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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Over-parenting?

Many parents are way, way too detached from the children's lives and needs. But some parents, and they are often found in Christian circles, try TOO hard or are too protective of their kids. Here are two helpful links, one from a secular perspective and one by a Christian, that can help you look at your own parenting and evaluate whether or not your children have enough space and risk in their lives for healthy physical and emotional development.

When I was in grade school, my mom tended to be overprotective and I was somewhat wimpy but I was allowed to spend enough hours in unsupervised play (softball but also lots of pretend shooting games: cowboys and indians, war, etc; and lots of snowball fights) to partially offset it.

Beginning with jr high I was less supervised and spent most my free time in "unorganized" sports- baseball, football and basketball with kids who were bigger and faster than me. And occasionally, beginning in 5th or 6th grade, I would hop on my bike and see how far from home I could get before it was absolutely, positively time to turn around and get back by dark.

With H.S. came the spelunking trips, week-long bike journeys with friends, and Outward Bound. Even today I still love to head out into the woods at night and run through the creeks and the mud. Sadly, many boys today, like many of my age-group peers, don't have a life.

1 comment:

Argent said...

Underparenting is probably a bigger problem.

One of the problems with convincing kids to give things a go and take small risks where nasty consequences are unlikely is that we parents are all too convinced such consequences are *likely*.