Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Jan. 28

Are we teaching children how to fear?

Have we become a society of wimps? Does every single ache or pain need to get a diagnosis and then medication?

How is it that fifty years ago when life was a whole lot harder, people seemed to be healthier? With all the advances this country has made, I think we have more maladies now than ever before. Remember when a person could hurt their back, and actually recover with just an ice-pack and a little rest? When did people stop using a little bit of judgement, and just go to the doctor for every single thing? I have to wonder how pain has changed so much over the last 50 years..Or, is it just the way people now handle pain that has changed? I vaguely remember that if someone had surgery, they would get a prescription for pain medication to be filled when they left the hospital. After that was used, they were done!

I remember when it was OK to fall off your bike or skateboard. You brushed yourself off and went on with your life. It is as though people now have permanent injuries from any kind of simple mishap. Don't get me wrong here. I do believe that kids need child safety seats in cars, and should never ride in back of an open truck. (Personally, I do not believe that a dog should be allowed to travel in back of an open truck.)

I see that playgrounds have padding at the bottom of a slide, and under a swing. Half the fun of a swing used to be keeping your feet from dragging in the mud puddle below. Does anyone still use a jump-rope? Has that now become too hazardous? I guess hop-scotch would also be out of the question. You could fall while hopping on one foot and kill yourself! Whatever you do, do not kiss a boo-boo on your child! Don't you know your germs might kill the kid?

Don't you find it odd that bungee jumping and zip lining are considered safe, but riding on the handle bars of a bike is too dangerous?

I never considered myself to be a thrill seeker, by any means. Always being afraid of heights, I never went on a roller coaster, rode a horse, or took a helicopter ride. I am usually the one left holding the purses, while others enjoy doing these things. Being a spectator really isn't all that bad, you know..

Who of you were the ones to act on whatever "dare" someone threw at you? Did you jump over the puddle? Did you twirl until you fell down? Were you the brave one who went into the scary man's yard and peeked into a window?

Most kids would not understand any of that. They have play-dates to set time aside just to play with other kids, now. And heaven forbid they "loose" at anything. "All kids have to be winners" now. Thus the trophy given to the team that did not win! They can use a computer, but may not have learned yet how to ride a bike.

How come so many kids have special needs? Surely we have gotten better at having healthy kids, right? We give them four times the number of shots prior to starting school, yet they have more problems now than before. The problems are just different ones now. I remember growing up that it was not unusual to have one kid in the classroom that had some kind of allergy. They were usually the one doing all the sneezing, and did not run around as much as the other kids. I think they may have had asthma as well. There are now so many kids with allergies, a parent can't even bring home made treats for the class! She could kill one of them, just with the ingredients alone. We have many kids with ADHD, and the number of kids with Autistic spectrum and Ash burgers syndrome, has increased by more than 100%. So what are we doing so right, that is causing so many things to go wrong?

Just the other day I finally heard a doctor on television admit that many parents have become germa-phobic! The constant hand washing, and wiping down of every single thing your child may come into contact with, has left the immune system thinking that every germ that touches their bodies is an enemy, and the system reacts to that as it is supposed to. No child has ever gotten sick from dirt, that I know of. (The doctor was Dr. Oz. A television personality as well as a famous heart surgeon.)

How do your kids know that it is time to come in if they have no street lights? Didn't most of us know when the street lights came on, it was time to go inside? There are areas in our town that have NO street lights. But then again, they have kids that don't go outside to play, anyway.

I remember hearing when I was a kid that you should not have a cat in the house, if you have a baby. The story goes that the cat will smell the milk on the baby's mouth, lick the milk and then lay on the baby and smother him! Yikes! I wonder just how often THAT happened.

We used to give our babies baby cereal at about two weeks old. I believe now they recommend that you don't give them anything but milk (breast or formula) till they are six months old. Mine would have starved to death! Not to mention that it is supposed to lesson the chance of allergies. How is that one working, folks?

In closing I just have to say, I worry about what kind of adults these kids will make when we can no longer protect them from any and every possible danger or disappointment in their lives. Are we teaching them how to live in fear of too many things?

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