As if kids today weren't sheltered enough, now their bed-wetting parents have pushed it even further -- "lights-on" haunted house tours. Here's a list of some. I read about it in a Columbus, Ohio newspaper, but through googling found ample examples from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois. Before long expect it to infect the brains of mush-head parents near you.
It's just one more case in an ongoing series of "family values" meaning the unraveling of community cohesion and the sweeping of traditions into the dust bin. Whatever it takes to isolate every nuclear family unto itself. "Fun for the whole family," meaning that no member will have an excuse to leave the nuclear unit for even a few hours to interact socially within non-kin groups, like your peers. And everyone being bored out of their minds from the lowest common denominator, kiddie crap that's supposed to give the entire family a great big boner...
I also notice that there seems to be another important source of parents these days trying to delay their children's development until, well, forever. The clear source is their fear that the real world will hurt their kids' feelings, scrape their knees, etc., so that they lock them up inside all day to prevent that harm.
But the overlooked source is that in times of helicopter parenting, the entire society has shifted its time horizons farther into the future, so even the adults aren't maturing like they used to be. Grown-ups are doing things that used to be kiddie stuff, but that -- due to the time horizon shift -- are now considered adult. Like dressing up and going out unsupervised on Halloween. Or watching fantasy-themed movies. Etc.
So when you've got a man-child for a father, he's going to hold back your development because, Hey, this Hobbit movie stuff is some real heavy mature shit -- didn't you hear how low their chanting voices were in that preview? Maybe when you're as tough as your old man, you can see it alone. But since you're 10, I'd better go with you just in case. And your 5 year-old brother can forget about it. Perhaps in 2012 it needs to be stated overtly: grown men shouldn't pride themselves on accomplishing what any normal kindergartner does in a normal world.