Something I recently realized as I was avoiding assignments and looking through Pinterest was how each generation gets a little softer in their parenting techniques. Now I know that this is stereotypical of me but it's also true. Parents are becoming more and more protective over their children (hello there, helicopter parents) and they are doing more for their kids. Now before you get offended and run to your safe space, hear me out. The world is a scary place. It always has been and it always will be. I hear a lot of people saying things likes 'my 15-year-old child cannot go biking without his helmet and parental supervision because the world is so much worse than when I was a child'. All right, well I do have to applaud you for making your kid wear a helmet (although it's not likely he will keep it on) but you are also wrong. The world is just as bad as it was when you were 15 and biking around all day without parental supervision. If anything, the popularization of cell phones makes it safer for kids to go out without their parents being two feet behind them. I'm sorry, but independence is a part of the growing process.
Keeping an unusually short leash on kids is doing more than just pissing them off and making them wish they could chain you in the house and keep you there for a bit: it's also depriving them of developing the skills they need to be their own person. My father liked to point out that he wouldn't always be there to fix my issues and that I had to learn how to adult all by myself. And you know what, he's right. He wasn't there when my exhaust literally fell off my car. He wasn't there when I had to deal with my first angry customer. He wasn't there when I had to decide if I needed to go to class today or if I could miss it and sleep. He wasn't there when I had to call a towing company because I totaled my car or when I had to talk with the police after my boyfriend flipped his car. But I navigated all of these situations successfully. Do you want to know why? Because growing up, I had to deal with situations that prepared me for these things. I had to talk to the cashier when I wanted to buy things. I had to decide if I should go to my friend's house even though my parents said no. I was given choices and allowed to do things under the guidance of my parents. If I had issues at school, it was up to me to fix it. Mommy didn't call the school and fix it for me. I learned skills that I can use in life. Crazy I know.
Now, my parents were not dumb. I am a tiny little girl which makes it very easy for someone to snatch me up. I am sure my parents feared this happening every time I left the house. But instead of just keeping me locked up, they taught me to be careful and evaluate my situation. They taught me how to get out of a situation I wasn't comfortable in and how to think on my feet. They also put me through karate. But by doing this, they gave me an amazing ability to do the things that I want while being safe. They did not raise a victim, they raised a psychotic lady who can fend for herself. Would you rather have someone who has experience making decisions or a person who has been sheltered their entire life working for you? Stop raising victims! Stop doing everything for your kids and teach them how to be adults. Teach them to stand up for themselves and how to handle simple things. I am begging you. I have met some brilliant people who still have to call mommy to see if they should eat fruit with their breakfast or their lunch. I understand that as a parent you simply want them to stay alive and be happy. I get it. But unless you plan on taking care of them for the entirety of your life, give them some skills that will let them move out of your house one day. We don't need safe spaces because of a Netflix show or who our president is. We don't need to be hidden from the outside world and told how scary it is. We need skills. We need to have adults who can have a civil conversation and can decide for themselves if they should show up to work or not. I am not saying stop protecting them peroid, i'm simply suggesting we ease up on helicopter parenting after the kid is older than four.
Stop raising victims, we don't need them. Start raising adults again because parents have a tendency to die before their offspring.