Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Well, This Is Depressing

A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer.

I recently heard of a couple of families who didn't want to send their kids to church camp for one week because they would "miss them too much".  As I'm in mid-research right now and interviewing a collection of Millennial parents, I broached this topic with my interviewees.  It was met with some mirth, a little more disregard, and the very trenchant observation that some parents see their children not as individuals deserving of independence, but tools created to enable the parents to feel perpetually child-like.

All of the parents I interviewed send their children to some form of age-appropriate day or overnight camp in the summer.  Some camps are religious, others secular.   It was important for them to permit circumstances for their children where independence could be learned, or refined, away from direct parental control.

"I brought them into the world for them, not just for me," said one.

Another twisted aspect of our contemporary society is also rendered here:

NYT: The Parent Trap