Saturday, August 18, 2007

kids learn self-reliance, adults whine about it

Instapundit links disapprovingly to this story about kids in a reality TV show where the kids are on their own for several weeks. Then he links approvingly to this moralizing comment about the show.

I thought Glenn Reynolds believed in teaching kids to be tough and self-reliant. The show sounds great for a kid, something that I would have loved to do at that age. You think you know better than your parents? Well now's the time to prove it.

So some kid got splattered with hot cooking grease and another kid drank bleach (there's no way that happened to more than one kid unless it was a deliberate prank). Bad stuff happens. Bad stuff happens to kids every day. It's life. And if bad stuff is going to happen to kids, they may as well have a fun and exciting life in between.

You don't do your kids any favors by protecting them from the dangers inherent in fun activities. Some of my fondest memories as a kid involve doing things that parents would never have allowed. And the idea that we can let them have fun with careful supervision is just missing the point. They need to be outside of adult supervision so they can learn for themselves what is a good idea and what isn't. Kids that are constantly under responsible supervision learn that the highest priority in life is to not get hurt. Such kids grow up to be liberal pansies.

You know, liberal pansies --the ones who tell you that if you get mugged, you should just give up your wallet because money isn't worth getting hurt over. Liberal pansies are the ones who don't think you should own a gun, only the government --the surrogate adults-- should use guns. And liberal pansies are the ones who think that the government --the adults that they never had a chance to outgrow-- should take care of all of their needs.

Kids need to grow up. And to do that, they need to be on their own, they need to take risks, and yes, they need to get hurt. And when they get hurt they need to get up and go on having fun without going crying to their mommy or their government for solace. That's what makes them an adult.

UPDATE: Just saw another article on Captain's Quarters. Ed Morrissey and Glenn Reynolds deserve a lot of credit for their valid and pointed criticism of the Networks. But I suspect that they have gotten so used to the major networks being run by dicks that they sometimes criticize the networks reflexively, even when the networks didn't do anything wrong. Those child-actor laws that Morrissey is talking about are pretty overbearing (as are most child-labor laws in this country). And the laws are intended to protect professional, long-term child actors, not kids involved in one six-week show.

A lot of the Captain's commenters seem to agree with me.

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