Readers! There have been so many thoughtful comments about the post below this one — the one about the mom charged with neglect because her toddler slipped out of the house while she was napping. Here’s the one that gave me a jolt of insight. Two jolts, in fact:
By SKL: I am just saying, and not to anyone in particular, that the mindset “kid did ______, need to buy a safety product” is becoming the kneejerk reaction, and it concerns me.
When this exact sort of thing happened decades ago, the parents’ first thought was usually, “How do I teach her better?” It was even common practice for all preschoolers to be taught how to find their way home safely, just in case.
What I’m saying is, before, safety solutions were child development solutions. And now, safety solutions are child restraint solutions. Anyone else see why this is troubling?
(I’m not talking about a precociously mobile infant who is really too young to learn to choose well. And yes, I support a mom’s right to pee in peace, even if that means having baby gates for a while.)
Lenore here again: Yes, yes! I see how we have moved from “teach” to “buy” and/or “restrain” in many parenting situations. In fact, “buy those door handle thingies” was my solution, too. Thanks for this reality check: Why DO we automatically think of new things to BUY or activities to CURTAIL every time we parents worry for our kids? — L