Bubble Wrapped Kids!

February 25, 2010

Well, I missed Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25 . . . but I'm celebrating a mere month late!

Hey, it's Bubble Wrap -- who can resist?

Here are a few interesting facts: Bubble Wrap is 50 years old. It was invented in a garage by two engineers, and exists not only to protect fragile items in shipping, but for the sheer enjoyment of children everywhere (and often their parents).

Bubble Wrap has an official site full of fun and games. I have to warn you, the games are rather addicting. It's just hard to stop popping!

And on the educational side, check out this site for the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors.

Now for the serious stuff about Bubble Wrapped Kids.

Some have documented a shift in parenting style in the early 1990's that can be called "bubble wrapping your kids." Safety became the prevailing factor in parenting for many moms and dads.

An excerpt from “Can These Parents Be Saved” by author Nancy Gibbs for Time Magazine tells the story:

“The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old’s 'pencil-holding deficiency,' hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school, playground and practice field — 'helicopter parents,' teachers christened us, a phenomenon that spread to parents of all ages, races and regions . . . "

Are we producing a generation of over-parented children? Kids who are more dependent on us and less resilient? Kids who are afraid to go out there and conquer the world?

Granted, we have to be careful. It's our job to protect our children. But we have to acknowledge that we can't protect them from everything. And if we try, all we'll end up protecting them from is a fun-filled, happy childhood.

And for me, ultimately, I know my sons are in the hands of One greater than me.

But, what about you? How do you approach this delicate balance? Have you caught yourself being overprotective at times? What helps you strike the right balance between safety and overprotection?

By the way, I know Bubble Wrap is plastic and can be dangerous, especially for small children.

So be smart, use caution, but find a way to have a good time with your kids, Bubble Wrap or not!!


Lori said...

I try not to be too over protective of my sons. It bothered other parents when even and young walkers I didn't run up to them and coddle them when they fell. Kid will fall, they will get hurt... how you react will factor in how they react. I also feel that letting kids eat treats and snacks that are not fruits and veggies, that are not organic and pure will NOT kill them... and will not necessarily make them obese. All things in moderation is my mantra

Angela said...

A Verry well, written post. At times I do find myself being a bit over protective, and then we go to the local play group. I'm forever amazed at howthey ever keep their sanity being like that about their children. It's quite funny!

Corinne Cunningham said...

It's so tough to find a balance, but I know my kids will not allow me to bubble wrap them (though we discovered over the weekend that they LOVE bubble wrap!!). They push boundaries, they push me, they push the limits in order to live with energy and enthusiasm. Meanwhile, like you said, I trust that a someone greater than I is watching out for them!

Victoria said...

To keep from hovering I've had to lock the paranoid part of me up and just let Sweet'ums scrape her knees. I've found that if she hurts herself a little doing something, she's not likely to keep doing it until she hurts herself a lot. I've also had to remind myself that many things parents fear are sensationalized by the media above and beyond their actual danger. If we do our part as her parents and teach her responsibility and safety, then the rest is up to God. Some things are beyond our control no matter how close we stay to her.

Karen said...

Oooo, I'm gonna check out that bubble wrap site. Do you think it's something we could have fun with at the conference. LOL

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