I've been noticing a disturbing trend among the parenting crowd.
I guess it took me a while to catch on; but it somehow it seems to be seeping up through the fabric of our society like sewer water creeps out from underneath a poorly sealed toilet base.
It's bad enough that we seem to have forgotten that children are not our personal ego machines, prepped and prepared at the tender age of two for Harvard-like preschools. And maybe it's more than the hysteria about our children's imagined inability to take care of themselves.
In Britain, a mother was fined and reprimanded for leaving her 14 year old son to watch her toddler for a half hour. Interesting how teenagers are incapable of watching a toddler but deemed fully capable of having one.
Perhaps I should have caught a whiff when helicopter parenting became the norm, and those parents who dare to treat their children with anything less than kid gloves are not only criticized, but harshly prosecuted.
Do we truly believe our children are so completely incapable? How can it be that parents insist on the importance of raising responsible children, yet deny them any and all opportunity needed to become responsible?
I suspect that there is a deeper issue here.
Although I don't pretend to psyhoanalyze this new breed of parents - that would be like reaching deep down into the infamously convoluted sewer systems of Paris-I have a feeling this is about more than just parents wanting the best for their children.
In fact, I don't think it has anything to do with our children at all. Is it our fears for ourselves in this growing amorphous mass of humanity?
It seems that this new "social connectedness" has in a lot of ways caused us to be more fearful and distrustful of the individual at the same time that we embrace the group.