We've noticed a significant shift in the way children are raised and allowed to interact with their environment. Gone are the days when kids could roam the neighborhood freely, exploring and learning from their surroundings without constant supervision. In this article, we will discuss the importance of allowing children to play freely and the consequences of overprotecting them.
As parents and caregivers, it's natural to want to keep our children safe. However, in our quest for safety, we may be limiting their opportunities for growth and development. When we were younger, we spent countless hours playing with our friends, with minimal adult supervision. Our parents had a general idea of where we were, but they didn't have the constant access to our whereabouts that today's technology provides.
One of the reasons for this shift in parenting is the influence of media. We are bombarded with stories of terrible things happening to children, which fuels our fear and leads us to overprotect our kids. This overprotection may actually be doing more harm than good, as it prevents them from developing essential life skills such as self-confidence, competence, and independence.
A key example of this issue is the story of Lenore Skenazy, who wrote the book "Free Range Kids" after letting her eight-year-old son ride the subway alone in New York City. Skenazy argues that we should make more efforts to let our kids be independent, as our minds are conditioned to focus on negative information rather than positive experiences.