Later, in Chapter 12, after the death of Lauren's father, she goes looking for his body. She begins the day's entry by stating “I've never seen more squalor, more human remains, more feral dogs than I saw today” (page 130.) The gravity of this grim reality hits Lauren hard. She says “I have to write. I have to dump this onto paper. I can't keep this inside of me.” (page 130.) Because her father is not around to protect her anymore, she is forced to deal with this harsh outside world on her own. She is forced to grow up. While this is realistically an ongoing process, this moment is a very well-packaged crystallizing point.
These two moments, working together, undoubtedly offer a critique of society. Butler seems to object to the coddling of our children. Even though Lauren is not entirely a part of the gated community in spirit from the beginning, with Earthseed replacing Christianity and with her aversion to settling down in a white-picket-fence motherhood, she still becomes disillusioned throughout the story. This disillusionment is actually amplified by her hyperempathy; when she witnesses pain, she experiences it. It's not only an emotional disillusionment but an actual chemically and biologically enforced painful experience. Butler's point is that this disillusionment is inevitable and extremely painful; we should not keep that a secret and pretend that everything is going to miraculously be okay. Because Lauren's father didn't exactly protect her from the horror of the corpses and disembodied arm she found, Butler isn't exactly using Lauren as an example of what not to do. Lauren's situation becomes a statement of what is going to inevitably happen.
Since Lauren isn't an outright nonexample, there is no real explicit alternative stated in the book. Butler isn't outrightly stating her point, saying “if you coddle your children, then such-and-such will occur. Instead you should ruin their innocence.” This would be far too heavy-handed for Butler's novel. However, there is definitely a heavily implied alternative. Logically the only real alternative to sheltering someone is to expose them to what you are sheltering them from. However, Butler does not explicitly state at any point how to expose them. Perhaps, however, Butler sees the disillusionment process in terms of religion. In Christianity, the method is to gradually expose children with a constant reminder that faith in God as a being to keep the child safe from the frightening parts of life. Lauren's Earthseed beliefs, however, are that God is not a being controlling the world but actually a process of shaping and changing your environment and your own life. In this way, we can see that perhaps Butler is suggesting that children should be allowed to experience the world and go through disillusionment with a constant reminder that they can shape their world and life in any way they see fit.