Should We Shelter Our Kids from the Real World?3:29 AM
Should we shelter our kids from the real world? This was the question that ran through my head over and over again yesterday when my own children had their very first experience of public commuting hassle at the LRT. My son was evidently angry at being pushed by the sea of commuters wanting to enter the train all at the same time. My younger daughter was teary-eyed from the fear of losing her grip from my hand.
Silence and Acceptance
Yesterday, they experienced what their father and I have gone through many times in our lives, probably at a much younger age than them. Though we experienced the same difficulty, we bore it with silence and acceptance because we were used to it. Being pushed around in the name of getting a ride is part of everyday life, so was getting wet in going to school during rainy days, and perspiring profusely through our uniforms in especially hot days.
The realities of everyday living were no big deal. I walked the streets of places associated with my childhood - Quiapo , Quiricada, and Pasay with reasonable confidence. As many would know, this is not easy even among adults.
Comfort and Privilege
Then by some interesting turn of events, parents like myself became more protective of their kids. We vowed not to let our children experience the difficulties we went through. We brought and fetched them from school either in private cars or school-bus service. We chose schools with air-conditioned rooms for them. We even relocated to a quiet neighborhood.
Many of us are quick to react to any sign of difficulty encountered by our children. We either help solve it or solve it ourselves for them. Children of today are generally living lives of comfort and privilege judging by the way parents make everything easier for them.
Most parents, including myself, tend to make life easy for our children and here is where I got confused yesterday. Parents know for a fact that life is not easy and everyday can be a struggle. Are we sending our children out with helmets and goggles when we tend to shelter our kids from the real world?
The incident yesterday gave me a chance to open up with my children about the truth that their father and I will not be always around to protect and defend them. Sooner or later, they will need to take care of themselves and they would need to learn fast. Whether they like it or not, not every place will be as safe and quiet as our present place of residence.
That said, I know I need to learn to let go as much as they need to. I am praying that my husband and I would know when to tighten and loosen the hold. For the sake of my children, I hope we gain that wisdom.