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Thread: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

  1. #1
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Seriously?


    from the site:
    the first infant support for baby swings, exersaucers, jumpers...even infant playground swings! This soft, thickly-padded wraparound prevents babies from slumping and slouching in all types of enclosed seats, encouraging good posture and core strength
    or how about this one?


    from the site:
    sudden turbulence can cause you to lose your grip on your child. The answer: Baby B'Air, the only product that secures baby to your lap belt. Exceeds FAA standards, yet the quilted plush cotton vest feels like clothing. FAA-approved for the cruise portion of your flight, where turbulence most often occurs. (Not approved for taxi, takeoff, and landing.)
    or...

    and here's another:

    ...its a choke tube tester, in case you are unable to err on the side of caution that a toy is small enough for a small child to choke on...

    Crawling knee pads and helmets:


    And...just because you can't trust your thermostat--
    Monitor nursery temperature at a glance, with the only color-changing room thermometer! Proper temperature is vital to baby's health, comfort, and safe sleep, especially since over-warming may be linked to SIDS. This clever nursery thermometer changes color when the room's too cold or hot, allowing you to make adjustments quickly if needed. With back-lit digital readout and soft nightlight.




    Maybe its just me...but...is there really a call for these products? And this paranoia? Especially since the coocoo-ness has invaded our schools?

    I think this probably says it best...

    And now, after anything that kills (or hurts)* a child, no matter how freakish the accident, a product appears on the market within months that would have prevented it (and normal life) from happening.

    source

    *my addition
    I'm not whole-hog with the "Free-Range Kids" movement (she's a bit *too* militant for me, if you actually read thru her blog,i though her site always brings up some food for thought), but I think it brings up some good points overally, and I agree with its general message.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  2. #2
    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Interesting...she strikes me as a bit coo coo myself, but compared to someone like my SIL, I'm downright "careless".

    The one exception I'd make is the contraption for babies on flights. Lap babies are in a lot of danger if something should go wrong. Personally, it makes more sense to me to buy them a damned ticket and use their car seat then buy a completely different contraption, though.

  3. #3
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    I dunno, I rode my bike all over town (of 48,000 people) and stayed home by myself before/after school at 10--now, in many states (including my own) that will get you (at least) a DCFS visit. It just seems ridiculous to shelter our kids to the point of...well, honestly, to the point of negligence--a child that is so overprotected is no better off than a child left entirely to their own devices (and really, probably worse off once they *do* end up in the real world).

    I think what bothers me about the actually FRK (because I don't want to keep typing it out), is that you can go overboard the opposite way as well...though I think there is a case to be made that she's been pushed into that hole from the media attention (I saw an early interview with her several years ago, and it wasn't that *out there* in attitude the way some of her posts seem to me now). I mean..."free range" needs to be age appropriate, developmentally appropriate, location appropriate and activity appropriate, but by the same token if we *don't* push our kids to do things themselves and try new (and even "dangerous") things, I think it the long run we are screwing them up (and wasting a shit ton of money on MADE IN CHINA cheap pieces of crap for the illusion of greater security).

    Quote Originally Posted by DeseretRose View Post
    The one exception I'd make is the contraption for babies on flights. Lap babies are in a lot of danger if something should go wrong. Personally, it makes more sense to me to buy them a damned ticket and use their car seat then buy a completely different contraption, though.
    Especially since it isn't rated for use for the most statistically risky parts of the flight anyhow...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    You know what I think a big part of the difference is, Thal? Your family, your mom in particular, strike me as vey sensible balanced people.

    My parents would go from smothering to abandoning with little middle ground. I was rarely allowed to play at other kids homes because of their fears of abuse, yet by the time I was 10 they'd leave me in charge of my brothers (5 and 7 years old!) for hours at a time. Alone. By the time I was 14 they left us alone for an entire week. Looking back as an adult that was abusive to all of us, and placed me in a position where even as adults my brothers still resent the force I resorted to in order to mantain order. It honestly would have been kinder if some neighbor had called family services and they'd discovered what all was going on.

