Why Are This Generation's Parents So Over Protective?
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Why Are This Generation's Parents So Over Protective?

Modern day parents are over protective. Are today's parents over protective, yes and fora reason.

Whenever I mention that I drive my kids to school to someone who is in my parent's generation they always bring up how they had to walk to school and every where else.  The truth is so did I.  But I don't look back at that with pride as they do.  Perhaps when my parents were school age they lived in less populated areas and walked past farms and neighbor's houses they likely knew very well.  When I was a child we lived neighborhoods full of neighbors we knew well and many we didn't. 

When I was a child most of us did walk to school I personally walked 2 1/2 neighborhood blocks to and from school every day.  After we moved I walked the same distance but most of it was through a forest preserve that was right behind my house and led right to my school.  I would never let my kids do that alone as I did most often.  Many other parents my age and a little younger likely would not let their kids do it either. 

So why are we, as a generation of parents so over protective?  The truth is things happened to us when we were kids and our parents seemed to be oblivious that I had horrible things happen to me at least a hand full of times.  Thankfully none of those things were life ending or permanently scarring (physically) but they are things I don't ever want any of my children to endure. 

The least bad thing that happened to me is there was a man who used to wait for us kids to get off of school and he would sit in his car naked and fondle himself.  He would park at the corner a block away from school, choosing a different block every week to sit at.  I don't know a single kid at our school that did not see this man.  The really sad thing is we were not even scared. 

We just thought it was funny.  Thankfully this man never left his car but it could have been a lot worse, and the really bad thing is most of us did not even tell our parents. These days this man would have been reported on day one of his little adventure, and every parent in the school district would be called, the school locked down and man would likely be caught and arrested in a matter of hours.  Didn't my generation of children deserve the same swift safety?  Well we did not get it. 

The truth is we had sick people right in our neighborhood whose homes we walked by every day.  There were boys in our neighborhood that frequently grouped up and over powered girls and took advantage of them on a regular basis.  There were people that drove around threw things at people who were walking.  Once when I was 15 my boyfriend was walking me home for the night and two guys got out of a car and beat him up for no reason. So as you can see not even boys were safe. 

In our generation 1 out of every 3 girls had been sexually molested in one degree or another.  That is a pretty high statistic and the statistic for a full rape was 3 in 10. Our parents were for the most part oblivious.  Thinking that it was character building to make us walk.  Most of us gained a little more character than we bargained for.  Our parents were not bad parents they just did what their parents before them did.  Still I don't know how my parents didn't worry every day between the time the school got out and the time we got home from school. 

When I was in Junior High I took a bus in the morning but walked home with friends from school everyday and it was probably at least a 2 hour walk.  Many times I would stop and hang out at a friend's house and as long as I got home by 5:00 for dinner my mom did not worry.  That was an hour and half of time that I could have been missing because a kidnapper or a rapist.  I am not saying I don't let my kids hang out at friend's homes but they have to call me and let me know where they are, and most times I will insist on driving them there, or having that child's parents drive them there. Today, there are cell phones which can help parents stay in touch with their kids or at least be able to track them.


So are my children being raised in such a way they are not getting as much exercise because they don't walk to school or a friend's home?  Yeah probably but at least I know where they are at all times.  They get gym and recess at school, they take classes at the Y or the Park District and they play team sports for their exercise.  They don't need to be out walking the streets becoming bait for every predator out there. My children are not over weight. 

Am I an over protective parent, you bet I am, and I am not one bit ashamed of that.

As you can see, the main reason parents are over protective today, is because as students we saw plenty, and now that we have kids, we know what can happen and what is out there.

Another reason parents seem to have become over protective today is because of the media. Back in the 1960s thru the 1970s, we did not hear ever single story on the news. Today, the media tells us everything, over and over again. And hearing all of these terrible news stories makes us more worried and over protective.

With more and more people, the law of averages just dictates that there will be more criminals and bad people. In the 1960s, parents did not worry much when there kids played outside until dark. Today, it is very much a concern.

There is a fine line between being protective and overly protective. It is best to teach our children to be responsible and to answer there phones at all times. There is no reason not to answer the phone. Children need to be taught how important it is to be home on time, and to call when they say they are going to call. In other words, children need to learn about the dangers and to respect all of their parent’s rules. Once a child is old enough and has learned to be responsible, that can help alleviate their parent’s fears.

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Comments (10)

I am also overprotective parent. Thanks for sharing.

Just two days ago, an over protective father was charged with physical injury because of beating the boy classmate of her daughter who claim that the boy thrust her with an umbrella, well done Rae.

