As a parent, we wish to protect our kids in every possible way. From every bump and bruise to every scraped and skinned knee, parents understandably terrified of letting their kids live out from under their protection. Which brings us to the ultimate question, do we keep our children on a tight leash or cut them free? While there will be anxiety that comes with cutting your children free, it is ultimately more beneficial to do so.
If you stop children from taking risks, do you stunt their emotional growth?
If you are a parent, you know the heart racing feeling that comes with every, “Hey mom, watch this!” It’s only natural to ask questions like, “Is the playground safe?” or “Is the playground well-cushioned?” Tim Gill, author of No Fear, says that many parents believe in order to be a good parent, they have to be a controlling parent. But, are parents stunting their child’s emotional growth by doing so?
Children who are robbed of having playtime in a non-controlled environment have the possibility of not learning how to control their own emotions and behaviors. This self-regulation is extremely important as a young child and will predict how well that child could do later on in life.
The benefits of letting your kids play
Did you know, on average, kids today are spending up to 7 hours a day playing video games or spending time on other electronic media devices? This can damage the developing brain of a young child. The park is a perfect place to give children their space and a little more room to take a few risks. Spending time outdoors not only makes children happier and healthier but it also has a positive impact on how well they do in school.
By letting your kids play, they will continue to stretch their boundaries and take appropriate chances. Yes, there will come a time when they push their limits too far and might get hurt. But this allows them to learn from the consequences and understand what their limits are. Just remember, while encouraging children to play, there is a difference between taking extreme risks and taking reasonable risks. Not every risk is the same.
The need to protect your child from anything that might harm them is understandable. Any good parent would have this need, but it’s more beneficial to cut them free. We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject on the Bozman Farms Facebook page or in the comments below!