~ 1 min read
Parents often go to great lengths to protect their children from harm. And so they should. Kids need adults to protect them from danger. And in today’s world, parents protect their kids far more than they did in the past.
For example, if you’re in the Boomer generation, you may remember walking or bicycling to school as early as the first or second grade. You don’t see much of that today. And if you took a bus to school, no adults stood around watching out for you.
Today, parents are much more cautious. That’s probably good—at least to a point. I guess I knew things had gone a bit too far when I saw an ad from the Internet the other day which proclaimed:
“Finally: a protective helmet for wobbly walkers and crawlers that’s cute and comfortable, too! This advanced baby helmet is made of high-tech foam that absorbs impacts and cushions falls, without bulky padding. Its breathable lining keeps little heads cool. Helmet adjusts to fit kids 8-20 months. Thanks to its adjustability and material, No-Shock adapts to the shape of your child’s head.”
Maybe you’ve seen the YouTube video that’s been circulating around about how invaluable these helmets can be. In the video, a toddler takes a tumble and clonks his head on the floor, but thanks to his helmet, no harm done! Fantastic isn’t it? What reasonable parent wouldn’t rush out to buy one of these helmets for their kids (intended for roughly the ages of 8 months and two years of age)?
But then again, why should we stop at the age of two? Perhaps everyone should wear helmets all of the time throughout their entire lives. I’m pretty certain that some injuries would be prevented if that were the case. I’m guessing not that many people would be interested in such lifelong helmet use.
But how about toddlers? Should they wear helmets? Personally, I think not. Life has inherent risks. If we start putting helmets on kids, I think we’re giving the wrong message: “The world is a scary place and you must be very, very careful at all times. Don’t take risks and don’t venture out.” Sounds a lot like a prescription for how to develop an anxiety disorder.
But maybe that’s just me. I wonder what your thoughts are concerning this latest trend in how to be a good parent.
p.s. Thanks to Lela Davidson for bringing this item to my attention!
Baby in helmet photo available from Shutterstock.
About Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and a Founding Fellow in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is also a member of the faculty at Fielding Graduate University. He specializes in the treatment of adolescents and adults with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, anger, depression, and personality disorders. Dr. Elliott is coauthor of: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2nd Ed), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, Seasonal Affective Disorder For Dummies, Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, Depression For Dummies, Why Can't I Get What I Want?, Why Can’t I Be the Parent I Want to Be?, and Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth. His website is: http://www.psychology4people.com
Elliott, C. (2012). Crawler Helmets?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 30, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/anxiety/2012/04/crawler-helmets/