Gimme Shelter!

      3 Comments on Gimme Shelter!

Recently my husband and I were watching “Wife Swap”, which is a silly reality show where two women swap places into either other’s families for 2 weeks.  And of course, to make good TV they always find 2 families as different as possible for maximum drama.  In this particular episode the biggest point of contention between the households was the degree of separation between the kids and the rest of the world.  One family’s children lived in an RV all year round, were home schooled, and the 20 year old daughter had never been on an unsupervised date. The “swapped” wife thought this was tantamount to keeping her in captivity and of course fireworks flew.  And as stupid as that TV show is, it really got me thinking about my own childhood and transition into adulthood.

Partially due to geography I had a rather sheltered childhood myself.  I grew up on a small farm in a rural community.  I had very strict parents who had high expectations for me both academically and socially. I was not allowed to get a part time job until I graduated from high school, because my job was “to study and get good grades” until then. At the time I felt that my parents were trying to ruin my life and we argued frequently about how I wasn’t allowed to do so many of the things my friends were.  Quite frankly I think they were just as happy to see me move out as I was so they could finally have some peace and quiet!  But I wasn’t completely kept under a rock either.  I did attend public schools.  I did participate in extra curricular activities including sports, band and drama club.  I was allowed to date (unsupervised) and get my driver’s licence when I turned 16.   I did move into a dorm when I started college even though the college was only a 30 minute drive from home.

Today I see kids being raised in every possible inch of the shelter spectrum.  On the one end we have the home-schooled kids who never interact with anyone outside a very limited circle of family and maybe select  others from their church.  On the other end are kids who are in every activity known to man to the point where the home is basically just a place to sleep.  Both extremes seem exhausting and I’m glad that my parents weren’t of either of these mentalities even if I had a few growing pains in college being sheltered to the degree I was.  

At the end of the day I have to admit my parents a pretty amazing job of raising me and giving me a firm foundation and belief system that remains with me to this day and I’m forever grateful for the structure and guidance they gave me.  

How sheltered were you as a kid and how do you think it prepared you for adulthood?

3 thoughts on “Gimme Shelter!

  1. Lisa Lavia Ryan

    I don't think I was sheltered, per se, but I was expected to follow the rules and do well in school, which is, in turn, how I raised my kids, now 23 and 20. My kids had some friends who were extremely sheltered, and by and large, those kids are the ones who ended up rebelling in a big way. Obviously, letting kids run wild isn't the answer, either. Landing somewhere in the middle usually seems to work out best.

  2. Jimbo Palmer

    I was raised to be an adult, and I raised my child to be an adult.
    She interacted with repair folks, planned family vacations, flew to see in-laws and when older, marched in both the Rose Parade (Sophomore) and Macy's Parade (Senior)

    Both I and she were required to inform the parents where we were going, but not ask if we could. We both grew up in small towns and were big travelers in our 20s.

  3. Keri Rojas

    I wish my parents had set more limits during my teen years, but on the other hand, I'm not unhappy with how I turned out. I was expected to "grow up" early, so I did.


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