With all of the ridiculous new regulations, coddling, and societal mores that seem to be the norm these days, it’s a miracle those of us over 30 survived our childhoods.
Here’s the problem with all of this babying: it creates a society of weenies.
There won’t be more rebels because this generation has been frightened into submission and apathy through a deliberately orchestrated culture of fear. No one will have faced adventure and lived to greatly embroider the story.
Kids are brainwashed – yes, brainwashed – into believing that the mere thought of a gun means you’re a psychotic killer waiting for a place to rampage.
They are terrified to do anything when they aren’t wrapped up with helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, and other protective gear.
Parents can’t let them go out and be independent or they’re charged with neglect and the children are taken away.
Woe betide any teen who uses a tool like a pocket knife, or heck, even a table knife to cut meat.
Lighting their own fire? Good grief, those parents must either not care of their child is disfigured by 3rd-degree burns over 90% of his body or they’re purposely nurturing a little arsonist.
Heaven forbid that a child describe another child as “black” or, for that matter, refer to others as girls or boys. No actual descriptors can be used for the fear of “offending” that person, and “offending” someone is incredibly high on the hierarchy of Things Never To Do.
“Free-range parenting” is all but illegal and childhood is a completely different experience these days.
All of this babying creates incompetent, fearful adults.
Our children have been enveloped in this softly padded culture of fear, and it’s creating a society of people who are fearful, out of shape, overly cautious, and painfully politically correct. They are incredibly incompetent when they go out on their own because they’ve never actually done anything on their own.
When my oldest daughter came home after her first semester away at college, she told me how grateful she was to be an independent person. She described the scene in the dorm. “I had to show a bunch of them how to do laundry and they didn’t even know how to make a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese,” she said. Apparently they were in awe of her ability to cook actual food that did not originate in a pouch or box, her skills at changing a tire, her knack for making coffee using a French press instead of a coffee maker, and her ease at operating a washing machine and clothes dryer. She says that even though she thought I was being mean at the time I began making her do things for herself, she’s now glad that she possesses those skills. Hers was also the room that had everything needed to solve everyday problems: basic tools, first aid supplies, OTC medicine, and home remedies.
I was truly surprised when my daughter told me about the lack of life skills her friends have. I always thought maybe I was secretly lazy and that was the basis on my insistence that my girls be able to fend for themselves, but it honestly prepares them for life far better than if I was a hands-on mom that did absolutely everything for them. They need to realize that clothing does not get worn and then neatly reappear on a hanger in the closet, ready to be worn again. They need to understand that meals do not magically appear on the table, created by singing appliances a la Beauty and the Beast.
If the country is populated by a bunch of people who can’t even cook a box of macaroni and cheese when their stoves function at optimum efficiency, how on earth will they sustain themselves when they have to not only acquire their food, but must use off-grid methods to prepare it? How can someone who requires an instruction manual to operate a digital thermostat hope to keep warm when their home environment it controlled by wood they have collected and fires they have lit with it? How can someone who is afraid of getting dirty plant a garden and shovel manure?
Did you do any of these things and live to tell the tale?
While I did make my children wear bicycle helmets and never took them on the highway in the back of a pick-up, many of the things on this list were not just allowed, they were encouraged. Before someone pipes up with outrage (because they’re *cough* offended) I’m not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and let your kids attempt to hang-glide off the roof with a sheet attached to a kite frame. (I’ve got a scar proving that makeshift hang-gliding is, in fact, a terrible idea). Common sense evolves, and I obviously don’t recommend that you purposely put your children in unsafe situations with a high risk of injury.
But, let them be kids. Let them explore and take reasonable risks. Let them learn to live life without fear.
Raise your hand if you survived a childhood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that included one or more of the following, frowned-upon activities (raise both hands if you bear a scar proving your daredevil participation in these events):
- Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids
- Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the streetlights came on, at which point, you raced home, ASAP so you didn’t get in trouble
- Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria
- Riding your bike without a helmet
- Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets
- Drinking water from the hose in the yard
- Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* “wild swimming“)
- Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)
- Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t)
- Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL
- Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)
- Throwing rocks at snakes in the river
- Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians
- Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns
- Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns
- Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can on a log, accompanied by our parents who gave us pointers to improve our aim. Heck, there was even a marksmanship club at my high school
- Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
- Working for your pocket money well before your teen years
- Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting
- Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode
- Getting so dirty that your mom washed you off with the hose in the yard before letting you come into the house to have a shower
- Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper
- Playing “dangerous” games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball, and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about the “significant risk of injury” from these games)
- Walking to school alone
Come on, be honest. Tell us what crazy stuff you did as a child.
Teach your children to be independent this summer.
We didn’t get trophies just for showing up. We were forced, yes, forced – to do actual work and no one called protective services. And we gained something from all of this.
Do you really think that children who are terrified by someone pointing his finger and saying “bang” are going to lead the revolution against tyranny? No, they will cower in their tiny apartments, hoping that if they behave well enough, they’ll continue to be fed.
Do you think our ancestors who fought in the revolutionary war were afraid to climb a tree or get dirty?
Those of us who grew up this way (and who raise our children to be fearless) are the resistance against a coddled, helmeted, non-offending society that aims for a dependant populace. In a country that was built on rugged self-reliance, we are now the minority.
Nurture the rebellion this summer. Boot them outside. Get your kids away from their TVs, laptops, and video games. Get sweaty and dirty. Do things that makes the wind blow through your hair. Go off in search of the best climbing tree you can find. Shoot guns. Learn to use a bow and arrow. Play outside all day long and catch fireflies after dark. Do things that the coddled world considers too dangerous and watch your children blossom.
