Sunday, March 9, 2008

Are We Raising Wimps?

Do you ever remember wearing a helmet while riding your bike as a kid? I don't. And, although I had some wipe outs, skinned knees, and a few other aches and pains, I performed some amazing feats on my 10-speed -- going over ramps, poppin wheelies, and racing my brother's down the street. Every once in a while, mom would yell at us to be careful or slow down, mostly because we were getting really close to the flower bed or she did not want us to scrape the side of the car. It was not because we did not have on our helmets, knee or elbow pads. Oh, and who didn't ride on the handlbars of a friend's bike every now and then? I should have been a stunt woman.

Now, as a mom I understand the need for safety. Little Buckaroo learned to ride his bike yesterday without training wheels. He put on all the gear himself, he really likes the whole idea of gearing up and of course his little brother does everything he does. As I look at this, the first thing I think is... boy he is cute, oh and so is our little boy.

Then I think, are we becoming a little neurotic when it comes to our children's safety. When I was growing up, no one wore helmets while riding their bikes, skateboard, or pogo sticks (although I had a major accident on a pogo stick I will tell you about later and no, a helmet would not have helped). The closest thing to safety was when it became cool to have an orange flag attached to your bike so that the cars could see us we launched ourselves into the road at break neck speeds. But now there are products on the market that we would not have even thought were possible and even rediculous while we were growing up.

Such as, the baby bottom fan. Um, neither of the Buckaroos were still long enough for me to get their diaper on straight, so they definitely would not lay there long enough for me to aim a fan at their bottom. Is this really necessary?

Why Cry® Baby Crying Analyzer, I am not kidding, there is a product out there that supposedly analyzes your baby’s crying and can help you understand and identify why your baby is crying. Are you kidding me?

Then there is something called a Walk-O-Long, it is a super-sized leash for your child. I think I will just hold the Buckaroo's hands, thank you.

So, this brings me to the question, are we raising a generation of wimps? At this rate, I hope the war in Iraq is over by the time some of the 5 year olds today are of age because they won't be able to leave the confines of their overly cautious cocoons. You can't bring a therapeutic pencil into a war zone! Thank goodness the mothers of the boys raised in the 1920s & 30s didn't spoil them with electric wipe warmers (yes, we have one) because they wouldn't have had the fortitude to storm the beaches at Normandy.

I'm not saying that we should let our kids try to be Evil Knievel or Tony Hawk all the time, but there's something to be said for allowing our kids to take risks. Kids today are so used to having a "safety net" that they are not willing or going to be willing to try something that get's them out of their comfort zones. The over riding message of growing up for me was that - we took risks but we survived them. And those risks enabled me to have the courage and strength to always take risks in my daily life. (Plus the fact that I have 5 brothers, it was all about survival for me)

We're so worried about protecting their skulls that we are not worried about what goes into those little minds? Forget helmets, just outlaw Britney Spears, news of Paris Hilton's latest arrest and all the other elements of the culture of no consequence and with God's help, their little heads will be just fine.

Now, we are trying to raise our boys to be Wild at Heart, for them to live a life that in their heart they know they have what it takes to be the man God created them to be.

But, until they can ride their bikes without training wheels, I guess the helmets will be a fixture here!

Until tomorrow,
Be Safe!
The Park Wife


OKGardners said...

You certainly have the right idea. We are a bit "cautious" with kids today. but we lived without all the "safety" devices. However, with a Mom and Dad like you two, they will NOT be wimps.

Your family is so nice looking. No wonder you decided to follow Big Buckaroo anywhere!

You are right about the news media/TV putting so much trash out for little minds to absorb. I don't know many folks who are interested in Britney or Paris and all their antics.

I anticipate that your boys will grow up just fine.

Betty in Oklahoma

Pam said...

Snow - Shorts... just laughing at that :)

fairygodmother said...

The boys are having such fun. Thanks for sharing the pics. Is Big Buck actually wearing his ranger boots with those shorts??? I so love that man's sense of style.!. Seriously, I can't wait to see what wonderful MEN of GOD they will become. Life is the great adventure and you have 2 great adventurers there.

:Jayne said...

Helmets are required in our city.
I think it's hogwash! But then I think lots of things in our society are hogwash! I'm glad mine are grown.
Yours won't be wimps. They aren't tv freaks, they know what sunshine and fresh are. They will be just fine.

Renee in Seattle said...

I understand your point of view, but I'm going to have to disagree with you... I live in the 'burbs (asphalt everywhere) and my 13 year old rides his bike to and from school every day. He slipped on ice and his helmet saved him from a terrible head injury. I don't think you have to choose between being smart (i.e. safe) and daring... I think you can be both.

Just yesterday a 10 year old boy suffocated in 1 foot of sand in a sandbox when he convinced his friends to help him bury his head because he thought it would be fun.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Cripes! We didnt even wear seat belts!

I agree though - we may be over coddling our kiddos!

And our pets! Have you seen that thing that analyzes your pets bark? Tells you what they want?

Yeah right!! Can you spell SUCKER!!

Hallie :)

Anonymous said...

I disagree somewhat. Yes, helmets look dorky, but I think they're essential. Yes, we didn't die as children, but we were lucky. I remember a boy on my street that DID die by hitting his head on the sidewalk. Accidents happen, little kids aren't perfect, and neither are drivers.

You can be daring and adventurous on a bike and wear a helmet. It won't slow you down, it's only there to protect you.

Do you allow your kids to not wear seatbelts in the car because they weren't popular when we were children as well?