Award-winning author, L.R.Knost

Bubble-Wrapped Kids? You bet!

[By L.R.Knost, author of Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages now available on Amazon and through other major retailers.]

There is a lot of debate in the blogosphere about Helicopter Parenting and Bubble-Wrapped or Cotton-Wool Kids. I make no apologies for protecting my children. They say crime is down. Maybe per capita it is overall down. Maybe there are less arrests or convictions or whatever. Or maybe there is less shoplifting and littering and other non-violent crimes. Or maybe ‘they’ are wrong. I don’t know, and I don’t care.

Walk into a Wal-Mart and look at the wall of missing children, and you’ll see new faces nearly every day. Turn on the news, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear about a new heinous crime against a child. Misspell something on Google, and the sites that will appear in your search results will sicken you.

But if none of that were true, I’d still be the protective parent that I am. I’d still be that parent because of one sweet little local girl who was lost forever to a fiend. When I hear the name Jessica Lunsford, my heart shivers to a blood-curdling stop for a brief moment, and I have to catch my breath.

I remember the days after she went missing. I remember praying for her safety, praying for her family, praying for the rescuers and volunteers who were searching day and night for her. I remember checking for news updates multiple times a day, a silent prayer in my heart, begging, “Please, God, please.”

And the whole time I was praying, the whole time rescuers, family, friends, volunteers were searching, she was mere yards from her home being kept in a closet by a depraved monster who abused her and then buried her alive.

So, yes, I do guard my children closely. Outside play is free, muddy, messy, regular…and supervised. Bike riding is a family activity. Public bathroom trips are on the buddy-system. Sleepovers are almost exclusively at our house.

My children are homeschooled, but the oldest two started out in public school. For those few years, I drove them to and from school. I chaperoned field trips. I volunteered as a teacher’s aid.

There is more history to my journey, of course. There are happenings in my childhood I won’t share. There are people in my past who did what they should not.

And there are other things that led me here, to this place of mama lioness guarding her young fiercely, to this 5’1” person who could and would take on the most ferocious of threats to protect her children, to this gentle mother who will face the vileness of the world fearlessly and boldly to guard her little ones’ hearts, minds, and bodies. There is more, so much more I have seen and heard and experienced, but that will remain unsaid.

I will not apologize for protecting my children, no matter what the newest label or theory or study shows. My children are free to climb trees, hang from monkey bars, and play king-of-the-mountain on huge dirt mounds. But they aren’t free to hang out at the mall alone. They can scavenge their daddy’s workshop for scrap wood and other ‘treasures’ and use his tools to build…well, whatever their incredible imaginations come up with! But they can’t walk to the store by themselves. They can troll the beach for shells and explore the rocky inlet for sand dollars and sea urchin. But they aren’t allowed to surf the internet without supervision.

Freedom to explore. Freedom to grow. Freedom to discover. Freedom to become who they are meant to be. All within the boundaries of parental guidance and protection. That is how it is in our home. And our home is truly a happy and safe place to be.

Related posts:

The Measure of Success~Chinese Parents and French Parents Can’t BOTH Be Superior!

Tots to Teens~Communication Through the Ages and Stages

Better Children, Better World

Pinky or The Brain?

Character Counts!

Can We Talk?

The sWord and The sTone

Babes and Boundaries~A Gentle Parenting Perspective

Into the Looking Glass~Teens and Self-Esteem


Award-winnning author, L.R.Knost, is the founder and director of the children's rights advocacy and family consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, and Editor-in-Chief of Holistic Parenting Magazine. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood ; Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages ; The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline ; and Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting the first four books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, and children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series.

9 Responses

  1. Jennifer diel

    I just have to say that I love your blog posts. They are heart felt, sincere and just make me love being a mom even more if that is possible. It also is encouraging to me as a parent on those days that can be discouraging for a number of reasons. Just wanted you to know this, thanks again!

    May 5, 2012 at 8:07 am

    • L.R. Knost

      Thank you, mama! 🙂

      May 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

  2. Patricia.S

    YAY!!!!!!! I completely agree!! That’s me too. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

    May 6, 2012 at 2:32 am

  3. Mary

    Totally in agreement. I have 8 children and 15 grands, They were/are lovingly exposed to the world as they need to be and in the safety of loving parents’/grandparents’ attendance.
    It is so important.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    • L.R. Knost

      Eight and fifteen! What a blessed woman you are 🙂 Thank you for your input!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

  4. Pingback: » A Few of my Favorite Things Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources

  5. Lisa Phillips


    April 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  6. Colleen G.

    I know this an older post, but I too guard my children. For one my dad was a police officer and so I learned early on that evil people existed in the world. I wasn’t afraid growing up, just cautious. My world panicked for 4 hours one day in May of 2011 when my then 2 almost 3 year old son vanished. Even in our “safe” country with Amish and relatives my mind went to the worst. Thankfully he just tried to walk to Grandma’s house by himself and ended up in someone’s backyard asleep under a picnic table. No harm was done except to our nerves.

    April 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm

  7. Michelle T

    Have to say, I don’t know what people’s definition of helicopter parenting is, but mine is : don’t do for them what they can do for themself. By this, you are NOT a helicopter parent. They can’t keep bad people from snatching them. I have all out fought-wrestled my husband who is bigger than me to see if I could get away, and after about five minutes of that, I couldn’t feel my arms and legs. I never understood the power a man can have when he uses his full strength. I’m a full grown woman, what chance does a child have?
    Doing their homework, giving them the solutions to their problems, refusing to let them fail, THAT is helicopter parenting. Knowing that sometimes safe is just safe is our job. <3

    September 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

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