Sunday, September 16, 2012

Child Security

     My last post covered an aspect of seeing that our children are safe. It was a somewhat tongue in cheek post.

     Our children are the most important part of our lives. You hear many people say, "I don't know what I would do if I lost a child." Many people have lost children through disease, accident or crime and it's a horrendous experience for them. My parents lost an eleven year old daughter from illness. It was an extremely painful part of their lives and it stayed with them and altered their lives forever. The last time my Dad talked about the loss of his daughter he was 94 and it was still painful for him to talk about it. He never went back to the city she died in.

     Therefore the security of our children is of utmost importance. We want to do everything we can to see that they are healthy, safe and secure from any risk that would harm them.

    There are many workshops and programs to assist parents to raise their children in a safe manner. There are organizations such as block parent which tries to set up  community programs. 

   After my last post and the experience I went through as a teacher I have reflected on the security issue. I have thought about this issue since it's beginning. I'm of two minds. We must be prudent and err on the side of caution when it comes to security.

    However,  there are some side effects which concern me. Parents fall into a trap and begin micro managing their children. Some micro managed children do not learn to think for themselves and lose a very important skill. Some children who are closely supervised do no learn and practise the necessary social skills to get along with their peers. Their self confidence just doesn't get developed. These children tend to spend more time indoors and watching television or playing electronic games. 

     As a middle school teacher I saw some kids who had difficulty coping at that level. They had been walked to school for five years by a parent. When they started walking on their own, they weren't prepared for all the challenges. What's a worse situation is when kids are driven to school . Then they move in complete isolation.

     Many times we get caught in the trap of saying when I was a child. Those memories can be very selective and  only the good things are remembered. My daughter who is forty, likes to talk about her experiences. She reminisces about being out in the neighborhood from preschool and that many times her parents only vaguely knew where she was. Later she had free range over the subdivision. She talks about activities they participated in and I didn't know about it. These were not bad things . It was just children playing. We didn't worry about bad guys or bad kids harming our children. 

    So I have questions when it comes to the security practices we use today to protect our children. Some where there has to be a security system that protects and still allows children to learn to become independent when it's the proper time to learn. There are times to learn something and if that time is missed it's very difficult to learn later.