It's a real conundrum to me. Like a lot of these issues, it raises more questions the more I think about it. Is there a price to being extremely protective of children, and if yes, what is it and is it the increased safety worth the cost? Does being overprotective actually make children much safer, or is it more perception than reality? Is Dad looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses and forgetting about real and serious risks that kids ran in a time when parents felt less need to be watchful, and safety standards for toys and other products were minimal or non-existent? Am I idealizing my childhood in the same way? Is greater protectiveness a general trend throughout most sections of US society, or is it restricted to middle and upper-middle class families in suburban areas, or even just some particular parts of the country? Is this trend effecting other nations and cultures outside the US?
All of these questions and I don't even have any children of my own. This is a classic example of how my brain, perversely, tends to think most about the things do not have any direct practical effect on me. I can worry about how childhood and parenting have changed when I'm neither a parent or a child, but I completely skip worrying about something more relevant, like whether I should start putting money into the 403b plan that my employer offers, or whether the rollover IRA from my previous employer's retirement account still has enough money in it to buy more than a decent meal.