How did we ever survive?

Ann Swanson

It seems that the government is constantly passing laws to protect us! What are they protecting us from?

Mostly it seems as if they are protecting us from being stupid. There I said it. It seems like we are not capable of making simple decisions that must be made in life.

They have passed so many laws about how to care for children that it is ridiculous. It used to be when you cared for children you used common sense.

Common sense let you know what was feasible and what was not. Today children have to be in a certain type of restraint. For a while, they face the back seat, but then they are allowed to face forward. They must use a car seat until they reach a certain weight. That is fine for most children, but not so good for those who are small for their age. I know this because my granddaughter was very petite. On our own, we finally made the decision as to when she could sit on her own. She was making many other independent decisions so why could she not make this one?

They are in the process of passing a law to outlaw crib bumper sets. Although this is not as crucial, it goes against the grain since those pads protected little ones from hitting their heads on the bars of the crib.

I have an old crib that I used for my children and my grandchildren. It is now illegal to use since the bars are too far apart. Really? I watched my children.

Old car seats no longer work either since they are not up to safety standards. While I do believe in car seats, I think the regulations may need some work.

Recently I read about new regulations about sandboxes. It seems they are too dangerous for children these days. When my children and grandchildren played in the sand, I was there watching them and supervising their play. It was not an activity where I was in the house or talking on my phone.

Maybe the problem is not with the equipment maybe it is with the supervision process.

Then, there are bicycle helmets. We had no such thing when we rode our bikes. If we fell, we fell. I do not remember getting anything other than skinned knees from my rides. That was the hazard of riding a bike.

Today people are prone to fault the manufacturer. There is no sense of responsibility for the child or for the parent for that matter. We cannot legislate away all responsibility.

There are also restrictions on the walkers that had wheels. Too many children rode those devices downstairs and into areas where they did not belong. I never had to worry about those because we lived in a trailer and had no I do not minimize the dangers there are in the environment for the young child. Constant supervision is the best method to keep children safe. That being said I fully realize how quickly dangerous situations arise. You can be right beside a child yet they get hurt.

Germs are another area of contention. Germs are everywhere. The best-equipped child is the one whose body fights off germs on its own. Your immune system is a powerful thing. The body learns to fight off things that do not belong.

People are all for the liquid that minimizes germs. While I do use it on occasion, I am not a big fan of it. Too much of these liquids suppresses the natural immunity that should take over.

I do not recall anyone worrying about my self-esteem either. I just rolled with the punches and survived. I realize the pressures that face today’s youngsters are far greater than those we faced. Cyberbullying does take place and today’s youth must be equipped to deal with it, not shy away from it.

As I taught, I did see self-esteem go overboard. Children have to learn how to deal with loss and the idea they might not have the same advantages as others. I grew up the only child in a one parent family yet I learned to survive. I do not believe I was spoiled. I learned to share – attention as well as possessions. I learned to take my turn. I learned that I was not always the best at doing something. You might say I came up the hard way. That is probably true. I learned a lesson from every mistake that I made. If my method failed, I did to repeat it. I still believe that type of training is necessary for children to develop in a healthy manner. Parents should not coddle their children. Children do make mistakes. Parents should teach them responsibility. It is a lot harder to admit to making a mistake than to pass it off on someone else.

Parents must parent, not just be friends.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

COMMENTS