For a moment, it felt natural to get caught up in the destruction of a Kelowna Ogopogo.
Like the hundreds of people who took to our Facebook wall to express outrage about changes to City Park’s Water Park, I too thought it was pretty ridiculous that a little bit of vintage lake monster life was going the way of the dinosaur.
Plus, beyond my love for all things kitsch, there was a theme among our commenters that resonated.
Maybe our little Kelownians are being too bubble wrapped. What’s wrong with the occasional fall from an eight-feet tall concrete monster?
Most have survived and even flourished after such an experience. Goodness knows, in recent days I’ve told my child at least a dozen times that he shouldn’t be afraid to ride his bike without the trainers on.
I rode my banana-seat bike over a parked car when I was his age and I’m just fine, more or less.
That said, I talk a path I don’t walk or cycle and he knows it. It’s hard to ignore, quite honestly.
No different than my generation of hardcore over-protectors, I’m a bubble wrapping ninja.
When my little nugget took to the now jack-hammered Ogopogo, I was always close at hand, urging him to jump in my arms so we could run away to somewhere padded.
This came with a healthy dose of guilt due to the fact I’m a somewhat literate bubble wrapper.
Having read countless studies that say this style of parenting is going to have consequences, I’d stay awake at night after one of these experiences trying to actualize the free range parent within. (Fun fact, “ consequences” is the modern day way of saying “you’re in deep doo-doo, kiddo.” I know this because I read it in a parenting book. Digressing.)
Helicopter parents have been around for decades and their issues are well documented.
Initial concerns centred around how this style of parenting saw kids raised in a pressure cooker, and suffering anxiety and depression as a result.
In time, it was about how it affected working moms who couldn’t keep up with being an employee of demanding companies while also being a full time safety officer for a small human.
Now we are contemplating the way helicopter parenting feeds the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
In the new book “Love, Money, and Parenting: How Economics Explains the Way We Raise Our Kids,” economists Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti look at how parents in more unequal societies like Canada tend to push their children harder than those in more equal societies, like Sweden.
The more we perceive the world as one in which the winner-takes-all, the more we are likely to do whatever we can to ensure that our children are the winners. As we all know, there’s a lot of other options beyond simply winning.
It’s a lot to consider, isn’t it?
Let’s circle back to Ogopogo, though. It’s too bad it’s gone, regardless of how many sleepless nights it caused over protective parents or how many great memories it offered now grown Gen Xers and Millennials.
The thing is, when it comes to water parks, my little human will likely miss it less than I do.
The Ogopogo was never the most popular structure in that park. It was fantastic to look at and it will be missed, but it’s not really about aesthetics.
A good water park is one where loads of kids are having a wonderful time and it looks like plans for the new park will meet that aim. That said, let’s talk about it again when summer is done.
Maybe there will be new cause for hand-wringing. I mean, there always is.
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