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From not allowing
your child to
play freely on the
playground to
hovering over your
child during an
activity, often as
parents, we may be
doing more harm
than good by over
protecting our
learns why over
protecting can do
more harm than
Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time kids played
outside, walked to school and
learned on their own. Today
parents are sheltering their kids out
of worry and fear for their safety
and may be afraid of negative
consequences if too much freedom
is given to a child, Children
never get to play freely with other
children - there is always adult
supervision. Studies, in fact, have
shown that too much sheltering
can lead to complications later
in life. These children may have
difficulties making decisions
in adulthood and difficulty
maintaining relationships as well
as when these children enter
adolescence, their desire to form
their identity and individualize
from family increases.
Childhood without End
“This has been the most protected
generation in history,” says Mark
Thompson, director of counselling
at Colgate University. He points to
car seats, bicycle helmets, and even
wood chips under park swings.
Because Gen Y has been reared in a
“risk adverse” way, they tend to be
psychologically fragile, robbed of
their own identities, and unable to
feel a real sense of accomplishment
for their efforts. They have no
sense of accomplishment because
Mum praised and posted every
single drawing on the refrigerator.
Psychologist David Angeregg says,
“They were not free to goof up,
make mistakes or just fool around.”
The Implications of
Overprotecting Your Child
• Kids don’t learn to be
“streetwise” by exploring and
roaming their neighborhoods.
• Supervised play also has the
effect of cushioning children
against the natural and
sometimes nasty give-and-
take between peers - a process
that provides valuable life
lessons. Children need to learn
how to negotiate their own
disagreements and choose their
natural leaders.
• Also too much sheltering
can create a lack of problem
solving skills that are vital for
development. For example, if a
child experiences conflict with
another child parents may take
a proactive role and attempt to
“fix” the problem.
• Parents can help by giving the
child suggestions and mediating
if asked, they should provide
them with an opportunity to
create their own solutions with
appropriate guidance.
• Parents forget that no one child
is good at everything and people
learn by failing. Because they
were not allowed to explore, take
risks or fail, many in Gen Y feel
disconnected from themselves.
Oct/Nov 2014