  5. #5
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Quote Originally Posted by DeseretRose View Post
    My parents would go from smothering to abandoning with little middle ground. I was rarely allowed to play at other kids homes because of their fears of abuse, yet by the time I was 10 they'd leave me in charge of my brothers (5 and 7 years old!) for hours at a time. Alone. By the time I was 14 they left us alone for an entire week. Looking back as an adult that was abusive to all of us, and placed me in a position where even as adults my brothers still resent the force I resorted to in order to mantain order. It honestly would have been kinder if some neighbor had called family services and they'd discovered what all was going on.
    That's messed up--a week? What about groceries and stuff? I mean...at 14 I watched myself overnight once or twice...but to be babysitting for that long? That's way excessive and its neither fair to you or them--I mean, its expecting too much...like the Love, Joy and Feminism blog, where she was expected to discipline her siblings? I get giving kids responsibility--Sophie is occasionally put in charge of monitoring what Collin is doing (like if I'm in the bathroom or cooking) and then reporting to me if he's doing something naughty, but I'd never let her punish him, you know?

    Ah! The groceries comment totally reminded me...when I was 15, my mom and step-dad went out of town for a week, and they had my (very awesome 22 yo drag-racing) cousin come and "hang out" (at least they were nice enough not to call, it "baby sitting") and "work on my driving" (I had my permit)...the specific reason that I had a "babysitter" was because I didn't have a license in case I needed to go somewhere...like for groceries (my mother seemed to have this fear that the fridge and pantry would mysteriously eat all the food and I wouldn't think to ask the neighbor--who had been my babysitter for 10 years, no less, and I would starve or something)...


    I think I started thinking about this because one of the posts on her blog sort of hit home...I don't not let my kids (well, Sophie, because she's the only one capable of logic and reasoning yet) do things because I fear for them, or that something could happen to them--I parent on the basis of "will someone call DCFS" or not. Seriously--we have a pool at the apartment complex and our apartment overlooks the pool, so if Sophie has to go pee and we are at the pool, I have no problem letting her run up and pee (I can see her go to the steps, and enter the apartment...the only time I loose sight of her is when she goes up the stairs and when she is in the apartment)...she is more than capable of doing this without any problems--but apparently it makes me a bad mom. OR, there is the letting her go to the counter at McDonalds even while watching from the play area, to order a treat...makes me a bad mom (and not on the basis of McD's nutritional blasphemy). Are these really our opinions and standards for kids? To keep them totally inept and ignorant of how the world works? To have their own experiences and learn to be their own people? I mean...teaching them to be aware of their surroundings and to never get in a car with a stranger, and to defend themselves if necessary is one thing...but not to meet and greet life?

    I thought this list from one of the commenters was pretty interesting though--
    "1) When you were a child, did you do X and come out OK?
    1a) If you have memories that aren’t all good from your free childhood, can you think of other ways (besides sheltering) to reduce your kid’s risks?

    2) Make a list of awesome things that kids have done when / because parents were NOT watching. Review it periodically to keep it at the front of your mind when you let your kid go.

    3) Remember the risks of letting your kids stay inside all the time. Getting blind and fat, thinking TV is real, killing their siblings....

    4) You are making your neighborhood a safer place for the neighbor kids by having your kids play outside (and vice versa). Also, your neighbors will recognize your kids and are more likely to notice and step in if they see something fishy going on.

    5) Find out the laws about child supervision in your area. Chances are there is no 24-hour leash law for kids.

    6) Talk to your kid about street smarts and what to say if someone approaches them – whether it’s to “help” them or otherwise. If the kid comes across as being very competent in the mission he’s on, chances are the “helpful” adult will buzz off.

    7) What do you want your child to be able to accomplish independently when he’s 18? He’s __% of the way to 18. Is he on track?
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  6. #6
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    I think it's abusive to molly-coddle a child for years and then suddenly whip all that cocoon away and let them get on with it. For me the secret of parenting was gradual and intelligent withdrawal. I often let my children do things that other mothers thought was risky - but I only did it when they (and I) felt they were ready, I was always there for them, and I always kept an eye on things from a distance. Also when we were all out together I would ask their advice and let them make decisions 'do you think that route is safe?' 'Do you think that person is acting a bit odd?' So we discussed decisions and how they were made.

