I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. When I was flying back to Albany for Thanksgiving, I picked up a Time magazine with this on the cover.
“Helicopter parents,” is a term coined for the mommies and daddies who hover over their precious angels, infantilizing them through college and beyond. Parents protesting exam grades with their kids’ college professors? Employers like Ernst & Young creating “parent packs” for recruits to give Mom and Dad, since they were involved in negotiating salary and benefits?
Are you shitting me?
This is a topic that’s made me want to puke for quite some time, and if the thought of people turning parenting into a form of product development makes you, too, roll your eyes clear back to your cerebellum, you have to read the article.
Not only are these nut cases obsessed with their kids’ success, they’re also off the wall about their safety. Strollers needing a warning label that says “Remove Child Before Folding”? Seriously?
The article also references a product that prompts me to suppress a horribly inappropriate joke: baby knee pads.
“Designed for the ultimate protection… because crawling on rough surfaces can be hard on baby’s knees…”
God help us, now I’ve seen everything. My parents were from the “You want something to cry about? I’ll give you something to cry about!” school of parenting, but I can’t imagine even they would make us crawl around on gritty concrete or broken glass.
The article also states that the percentage of kids walking or biking to school dropped from 41% in 1969 to 13% in 2001. (No wonder why kids are so goddamn fat these days.) And don’t tell me it’s much more dangerous now than when I was a 12-year-old back in ’69—kidnappers weren’t just invented in the 90s. Let children walk to school and to the store by themselves, for Christsake; it’s more dangerous to let them visit relatives since 80% of kids who are molested are victims of friends or family.
What is this world coming to, people? Who’s gonna be tough enough to protect our country and fight the wars if from day one we’re encasing our kids in bubble wrap? How will young people ever learn responsibility when their parents are paying for their cell phones into their 20s?
What do you think? Are we raising a nation of pussies or am I just sounding like an old bat?