I need to write this one in response to a couple of blogs/discussions I have read/heard about the state of our youth.
I was one of those parents you criticize and my children are those you were worried about… I watched them as they played on the street. Our eldest son is the same age as Michael Dunnahey and that made a real difference on how we raised them. Our children were rarely out of our sight.
I drove our kids to and from school, friends, hockey games and parties.
Our daughter at 15 worked a shift at mcdonalds which ended at 3am. We were at the door to drive her home at the end if her shift.
They were sheltered and protected. (And loved unconditionally)
When they were 18 they travelled across the country to university. With savings from summer jobs they have travelled the world with their friends. One of them walked the Great Wall of China, and wandered most of Europe, one has sky dived in Australia and scuba dived in Thailand . Another hang glided in Austria, climbed Manchu Pichu and swum with sharks in the Galapagos. Two have slept under trafalagar fountain after missing curfew at their hostel in London. (Different trips four years apart)
We have a wild fire fighter, a business major and a social worker.
We kept them safe while we had them. We always knew where they were and it often involved underage drinking and excessive partying.
Then we sent them out on their own.
Their friends are just as fearless as they are. They have travelled more than we ever had the inspiration to do in our twenties. They are concerned about their fellow man, their environment and have grown up knowing nothing but unconditional acceptance for those of different sexual, political or religious persuasion.
I am not worried at all about handing our world to them. They seem to have thrived by spending their childhood protected and sheltered. Their childhoods were different than ours but no worse. Access to recreational Video games and computer access were a benefit not
a harmful influence.