How Children Learn Bravery in an Age of Overprotection

It’s dangerous to try to protect children from all dangers. To be a trustful parent is not to be a negligent parent. You have to know your kid. But responsibility does not grow in a vacuum. If you want responsible kids, you have to allow them the freedom to be responsible. According to Martini, the children on this island were remarkably well adjusted psychologically and socially. They didn’t whine or demand adult attention as Western children so often do, and they were extraordinarily adept at solving their own problems as they arose. I doubt if there has ever been any human culture, anywhere, at any time, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today.  Our underestimation becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, because, by depriving children of freedom, we deprive them of the opportunities they need to learn how to take control of their own behavior and emotions. Nothing in life is without risk.  When we deprive our children of taking the risks that they must take to grow in competence, confidence, and courage, we run the greater and ultimately more tragic risk that they will never learn to take charge of their own lives.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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