In the white, liberal, upper middle-class circles I usually inhabit, safety trumps all other values. Helicopter parenting has become the standard for responsible parenting, despite data to the contrary. Schools and parents are increasingly making decisions based on the fear of lawsuits or the fear of disapproval from more safety-conscious parents instead of their own best judgement. So this quote from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book struck me as particularly meaningful.
“I wanted to keep you perfectly safe,” said Silas. “But there is only one perfectly safe place for your kind and you will not reach it until all your adventures are over and none of them matter anymore.”
We should not seek perfect safety for our children, or for anyone we care about.