The Overprotected American Child
June 11, 2018
The Wall Street Journal has an article that is excellent entitled The Overprotected Child. Culturally, we are starting to rebel against the insanity of the overprotected child.
Master Yoda from the Star Wars saga had many great quotes that are appropriate for this discussion.
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Train yourself to let go of everything that you fear to lose
Luke: I can't believe it. Yoda: That is why you fail.
In a society that is safer than ever in American history, we need to spend time as parents encouraging our children to explore the world and have unmonitored self time. They need to explore to learn not to fear. They need to believe that they can do it, because in reality, they can!
The key to all things in parenting is to have the discussions on the what if's. How do you set your child up to be safe? What guardrails do you put up?
Ideally, we live in a connected world where a child can have a phone to call in case of emergency. The phone should be a phone. Not a connected internet sinkhole for time waste. Then a child can explore the local environment with a small sense of backup. When we were kids we had nothing but our wits and that worked out ok. However, a phone just makes sense for an emergency.
Have the conversations about strangers, bullying, sex, drugs and whatever age appropriate context that you find yourself willing to discuss.
Ideally, release the fear that you hold over your child. Let them live, explore and grow. Hopefully, they will experience the world, build self esteem and never suffer the pangs of anxiety.
Fear is not useful for your child's growth,