“Help! I Want to Have Kids But I Don’t Want to Hover”

Hi Readers! Sometimes I get the kind of note that makes my day/week/month, as did this one. Naturally, it comes with one nagging question, which I am often asked. – L.
.
Dear Lenore: Thank you so much for your wonderful book.  I am not (yet) a parent but plan to start a family soon.  I am so glad I picked up your book (I could barely put it down, you made me laugh more than I have laughed in a long time) before I started having kids!
.
It caught my eye because after I began working at a public library I noticed a trend among educated parents, and especially my colleagues, to have absolutely no faith whatsoever in their kids.  They would tell me “horror” stories of how their child once wandered out of eye-sight in the woods (headline news in my town is an underage drinking slap on the wrist of a college student, and the opening of a new park for kids to play in).  The child returned home safely and was told they were never ever ever allowed to be that far away again.  Period.
.
I have been stunned.  The majority of my childhood was spent alone in the very woods they thought  of with shudders.
.
I went home to my husband and said, “I wanted to have kids, but everyone is going to think I’m the worst mom on the planet if I give my kids the freedom I want them to have.”
.
When I read your story I realized how petty my fears were.   I’m very glad your son made it home safely, and I’m very glad you took the time to both look into and present the research on safety data.
.
My only question is…  Is it possible that abduction rates are low because people are keeping their kids tied to themselves?  I myself find it hard to believe that the world is that much more dangerous than it was when I was a child and believe that we are living, by far, in one of the safest, poshest, most affluent communities and times in the history of the world.  And ultimately believe that God is in control.  But when I was trying to tell a friend (whose mother is an extremist fear-monger who regularly and sincerely coaches her adult and near adult kids on zombie attack response!!!) her first response was, “Well, that’s probably because everyone’s watching out for their kids and not letting them have any freedom.”  That is to say, are the stats impacted by our irrational behavior?  Is this a causal affect on the numbers?
.
Regardless, thank you.  When I have kids, I’d be happy to let yours baby-sit mine.  :) – Megan
.
Dear Megan (I replied): Thanks for the nice note. As for your question,  ALL violent crime is down, not just crimes against kids – and it’s not like we’re locking up our adults. It’s just a lovely fact that crime is down across the board. Here’s a great piece on why we find the good news so darn hard to accept. And for a cherry on  top, here are the latest stats from the FBI! Savor them! – L. 
Crime rates chart

Sorry, comments and trackbacks have now been closed.