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The Danger of Over Parenting

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When I was a kid I had a 'whole world' my parents weren't part of.

I'd go outside and play, wandering all over the district, riding my bike, engaged in sports, talking to others; to be blunt, I was in charge of me.

All the kids had the same life. We had freedom and needed to use our own judgement.

We spent most of the day away from our folks, living our lives.

We took ourselves to and from school, walking alone or in a batch from the age of six or seven. We grew up independent and able to think for ourselves.

That was then...


Today, kids as old as fourteen are taken to and collected from school by their parents or an appointed guardian.

They are kept locked in the house only allowed out under supervision. There is nothing they can do without parental approval and presence.

From what they are allowed to watch on television, view on a computer, to how they dress, they are under absolute control.

Where my batch could take ourselves to various venues, be it a museum or a movie, the beach or a friend's house, where we had our own styles, dressed ourselves, did our hair the way we chose, kids today are without volition.


I was talking about an astronomical feature when a mother said; "We aren't interested in astronomy.." speaking for her three children.

The response shocked and annoyed me.

How can she speak for her children? Aren't they independent people?

My parents could never make a remark like that. Nor could the parents of anyone I knew.

Watching this mother over supervise and think for her kids was repulsive. But also provoked the anthropologist in me to 'study' this 'culture' of over parenting.

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Here is a mother with some money, deciding to create a birthday party for her youngest.

She's spending hundreds of dollars with all sorts of ridiculous signs and various diversions, more focused on impressing the neighbors than considering what her child would like.

In fact, across the board, mothers like this use their children as 'stages' on which to present their egos.

They raise their children to be helpless possessions who are under their constant supervision and behave as they demand.

Where the purpose of parenting has always been to enculturate and train children to be independent, today it is to maintain infancy.

Shocking, but factual.


When my batch was growing up there was a lot of crime, gang violence, everything that existed today.

Yet we were grown with a sense of self, with the ability to exercise judgement.

We didn't speak to strangers, didn't get into their cars. Predators may have been about, but we were too wise to enter basements, or take offers from people we didn't know.

This wasn't because Mommy was there, this is because we were aware. We had to be. Riding a bike alone we had to be alert, walking to the shop, alone, we noticed people around us.

We were raised to be independent, raised to exercise our own judgement.

And we were, and we did..


It is no shock many parents today try to keep their kids away from their own parents or grandparents, for they would be 'bad influences'.

Those raised in the 1950s/60s have a different world view. A world view, opposite that of their parents who believe locking up their children to 'protect' them has value.

Keeping them helpless and under restrictions is 'good' for them.

Raising children to be children into adulthood can never be the best choice, for when those parents can no longer look after them, who will? For they are raised to be unable to look after themselves.

That is the danger of overparenting, raising children to be children, not independent adults.

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