When I was a little kid I had a friend named Bobby. He was a year or two younger than me and the boys I played with but he liked to hang around with us.
Except his mother, who looked closer in age to my grandmother than my mom, never let him cross the street in our quiet, blue-collar east Calgary neighbourhood. That meant he couldn’t rove with us to the hill behind the nearby school, or the waste area near the railway tracks where there were always fascinating things to find and play with.
Looking back, I think having had Bobby so late, his mother was extra protective in an era when most kids were allowed to roam free once they were old enough for school.
But it today’s agee of helicopter parents and bubble-wrapped children, Bobby’s mom may be the rule, not the exception. That overprotective mindset appears to be seeping not only into parenting, but into child-welfare law, judging by two recent cases.
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