you hit it on the head gobetrotter, it is all about how we bring our children up and so many parents have just been too indulgent with their children, making them think that they are more special than any other person or child, and they believe this and act on this.

quote:Originally posted by globetrotter

quote:Originally posted by guitone



BTW. look at many 20's and even 30's young people today, see any differences in those of us in our 50's and how we think of others and ourselves?

guit

well, I am still not 40, but I think that I was raised pretty old school - I think that most people I see in their 20's today, and a hell of a lot in their 30's seem to have been raised with a very extended adolesence and not as much independence or reposnsibility.

guit
 

Badrabbit

Super Member
Where I grew up, we were allowed to run through the woods with BB guns and 22s, play unsupervised with fireworks, take off for hours at a time, rode three wheelers with no helmets (for those of you who don't remember 3 wheelers, they were the very unstable predecessors to the 4 wheeler), drive the ski boat at 12, or mount the horses at 8 AM and head off and not return until sunset. We didn't sit on our butts all day playing video games because there was so much else to do (and I'm young enough that I had pong when I was 5 and had every single subsequent gaming system). I was born in 1974 and certainly grew up after the current fearmongering had started. None of my friends were killed, dismembered, permanently brain addled, paralyzed, abducted, or victims of spontaneous combustion. A few broken bones and scrapes make good character.





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Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion. Men prefer old pipes and torn jackets.
Anthony Burgess
 

tiger02

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
While I mostly agree, I think there's a lot of overgeneralization going on. For instance:
quote:Originally posted by zegnamtl
VS wrote:
Or does the media just scare the hell out of everyone?
Yckmwia wrote:
we are currently engaged in a endless war on . . . what? Not a foreign power, no longer even a tactic, but a state of mind: a "war on terror." It's always "Indian country" someplace.

Agreed!
Fear has become the biggest motivator and weapon against the population.
Governments use it daily to rally support and shape public opinion.
Companies use it to sell you everything from a cell fone to cars and security systems.
Remember the Commies? Yeah, the use of fear as a controlling device was around in spades in the '50s. guitone, I would hope that those in their 50s have different worldviews than those of us in our 20s, n'est pas?

Tom
 

zegnamtl

Elite Member
Perhaps a generalization, but not over the top by any means.
I am unaware of the state of advertising in Germany,
But here, the "get peace of mind" and fear status runs rampant.
It has been taken to new levels of late, levels unseen since the high of the cold war perhaps, although I am too young to have lived that.
 

Yckmwia

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by tiger02

While I mostly agree, I think there's a lot of overgeneralization going on. For instance:
quote:Originally posted by zegnamtl
VS wrote:
Or does the media just scare the hell out of everyone?
Yckmwia wrote:
we are currently engaged in a endless war on . . . what? Not a foreign power, no longer even a tactic, but a state of mind: a "war on terror." It's always "Indian country" someplace.

Agreed!
Fear has become the biggest motivator and weapon against the population.
Governments use it daily to rally support and shape public opinion.
Companies use it to sell you everything from a cell fone to cars and security systems.
Remember the Commies? Yeah, the use of fear as a controlling device was around in spades in the '50s.

Tom

Such tactics have been a constant in American life, present since the nation's inception, as revealed by this excerpt from the Declaration:

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

That is why I noted that it is "always Indian country someplace." Both here and abroad, there are always places of nameless dread where "merciless savages" plan the "undistinguished destruction" of good Americans of "all ages, sexes, and conditions." These enemies are implacable, irrational, and can only be dealt with by fire and sword. A common feature throughout the ages has been that these "merciless savages" are never provoked and are never aggrieved; they work day and night for our "undistinguished destruction," motivated by sheer bloodlust and evil. Thus, we are always innocent, always violated, always at the mercy of the unreasoning monsters, the "evildoers," who will attack us for no cause, and without warning. With the "war or terror" this form of collective derangement has been taken to a new level of abstraction; marry this to a both a professed worship of "the market" - a commodification of everything, such as Liberty Ship notes - and an infantilized news media that devotes endless hours of coverage to lurid crimes, and what do you have? A nation of terrorized money-grubbers, who amass private arsenals and won't let their children out of sight for fear of "sexual predators." It is both amusing and instructive to observe this contrived climate of fear backfire, as it has with the recent UAE/port imbroglio.

"There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell 'em." Louis Armstrong.
 
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