The world is a dangerous place today... or is it? Either my memory deceives me, or I used to bicycle, roller skate, even occasionally skateboard, and I didn't even own a helmet.
I went to playgrounds with metal slides, and boy, did they get hot on a sunny day! I have no recollection of squishy mulch beds under the playground equipment. Sometimes it was grass, usually it was just packed dirt, occasionally cement.
I was probably an adult before I ever wore a seatbelt. Having the heart of an explorer from a young age, I used to regularly roam the neighborhood, creekbed, woods, even restaurants alone from the time I was in early elementary school.
I was definitely an adult before I ever tried anything other than white bread!
Am I writing all this to say that my parents were neglectful? Absolutely not. I imagine that most people 'of a certain age' would have a similar tale to tell. (Can you imagine how much the poor kid who wore helmet and pads like they do now while skating would have been teased when we were young????)
I'm writing this because I've noticed an astonishingly inverse curve between the protection we give our kids' bodies and the protection we give their hearts and minds. As surely as the parents of yesterday wouldn't have felt it necessary to 'protect' their kids from all the above-mentioned 'hazards,' so they would never have dreamed of allowing their kids to watch, listen to, and play today's popular tv shows, music, and video games.
I take the opposite approach, though I'm perhaps a little more protective than my parents were, especially about my kids roaming alone at a young age. Probably because parents have allowed their kids to wallow in filth from the time they're in elementary school, there seems to be more creeps out there.
But, we own a trampoline, and not only does it not have a net, the springs aren't covered! (I figure they'll be safer in the long run if they learn to be cautious about the danger, instead of being totally protected from any possibility of injury.)
My daughter rides a scooter with no protective equipment at all.
However, one of the reason I was so vague about the mental, emotional, and spiritual dangers of tv, music and games is that my kids are as protected from that stuff as much as your average roller skater is with a helmet, shin pads, elbow pads, little glovelike hand protectors, etc. etc.