I just want to add that I loved this Salon article about “Free-Range Kids” author Lenore Skenazy, who argues that the world is not so much more dangerous today than it was 30 years ago that we have to bubble-wrap our kids and not let them walk to school, ride the bus or play outside unless we are either present or, at the very least, within speed-dial range.
There is so much needless fear in this world, and it’s largely self-perpetuated. If we fail to enable future generations to figure their own lives out, the world’s going to be in a sorry state, full of insulated adults who as kids were never allowed to pick themselves up, much less trip and fall. Similarly, I’m also a big fan of the school of thought that advocates allowing kids to get bored and not overprogrammed, letting their imaginations develop as they find ways to entertain themselves. Kids are more capable than we give them credit for.
I hope that when I have kids, I don’t undergo some sort of hormonal mind-warp that makes me forget all of this.