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Too Protective?

Are we too protective of our children? Do we inhibit their growth by rushing to their side every time they fall and not allowing them to experience pain, hurt, or discouragement?

I believe there is a fine line between wanting to protect our children from harm and them being able to experience the negative aspects of life so they will not be hindered in their growth. And, it is often difficult to know how far to go.

When we home schooled, I often thought of my children as seedlings. Yes, I know, that sounds silly. But, if you know anything about gardening and seed planting, then you might get where I am going with this.

If you plant a seed in the dirt, you need the right conditions in order for it to grow properly. If you take that seedling out of it's protective environment too soon and stick it in the ground in the cold, it most likely will die. If you wait until it is too over grown and do the same thing, it has not developed the way it should and most likely will suffer.

So, what is a parent to do?

Today's world is much different in some ways then when my children were small. Danger warnings about everything exist, so in order to keep our children "safe", we do everything we can to protect them. Isn't that our "job"??  But, in doing so, we could be protecting them from healthy risk taking behavior, and that can have an adverse effect. A study done in Europe discovered that children who do not play outside and never experience a skinned knee or something similar to that have phobias as adults! So, if parents remove risk from their children's lives, studies have shown that our children will grow to have high arrogance and low self esteem. Ugh. So, do not rescue too easily and let your kids be kids. Simple, right?


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