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Why parents should stop overprotecting their children

In this interview with two American writers, Hara Marano and Lenore Skenazy, the detrimental effects of over-protecting children are made clear.

In research with undergraduate students they found that a lack of coping skills has led to increasing numbers of students with severe psychological disorders.  They found that students wanted certainty, they want to know the answers to everything in advance and were unable to tolerate uncertainty.  This need for certainty is related  to parenting styles that are driven by fear and they describe how advertisers play on parent's fears. 

Skenazy describes what she calls 'free-range kids' and her concerrn is that many children are no longer encouraged to play outdoors because of their parent's  fear of crime, risks and harm.She cites the level of concern in one incident where when her child went to the park alone the park keeper called the police and she was admonished by them for allowing her child to play unsupervised. 

Marano and Skenazy conclude '... the goal of raising children is to produce the next generation of society, to produce independent human beings capable of making decisions and finding their own paths to usefulness,meaning, and happiness. That doesn’t happen automatically when a child turns twenty-one. It happens, or should happen, gradually. Independence is a long march that begins at birth.'

Read the full article here 

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