Soapbox Issues

Want your kids to be independent?

Forget about it! Especially if you live in New South Wales. Apparently, NSW police will now report parents to Community Services if children are found wandering by themselves and if the police think they are at risk. They warned a mother who let her 10 year old catch the bus to and from piano lessons alone. Even though the mum was at the bus stop to meet her daughter. Another dad got cautioned as well for allowing his 7 year old son walk 400 metres to the local corner store.

Is this for real?

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

It doesn’t make sense. What is wrong with a 10 year old catching the bus to piano lessons or to school? They are going to have to learn to do it on their own some day and as a parent, one would want them to learn that slowly. So why wouldn’t you send your kid to piano lessons on their own and wait for them at the end? Why can’t a 7 year old walk to the corner store? Especially if they are developmentally capable?

How much more are we going to wrap up the kids in cotton wool? Need to wear helmets while riding a bike. Can’t go out in the sun too long. Can’t walk too far or the poor bub’s feet will hurt. Can’t write too long or their fingers will hurt. Don’t skate because you will hurt yourself. Social sport can’t be too rough. Everyone needs to be thought of as a winner. Where does it end??

I pity the next generation. And I fear for when they become adults. How will they survive in the world if they are not taught the basic skills? If they don’t learn how to be independent or learn that it is okay to lose things or to get hurt physically or emotionally…how in the world will they survive? Parents are not going to be around forever. Are the police or the do-gooders or other authorities telling parents what not to do going to teach them these skills?

The world is going crazy I tell you.

And if and when I do have kids, you bet your arse they will be learning to go to the corner store on their own by 7 or 8 if they are developmentally capable! Screw the bloody cotton wool and all the supposed know-it-alls!

Until next time,


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  • My Era
    11 February 2012 at 5:39 am

    I agree with you PB, as being too strict with kids is wrong so is being over-protective 🙂

    • Psych Babbler™
      11 February 2012 at 11:14 am

      Society here and in other western countries is going a bit too far with the over-protectiveness MyEra! The amount of rules parents have is mind boggling! And the poor kids miss out on a childhood!

  • Aravindh Cee
    14 February 2012 at 5:48 am

    Its a problem throughout the world. My parents were a bit overcautious, so when i finally came to college, I found I was not able to do what other kids did that easily and later had to improve myself. The “life’s out there to get you” logic is totally flawed, you are going to face it alone one day.

    • Psych Babbler™
      14 February 2012 at 8:19 am

      Welcome Aravindh! I guess you are right in terms of it being a problem elsewhere too…my parents were very good in letting me be independent. After all, I went to college (from the 11th onwards) an hour away from home travelling by train. On the other hand, I do have friends whose parents were very overprotective to the point where they did undergrad and postgrad all in the same suburb or the neighbouring suburb! You have to learn some day…so even if life’s out there to get you, we need to learn to face it!

  • Dew
    14 February 2012 at 5:56 am

    I understand your point completely…like in my case…I have been brought up in such a protective environment…that I find it difficult now…to live all by myself… Had it been other way round…let me deal with my things from the very beginning – possibly would hv been a much stronger person…it would have helped me deal with my things in a much better way

    • Psych Babbler™
      14 February 2012 at 8:41 am

      Dew, you are a good example of how an environment that is too protective might not be as conducive to a person. Or at the very least make it more difficult for them later in life when they have no choice but to be independent!