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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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December 14, 2004

"A nation of wimps"

The parents of my generation are overprotecting their kids from risk, suggests an article, "A Nation of Wimps" in Psychology Today magazine.

The argument is not about things like seat belts and bicycle helmets though we are doing that. It's about letting them decide to go out, or stay out, or do some thing with a physical risk involved. I did a lot of those things as a kid: climb trees, especially, but also climb sand cliffs, play on the railroad tracks, etc. I also rode the bus from Edmonds to downtown Seattle and had dinner at a restaurant and took the bus home alone -- at about age 13.

I had more freedom than kids do now. I didn't always use it wisely, but I may have benefited from having it.

Here is the article's summary: "Parents are going to ludicrous lengths to take the bumps out of life for their children. However, parental hyperconcern has the net effect of making kids more fragile; that may be why they're breaking down in record numbers."

Respond to Bruce

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Posted by Bruce Ramsey at December 14, 2004 01:40 PM



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