Time Magazine recently published an article on “Helicopter Parenting” and how we are doing our children a disservice. We protect them from every conceivable harm and schedule all their time with organized activities. As a result, children have difficulty delaying gratification, dealing with disappointment and entertaining themselves minus exernal stimulus. I think they missed a large part of the issue.
“Political Correctness” has taught adults to withhold their opinions for fear of being labeled. We have lost the ability to have civilized, in-person, debates. It is increasingly difficult to find someone, who holds the opposing opinion of your own, willing to take your views into consideration. This has lead to an abundance of like minded people believing their way is the only way.
I do not discount the amount of debate that takes place over the net. It is filled with both healthy and un-healthy discourse. However, this takes place via machine where the art of conversation and consideration has no place. I don’t even have to read what you have written, just type my opinion and hit send.
I truly believe this is hampering our children’s development. In my father’s time, when he disagreed with someone’s point of view, he told them. If the teller had some persuasive skills, he may have even changed their opinion. At the very minimum, the opposition’s point was heard and left to be mulled over by the receiving party. People knew where you stood.
In today’s society, fear of labeling leads us to hold our tongue. Our opinions are not verbalized and we retreat to websites that further foster our belief system. We lose that gift of doubt that forces us to constantly evaluate our beliefs. We can hide from dissenting opinion for as long as we choose.
If a parent believes that holding a baby over the toilet will have them potty trained by their first birthday, plenty of internet propoganda will cement their belief. If the parent lacks the skill or desire to research the issue fully, they are well on their way to developing a radical belief system.
This issue has played out in various media. Conservative news stations for Conservatives and liberal news stations for Liberals. If your belief system gets ratings, cable will sell it! This does not leave room for healthy doubt. This is where we are failing our children the most.
I welcome your discourse. Try to persuade me to your side. Respect my opinion and I will respect yours. In this, we may find a commonality in which we both can live in harmony.
Give your children the gift of doubt and teach them the skills needed to find their own conclusions.