Taking our kid(s) to the local park, turning them loose and allowing them to run wild is our honest intentions as parents. Right? After all it’s kind of their little paradise. The colorful equipment with swings, multiple slides, merry go round, etc…
But what are our reasons of over parenting? Why are we so over protective? I know, it’s those unsanitized and seemingly germy other kids! However, we don’t want to let our “babies” grow up and experience the world outside of our control. Or we don’t want an ER event to take place.
Since 1997, their has been a significant decrease in parents letting their kids go outside and simply play. We need to be there to protect them from falling and hurting themselves. I get it, I get it!
Let’s change our perspective a bit. For kids, play time is essential for them. This is were preschoolers develop communication skills and interact with kids their age. Just about every kid generally starts off a little selfish and unwiling to share their toys. Here are some of the things I recognized by relaxing and watching my kids play:
- expansion in communication skills
- negotiating skills
- sharing with the other kids (toys, balls, etc…)
- less clingy to mom & dad (at least during park time)
- ask for help
- a little bossy
- listens better
- able to follow the rules to a game
- lend a helping hand
There is a slight fear that we as parents (with kids of all ages) shelter our kids to the point that they are not learning life’s tough lesson. In many regards we aren’t doing our kids a favor.
I read an article on Psychology Today by Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D., that over protected kids are less prone to take high-risks in life because it’s completely unfamiliar. This helicopter parenting hinders our kids from developing naturally and instinctively. Instead, we should sometimes sit back and lets them navigate through life bit.
For one week, just sit and watch your kid(s) and how they deal with all types of situations. You’ll notice they make all types of decisions, just with in thirty minutes of being there. It’s actually pretty interesting, because every moral teaching you’ve instilled -plays out right in front of you.
I normally take my kids to the park at least three times a week. I got so tired of over parenting and shielding them. For one week, I took notes and tallied all the benefits of letting my kids explore. Hope this helps!
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