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No parent wants their child to be hurt or hurt. That's why when we buy your first scooter, we also buy you elbow pads, knee pads and helmet. We take them to playgrounds free of dangers, with padded floors and without sticks, stones or elements that can damage them.
We put protectors on the corners of the tables at home to prevent them from being damaged if they get hit. But we not only avoid physical risks. We also avoid failures or mistakes. We do homework with them so that they do not have mistakes, we turn to the group of mothers to inform us of the homework and exams of our children, we do the backpack, the school work ... However, it is It is a mistake to avoid all risks to the children.
Lately we have become a society that tries to avoid all possible risks to children, and avoiding risk, is avoiding learning. To learn, you have to make mistakes and learn to rectify, you have to fall and get back up, you have to fail to know how I can be successful.
Avoiding them risks has a double danger:
- On the one hand, I prevent them from developing their autonomy (with the negative consequence also of a lack of self-confidence).
- I am also avoiding learning experiences.
It is not about leaving the child alone in the face of danger, and having him handle himself, it is about having experiences that he can learn from. As parents we must protect, but in moderation.
If our son comes home without the homework on the agenda, I should not be the one to solve the problema, it must be the child who seeks the solution. If we are the fathers who consult in the group of mothers what homework they have for the next day, I am preventing my son from taking responsibility for his tasks, so that he does not suffer the consequences of not carrying out his homework.
If I see him in the morning, because that's faster, If I pack his backpack because if he doesn't, he forgets things, I'm not letting him grow nor be autonomous. And a child without autonomy is a dependent child, who will not have the resources to solve their problems when their parents are not present.
Other overprotective attitudes are aimed at avoiding physical harm to children, such as the example of knee and elbow pads that we mentioned at the beginning. It is normal that if I see that my son is going to put something dangerous in his mouth, I remove it immediately, or that if he is going to cross alone and without looking at the street, I grab his arm. These are specific situations in which protection is normal. But we can not avoid all damage, wrap them in bubble wrap and do not make a scratch. The small child who learns to walk is going to fall, he will hit the table, he will run and he will fall, but from these experiences he learns. Learn what to look at, measure distances, learn that some things pupate, and they will be the ones to avoid them.
If we avoid all risks to children, what are the consequences?
- Children more vulnerable to failure and dangers.
- People become excessively dependent on adults (specifically on parents), with more fears and insecurities.
- We also reduce their autonomy and responsibility and the capacity for initiative.
- Low level of self-control and tolerance for frustration.
In short, overprotection is one of the most common mistakes that parents make today, which we can certainly avoid.
- Give him autonomy to do tasks that by age he is prepared to do.
- Avoid getting it all done, make an effort to get things. If something doesn't work out, I help him do it, but I don't. I teach him, and let him do it.
- Make him responsible for his things. Their duties, their agendas or their backpacks are their responsibilities. If you forget something at school, find a solution or take the consequences.
- Avoid spreading our fears and insecurities to the child.
- Let the children solve their problemss, rather than intervening at the slightest suspicion of a problem. If in the park a child takes a ball from him, and I intervene immediately, the child does not learn to manage the situation, but if instead I say to him, "I have noticed what happened, what can we do? " I invite you to generate solutions, and I also give you security, because you know that we are awaiting you.
In short, it is about encouraging the child to learn from mistakes but also from successes. That he learns to function autonomously in the world, that he be decisive. Parents will be a support figure, and a reference, but we do not have to become their "bubble paper" so that nothing affects them.
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