I’m starting to get ready to baby proof our home. My little monster is just about to hit the 4 month mark and with my luck will go from rolling over straight to running. I’ve been researching what you should baby proof and I came across diagrams for every room with everything highlighted.
I started looking at some of the contraptions used to keep little hands away and some of these things creep me out! Some of the things used to protect my little one looked more dangerous than what they’re being protected from. It really makes me think, are we teaching kids to respect the adult world or are we teaching them to fear it?
While I was pondering that question, I came across an article in the January 2010 Parent magazine (“French Lessons” by Debra Olliver) about a woman who was born and raised in the US and moved to France where she raised her kids. She talks about how people in France raise their kids so differently than in the US. The women talked about how children are aren’t treated like little royalty and are taught to respect things unlike here, and they most defiantly don’t baby proof. In the US, I feel like everything is baby proof, especially our personal lives. All you do worry something bad is going to happen.
We as parents want to protect our children, but I think we’re over protecting them 90% of the time.
I thought about the article and it makes a lot of sense. We baby proof our lives so much we get scared. We as parents want to protect our children, but I think we’re over protecting them 90% of the time. We as a culture are taught to over medicate and over protect our children. Just look at the baby care industry for proof. Next time you’re in your pediatrician’s office look at the drug company posters on the wall or the pen used to fill out your child’s newest prescription. When my son was born, I was told not to take him out in public for 4 – 6 weeks! I then became slightly paranoid for a day my son would come down with every illness. The next day I realized I was being paranoid so we went out and took a walk to the park. Remember, you eat a pound of dirt before you die.
So now, thinking much clearer, I’m able to make the right choices for me to baby proof my home and not baby proof my life. I figure since I take my son everywhere as it is, he’ll respect people … he might as well respect objects too. I will teach my son how to respect things and not fear them. What good has ever come from someone fearing something?
Don’t get me wrong: I will still put outlet protectors in all the outlets and keep all cords and strings out of reach. I won’t let my son get near anything poison or anything too hot … but do I really need to lock the toilet?