Are We Sheltering our kids Just a bit Much?

Every year I have the wonderful annual pediatrician visit for the three munchkins and just like every previous year I leave dumbfounded with the things pediatricians recommend you do to “protect” your child.  I leave the children’s pediatrician’s visits wondering how the heck I ever survived and lived to talk about it. Seriously.


Okay, I get it, you all want your child to be safe in the car and years ago many children could just bounce around unbuckled in the car. I am not for that. However, when my child is over 100lbs and is 57″ plus tall {that is 4’9″ right?}, I suppose she is a tad bit too big for a booster seat, right? Wrong. In NH, the child must be 4’9″ tall, who cares about the fact that the manufacturer places a weight limit of 100lbs on the booster seat, it’s all about the height.  I do not get it at all, yes the seat belt has to line up just right in the car, totally get that, but how is a child safer in a seat that is stuck to their butt and doesn’t seat them properly just because they have not quite reached the height? Guidelines, I agree to, however, each child is different and mine is about the size of a small adult, eh-hmmm for example my friend @mommadjane.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

Helmets for ALL Bike Riding

Seriously? Even at home, in the driveway? On the lawn? This is where I walked away looking like the “bad mom of the year” … no I do not require my children to wear bicycle helmets or any other protective gear when riding in the driveway or on the yard. Why? Bumps and bruises never hurt me, I scraped my knee all up bike riding on the ROAD without a helmet and gear, I survived, right? So will they. Now, if they were to go riding on trails or the roads, I would totally gear them up, but at home in our yard? Nope. Sorry. I just think we bubble up our kids too much and they will end up being “babies” so to speak, unable to handle any pain such as the minor bumps n bruises that most of us were able to experience back in the day.

Child Protective Devices for EVERYthing?

You can now protect your kids from falling into the toilet with a toilet seat lock, makes for so much fun when you have to go now and can not get into your own toilet. You can child proof your stove, because after all why have to actually teach your child they do not touch HOT things?! You can child proof electrical outlets, which I have done in all honesty. You can child proof your house doors, because why would you want to take extra time to teach the kids to not open the dang door? I have child protected door knobs in the past. SO while I am venting, I am guilty of using some of these devices for the double trouble boy team.

Oh wait, you can also get a lock for your fridge, all of your cabinets and so much more. Why? Because why bother teaching the kids they do not touch certain things, it’s so much easier just to block em.

My Thoughts on all this Child Proofing and Bubble Wrapping of our children

I grew up in a different age, where I could roam free and do what I wish without much adieu. Kids from the neighborhood walked around together, we played football, we met for walks, we just hung out having fun. These days, the streets and neighborhoods seem so less safe, I get it. I really do. I also get that some of the child proofing or protective measures being set forth are for the best of our children, however, I do feel that there is way too many child protective devices out there that simply put – teach our children nothing.

I have locked my son’s out of cabinets and such, so I am not saying that I have never taken advantage of such child protection devices, what I am saying is that to me, I look around and see a very sheltered world, protected children everywhere – so much so that I fear we are raising a bunch of kids who will have no clue when they become adults. I get keeping kids safe, but what’s a few bumps and bruises? I have them, I had them, and I survived. Geesh you do not even want to know what I have done in my lifetime and survived – it would make you shake your head and maybe even cringe!

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  1. The kids here don’t/never did helmets. I know, people everywhere would be gasping for air, but so be it. Two are grown, one is almost grown, and the little guy doesn’t have one (yet). The older three all loved their bikes, and they were fine.

    We have a booster seat law similar to yours that is a bit over the top too. Right now my son’s five, and I couldn’t imagine him not being in his car seat (we still take it on planes too, to make sure we have a seat when we arrive at our destination). But later on, when he switches to a booster, I’m not sure how comfy I’ll be if he’s not fitting right (like you noted could happen). Sometimes we do (we being society) carry things too far.

  2. I think the booster seat until 4’9″ is a bit much. I already took my 8 year old out and he’s not there yet (almost, though) – and I never make my kids wear helmets riding their bikes in our driveway or even on our street for that matter, but if we go out “in public” their helmets are on.

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