In Manhood for Amateurs, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) worries that young people are losing the experience of unsupervised adventure.
Was Sleeping Beauty's Dad was ahead of his time or meant teach us a lesson? He burned all the spinning wheels instead of teaching her how to deal with life's potential dangers. I was often asked, “You let him do WHAT?” My reply, “and he will be an under adult supervision at all times until you give him the car keys at 17.” Be it climbing monkey bars at 3 yr or riding his bike to the dentist at 12 yr, I tried to teach him that there are avoidable and unavoidable accidents. If you learn to take precautions, learn how to do things, you can eliminate the avoidable accidents. This can be applied to money, car, drugs, sex, friends, ..you name the problem and it can be taught without fear, giving the child the knowledge and confidence to become a responsible adult. Isn’t that what parenting is about? FYI: As a young adult, he has taken a bike ride from Boston to Chicago, and climbed masts of tall ships. I pray a lot, but I don’t regret my parenting style.
Michael Chabon makes a valid point.
I had a very disfunctional mother who I do not even remember seeing for years. Not that we did not share a house, but I spent all my time in the extensive woods and swamp behind our Virginia Peninsula home. Can you imagine letting a young girl wander for hours (days if I slept over at a friend's house) without worry?
I only stopped to eat briefly and got healthy exercise! It was a great way to build relationships - I'm still in touch with my best friend after 50 years. We were able to create our own games and even worlds in the trees. My favorite was our civil war fort which was actually the side of revine with a small cave on the face of the wall - Fort Mosby!
I grew up to teach elementary school. One of the saddest changes from my childhood was that some children were virtually trapped in their apartments, etc, becouse it was too dangerous to play outside. One school had to send our students home early on short school days to avoid them running into the violent middle school students!
I think that 'media' is the only saving grace for young people today.
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