..always dangerous, right? But you know how it is – on a random hop around the blogasphere, you stumble over a little comment that sticks in your craw and you mull over it and then think you’ve forgotten all about it but then it keeps on popping back up at odd times and you just wonder why about the whole blasted thing and hello get out of my head already?! So yeah – I had one of those moments, so I’m just gonna write about it. We’ll see how many haters this pulls out of the woodworks. Hee.
So, I was wandering around and random linkhopping as I’ve been known to do, and saw a picture of a waterslide with the comment “The waterslide of death. Obviously my children haven’t been on it.”
Our local water slide
I know, such a random thing to stick with me, especially as I’m not fond of waterslides myself, having a fear of heights and a severe dislike of getting my face splashed/wet. (I know, I’m weird.) But I couldn’t help but wonder why it was so ‘obvious’ that the kids hadn’t been on it. The slide looked a lot more innocent then ours does around here, and I couldn’t keep my kids off it if I tried. (For the record, I haven’t tried, either. Heh.) It’s built according to safety codes, and there’s a lifeguard at the top, plus the ones at pool itself to assure further safety of the kids and so on and so forth. I’ve never worried about them going down it, even as I refuse to do so myself and no amount of convincing can make me climb those stairs to
fling myself into a watery grave of doom at all nu uh no way slide.
Point being – I refuse to impose MY fears on my kids. Does that mean I’m going to let them play with knives and fire and jump off bridges and cliffs? No, because that would be stupid. However, I won’t hold them back from something they want to try either, simply because I’m too scared to try it myself.* I don’t want anything to stand in the way of something they want to do – within reason of course – see the cliff, and driving at the age of 5 or dating before they’re 87 years old.
So I began to wonder a wonder that I’ve wondered before – what the hell is with us and coddling our kids so much nowdays? I mean seriously, we’ve gone so far into the OMG MAH PRESHUSH BB DONT HURT DERE WIDDLE FEELINGS mode of thinking that it seems there’s a great deal of wimpy pushovers and terrified kids running around scared of expanding beyond their little bubbles of “MOMMY SAVE ME”. Am I the only one who thinks this does not bode well for the next group of national leaders that we’re raising?
Now, I’m not saying that common sense shouldn’t reign, but we have to give our kids room to fail, else they will never learn anything – whether it be the thrill of sliding down to a
watery tomb of death splash zone set aside for such rides, or dueling with swords, or driving before they’re we’re ready, or dating before they’re we’re ready or riding their bike around the block, or into town with an older sibling, or playing a sport and learning that NOT EVERYONE WINS and sometimes your kid will NOT be the BEST at everything…
If we convince them that they’re better without doing the work, or trying, or that everyone is the same, what good reason can we give our kids to strive to better themselves through their lives? How can we possibly expect them to reach and strive for their full potential, if we’ve coddled them into believing that what they are is all they can be? I fear that a whole bunch of people out there are coddling their kids into self-important delusions of grandeur, while pointing fingers at those of us who aren’t and calling us the bad guys and horrible parents.
It’s not about mommy wars, either. It’s about raising decent human beings that can fend for themselves, instead of reclusive little twerps that we can’t get out of our basement because THE SUN! IT MIGHT BURN MAH PRESHUSH SKIN and mommy I don’t WANNA go on the SLIDE don’t make me!
I don’t really have much of a point beyond the wondering why and how and even a bit if I am doing it all wrong myself. But then I get a look at the smile on my kids faces, I hear the way they talk with their friends, and I see that while they have no fear, they have as much common sense as I can pack into their little blond heads – and I know I’m doing OK.
Sure, you may think differently, and I suppose that’s OK, too as they’re your kids. Just remember, that no – it’s not obvious why your kids haven’t gone down that slide and mine are rushing for ride number 2730129381292. But in the end, I promise not to snicker as my kids rescue your kids from your basement someday.
At least, not too much.
Ok, how about not out loud.
That’s the least I can do.
*Please note that my fears are in no way a result of my parents’ raising me fearfully. I discovered them all on my own, because they allowed me to explore and learn my likes and dislikes all by myself while standing patiently by ready to rescue me when I needed it – just as I do my own kids. And you know, I never did touch that stove after it burned me the first time…