This week there have been some pretty dangerous parenting happening across social media. This video of a mom using a hand mixer to make a bubble bath had parents freaking out. This unsafe picture of North West buckled up in a car seat sent commenters over the edge. Holy cow, what horrible parents these people are! Why are they still allowed to have children? Probably for the same reason you and I still have our kids. Our mistakes aren’t broadcast all over social media, yet.
Last week I let my kids ride in the back of a pickup truck going down a dirt road. They didn’t fall out, but they did fall over a few times and get a few bruises. My sister, who is a nurse, let her kids play with their airsoft guns in the woods behind their house. She allowed this even though a few months ago one of her kids poked his eye with a tree branch and had to be rushed to a children’s hospital to make sure his eyesight would return and his eye wouldn’t fall out. Last week, I saw a mom letting her kid play football and another mom let her kid play baseball. Do you know how unsafe it is to let kids play ball? In football they could be hit so hard they fall to the ground! In Little League baseball the pitcher throws small, hard balls within inches of children’s heads.
Parents everywhere are allowing their children to participate in dangerous activities. The Wall Street Journal has gone so far to say that “Texting While Parenting” is causing children to be injured. “Not only are gadget-obsessed parents not watching their kids, but there has been a noted rise in injuries to children under the age of five in the past few years…“But many emergency-room doctors are worried: They see the growing use of hand-held electronic devices as a plausible explanation for the surprising reversal of a long slide in injury rates for young children. There have even been a few extreme cases of death and near drowning.”
Seriously, there is a huge difference between intentional harm and accidents. Accidents happen and have always happened. Kids fall off slides, they crash their bicycle, they poke their eyes with a tree while running through the woods. The difference is that some parents are documenting their kids’ lives and that opens them up to public criticism. Yes, Kim K did not buckle her sweet girl in completely correct, but haven’t we all been there? There were no safety videos or public awareness campaigns to tell me how to fix the straps on my kids’ car seat. I even put their winter coats on under the car seat straps, which is apparently one of the worst things you can do, ever, these days.
Sure, the mom mixing bubbles in a bath tub with an electric hand mixer isn’t the best choice, but nothing happened. I was more concerned with the kid standing up in the tub. That baby could have slipped and hurt it self. I freak out, in my head, every time I see a kid standing in a grocery cart or in a car seat in the front seat of a grocery cart. I can picture in my head a terrible fall, but guess what 99% of the time it doesn’t happen.
Why can’t we give parents just a little leniency? Let’s just let each other off the hook sometimes and try not to be so damn critical. Save the judgement for the times it is really needed: the mom who smokes in the car with her kids, the parents of a child wondering through a park at 3:00 am in the morning, the mom feeding her kid McDonald’s…JUST KIDDING, a little McDonald’s every now and then is completely acceptable and part of childhood. Chill out and appreciate the parents spending time with their kids and that the kids are happy and smiling.
By the way, in case you missed it, there is a lot of sarcasm in this article. Please try to take it as such.