12 Comments
Jun 3·edited Jun 7Liked by Jim Dalrymple II

The other problem: fathers do not hold the philosophical leadership role in a family as they used to, and mothers, particularly young ones, are addicted to their scaremongering smartphones and are more manipulable by nature, emotionally and socially.

My husband and I have a mocking term for this: "heeeey mama bears!" from the countless viral social media posts where some woman tells a breathless tale of a scary man following her around Target determined to distract her so he could steal her babies for the sex trafficking. She's so glad she escaped but she just wants to let the other mama bears know so they can keep their babies safe. Yeah sure right, lady. I'm sure exactly that happened. And everyone clapped.

You ever see men doing that for attention? You ever see how the mama bears turn on the skeptical moms who say "I'm not sure this adds up and by the way do you know the actual statistics around kidnapping and sex trafficking?" Or who God forbid question car seat fanaticism? Or who say "maybe a broken leg is worth all the trees they got to climb?"

I chaperoned a walking field trip for my daughter's class and some of the other moms were VERY unhappy that the class was crossing a busy road -- at a marked crosswalk, with a crossing guard stopping traffic, and an armed security guard with us for good measure. That there is a woman problem, not a parenting problem.

I've been a mom of a large family for many years and I wish I had a nickel for every father I've seen with that resigned look on his face when his wife goes on an irrational jag about how she never lets their kids ______.

And don't even get me started on the statistics of children living with men who are not their fathers in the home but it'll be a cold day in hell before we're ever socially permitted to question THAT.

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I think a lot about the gender dynamics of helicopter parenting because it seems like it's mostly moms on the forefront of the movement. I often wonder what the dads in these families are doing or thinking about all of this. I've noticed similar things — the resigned dad look — but what I don't understand is why this is happening. In other areas, dads are getting more involved in their kids lives, so I don't fully understand why they aren't playing a more prominent role in the ~discussion~ about parenting best practices.

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I REALLY can't get over the cognitive dissonance of this specific fear of abduction in a *parking lot*, when as you point out, car use itself is way more dangerous! Typically over 1000 children are killed each year in traffic accidents, but yet we don't seem to see tiktokers suggesting that no parent ever drive again...

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Jun 2Liked by Jim Dalrymple II

Yep.

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I don't write a lot about this on Nuclear Meltdown, but I'm kind of an urban planning nerd in my free time, and it blows my mind that more parents aren't up in arms about things like traffic collisions, larger SUVs, the decline of kids commuting to school on foot/bike, etc etc. Walkable, humane cities seem like an obvious goal for parents who want to reduce risk to their kids.

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Couldn't agree more! Also really seems like an arena where environmentalists can find a LOT of common sense allies around child safety, and I'm wondering why those alliances aren't happening more.

For what it's worth, I'd love to read more on the intersection of urban planning + parenting if you choose to bring more of that to your newsletter!

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Jun 4·edited Jun 4Liked by Jim Dalrymple II

Yesssss there’s a ton of overlap in the parenting & the built environment, and I’m glad there’s people realizing this and writing about it. If you’re not following Addison Del Mastro here at The Deleted Scenes, I think you’d appreciate a bunch of his stuff. He’s great at thinking through both the psychology and physical ramifications of urban planning--including sometimes car seats, safety, family friendly-ness, etc.

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love this recommendation!

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Same here!

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Jun 4Liked by Jim Dalrymple II

Just another reason I'm glad to be off social media. This woman's video speaks not to the fact that she's "protecting" her children by shrugging off a basic act of decency, but she's inviting total strangers into her universe to agree or disagree with her eyeroll-inducing viewpoint which, one could argue, can do more damage to your children in the long run. I just imagine her young children in the backseat while she sits to post a video of why she's above putting carts back as she tells internet strangers to f*** off.

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such a great point. And what do you teach your kid if you walk around being a jerk to everyone? There's a cost there too, it's just harder to see.

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I’ve jokingly complained to friends about the “Big Car Seat” industry and how car seats are so clunky and expensive for parents to manage. Thanks for the link to your nuanced article, very interesting

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