Cautious rebels against the helicopter parenting status quo admit that they’d love to be bolder, but they’ve read stories on the internet about child protective services being called on parents who let their kids play outside alone or walk home by themselves.
What side you fall on in the debate depends on whether you’re more scared of: society or your government.
That there might be a lasting social and cultural effect to this diminished experience of childhood is the theme of a book, published in 2010 but just issued in paperback this year, with the sardonic title Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen, a professor of English at Providence College in Rhode Island. (…)
Promoting his book on the “Fox & Friends” show, Esolen insisted on maintaining his sarcastic conceit, to the bafflement of the Ken and Barbie hosts expecting someone to recite back prepared talking points, and who nervously ended his segment early.
(While writing this column, my eight-year old – and the more exhaustingly imaginative of my children – read the title of the book and decided to hide it to prevent me from carrying out any of its prescriptions. This is worth remembering if you ever wonder just what level of rhetoric you can expect from cable news, left or right.)