I don't know how old your children are, Rae, but there comes a time when they need to learn to defend themselves. Every one of my Grand kids from the youngest to the oldest, and I have seven of them, five girls and two boys, are enrolled in Martial Arts classes. My oldest earned his black belt at fifteen and he will be entering West Point this coming Fall.

You made excellent points here.

Ranked #2 in Motherhood

Jerry I am a big advocate of learning how to defend one's self, as you can see in my article "How to Defend Yourself From an Attacker." The first time I was attacked I did not come out so great. The second time I brought down an adult male, and got away. I technically came out the winner on that second one, but I would rather not have had that experience in the first place. My middle child and I took martial arts together a few years back I did it more for the fitness aspect of it since I took Judo when I was a teen, and my brother taught me several Jet Kundo Moves as well, my brother is a martial arts instructor and author of two books on the subject. I have demonstrated to my daughter what to do if she is attacked and I remind her frequently, probably too often. My two older kids are teenagers, and I have an 8 year old, I have not yet begun to teach him any self protection but I will probably get him signed up for some kind of martial arts by the time he is 10. Congratulations on your son getting in to West Point, that is quite impressive.

Your article and personal experience will help others a lot.Thank you. Voted

Excellent article. Both of my daughters took self-defense classes at my insistence. However, I believe that a little over protectiveness on my part has helped keep them from needing those skills.

I agree, this is a very different time than the generations before you. I don't think it is our imagination that things are worse, but they were bad back then too as you illustrated. I guess we can be thankful that there is more awareness and swift justice now, but it never seems like it's enough somehow.

Great article!

Lol. You must have just lived in a terrible neighborhood, because none of this stuff happens where I lived, or ever happened to my mom when she grew up. In fact, her memories of being free, were happy . "I know he didn't do anything but it could've been a lot worse", COULD have, but did it happen? No, you thought it was funny, didn't think much of it, until today when you understood what happen. Just because you’re paranoid about the "dangerous people of the outside world" doesn't mean you're more deserving to deny your kids freedom. In return, you will simply make them fear and distrust everyone, and make their childhood days be filled with over-dependence on parents for everything.

Personally, from experience, you're just going to suffocate your kids. I know that experience because my mother never let me do much of anything. I had an aunt who was the polar opposite and her kids ran completely wild. I remember always being jealous of them. They’d roam up and down the neighborhood streets, knew all their neighbors, and walk or bike to get everywhere, while I (on the other hand) could barely walk outside in my apartment’s courtyard without my mother yelling “watch out for snakes!” and then begging me to come back in the house before the snakes could bite me, or walk past a violent movie without my mother literally screaming “Don’t watch that!!! You’ll get nightmares!” <–and I was seventeen when this happened.

 Occasionally, she'd have a nonconformist spurt, allow a gay teen to stay over our house unattended, but for most of what I can remember, my mom was constantly paranoid about everything. In the mornings, I loathed driving in the car to school with her because she would disturb my sister and I with her disgusting stories she read on the over-sensationalist media; a girl was raped and killed, a boy was mutilated. She used these stories constantly to defend why she has such trouble with her seventeen year old daughter (me) crossing an intersection by herself, why she tapped up the windows to our door (so no one can see us at night), and why she has such trouble with a fatherless teenage girl (me), leaning on the shoulder of mom's boyfriend at a football game. Filling my mind with the idea that her boyfriend (a father-figure) could rape me, filling my mind with the idea that my grandfather (another father-figure) could rape me, filling my head up with the idea that the world is scary and danger is around every corner, doesn't only disturb my mind and makes it challenging to look at ANY men the same way ever again or give me depression, it makes me extremely distrusting of everyone. It has even been a contributing factor of why I’m afraid to drive, and why I’m afraid to live on my own. 

At one time, she was so afraid of me going to a college campus for debate team, she (the week before), fussed at me over the phone because she was paranoid about me getting raped and killed. She told me everything I should and should not do, “don’t drink any drink that has been left on the counter unattended because you can wake up raped”. Amazingly, not only was I in a situation where none of this happened, but nothing happened to me, and I had a blast being naughty; running off with a bunch of troublemakers, jumping into the campus’s decorative ponds with our regular clothes on, then fleeing from the camp-counselors in our dorms before they could discover what we did. Those are experiences you’re going to deprive your kids.

What you are missing in your rant to defend your over-protectiveness is the fact that most rape cases are from people the children know very well. The likelihood of a kidnapper running up to your kids and snatching them on their walk to school, is incredible low. Ergo, you're depriving your kids’ independence and freedom, from completely irrational fears.

Paranoid parents like you are going to fuck up your kids’ life. Expect a bunch of therapy, and for your kids to have "Preacher's child syndrome"

My son searche what he likes up on the internet and does what he likes he knows about e safety and is educated i that stuff I am not involved i his school and I feel he is the one that has to decide his future