The shortening leash on American children: We heard a lot about sneaking out, petty theft, amateur arson, drugs, and sexual experimentation from our older respondents. But as time passes, the picture of childhood looks a lot less wild and reckless and a lot more monitored. We asked parents how they would react if they caught their kids doing what they had done as kids. A typical response: "I'd probably freak out and turn my home into a prison."
'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
"We were wondering if you would petition to be emancipated," he said in his lawyer voice. "What does that mean?" I asked, picking at the mauve paint on my hands. I later discovered that for most kids, declaring emancipation is an extreme measure -- something you do if your parents are crack addicts or deadbeats. "You would need to become financially independent," he said. "You could work for me at my law firm and pay rent to live here." This was my moment of truth as an objectivist. If I believed in the glory of the individual, I would've signed the petition papers then and there. But as much as Rand's novels had taught me to believe in meritocracy, they had not prepared me to go it alone financially and emotionally. I began to cry and refused.
Do we worry too much? Lenore Skenazy, who let her 9-year old ride the subway on his own and wrote about it, says yes. A lot of people were very unhappy about it. Now she finds herself at the head of a movement, complete with its own manual, to let kids be more self-reliant. [more inside]
Not satisfied with merely screwing up their kids, helicopter parents are swooping in, kicking ass and taking names. Having defeated such scourges as stickball, skipping, treehouses and the dreaded interwebz, they have turned their sights elsewhere. The next front in the War on Childhood? The Best Friend
Children's lives insufficiently documented. Video-shunning parent ostracized, jailed. I agree with this parent. Constantly taping your child, it does sometimes feel as if you're sacrificing actually being in the moment to capturing the moment, and this during some of the best "moments" of your child's life. If my understanding of old age is correct, however, memories are all you have. So I'm trying to nail me some shit down, for rocking chair days.
Will they come for you next? Warning to all parents:, THEY are watching you....