Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paranoid Parent?

I subscribe to a blog feed called The Pica Perspective.  The writer is Rae Pica.  She is a children's activity specialist and writes about the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of children. In a recent blog entitled "On Coddled Kids" she writes about how children are losing the opportunity to be children due to fears and anxieties of adults.  She has touched on this subject before, but now that I am a parent, it has really made me evaluate myself. The article she quotes talked about how many kids are not allowed to ride their bikes or play in the neighborhood park without adult supervision and have been banned from climbing trees and playing tag or chase in fear of them getting hurt.
I remember as a child, my parents allowed me to run around our little neighborhood playing with our friends without constant supervision, as long as we told them whose house we were going to and stayed around the area.  I remember riding my bike or big wheel, playing in the yard and walking to the neighbors without them standing on the porch watching me. It was freeing and fun.  I completely recognize that today's world has changed a bit since I was a child, but has it really that much?  I wonder what I will be like as Zachary gets older.  Will I be so protective of him that I won't let him play outside without me being there?   Will I be able to let him go hoping and trusting that the values and 'smarts' we teach him will help him make good decisions and stay safe?   I admit it scares me to leave him out of my site.  I have a hard time leaving him at the church nursery with capable adults!  As a stay at home mom, it may be harder since I am with him every day, but I don't want to become a paranoid parent who can't let him leave my site when he is old enough to play outside with his friends.  Is or was this hard for you?
In our neighborhood we have several elementary age kids who live right around us.  They stop over every once in a while for ice pop because they know Brian has the freezer stocked with them.  All summer long we have seen them playing outside, riding their bikes along the street, running around free and happy.  Even now when they get home from school, they are out playing.  They are good kids, polite, friendly and smart.  I hope that when Zachary is that age, I can kiss his head and wish him well as he runs outside to play.  I want him to enjoy being a kid because we sure do grow up too fast!
If you have young children, birth through age 8, I recommend Rae Pica's Blog.  You can find her at


  1. Hey, thanks for the plug! : )
    Seriously, though, I appreciate your readership and the fact that my work inspired you to tell others about it. Your readers also might like to listen to interviews I've conducted with experts in the fields of education, child development, play research, the neurosciences, and more! They can find them at
    By the way, considering the thought you're giving the issue, I doubt very much you'll end up a paranoid parent!

  2. As a mother, I think it is hard to let your kids just go off without you to watch their every move. And for as much as it is scary you have to believe that you have raised a good child who will be aware of their situations. I have a remarkable amount of trust for my 10 year old. Dante will come in and tell me if he is changing locations or even who he is playing with. Dante always comes in and asks before he goes into any of his friend's houses. I am not going to lie though. When I tell him to be in at 8pm and it is 8:10pm and he is not there, at times I still worry or end up on the front porch watching for him, but he always comes around the corner and tells me exactly why he is late. I will leave you with a quick story. Dante and I always make a "point of contact" place anytime we go somewhere big. A place if we get separated for some reason we must go to. A few weeks ago at Cedar Point we made such a place. Now it was just Dante and I there. We took a break and he went into the arcade as I sat on the bench right outside of it. He was in there for about 15 minutes when I got up and went in to see what he was doing. AND I COULD NOT FIND HIM. As I lapped round and round, I was torn to leave the arcade and go the POINT SPOT. But as I started to walk to the point spot there he was doing the right thing and waiting for me just like he was told. IT is times like that I know I am doing the right parenting thing and trusting him. It is hard to be a parent sometimes - kids today are so different BUT if we over parent and protect then our kids will never be the best of who they are meant to be. You just have to trust in how well you have taught your children :)
    Love ya cuz !!!

  3. Thanks Rae! I do love your site. I am an teacher by trade and really respect the insight you give on child development. I am interested in listening to your interviews, so I will check them out. Blessings to you!