12/30/2011 11:27 am ET Updated Jan 04, 2012

Welcome To The Age Of Overparenting

When Boston was hit by last winter's barrage of blizzards, my two oldest kids, then ages eight and five, spent their snow days lounging around the house in their pajamas, occasionally dabbling at the computer. "Mom," they said, "we're bored." Finally, I suggested they go outside -- but not too far and not for too long and they should remember to wear layers or they'd surely end up in the hospital receiving treatment for frostbite. Oh, and did they need a snack or have to go to the bathroom first? As they trudged out the front door, I was simultaneously relieved to have them out of the house and terrified that they would be kidnapped or hit by a bus. I opened our living room window and sat beside it, working on my laptop. Every 20 minutes I'd crane my neck and yell, "You guys all right out there?"