The statistics don’t support helicopter parenting

The story of a mother from the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba who received an aggressive visit from the provincial Child and Family Services unit because she allowed her three children to play in the family’s backyard has received international attention.

It’s a frightening tale, and certainly adds fuel to the fire for calls to severely curtail — and in many cases, eliminate — the powers of government agencies whose role is purportedly to ensure the safety of children. As the case at hand illustrates, it is all too easy for the overly broad and intrusive powers to be misused and employed by unscrupulous individuals both inside and outside the bureaucracy for the sole purpose of harassing private citizens engaged in legal activities.