Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Safety First

I had planned to talk about a different subject today, but I'm going to save that for another day. Instead, I have to ask - what do we do?

In a world where we can take every possible precaution to keep our children safe, they're not. We can teach them not to talk to strangers, we can talk to them about the dangers of smoking, drugs, drinking. We ingrain habits of wearing seat belts and looking both ways before crossing the street, but how do we really keep them safe?

There was a family I knew when I was younger. Two parents, two daughters. One my sister's age, and one was a year older than me, so we did spend time together. Their mom, I always thought, was a little over-the-top. The girls were so overprotected, they couldn't ride in anyone else's car, they couldn't do sleepovers, they ate only home-made food, no school lunches for them. There were also rumors that they weren't allowed to have their haircut by anyone other than their mom, and they weren't allowed any friends that hadn't been pre-screened. They were however allowed to go to college, they even stayed in the dorms. (Although, on a side note, the oldest daughter's dorm was nick-named "the virgin vault".)

We can take all these steps and someone can still just erase all those efforts to keep our children safe. I grieve for those parents, brothers and sisters of the students in Virginia and know that they are all wondering why this happened. So am I.


Chickenbells said...

good heavens...I didn't know anything was happening in VA. I guess that's what you get when you ignore anything that has to do with "news". I think it must be really hard to have kids and feel like they're protected all the time...it could drive you nuts...plus, I found that all my friends that had parents like that often went a little over the deep end in the way others of us did not...

alienbody said...

My 11 year old is always telling me how overprotective I am. I just recently let him walk to a friends house after school (with the friend of course). He was 9 before he could ride around the block alone. I'm more relaxed with my 8 year old. I believe in protecting them as much as possible, but within reason. Teaching them how to protect themselves and be cautious without being fearful will help them grow into adulthood with a bit of street smarts.

What is scary is that they can be taken away by not only a madman with a gun, or an idiot driver...but a terrible illness. All the more reason to have them live their lives to the fullest.