Monday, October 18, 2010
When I was about ten, a little girl was abducted from my hometown. It was not a happy ending.
Obviously, I still remember it - so it made an impact.
What it didn't do was change my life. I was still allowed to play outside with my friends without adults present.
I knew about it but I didn't fear that it would happen to me.
I slept peacefully.
I did not see hundreds of pictures of the little girl, her home, her bedroom.
Her face was not plastered on magazines at the supermarket checkout.
I did not hear about every child abducted in the entire country for the past 50 years.
I did not listen to endless speculation on the radio or TV news.
Every parent has to make their own decision about their child's safety but I do wonder how much we are influenced by
the current culture of media saturation.
Is it a helpful reminder or does it fill us with unfounded fears?
Planes can crash but we do ride on them.
Car accidents can be fatal but we get in our cars daily.
Bacon can lead to a heart attack but we still eat it.
Yet, if we let our kids wander more than 20 feet away from us - we are criticized.
As I try to find the balance of building confident young women who can make positive, strong choices for themselves - how much risk do I take to get there?
If I don't let them wander a little, if I don't let them flex their independence how will they ever learn?
If I expose them to the full horrors of the world will they be able to set them aside or will they live with fear as a constant companion?
I want to make my own decisions based on my experiences. On the realities of where and how we live.
I don't want fear to be disproportionate.
The more I venture down the parenting path - the more Amish inclined I become.