In an age of Amber alerts and a constant culture of fear propaganda, helicopter parents cause us to imagine these stats are opposite. We’ve imagined and created dangers and fears where they simply don’t exist. Our kids suffer because of it. We should be parenting from a position of trust, not hard-wiring them for a life of fear.
When I was a teenager, I road my bike to school once or twice a year. I lived outside of town in the farmlands of southern Illinois, so that trek was 7.5 miles of hilly country roads in the middle of nowhere out to one major highway. I was around fourteen and completely unsupervised, though often with my twin brother. This was only fourteen years ago.
In fact, violent crime is half of what it was just 20 years ago. Yet, parents live in constant fear that something horrible is about to happen to their kids.
Yeah, crime is at an all-time low, yet parents are in complete freakout.
But why do so many people feel this will happen to them? Internet posts and the 24-hour news cycle have created the illusion that pedophiles and kidnappers lurk just around every corner.
I’d go further. It used to be said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the village I grew up in, everyone knew my parents. They went to school with them, church with them, and were friends with them. If I didn’t tell my parents when I did something stupid, all likelihood pointed at them hearing it through the grapevine. It used to be that we trusted our neighbors to help with our children. Now we seldom know them. What’s worse, when our neighbors see our kids unsupervised, they call the cops. So now we fear what our neighbors think about our parenting. We’ve forsaken the village that could help with our children for fear.