I want to thank Facebook for giving me the most interesting topics to write on when I hit the dead-end, a 'Blogger's Block'.
Anyway, thank you and all that... keep that coming, I love a healthy debate.
There was a certain post on a Facebook group, where a parent was concerned about the heavy bags kids carry to school these days... These days? Really? Hasn't this always been the case? Don't we remember how we used to carry couple of kilos everyday to school. Many of us used to walk to school with those bags in the scorching sun. Talk to me, I have spent my school years in Lucknow and Delhi... Summer months can be really mean in these two places.
That made me think (again), are we overprotecting our kids, or I'll use a more commonly used term these days 'bubble wrapping them'? I would give credit to the social media yet again. Parents these days live under a constant scrutiny of sorts. Their parenting style is also extremely influenced by the opinion of 1000s of people they interact with online... We get to hear so many things that we start implementing some stuff in our daily lives, especially when it comes to kids.
We have access to so much information now, at a click of a button, that we just cannot let our kids be. Kids, on the other hand start thinking they are not capable to doing stuff, and they don't even want to try it out. In the tryst of becoming a perfect parent, we follow what other parents/or a set of parents are doing.
We are also becoming overprotective because the world is becoming an unsafe place. Now, that is acceptable, because it is our duty to protect the child, but protecting them in every which way is not what parenting should be.
Hanna Rosin wrote an article called 'The Overprotected Child' for The Atlantic, she mentions, "We have become so preoccupied with safety, that we are robbing our children the chance to take risks. Physical and emotional risks, kind of risks they need to grow up into independent adults".
Talking of physical risks, take our playgrounds, slowly and surely we are shifting to these super safe play zones, I wouldn't even call them playgrounds. Many of them are indoors. There are 'age-appropriate' slides and stuff which are too safe for the child. After a point, there is zero sense of adventure for the child.
Leave physical risks aside, we don't even let our child take emotional risks. We want to step in before our child can even think.
Are we raising kids the right way? It is a very scary thought if you ask me, and if we keep going on like this, we will be raising a generation who would be totally dependent on someone else to do everything in life. A generation which will have zero capacity to take risks.
So what should we do as parents? Neglect the child? Well, not really, resorting to the extremes is not the answer to this. We should definitely be aware as parents, as mentioned above, we as parents should be concerned about our child's safety. We should also learn to let them go when its right. Shouldn't we?