Lebanon Reporter

Columns

January 22, 2014

Minimizing the parenting risks

Recently, I read a claim that parents who do not allow their children to take risks are setting them up to fail in life. Half the time I forget I even have kids. Hubby, on the other hand, is extremely over-protective. When we saw the movie “The Croods,” every one of our children looked straight at their dad when the caveman father exclaimed, “Never not be afraid!” They are not allowed to climb trees. (But if it will make a good photo op, I make sure hubby never sees the photo.)To prevent choking, he chops the kids’ hot dogs right up until they attend their first bonfire.

They don’t know how to jump rope because having a rope around the house is too dangerous.

They wore harnesses (some folks like to call them leashes) to the grocery store until they physically outgrew them.

They have never had a treehouse. Seventeen years ago, without hubby’s knowledge, they climbed a treehouse in grandpa’s backyard. Son fell and broke his leg. Hubby rests his case.

After writing a lengthy petition, they were allowed to get a trampoline. It has an enclosure, and a very strict “one person at a time” policy.

We don’t venture off the marked hiking trails at state parks.

The floor next to their beds is piled with pillows in case they fall out at night.

When hubby says prayers with the kids, 90 percent of the prayer is regarding safety concerns. I call him God’s OSHA team.

He says he is forced to be extra protective because I tend to forge ahead with no concept of limitations, or a true understanding of what I’m actually doing. Example: the “no hiking off the trails” rule came about after I dragged three small children to the top of a very steep and slippery boulder, and then couldn’t figure out how to get them down. I’ll never forget the look on his face as he turned and saw our precarious predicament. It took some effort to rescue us, but I think he secretly enjoyed being the hero.

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