Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Emasculating our children in the name of safety

I have been thinking about children and how far we have come in recent years.  Once upon a time, children were expected to become adults, and spent their childhood training for adulthood.  Now, children are expected to be children and continue to be children well into what would traditionally be considered adulthood.  What have we done to our children?  Are we raising them to be children or productive, functioning members of adult society?  I think the unfortunate answer is obvious.  We are raising them to be full grown children, unable to make mature decisions, take adult responsibility or lead future generations into the great unknown.  And society at large is helping us.  "They" expect children to be helpless, incapable and defenseless.  "They" think they know better how to raise our children than we do.  "They" are emasculating their children and trying to do the same to mine.

When my mom was a little girl, she lived in West Seattle.  By the time she was five, she was making breakfast for her family (mother, father, sister and two brothers) including making bacon in the broiler and frying eggs.  She also rode the public bus downtown Seattle to meet her Grandmother at The Bon Marche for an afternoon lunch and nobody thought twice.  My dad, having grown up in the then wild spaces of Vashon Island was hunting by himself by age ten (yes, he actually used a real gun!).  When my husband was five, he walked himself to school about 1/2 a mile away after having gotten himself ready and out the door (his mother was a widow and worked - so she was away from home in the mornings).  When he was seven he was riding the bus to the shopping mall where he would spend the day looking around and playing in the park.  This was in Bellevue, Washington, - no small town, but rather a bustling metropolis.  When I was a child, I rode my Honda Trail 50 two miles on dirt roads to go swimming in the swimming hole.  I was eight.

And you can look back even further than a couple of generations.  David (as in King David of the Old Testament) killed Goliath at about age 17 and had killed lions and bears threatening his father's flock when he was much younger than that.  Joan of Arc went into battle when she was 15 and in 237 BC, 10 year-old Hannibal (the Carthagian) said to his father before he left to the war in Spain, "I want to go with you". Hamilcar, Hannibal's father, without a word, took the child with him to Spain and went to battle!  Even Alexander the Great, although 20 when he took the throne, had obviously not been coddled as a child, but rather had been raised to be a man.

Now, we have children who must be buckled in car seats until they are 13, whose food has to be cut up for them until they are 10 and who can't carry a pocket knife because they are "unsafe".  What are we thinking?  Have our children somehow lost brain capacity over the last few hundred years - or is it the adults who no longer understand that our children require challenges, hard work and a little responsibility in order to become viable adults.

Well, I for one do not believe our children are any less intelligent than their predecessors.  I think that we as a society have emasculated our young men and dumbed down our young ladies.  I think our children are every bit as capable as David when he slew Goliath and Hannibal when he lead his vast armies.  I think we need to train them to be competent and expect them to be capable.  I think we need to teach them to do the "dangerous" things (Hand Grenade uses the chainsaw and Miss Calamity hunts - with a real rifle) and then let them do them.  I think we ought to teach them to stand up against injustice and live lives of character when they are young so they can battle injustice and live lives of character when they are older.  I think we need to stop coddling and start expecting and then - watch out!  We will have a generation of exceptional leaders - not another generation of wimpy, spineless, emasculated drones.


  1. Amen, amen and amen!!! I agree with you 100%.

  2. They don't make good sheep if they have character and can take somewhat care of themselves. The powers of the world want sheep. They're easy to fleece.

  3. I, too, was left alone in the car while 5 years old, windows partly down. I even ice skated on a pond at age 7 -- only the local 14 year old boys testing the ice for safety. It's just such a miracle that I, and the millions of other kids who grew up in the 1950's and 1960's, survived such a dangerous and unsupervised world!! Perhaps it was just luck....

  4. Heh. My mom NEVER took us into the grocery store or shopping; we stayed outside in the car sometimes for hours. Husband said it was the same with him. Both of us rode bicycles through town all day long and came home at dark or later after our chores for the day were through.

    We had a business when the kids were young; they were expected to help there and around the house and with the livestock. Both kids were astounded when they grew up at how helpless most of their peers are.

  5. The unmitigated gall some people have - it's truly mind-boggling. I seriously doubt that the person who called the police was concerned about the well-being of your children. If I had seen 3 kids in the car and I was concerned about their welfare, I would have gone up to the car and seen for myself what the situation was. I would have spoken with your daughter, and I would have assessed the situation BEFORE calling for the police. And in doing so, I would have learned that there was no reason to be concerned. Had I felt the kids were in a dangerous situation, I would have waited with them until the police arrived. But that's apparently not at all what happened, which leads me to believe this busybody was merely looking for a way to feel important.

    I would bet my house that the person who reported you was some liberal elitist hypocrite who hasn't seen nor heard from his/her own kids in years because s/he was such an uncaring parent. Now, you see, is his/her chance to make up for past negligence by making a mountain out of a mole hill over somebody else's kids. I bet the person was watching from afar and feeling all kinds of self-satisfaction when the officer pulled up behind your truck. And when the policeman drove off, leaving you behind, I bet the do-gooder was very disappointed.

    Know what else is disturbing? The likelihood that this same person votes with a similar shortage of common sense and due diligence.

    It wouldn't surprise me to learn that J. DeWaters was behind this. :)

    NoCal Gal

  6. I ran errands today, and made 3 quick stops during which I left my 3 grandchildren (ages 13, 7 and 3) in the truck with the A/C on and the doors locked. I trust the 13 yr old to keep order and look after his younger siblings. I, too, would have been uber-angry if some "do-gooder" had called the police. I know I'm too cautious about giving the kids freedom to take on challenges while they're at my house, but I certainly don't coddle them like many parents I see nowadays!

