# VIII Commandment… continues

VIII: Never pass on your fears.

Too many a “be careful!” comment or too many a “Don’t do that!” shout, when the worst case risk isn’t actually going to lead to death or serious injury results in a kid who is scared of the world.

Don’t hover!

There are far worse things than risking a couple of stitches or a broken wrist from “allowing” kids to really play in the real world.

A kid who grows up feeling safer staring at a screen than wandering the neighborhood or climbing a tree is a deprived abused child.

(to be continued in this space tomorrow…)

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Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back .

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • http://patheos Threeten2yuma

    Now you’re talkin’, Frank!

    Coming from a man such as yourself, who had one of the most idyllic childhoods since Huckleberry Finn, I want to hear more about this topic. And to think that you owe it all to the fact that your nut job parents were too busy trying to tell other people about Jesus to remember that you were even there!

    More! We want MORE of this. You can skip that “please” and “thank you” crap!

  • http://Patheos threeten2yuma

    Boy, now you’ve got me really jazzed! I can’t stop thinking about this topic. I can barely make myself sit here and type out this quick note to you.

    When I was a kid in the late 1950s to mid 1960s, we lived on air force bases and in cities when my Dad was twice in Viet Nam, and if I didn’t have to go to school on any particular day, I’d leave the house as soon as possible in the morning with a “Bye, Mom!” and out the door I’d go and into some new adventure! My Mom wouldn’t see me until supper time, and she wouldn’t think a thing of it either, because that was NORMAL!!! Nobody called Child Protective Services on my Mom, because every other mother in the country was letting her kids do the same thing with their lives.

    Now I know that times have changed, and in many cases for the worst, but one of my biggest regrets as a parent was that I let my goddamned fears of the outside world make me so paranoid that I about sheltered our kids to death, almost like the tragic father in Joseph Heller’s less well known second novel “Something Happened,” but not quite that bad, thank God! By His Grace, our children somehow turned out alright, albeit probably a little too overly-cautious in their lives, thanks to me and my flawed parenting skills.

    Did you know that John Quincy Adams traveled to France when he was 11 to assist his father over there, making ocean voyages in little wooden ships that would probably scare the shit out of most modern human beings, and when he was 13 or 14 he traveled across Europe to St. Petersburg, Russia, as personal secretary to our country’s envoy seeking recognition from the Czar for the new United States of America. There’s a good reason why a Jewish Bar Mitzvah occurs at 13 and not 33! Jesus may have begun his earthly ministry at age 30, but he’d already been a “man” in his culture for twenty years by the time that he was crucified! We’ve extended adolescence in our society to absurd, disfiguring, and detrimental lengths in our culture. In California, their Juvenile Court jurisdiction can extend to age 25. We can keep our “children” on our health insurance until they are 26 years old! WTF! Oops, I mean, what the heck! Let our kids grow up, for crying out loud. Nicodemus was using hyperbole when he asked Jesus if a man can crawl back inside his mother’s womb, not offering a prescription for child-rearing!

    I was just puttering around the house, sipping my coffee, wondering how I was gonna go about my day when I read your latest installment on parenting, but now goddammit, I’m gonna get up off my ass right now and go out and seize this day by it’s throat and squeeze every last drop of ever-loving life out of it while I still can!

    Thanks, Frank!