    My children took their tumbles like most others of their generation. When they grazed their knees I washed them and put anti-septic on them. I didn't go out and insist that the road should be padded so it couldn't happen again.
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  7. #7
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    Are these really our opinions and standards for kids? To keep them totally inept and ignorant of how the world works? To have their own experiences and learn to be their own people? I mean...teaching them to be aware of their surroundings and to never get in a car with a stranger, and to defend themselves if necessary is one thing...but not to meet and greet life?
    You know, I think about this every time I see one of those ads for disinfectant on TV where a concerned mom whips out the product every time the dog sneezes.

    There's going to be a lot of variation in the way parents raise their children, and that's a good thing - it only becomes a bad thing when there is either way too much, or way too little, but between those extremes, there's a big area that is, if not "just right," then at least OK. And like you said earlier, Thalassa, it's going to depend on the time, place, age, and individual capabilities of the particular kid.

    If you don't let the kids get into a little mischief every now and then (in a appropriate context), they aren't going to learn much. I figure that the parent's job is to, while the kid is young, teach them some kind of ethics, and keep them out of the kind of mischief that is difficult to get out of (like committing crimes) or fatal, but leave them enough elbow room so that they can learn to navigate their own path through a somewhat dangerous world.

    Right now I've got a newlywed daughter who calls daily to tell me about her money woes. Generally, I listen to what she has to say, tell her about my own money woes, commiserate a bit, and that's it. I could send her some cash - that would be the easy thing to do because it would make her happy and make me feel good - but they have to learn to handle this stuff on their own.

    You know, and I know, and everybody who has ever moved out of mom's basement knows that money woes are a daily part of life. If it isn't the car breaking down, it's the water heater. If a person can't learn to handle these things then they really aren't an adult yet. In a year from now, I don't want her calling me every time they run short on cash and have to eat potatoes for a week - unless she needs a recipe from when wifey and I had to do that.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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  8. #8
    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    That's messed up--a week? What about groceries and stuff? I mean...at 14 I watched myself overnight once or twice...but to be babysitting for that long? That's way excessive and its neither fair to you or them--I mean, its expecting too much...like the Love, Joy and Feminism blog, where she was expected to discipline her siblings? I get giving kids responsibility--Sophie is occasionally put in charge of monitoring what Collin is doing (like if I'm in the bathroom or cooking) and then reporting to me if he's doing something naughty, but I'd never let her punish him, you know?
    I honestly don't remember that well anymore...we were one of those hardcore foodstorage families (complete with handcart to walk back to Jackson County Missouri when Christ came)...even if the fridge had run out, we could have lived off of MRI's and boiled wheat for weeks.

    The part that is still really hard for me to cope with is that my cat (often my only companion since I was 8) got really sick right before they left...like not eating. They didn't want to cancel their trip, and so they left it in my hands...I was 14, I didn't know what to do. After they came home again, she was in really bad shape and had to be put down. I carried that around for 12 YEARS as a failing on my part...proof inside my head that I was a bad person.

    When I turned 18 I hadn't been allowed to so much as date, and so the real world was a hard adjustment. It's very similar to what she talks about on Love, Joy, and Feminism, and I can relate directly to about 85% of what she says from her childhood.

    Now that Allie's Kindergarten age, she wants to do more herself, and it's honestly hard for me to let her sometimes. I'm not always sure where the good balance is and I wish I were better at it, honestly. More and more I have to just take a deep breath and say, "you know what? She wants to do this and she's a smart little girl...she'll be fine, and if she's not, I'll be there to step in".

  9. #9
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Quote Originally Posted by DeseretRose View Post
    Now that Allie's Kindergarten age, she wants to do more herself, and it's honestly hard for me to let her sometimes. I'm not always sure where the good balance is and I wish I were better at it, honestly. More and more I have to just take a deep breath and say, "you know what? She wants to do this and she's a smart little girl...she'll be fine, and if she's not, I'll be there to step in".
    I don't think anyone is ever really sure where the good balance is...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  10. #10
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Product Placement & Parental Paranoia

    Fear is unfortunately a HUGE motivator to sell things. If there's some sort of fear out there, a marketer will try to exploit it to sell you something.

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