    I'm glad the police officer was willing to assess the situation and used some common sense! All too often, they react first and think sensibly second!

  7. I agree that children should be taught to safely and independently cook, hunt and generally become self sufficient.

    I am a law enforcement officer (Florida) and I see nothing wrong with leaving them in the car if there is an older responsible sibling etc. In Florida it is illegal to leave children in the car with the engine running. Makes very little sense to me.

    I personally would be hesitant to leave my children in the car. There are too many pedophiles in Florida.


  8. NoCal Gal -
    Please email me. I would love to talk about your upcoming trip!

    A. Jones-
    Thank you for your perspective. It would never have occurred to me that I doing anything wrong. My children are well schooled in self-defense and are very aware of their surroundings. I was gone for all of 15 minutes and had taken care to secure my children. I can tell you I will NEVER leave my children alone again because I WILL NOT risk them being taken from me (by the state). I have taken that part of my tale off the blog, as I don't want to draw attention to myself. Anyway, thanks for the comments!

    Enola Gay

  9. You are right on target with deleting the comments. The State sometimes likes to target

    I along with many of my liberty minded co-workers have periodically had to remind citizens of their rights as a Child Services worker tries to use the power of the State to intimidate.

    Don't get me wrong. I LOVE putting evil people away.. but you know what I mean about the difference.


    PS. You might want to delete my earlier reference ;)

  10. It's truly sad that the world has come to this...

    I've been shooting my 22 since I was 6 years old, took hunter safety courses ASAP. By the time my brother and I were over 12, we were far more safe & responsible than most of our peers, and were allowed to sling our 22's over our shoulder, hop on our Honda SL70 dirt bikes, and disappear for an entire weekend!

    We'd work diligently to finish all our homework & studies right away Friday afternoon & evening, and then go to sleep. Saturday morning we'd grab a backpack, our rifles, ride over to a neighboring rancher we knew, and he'd give us each 100 rounds of 22LR ammo. We'd ride down to the swampy west end of his horse ranch land, and shoot snakes trying to creep further up toward his stables & house. He had a vendetta against snakes since one spooked his wife's horse, and after being thrown off she suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

    Then after shooting every snake we saw, we'd shoot a rabbit, or throw a line into a nearby lake for some fish, setup a tent and little bonfire for the night - eating what we got. That ranch had a permanent small game license, and as kids we didn't need fishing licenses. The next morning we'd take our left-over ammo, ride along the train tracks over to the garbage dump, setup on the high ground near the tracks, and shoot dozens of HUGE rats in the dump for about an hour or so...

    Then we'd ride the seven miles home as fast as possible, run into the house, and jump in the shower to get cleaned up for Church.

    Parents these days would be ARRESTED for child endangerment, negligence, and providing firearm access to children... %( We were never once unsafe, irresponsible, and we experienced a level of Freedom that countless people couldn't even imagine these days.

    We saw foxes, coyotes, Lynx/Bobcats, a couple bears, and even one Cougar when we were 15 - that one spooked us - all we had were bolt action 22's (mine was a single shot Marlin 15Y) if it ever decided to attack. The only things we ever shot were snakes, rats, rabbits, and squirrels - the rest we'd leave alone. We always ate the rabbits & squirrels - if the rabbits were safe to eat - have to check their liver for disease just incase.

    The power of the State has grown to quite a frightening level these days, and it saddens me to know my children might never know the same Freedoms I grew to love & appreciate as a child.

    We also grew up to be quite skilled marksmen (a single shot gun definitely builds marksmanship), hunters, and also pretty good fishermen.


  11. We've already raised a nation of 'giant children'. We have adults who eat like kids in a candy store, living off processed junk instead of cooking real meals. People spend money like it's not their's, on video games and frivious toys instead of paying bills and saving for the future. People who are giant tattle-tales (we've all experienced the giant busybody!) and others who throw tantrums etc.
    We already are lacking grown responsible people. I guess these'giant children' will never raise responsible kids and will rebel against sort of notion of anyone growing up and learning indenpendence.... *sigh*
    So sad...

  12. my two brothers, little sister and of course me were brought up to be fiercely independent..i can remember my mama literally throwing us out the door in the snow telling us to go play for awhile and then locking us out for about an hour or so..we travelled for miles on our bikes and were trusted to watch out for the little ones and do chores that few children today know how to do. it is sad to see what the world has come to these days...children who are not experiencing childhood yet not growing up either into responsible adults.

  13. People are ridiculous nowadays...I say they want to surround the kids with bubble wrap and coddle them...how are kids supposed to learn the necessary skills to deal with things as an adult if they aren't given the opportunity to "practice" as children?

  14. How to shut up a busybody that targets you: Recite your well-memorized terms and conditions of involuntary contact...

    "The fee for your use of my time is five hundred dollars an hour, one hour minimum, payable only in cash and payable immediately upon demand. If you cannot pay immediately upon demand in cash, you agree that I or my representatives may privately confiscate any or all of your personal belongings in satisfaction of the debt. If you continue taking my time, you will have agreed in full to these terms and conditions. Would you like to continue?"

    This has the effect of totally derailing their tirade, rather than you responding to the nature of their complaint.

    You may be nearly helpless to prevent a busybody from accosting you, but you can employ a well-understood mechanism to recover costs for the use of your time: debt collection.