Teach your kids what freedom feels like.
This article was written by Daisy Luther and first appeared on The Organic Prepper.
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Boy you hit the nail on the head . sad !
We used to sled down grass hills on big pieces of cardboard by grabbing up the leading edge.
We did too! in big ol’ dangerous San Francisco. Ride all the street cars ALONE, go through ALL the neighborhoods, Go to the zoo and the beach by ourselves. Only got in trouble once for going where my dad though we might die. And he was right.
All except #3. I grow up in Ukraine. First time I tried peanut butter in USA . But we put plain butter and jelly on white bread and eat it with hot tea. It was delicious. Also we brought home all street cats and dogs and catch fleas and ringworm. Then mom rub garlic over it. That was only ringworm treatment. 80s was the best!!! ❤❤❤
I experienced all but one… and even more! Agree totally.
This is highly opinionated and makes a LOT of assumptions with no factual examples to go with the assertions. I fell like the Self-Sufficient Projects team has a LOT of bias and am beginning to regret my buying the book. I raised my children to be a part of both worlds – on and off the grid – but I do not lash out at those choosing an off-the-grid lifestyle or like I had in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It’s not a question of right or wrong, it’s perspective.
You can find ‘babied kids’ from every era! It’s that today everyone is so much more aware of EXCEPTIONS than norms because of 24/7 access to information overload. Norms do not make the news – just look at the Scouting movement. We do not hear about the 1000s of good outcomes from these programs on a regular basis, only the problems.
While what you are saying is somewhat true, the important difference is that in the past , non adventurous types did not control or limit the adventurousness of the rest. For example, we had circular traveling rings and traveling hanging ladders on all our playgrounds in the Los Angeles area up until the mid 1980s. It encouraged a lifetime of good posture and shoulder health. Look at the kids’ posture now. And they are deprived of another engagement in good clean free outside fun.
My mother kicked us out after breakfast and I swear the door was locked behind us so she could get her housework done in peace. She wanted us home for lunch, just to make sure we were still in one piece, and then at dinner time. The whole neighborhood was like that. Nobody died, nobody was kidnapped, and nobody lost limbs or eyes. When you are on your own and are forced to take care of yourself, even for a couple of hours at a time, you learn quickly how to avoid danger…
I love telling the stories of the adventures we had as kids. Camping every summer and many new places. We (siblings and I) deliberately got lost in the woods or wherever, then pulled out a map to figure out how to get back to camp. So many fun memories.
We rarely got gum. When someone on our block got some bubblegum, we shared it. That person got it for a whole day, stuck it on the bed frame and then gave it to the next person until no one wanted it anymore. We were never sick and never caught anything obvious from one another. LOL
Yes, unfortunately and sadly we are the dying breed. Funny how, yet again, hypocrisy plays a huge role, as there is typically little to no supervising the things kids are doing online… who they are actually messaging and ‘snapchatting’ inappropriate images of themselves and others with. Its truly a scifi meets horror world out of control! The ‘Karens’ of the world interfere with and assert parental control over everything unsafe, except for their media caregivers (iPad, smart phone etc), which in my opinion is overstimulating and effectively numbing their little malleable minds into mush with zero common sense, patience, spatial awareness, self care, and executive functioning skills.
This is truly the end of humanity as history has know it… however that wont matter, because by the time we have all expired it will have all been re-written to justify the new narrative. 🤷🏻♀️
Awe yes I was born in the early 60’s done all of these also pulled behind the vehicle after a snow storm, sitting on an old hood tied to the back bumper. I have made sure my kids and now grandkids all at least had the opportunity to at least try this kind of stuff. Sad to see so many making the choice to hide kids from this kind of stuff.
Whiny, whiny, whiny. Comparing the precautions required for urban childhood to those for rural childhood is just silly. And most of these won’t get anyone arrested anywhere. You sound like a real bully who encourages your children to be bullies, too.
Is this a hard copy regular mailed book an video or digital?
So many of the things you mentioned on this list have been paid for in blood and death. So many of your articles have been so full of fear of progress, you completely neglect the good much of it has done in the world. You’ve also completely failed to back up most of your so-called “facts.” I’ve had enough of your fear-mongering. I very much regret giving you money.
I know a WWII vet who with his buddies carried a .22 rifle to school and left it in a corner of the school house all day. Hunted meat for the pot on the way home. You forgot to mention fireworks! Egging cars on Halloween! TP-ing people’s houses! Holding on to the bumper of the school bus and sliding down the snow-covered road! And above all the things you forgot, we kissed toads!
Calvin and Hobbs forever!
I love boomers shitting on the younger generations instead of actually doing anything educational or helpful. Good for you, you haven’t died yet.
Yes to all but one. Why am I still alive?
Remember when staying inside was your PUNISHMENT??? My 15-year-old son just asked me to drive him to the store NEXT DOOR–terrible timing on his part lol! I told him I would, but only if I could announce on his social media that he was a weenie who wanted his mommy to drive him next door. He declined, so at least he still has some pride about it. My husband and I grew up in the 80’s and we both had very free-range, although different, experiences in rural Maine and suburban Southern California. I wasn’t allowed to go to the mall, but as long as I stayed in our residential area, I could take off on my bike or skates and be gone all day. We have tried to balance legitimate safety with encouraging independence and adventure, but when they were younger we were conscious of the small-town tattletales, and now it’s a struggle against unwilling children who would rather stay home and play video games. It like they forget how much fun they have outside. And yes, once they hit middle school, I let them start swimming in the river half a mile from our house without an adult supervising. And I don’t even drive them there. 😉