If you have children or not, we can all learn from what psychologists are saying about the dangers of overprotecting our nation's children. Not just your own children... but society as a whole. The link above will take you to a semi-lengthy article... but in my opinion, well worth the read! Well worth some time to think about how society could be creating a 'Nation of Wimps'!
While my husband and I don't have any children, we have learned gazillions of lessons from friends with children. We soak up the good and the bad when it comes to discipline styles, how parents react to problems with their children (self-induced or not), and then farther on down the road to hear what they would do differently.
How many mothers would take parenting advice from a woman without children?! Not many. And that's OK. If I were a mom I wouldn't take advice from me either. However, there may be something to that piece of wisdom that infers those farther away from the problem might see better solutions than those people in the middle of the problem.
But psychologists are now announcing what I've been theorizing for a long time: the over-protective and hyper-concerned parent can do more damage to their kids than they realize. By cushioning all of the play grounds and taking away tether ball from the play grounds (because someone could get a concussion from that flying ball) we are taking away their chances to learn to cope, to deal with anxiety, to learn some tough lessons in life, to push on through adversity, to be strong in the midst of fear, ... I could go on. Instead they come running to mommy and daddy to solve all of their problems... because that's how they've learned to handle conflict.
What long term message are we sending our children about resolving conflict if we run to their defense all the time? That they aren't quite capable of resolving it themselves? What message are we sending them when we jump from our chairs to catch them upon their stumble? That they aren't capable of handling any pain in their lives and that they should eliminate all risk from their lives?
For more thoughts on this topic see entry below entitled "Was I born in the wrong century?!" (Mar '06)