In today’s column I talk about safety—and why it’s not my highest priority. It’s important, of course, but I’m more focused on raising my kids to know how to make good choices for themselves. When protecting our kids from every possible danger becomes our motivation, that’s when we turn into helicopter parents and ultimately do our kids a disservice in the long run.
This one seemed to touch a chord today: I’ve gotten a lot of responses from other parents, virtually all of them positive. We’re in a tricky spot as parents. On the one hand, we’re constantly being given a long list of things to be afraid of, from strangers to sunburns. On the other, people turn around and tell us that our paranoia is making our kids fat and lazy. We just can’t win.
For the record, we try to practice what we preach and let our kids take risks. Yesterday, our seven-year-old spent the afternoon pursuing the perfect boyhood trifecta: he climbed a tall tree, sharpened sticks with a knife, and helped me light a fire. I was doing laundry at the end of the day, and when I emptied his pockets I found three Swiss Army knives and a pair of nail clippers.
On a totally unrelated note, as I was typing this post I remembered that I started this blog two years ago tomorrow. So happy anniversary to me! And thanks to all of you who keep coming back and giving me your feedback and ideas. Contrary to how I might sound sometimes, I really am making it up as I go. So I appreciate all the tips I can get from fellow parents.
Some fun facts: I’ve accumulated about 31,000 views overall since I started the blog. The busiest day ever was July 18, 2011 – the day of my first Chronicle Herald column, when more than 2,300 people stopped by to see what I’m all about. Other than that, the most popular post of the past year was also almost a year ago: on June 22, I gave an update on our daughter’s first year of sound.